Cremation is an increasingly popular alternative to traditional burial in the United States. According to the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), the cremation rate in the country has been steadily rising, and it is projected to reach 78.8% by 2035. This trend can be attributed to a variety of factors, including environmental concerns, changing attitudes toward death and dying, and the desire for more affordable funeral options.
If you are considering cremation for a loved one, one of the first questions you may have is how much it costs. The cost of cremation can vary depending on several factors, such as the location, funeral home, and services selected. In this article, we will discuss the average cost of cremation in America and some factors that can impact the final cost.
Average Cost of Cremation in America
According to the National Funeral Directors Association Cremation and Burial Report, the median cost of a cremation with a traditional funeral service (which includes a viewing and funeral ceremony) is $6,970. If you prefer to do a direct cremation, which means not having a funeral service or viewing, then there’s a median cost of $2,183. Direct cremation is often considered the most affordable option for cremation. When you compare this to the cost of a burial, you will see cremation is a much cheaper option. The average cost of a burial service is $9,420. Cremation costs less since you are not paying for the burial plot, embalming, casket, headstone, funeral facility charges, etc. If you’d like to see the average cost of cremation in your state, check out Choice Mutual’s blog here.
It is important to note that these costs are only median figures, and the actual cost of cremation can vary widely depending on several factors such as location, funeral home, and the services selected. For example, some funeral homes may charge additional fees for services such as transportation, cremation permits, and death certificates.
Factors That Can Impact the Cost of Cremation
1. Location: The cost of cremation can vary widely depending on the location of the funeral home. Funeral homes in large metropolitan areas may charge more than those in rural areas. 2. Type of Service: The cost of cremation can also depend on the type of service selected. A direct cremation, which does not include a funeral service or viewing, is often the most affordable option. However, if you choose to have a funeral service or viewing, the cost will be higher. 3. Funeral Home: The cost of cremation can vary depending on the funeral home you select. Funeral homes may charge different prices for their services, and it is important to compare prices and services before making a decision. 4. Urn Selection: The material and selected design on the urn can cause differences in cost as well. Urns can range from simple and affordable to elaborate and expensive. Lifesong Milestones has hundreds of affordable wooden urns that can be personalized for free. There are candle urns, small keepsake urns, large companion urns, urns with photographs, and more. 5. Additional Services: Some funeral homes may charge additional fees for services such as transportation, cremation permits, and death certificates. These fees will add to the final cost of cremation.
How to Save Money on Cremation Costs
If you are looking to save money on cremation costs, there are several ways you can do so. Here are some tips: 1. Compare Funeral Homes: Compare prices and services from several funeral homes before making a decision. This can help you find the most affordable option. 2. Don’t Mention Your Budget: If you tell a cremation provider what your budget is, they will usually offer cremation packages that match that budget. You can ask for the lowest option possible or give a budget that is lower than your true budget. 3. Choose Direct Cremation: Direct cremation is often the most affordable option for cremation. It does not include a funeral service or viewing, but you can keep the ashes in an urn in your home and still hold a memorial service or celebration of life at a later time. 4. Opt for a Simple Urn: Urns can range from simple and affordable to elaborate and expensive. Opting for a simple urn can help you save money. Also, shop around because you don’t have to buy an urn from the funeral home. Sometimes online urns can be cheaper and more beautiful. 5. Skip the Extras: Funeral homes may offer additional services, such as transportation and death certificates, that can add to the final cost of cremation. You may be able to save money by skipping these extras. 6. Consider Preplanning: Preplanning your cremation can help you save money on cremation costs. Many funeral homes offer preplanning services that allow you to lock in current prices and make payments over time. By pre-planning, you can ensure that your wishes are carried out and will relieve your loved ones of the burden of making decisions during a difficult time. 7. Ashes Storage: Don’t store the ashes in a columbarium or mausoleum, which can be very expensive. Instead, choose to store the ashes at home or scatter them in a place that your dearly departed loved.
Cremation is a popular and increasingly common option for those looking for an alternative to traditional burial. While the cost of cremation can vary depending on several factors, such as location, funeral home, and services, there are many ways to save money on cremation costs. By taking time to make careful choices, you can ensure that you are getting the most affordable option for your loved one's final arrangements. It is important to remember that while cost is a consideration, it should not be the only factor in your decision-making process. It is important to take the time to consider your loved one's wishes and needs, as well as your own when making decisions about cremation or any other funeral service. By working with a trusted funeral home and taking the time to research your options, you can ensure that you are providing the best possible arrangements for your loved one while also staying within your budget.