Saving on Final Expense

5 WAYS TO SAVE ON FINAL EXPENSE

The average costs related to a person’s funeral are $10,000-15,000. These costs, known as “Final Expense”, are almost always unexpected, and come at a time of grieving, under time pressure, and when an income source may have been lost.

We cannot eliminate these costs, but can show you ways to reduce them. The five steps below are easy, simple and can reduce final expense costs by up to 50% and save you $5,000-7,500:

Learn What’s Included in Final Expense
Most people underestimate what is required when a loved one dies. First, there is the personal loss to deal with. But then there is a long list of people to notify, decisions to make, and steps to take.

You will need to notify family members, friends, employer, and other key contacts; arrange the funeral down to the smallest details; and deal with a lot of administrative items – from your life insurance policy, to social security, banks, and similar parties.

Unfortunately, death of a loved one cannot be planned or predicted. Learning what is required in such cases, hopefully far in the future, will have you better prepared to deal with it.

Plan Ahead of Time 
The time when your loved one dies is hardly a good time to start planning and buying their funeral for one main reason: you are under emotional stress and time pressure.

Burial service cannot be delayed by more than 2-3 days. This, with everything else you have to deal with (see item 1) puts you under a lot of stress and pressure. And stress and pressure are never “good advisors” for making decisions and negotiating the best deal you can.

Plan ahead as much as possible. There are great tools to help you do that, like the American Century Celebration of Life Guide. This guide will let you document all the technical aspects involved with funeral service, as well as, telling your life story to your family.

Shop & Compare
The funeral industry, like any other industry, is competitive. In Texas alone there are over 1,000 funeral homes. If you check their locations there is probably more than one close to your home. Funeral services and funeral items, like any other product, are priced differently by different funeral homes and some will be more flexible than others.

Shopping at only one funeral home, because of time pressure or any other reason, will likely result in a higher cost for a funeral than if a number of proposal are compared and negotiated.

Locate 2-4 funeral homes in your area and compare what they can offer. A funeral home pricing list has to be presented to all clients. Always make sure that the proposal from the funeral home includes all items required for the service you purchase and avoid additional costs in the last minute.

Have a Payment Source
Funeral homes want to get paid for their services and want to know before providing the service or giving you a proposal that your family will have the financial resources to pay for the services at time of need. In most cases they would like to see that there is a life insurance policy your family will be able to use to pay for the funeral.

Without a source of payment many funeral homes will hesitate to commit or even provide a proposal for their funeral services, and will not be aggressive on pricing as they would be if there was a life policy or other source of payment.

A final expense life insurance policy can be the best source to make sure you have a source to pay your funeral costs. It does not tie you to a specific funeral home, has a low monthly payment, and will pay full benefits even in case of premature death.

Buy Wholesale
Many people believe that items related to a funeral service can only be purchase at or through the funeral home. This is not the case. Many items such as caskets, flowers, urns, monuments, and vaults can be purchased from other merchants and delivered to the funeral home at the time of need.

By law, funeral homes cannot refuse to accept merchandise that is purchased outside of the funeral home and used for the funeral service. They have to pay very large fines to the state in such cases.

Buying essential funeral items through other providers, such as the American Century Funeral Merchandise Catalog, can save thousands of dollars to your family and reduce the funeral costs substantially.

These are items people in the funeral industry and funeral homes may not want you to know. Finding ways to reduce your final expense is not in their interest. It will reduce the price they can charge you and will reduce their profit. We see you as our clients and would like you to get the most benefit from our policies and use them the best way possible.

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