The High Cost of Dying

Jun 27, 2018

Christians can declare confidently, along with the Apostle Paul, that “to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). Even so, the end of our mortal lives does carry a cost — literally. Almost everything connected with the death of the body has a price: The casket (or urn), the funeral home, transportation and preparation of the body, the ceremony — it adds up.

A Funeral Price Survey conducted last year by the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) pegged the median cost for a traditional funeral at $7,360, a figure that includes itemized costs as well as about $2,000 in funeral-home “service fees” (covering everything from permits to insurance to administration).

But there’s more. That NFDA survey didn’t include the price of a burial plot, a grave marker, and a vault (the protective container for a casket that prevents the ground above from sinking — required by many cemeteries). Adding those items raises the median cost to more than $10,000, according to

There are ways to economize — if you plan ahead. Unfortunately, decisions related to “death care” often are made “at need,” i.e., shortly before a person dies or immediately afterward. It’s not uncommon for a spouse (or other family members), while racked by emotional distress and squeezed by time pressure, to face a series of potentially costly choices. Making “pre-need” decisions, well in advance of death, is better both emotionally and financially.

End of preview. Please subscribe to read more.

Already a subscriber? Log in here.

Continue reading plus get access to our
objective, time-tested investing strategies.

Get access to Sound Mind Investing’s articles and investing
strategies for as little as $0.32 a day.

See subscription options

Not ready to signup? Don’t worry, we can still help.

Our free workshop will teach you how to
profit while enjoying peace of mind, even
in a turbulent market.

In this 20-minute video workshop you’ll discover…

How to grow your portfolio while protecting against loss and downturns
A trustworthy, methodical investing system you can depend on for strong returns and peace of mind
Why successfully navigating bear markets is just as important to your success as capitalizing on bull markets

Start securing your future today.
This free workshop is the perfect place to start.

Written by

Joseph Slife

Joseph Slife

Joseph Slife has been a news writer for the Associated Press, a college instructor, and a radio host. He and his wife Joye have three grown sons.