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Plan It…All the Way Out

Published: March 22, 2019

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The ritual harkening the long-awaited approach of spring is upon us – March Madness.

People of all ages, incomes, and professions will be completing their brackets and winding down to the biggest decisions of all … the final four! Players and coaches have been working hard for months leading up to this finale.

The work and preparation leading up to the end of the college basketball season is not unlike what we all do in our professional lives. Most people work for years in anticipation of the day when they will retire and have the luxury of calling their time their own. The final five working years before retirement are typically the time to get your ducks in a row.

Most people approaching retirement begin to think about maxing their savings in those final years of earning. Many take care of deferred maintenance to the home and some even work on their estate plan. Fewer think about the final duck … their funeral. Planning and funding your funeral during those years is a great time to get it done. Especially if being frugal about this expense is of importance.

Some of the benefits to planning and funding a funeral in advance include:

  • A payment plan set up while you are still working and earning means the funeral will be completely paid for (at today’s cost) before you retire. That means you won’t need to withdraw from investments to cover this cost in your retirement years.
  • Most people are in good health as they wind down their working years.  That means the total cost of the funeral can be covered should something unexpected happen before the payments are complete.
  • Funerals, like most things, tend to inflate in cost over time … it’s not going to get cheaper. You can lock down your cost and be done before you retire.

It’s easy to find out everything you need to know about planning and funding a funeral. Just call the funeral home and ask to speak to the individual who takes care of advance funeral planning. 

Plan early, live long… and have fun during your March Madness and beyond!

Control Funeral Costs by Planning Ahead

Published: March 8, 2019

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How does planning for your funeral in advance save you money? Doesn’t it just let the funeral home make money on your money? How big a part should emotion play in your funeral selections?

First, let’s be honest. Emotion is not a bad thing. Some life events should move us emotionally.

Marriage, birth, and death all appropriately tug at our heartstrings. But the cost of all three can also get out of hand if you make all the decisions when emotions are running high.

Put the word “wedding” in front of anything and the cost doubles. If you’ve ever planned a wedding you know that the dress will cost you half as much if you buy it in far in advance instead of just before you need it. The same is true of funerals.

When you and your spouse sit down together with the funeral director, well in advance, you’ll feel a little emotion as you consider the reality of your death.

But that little tug is nothing compared to what your husband or wife will feel if you don’t prepare in advance and they’re making those decisions alone hours after you’ve died.

Emotional overspending happens. Funeral directors don’t make it happen. In fact, they don’t like it either.

Advance planning allows you to make all the decisions that determine the final cost. Making them together with cool heads and warm hearts saves dollars.

Planning ahead eliminates the excessive spending that can occur when someone is in a heightened emotional state.

Think back to wedding planning.

Starting early can also help you absorb the cost over a longer period of time. That means you don’t drag the wedding debt into your brand new marriage.

When you plan your funeral in advance, you will also have the option of paying for it over time. That means you don’t have to take money from your savings or investments and your survivors won’t have the financial burden of paying for your funeral days after your passing.

Advance planning eliminates the need for a lump sum payment when death occurs.

All money set aside in advance for a funeral should be held with a third party. Nearly all funeral homes participate in programs that hold the dollars in either insurance or a trust product until the death occurs.

The funeral home should not have access to your funds and the insurance products they use should have an increasing death benefit to help offset inflation, providing a cushion for increasing funeral costs.

Consult with an advance planning specialist for more details.

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