End of life and death can be expensive.
I had lunch with someone the other day, and of course, the conversation went in the direction of death and funerals. People feel comfortable talking to me about this topic. I feel grateful for their level of comfort.
The story was about a relative of theirs who apparently went bankrupt after paying for a $15,000 funeral. Unfortunately, this is not the first time I have heard of bankruptcy following the death of a loved one.
There are a few things to consider about this story. Yes, at the most vulnerable time of this person’s life they were sitting in front of a salesperson who was successful in getting the client to spend more than necessary, (as confirmed by the person I was speaking with, without my opinion causing any bias!) Grief is a journey unto itself, and the majority of people are not thinking clearly when it comes to purchasing decisions, especially when there was no prior planning, (more than just a will.)
Second, in all likelihood, the person(s) making the purchase was already carrying a hefty debt load. We do live in a debt economy, that’s just the reality.
Third, I am left to wonder why the person who died, didn’t budget or make plans for something that was going to happen. Let’s face it; every one of us is going to die. It’s the reality on this beautiful planet of ours. It’s the cycle of life!
I was looking at these survey results today and it is clear to me that if, based on this information, seniors are not able to afford to retire or to live in a long-term care facility, what are their options when it comes to their end of life care, funeral, burial, cremation or Celebration of Life?
Who will make the decisions? Who will pay? Can the ones that remain afford to pay or will they walk down the road to bankruptcy too?
I would wager a guess, in either scenario, no one sat down and planned for the eventuality of their death. There are so many options for how to dispose of a body and honour the life that was lived. Some have lots of cost savings, (Green Burial for instance, with the least impact on the environment), but in order to be successful in saving money, some thought needs to happen well in advance, and these plans must be put to paper.
There is no reason to burden yourself or anyone else. You are going to die, what is your plan?
Dare to do Death Differently!