The Cost of Dying

According to, funerals are friggin’ expensive. I agree. The AARP (formerly American Association of Retired Persons) lists the average cost of a funeral at $10,000. Kevin’s funeral cost over $9,000, so ours was even “less” than average. Death is a rackateering business. It is one of the reasons that one of my close family members has already lined up a number of friends to call upon when it’s his time to build a pine box and bury him by hand. He has already pre-planned his funeral just to avoid the expense of the funeral biz, and he’s dead serious about it.

Bulletins, memorial cards as shown above, casket, flowers, church, burial assistance, headstone, catering, etc. If I add in all the above things, we’re pushing $12,000 for all the services involved with dying. That’s also not including any lawyer fees racked up from closing out his documents (I was blessed enough to have mine donated) and the time spent filling out form after form closing out the deceased’s former life.

The business about dying has become criminal. Many of us are unprepared financially to deal with an expense as large as dying, and who wants to spend our life insurance money just on our death? Shouldn’t our family at least be left with some extra money after the funeral to help with bills and things, or a nice post-death vacation? I know I could have used that, but again, we didn’t have life insurance.

Get life insurance. But more importantly, fight the system, screw the system, plan ahead.

There’s some articles out in the world wide web telling you how to die for $800.00: Pretty cheap. With my developing knowledge of business, I cannot help but wonder if I should open a funeral parlor to a) make money but to b) make it honestly and do it cheaply. No, I’m not talking the funeral biz based on Christopher Walken’s character on “Undertaking Betty”.

What I’m talking about is a way to do funerals and death honestly and affordably. Not in a way where the person has to make this extremely expensive decision with a numb brain, and an air to “just get the job done”. That’s what I did. While my funeral service was great, and lovely, was it worth $10,000 for a few hours to place him in the ground? He would have hated that it cost that much to die.

The funeral business is a nasty one, plain and simple. They’re out for our money based on our weak, heartbroken selves. Something needs to change.

Plan ahead, save yourself some money. In the meantime, let’s keep aware and help our loved ones through this process in a sensible manner when they cannot make those decisions for themselves.

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