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How to Pay For Burial Costs on a Fixed Income

How to Pay For Burial Costs on a Fixed Income

Funeral cost

Many seniors living on a fixed income find themselves faced with a bitter reality: they will eventually pass away and, when they do, their families are going to be faced with an expensive funeral bill. Funerals can be extremely expensive, easily exceeding $10,000, $15,000, or even $20,000, depending on factors such as casket prices, burial plot, and funeral home choice.

Given the high cost of burial, seniors often begin considering ways to help their families cover these costs while still alive. Unfortunately, due to being on a fixed income, some may find the task to be too daunting. The good news is that there are things they can still do to help address the funeral costs.

Here are a few things to consider if you are a senior (or if you have a close family member who is a senior). While these things are certainly not the only steps you can take, they are a good start towards addressing the high costs of burial.

Prepaid Funerals

Many funeral homes offer the ability for someone to prepay for their own funeral. This has two advantages, both of which make this a good option.

First, by prepaying, a senior can often “lock in” the price of a funeral. As with everything else, the price of a funeral is subject to inflationary pressure. As time passes, the price only goes up. By prepaying and locking in the price of a funeral, a senior can sometimes get the funeral at a significantly lower cost than they would otherwise have had to pay.

Second, with a prepaid funeral, the senior has the ability to pay for the funeral in small installments. Many seniors who would be hard pressed to find $10,000 at once could probably come up with $100 or even $50 a month. Since they are prepaying, there won’t be any pressure to get the sum paid off all at once, and this can make the task more manageable.

Funeral Insurance

Generally, insurance is offered to cover something that only has a chance of happening, such as a vehicle collision or insurance covering the costs of getting sick. Even life insurance is often offered in a form such that the death of the insured may or may not happen during the term of the policy.

With this being said, it may seem odd to consider that there is insurance available to help cover the cost of a funeral. Given that the insured are purchasing coverage for something that absolutely will happen sooner or later, this seems counter intuitive.

Yet, there are a number of companies that offer insurance to help cover the cost of a funeral. A simple internet search for “funeral insurance” will yield a number of companies such as

The price of the policy will vary depending on a number of factors, but it is an option worth considering. It will provide coverage faster than life insurance and, unlike life insurance, there is often no requirement for health exams prior to obtaining coverage. While this type of insurance probably won’t be the right fit for everyone, it is something that is worth at least considering.

Planning Ahead

Nobody likes to consider their own demise. Yet, death is simply a certainty of life. By taking a few moments and planning ahead today, seniors can help ensure that their final expense will not be one that is overly burdensome on their families.

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