A weakened economy has spurred Americans to revamp their household budgets from the ground up – even in the afterlife. With the average cost of a typical burial service hovering around the $10,000 mark, cremation has become the go-to burial practice for more than 41 per cent of American deaths, The New York Times’ Kevin Sack reports.
There are a number of factors that could be behind the spike in cremations, with budget restraints landing at the top of the list. According to the National Cremation Research Council, crematory services cost a little more than $1,100 on average – a fraction of the cost of a full-blown burial.
Sack cites a telephone survey by the Funeral and Memorial Information Council that found one-third of respondents who chose cremation said cost was the primary factor.
“We did everything we could to cut down other costs, and one of the things (my wife) said was, ‘Let’s find out how much it costs to be cremated,'” Doug Kelly told the Times. “If there was a way we could save even $500 or $1,000, it didn’t make a difference. Her major thing was not ruining the family.”
As the end of the year approaches, reviewing your estate plan and will are crucial financial planning steps to take, says Your Money contributor Scott Holsopple of Smart401(k).
“Preparing your finances for your death is a topic many don’t want to talk about. Death is inevitable, however, and if you don’t take the time to plan, your wishes (and your family’s financial security) could be at risk,” he says.
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