The thousands of deaths reported throughout the country in a year cover a sad poverty related story about funerals. Many of those who die poor leave behind a huge funeral bill that their families and friends struggle to cope with in the process of burying their loved ones.
Typical death costs include the funeral ceremony, the actual burial and cremation procedures when they are applicable. Other than getting a coffin, paying morgue fees and finding space on a cemetery, there are also the commemorative headstones put on the grave after the burial.
Those who are lucky to plan ahead, buy various insurance policies to cover the costs. Others who are not financially endowed will have to do with the state’s assistance programs for the dying and the dependents left behind.
Various reports done on the subject of funeral costs, and how the poor cope, show that pension funds are the main source of funds for funerals. Unfortunately the cost of living continues to escalate at a faster rate than pension gain rates. This leaves many pensioners with little money that is not enough to sustain them when they are alive. It is difficult for such a person to afford his or her funeral when staying alive is already an issue.
Thankfully, a little planning and financial brilliance goes a long way in minimizing the burden of funerals. The possibility of having a decent life and still getting a commendable sendoff is within reach of many.
While several stakeholder groups continue to petition the government to look into the funeral cost issue, businesses are responding to the emerging needs for affordable services and products.
As people live longer due to technological and medical advancements, they get time to save for their send off. At the same time, pension schemes are feeling the pressure of supporting the extra population that goes into old age. The state has an obvious case to respond to through regulation of funds and maybe an increase in contributions. The exact form of intervention is unclear.
What remains clear is the amount that a funeral costs today, which is quite high compared to the cost decades ago. Another thing to consider while planning for a funeral is the fact that, disposable incomes are diminishing because there so much to do with a person’s income.
Young people in particular already have a hard time and are forced into minimalist lifestyles that are a big contrast to how their parents lived.
It is in this regard that it makes sense to plan for gravestones early. While prices can be as high as $10,000 for the high-end ones, it costs an average of $1,500 to $2,000 for the typical ones. With this price tag, buyers can pick different colors and materials such as granite and bronze.
The sizes also affect the pricing, with bigger headstones costing more. This also applies to the number of graves. Headstones for individuals cost significantly less than the companion ones.
For the poor who cannot afford the gravestone, the option of going with a flat grave marker exists and it costs an average of just $100.