Oceans of ink have been written about the costs of bringing a child into the world. However, not much is said about the costs of dying.
Perhaps because of its extreme sensitive nature, the whole issue of death and its costs is often either neglected or completely overlooked. Even so however painful, there is a great business surrounding death that generates millions and millions of dollars each year.
The costs of a full-service funeral have sky-rocketed in recent years, so much so, that most people plan this event in advance for years, looking to relieve their relatives of the burdensome toll. What many people fail to realize is that there is a more affordable alternative; cremation.
According to most national statistics, a full-service funeral can cost up to 100% more than cremation would In addition, because cremation costs are significantly lower, more and more people are opting for this type of service. This in turn, has translated into the rise of numerous companies that have mushroomed, all offering top-quality services.
Apart from the obvious economic advantage, cremation has been proved to be more practical than funerals. Furthermore, it is many people´s wish to be cremated, rather than buried the traditional way.
Finally, in countries with a high population rate, cremation is not only a sensible option, but a law requirement. Countries with the highest cremation rates include Japan (95%), for example; whereas other countries, such as Poland or Italy have less than 10%. Besides economy and demographics, other reasons determine people’s choice. Religious and cultural factors will also play a vital role when it comes to choosing a burial service.
As for the US, the number of cremations each year has gone up considerably. Whereas in the past only two out of ten people would resort to these services, statistics shows that about 40% of Americans now choose cremation.
Estimating Cremation Costs
Although prices vary according to region and state, there are however, certain general costs that can be taken as an overall reference.
Many people would like to get a straight answer to the question how much does cremation cost? However, the answer will depend largely on the type of service you are looking for.
The costs of direct cremation are much lower than a service followed by the cremation. In fact, when a memorial service is held after the cremation has taken place the costs go down even more. Nonetheless, this is not the only available choice.
On average, cremation costs about $2,500. But, as was mentioned earlier, the final cost will be determined by the additional costs linked to the actual cremation.
If you are considering cremation, either for yourself or for a loved one, the following points should be taken into account: is a casket needed or will the service begin after the cremation? If this is the case, then only the urn will be necessary, thus eliminating the need of casket rental. Similarly, will the urn be provided by the cremation services company, or will it be provided by the family? Other aspects to consider include the nature of the service that may vary widely depending on whether the body is to be present or not, a religious service included or number of attendants to the service, for instance. All of these “extras” will add up to the final costs.
Cremation service: $300
Casket rental for the service: $1,000
How to Deal with Cremation Costs
Most of us would rather not hear this, but funeral homes and cremation services are businesses. Therefore, there is a high chance that you end up negotiating with the service provider. Luckily, there are some tips that can help you approach this uncomfortable moment.
Even if this is a moment of grieving, this should not allow other people to take advantage of the apparent vulnerability. Going over all the aspects of the service and determining what is relevant and what is not will help reduce cremation costs significantly. After all, the service provider will try to sell more services than you really need. Asking for help may be a wise call as an outsider is bound to be more neutral and always ask for a written contract of the service that is being agreed upon.
In recent years it has become customary for families to resort to cremation. Albeit not fixed, these costs are considerably lower than traditional funeral services.