The Cost of a Funeral or Cremation

According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the median cost for a traditional funeral in the United States was around $7,181 in 2014 (This includes basic services of the funeral home, embalming, visitation, a funeral service, hearse and car rental, and a basic metal casket). However, this cost is only for the service. It does not take into account the burial plot, cemetery services or the headstone costs. When you take these into consideration the total cost of a funeral can be as high as $15,000. The median cost of a cremation was $6,078

 

National Median Cost of an Adult Funeral with Viewing and Burial

Base Fee $2,000
Removal/transfer of remains to funeral home $310
Embalming $695
Other preparation of the body $250
Use of facilities/staff for viewing $420
Use of facilities/staff for funeral ceremony $495
Hearse $318
Service car/van $143
Base package $155
Metal casket $2,395
Median Cost of a Funeral With Viewing and Burial $7,181

National Median Cost of an Adult Funeral with Viewing and Cremation

Base Fee $2,000
Removal/transfer of remains to funeral home $310
Embalming $695
Other preparation of the body $250
Use of facilities/staff for viewing $420
Use of facilities/staff for funeral ceremony $495
Service car/van $143
Basic memorial printed package $155
Cremation fee $330
Cremation casket $1,000
Urn $280
Total $6,078

Cost of Funeral Service by City

Atlanta, Georgia $6,977
Austin, Texas $7,205
Boston, Massachusetts $7,853
Chicago, Illinois $7,053
Dallas, Texas $8,052
Denver, Colorado $6,360
Detroit, Michigan $6,128
Honolulu, Hawaii $7,005
Houston, Texas $8,387
Los Angeles, California $5,546
Miami, Florida $6,216
Minneapolis, Minnesota $7,357
New York City, New York $6,895
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania $6,667
Portland, Oregon $6,173
Sacramento, California $6,360
San Diego, California $6,133
San Francisco, California $6,779
San Jose, California $6,381
Seattle, Washington $5,708
Washington, DC $6,962

 

Traditional Burial vs. Cremation

When a body is cremated, there is typically no need to buy a casket or vault, nor do you have to pay for burial space or a headstone and this will save about %15. Because of the savings and other factors, the U.S. cremation rate has been on an upward trend for decades. Choosing cremation doesn’t always solve a financial crisis because some families don’t have the money to pay for the funeral they want, regardless of the cost. This is especially true when there is no life insurance in force, or the family discovers that it has unknowingly lapsed or expired.

The Gift of Planning Ahead

The death of a loved one presents many challenges for a grieving family, ensure that money is not one of them. Buy a life insurance policy and put your final wishes in writing with as much detail as possible. This is best done with the help of an attorney. Funerals are just like anything else; you can save money by choosing an inexpensive casket, vault, or service package. Likewise, there are plenty of ways to spend more such as higher quality materials. Some families may be pressured by feelings of loss, guilt or a scrupulous funeral director to splurge on a service they cannot afford. Make your wishes known to your loved ones and document them. Be as detailed as possible about the kind of service you would like. This is a difficult conversation but one that will ultimately save your family added grief in a terrible time.

Make sure the death benefit of your life insurance policy will cover the type of service you would like. You may also wish to consider a final expense policy which will cover the costs of a funeral. Insurance policies can take time to pay out benefits so you may want to plan on having cash on hand earmarked for this expense or a dedicated savings account with shared access. Also, research funeral costs in your area to make sure you have allocated enough money for this expense.

 

 

Posted in Blog.