Most funeral directors are honest, decent folks who proudly serve their communities well. Still, when you’re planning for the future it’s important to keep in mind that funeral directors are business people first and foremost. They’re eager to sell their products and services, and they tend to charge the highest prices possible for final expenses in a given marketplace. It’s difficult for any ordinary person to beat a skilled professional at his own game, and a grief-stricken customer buying funeral services is no exception. The good news is, just like any other future outlay, funeral expenses and burial costs can be managed effectively if you plan ahead and have final expense life insurance. You can manage and reduce funeral expenses by finding the right burial insurance long before you need it.
To plan effectively you’ll first need to know these 3 secrets long kept quiet by funeral directors –
Most funeral directors aren’t clergy, they’re business people
It’s important to keep in mind that funeral homes aren’t charities, they’re profit-making businesses. So, regardless of the emotional state of their prospective clients, funeral directors are eager to sell, not comfort the family members. Even though successful funeral directors are cold, hard business people instead of unbiased clergy, grieving families usually trust and rely entirely on their judgment when making arrangements for costly funerals. But when financial decisions are made during such an emotional period, loved ones are vulnerable to overselling by well-trained professional salespeople. Funeral directors don’t want you to know that your family members may be prodded into paying too-high prices for fancy burials, based on feelings of guilt and embarrassment. If you don’t already have good burial insurance in the form of a final expense insurance policy, then funeral directors are likely to influence family decisions regarding final expenses. By finding an appropriate final insurance policy now, you’ll ensure that your loved ones will have the financial strength and confidence to deal with shrewd salespeople in the future.
Shop early for the best prices on final expense insurance coverage
Grief-stricken family members often rush to the closest funeral home, regardless of its price or quality of service. It’s natural to choose a nearby funeral home, yet prices can vary widely, even within a small geographic area. Although most states place limitations on pricing, funeral businesses still have plenty of flexibility in setting their individual prices. High prices for funerals, burials and other final expenses are often due to gouging by a small number of unscrupulous providers in a given community. They’re the ones who prey on vulnerable family members by making emotional appeals to buy expensive caskets or unnecessary services. Even when funeral directors are honest, some of them charge much higher prices than their local competitors. Of course, quality of services doesn’t always reflect the high prices paid. Many families end up at small neighborhood funeral homes with sky-high burial costs, and they’re too exhausted to fight with salespeople. Costly burials without funeral insurance coverage may drain the entire estate. It’s better to shop around for funeral insurance coverage early. By having the right funeral insurance coverage beforehand, you’ll have plenty of choices and your family will avoid falling prey to high-cost funeral directors.
Cremation is a great way to save money, and burial insurance can cover everything
Most funeral directors are eager to show their casket displays, but few will offer any low-cost alternatives unless you ask them directly. Funeral directors keep cremation a secret because casket sales are such a big money-maker. As business people, naturally they act in their own best interests. With that said, a fine casket offers beautiful presentation, which is very important for some families. Caskets are available in a wide range of materials including wood, metal, plastic and fiberboard. Most caskets are considered “permanent” and are designed for use in-ground, while others are considered “temporary” and are used only during family viewing. There are also smaller, simpler caskets and urns intended for remains after cremation. The right casket or urn allows viewing in a dignified setting and leaves family members with the sense they’ve cared well for a loved one. Yet, a top-quality hardwood or metal casket may cost $5,000 to $15,000 or more. If you want a fine casket, a burial insurance policy can pay for it. Funeral directors like to sell caskets because they earn substantial income through retail markups. In sales displays you’ll usually see only the expensive models, not the economical alternatives. And, even though they would prefer to keep it secret, many funeral homes rent caskets for temporary viewing before cremation, when remains are transferred to an urn. Regardless of the type of casket used, in-ground burial is much costlier than cremation because of the need for heavy, expensive burial vaults or concrete liners in graves. These extra burial expenses are required by most cemeteries in order to prevent the ground from settling over time. Yet, concrete vaults just add another layer of man-made materials to slow down a body’s inevitable return to nature. On the other hand, cremation is a humble and natural way of returning the body to its natural elements. And, it’s economical. Cremation typically costs only a fraction of the price of a casket. And, it avoids burial-related expenses such as concrete grave liners and headstones. By choosing this option you’ll avoid certain funeral expenses including the cost of a permanent casket. Many funeral directors try to keep cremation and other economical choices secret, unless you ask to see all the available options. Whether you choose a casket or cremation, or leave those future decisions to others, the right final expense insurance policy will give you peace of mind.
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