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The High Cost of Dying



A new phrase is being used in Britain: funeral poverty. The cost of funerals is said to have rocketed 80% in a decade, much faster than rises in wages and in the standard rate of inflation. This means that people on low incomes find it difficult or impossible to pay for a funeral when a relative or loved one passes away. The problem is particularly bad in southern England and London, where national wealth is concentrated and prices are correspondingly higher. It’s a strange situation. In 2015 even people on low incomes society can afford astonishingly advanced technology, like phones that can record videos, play television and offer help on everything from finding an address to choosing a place to eat out. But something that has been with human beings for many thousands of years – the act of burying the dead – has become more and more expensive and difficult to arrange. Part of the reason is that technology advances through automation, becoming cheaper as human beings are less involved. But the funeral business still involves humans at every stage. It’s not a profession that can be automated or where corners can be cut, so funerals, unlike phones and computers, don’t get relatively cheaper with every year that passes. Another reason for the high cost of funerals is that many people are still unused to shopping for the best deal when it comes to arranging a funeral. A death in the family is not an everyday occurrence and it can seem difficult to negotiate with a funeral director for the best prices and options. Who wants to seem tight-fisted when it comes to burying a relative or loved one? It doesn’t seem right to treat a funeral like the purchase of a car or TV, or to compare options the way you would when you go on holiday. But these attitudes are changing because of the internet. Nowadays we don’t need to speak to a funeral director face-to-face when we want information about prices and funeral options. We can visit a web-site and make comparisons for ourselves. Next, of course, there is the concept of the funeral plan, which is specifically designed to place more power in the hands of the consumer. The central purpose of a funeral plan is to allow people to make more choices while incurring less expense. It’s also a way of choosing in good time and without the pressure and emotion that will accompany a death that hasn’t been planned for, whether it is your own or that of a loved one. With a funeral plan, you’re making dignified choices about the way you want a funeral to be conducted, taking into account not just your own preferences and ideals, but also the question of cost. As funeral plans increase in popularity, they’ll also offer more options. Safe Hands Funeral Plans are at the forefront of this revolution in consumer choice, offering a comprehensive range of plans that can be adapted to suit every preference and every pocket. We live in an environmentally conscious society and many people want to ensure that they stay ecologically friendly even after they pass away. That’s why Safe Hands has introduced its “Emerald ‘Eco-Friendly’ Plan”, offering consumers the chance to be buried in a tranquil woodland or green setting and using a wicker coffin that will return to the earth, causing no pollution. It’s a more traditional way of burial and can help to keep expense down too. Funeral poverty is increasing because funeral costs are rising, but taking out a funeral plan is an excellent way to respond to the problem, no matter how you want to be buried or cremated.
National Federation of Funeral Directors