Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Simple Funerals on the Rise

Newsweek had an article recently by Matthew Philips called "When Death Comes Cheap," about the rise in "discount" funerals. Apparently, the cost of a casketed funeral has risen 30% from 2000 to 2008, with the price of a traditional funeral now costing nearly $10,000 (yikes!!!!). According to the Newsweek article, however, a variety of discount funeral services are cropping up to meet customer demand for a simpler, thrifiter way:

Now it's cultural shifts that are allowing some of these discount options to thrive. Chief among them is the growing acceptance of cremation, which accounted for less than 4 percent of funerals in the mid-1960s, but more than one third of them last year. (Some observers expect the cremation rate to hit 60 percent by 2025.) Cremation cuts out the three most expensive pieces of a funeral: the casket, the embalming process and the grave plot. Industry critics say that as consumer preference has shifted toward cremation, funeral homes are jacking up prices in an attempt to preserve profits in a declining market.

Cremation not only saves money for your loved ones, but packs a lower environmental footprint than being buried in a casket at the cemetary. It's morbid to think about (especially for you young, hip readers out there), but wouldn't it be better to think about it now, and talk with your loved ones about your wishes, than to have your family spend lots of money on something you might not even want (and let's face it, certainly don't NEED?). Are you reading this, honey?

No comments: