People spend their whole lives planning about the cost of living. May it be the rate list of groceries, shopping, healthcare or some other part of our daily life. However, one thing that we never think about is the cost of dying. Have you ever personally thought about dying and how much would it cost? Maybe not because it hardly occurs in our mind ever that we have to die someday.
Since 19070s, funeral costs have been an increase in the US and currently in 2021, an average funeral costs about $11000 as estimated by the National Bureau of Economic Research. The price may vary on account of several resources such as if the body is cremated or buried.
The types and materials used in urns and caskets can singlehandedly double the cost of the funeral these days. As we don’t encounter funerals much, we never think about the things we’ll have to account for and how much would they cost. There are so many things that one realizes such as adding a marker, monument or buying flowers after he has to deal with the death of someone and prepare for his funeral. These add-ons alone can spoil the budget you had planned to manage a funeral.
These expenses were the ones that you encounter directly in the funeral planning, however, the expenditures that can arise in the form of healthcare payments are a lot worse. The medication costs along with all the healthcare and legal bills can add up to a great sum of money that you might difficult to pay off.
The best way to deal with these things is pre-planning. Adults when they get older realize the importance of this issue and are careful not to burden their loved ones in a time that is already very difficult for everyone. However, dying may or may not be a gradual process and thus, can often catch a family off-guard leaving you in a lot of debts and loans.
To save yourself from all the trouble, the best way is to plan for your funeral at an age when you are healthy and account for all the possible expenses that can occur. Being aware of what can happen might save you from out of the blue expenses and deal with the situation with the minimal budget from your savings. A few factors that critically affect the Cost of Dying in the US are:
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Healthcare and Medication
Nobody knows how he will die. Someone might sleep peacefully in the night and may not wake up in the morning. Another may spend his last month or years in a hospital battling his illness. Either way, you have to prepare for everything. The healthcare and medication expenses play a pivotal role in defining how much cost of dying you should estimate.
Several situations can arise depending on the patient’s health. He might need round the clock treatment in case he is severely ill. At a higher stage when the patient stops responding to the treatments, the only thing doctors focus on is to minimize the pain with heavy dosages and the medication costs in this situation are a lot more. In case a patient requires surgeries, the cost amount adds up even more. Getting ill at the end of life can get the patient subjected to several options such as:
- Hospital Care: While everyone wants to die peacefully at home, it doesn’t happen so. According to a survey, only about 25% of Americans die at home. The rest end up in the hospital mostly in the last month or two resulting in cost build-up of $32,379. The deaths that occur in Critical Care Unit (CCU) or Intensive Care Unit (ICU) may cost even more based on the procedure and surgeries executed, an average of which is estimated as $10000 per day.
- Palliative Care: People suffering from terminal illnesses are often subjected to emotional, moral and stress-relief support to improve their chances of surviving. Such type of special care is known as Palliative Care. Researchers have deduced that if a patient responds well to palliative care, he saves more of himself and the budget through reduced medication costs. This type of care is generally provided by the hospital staff who work in a team in coordination with other doctors to provide better quality in all respects of life. Studies have found that patients subjected to palliative care have reduced $3,237 on average during their stay at the hospital. Also, patients who received palliative care showed faster recovery than other patients.
- Hospice Care: When all the other options have failed and there are no further chances for the patient to recover, he is generally given Hospice Care. People subjected to this treatment are left with no chance to counter their illness and the only goal is to reduce their pain. The patients do not have to remain at the hospital for Hospice Care. The treatment can be given at home as there is no further need for doctors. Even a trained family person or generally paramedics can manage the needs of a patient receiving Hospice care who spends almost $11,380 on average that has raised the cost of dying in the US.
When a person is done facing the medical expenses, the next thing he faces is the legal expenses that are equally competing to medical expenses in all respects. People generally don’t even think of any legal expenses as the mind never goes towards the legal side when estimating the cost of dying. The legal expenses are generally related to making up of a will, preparing for the burial through funeral homes, assigning end-of-life measures.
There can be many approaches to get these tasks done, however, consulting a professional is always better when dealing with such sort of things. People do these tasks one by one by finding retailers online or through local ads and the result is a large pile of bills increasing the cost of dying in the US.
Some legal consultants have a solution for all these issues of yours and tell you the most affordable approach. If you don’t account for the legal expenses in your end-of-life budget, you are going to be singlehandedly the largest contributor to the average cost of dying in the US.
Funeral and Cremation Costs
Nobody thinks about how he may die and what his family members may have to encounter because we are so full in our lives. Average funeral costs in the US in 2021 cost about $11,380 and can let your family members in even more mourning if you do not account for them in your budget. People generally prefer burials over cremation even through cremation is less costly. Furthermore, the funeral expenses have risen more than 200% in the past thirty years according to the Consumer Index.
Due to the increasing costs, people generally preplan their funerals in the US. The best way to save all that extra money is insuring yourself through Final Expense Insurance. The Final Expense Insurance ensures that all your end-of-life expenses are all accounted for.
The beneficiaries are paid the death benefit along with a cash value provided that you regularly paid all the premiums. Such forethinking can save the family members from getting into debts and loans on funerals if everything happens all of a sudden. Some people are not comfortable with insurances and their side effects so they set aside a specific account from their savings to be specifically used on their funerals. This is also a good way to protect yourself from all those itching expenses.
End-of-life planning is not easy and may stress you out emotionally and physically in a long run. Leaving the decisions up till the end will make the things more complicated and may lead to huge dying costs when everything is over. However, planning everything before when you are able is always a good option.
You can account for all possible expenses that may arise for one reason or another and plan accordingly. When you are loaded with all the possible information, you can approach the problem from the right direction and tackle it in the right way saving a lot of money that can be used elsewhere. In modern times, many people prefer the Final Expense Insurance as it gives them peace of mind that everything will be handled more smoothly and all they have to do is to make monthly payments.
Apart from the death benefit, the cash value may also accumulate that may prove beneficial to the family members. However, the end goal in all the cases is to secure yourself in all possible ways to reduce the cost of dying as much as possible. The above-discussed factors are some of the many factors that might make their way in the total cost of dying depending on the individual’s case.
However, when you start to plan, be sure to include these factors in estimating how much would it cost when you die.