Monday, August 12, 2013

Pre-arrange Final Expenses

Pre-arrange Final Expenses

By Keith Bunn Jr.
August 12, 2013

I received in the mail the other week, information I asked for about pre-purchasing 2 grave spaces. Don't worry, Julie & I are fine. I did this to get and share information about pre-buying stuff for everyone's funerals.
I have no problem with you pre-planning your funeral or even buying your grave spaces before you die for the 6 reasons the cemetery brochure said.

1) Prevents emotional over-spending.
A spouse cannot pay burial expenses with reason and/or normal caution when they have to make last-minute arrangements under emotional stress.

2) Means selecting your family plot well in advance.
This assures a greater choice of selections, rather than having to select among a limited choice.

3) Brings security and peace-of-mind to every member of the family.
Once a decision is made in this matter, you have the comfort of knowing that all the details have been taken care of - once and for all.

4) Assures that the surviving spouse will not be forced to work to pay for final expenses.
Insurance statistics show that too often the surviving spouse is forced to work to pay off final expenses because pre-arrangement plans were not done.

5) Protects your estate against inflation.
When you buy your family plot today, you pay a fixed price that will never change in the years ahead.

6) Is of importance to families who can least afford burial expenses.
Under pre-arrangement, the need to raise funds or borrow money for final expenses have been eliminated.

Don't Go into Debt for Final Expenses

With this all said, I would pre-arrange my final expenses as well as pre-buy certain things like your grave space, but only if you do it with cash. What's the difference if you go into debt now or years from now to pay for what needs to be done when you pass?
To give you an example of what I'm talking about, I will use the numbers the cemetery gave me. If you or I paid for 2 grave spaces through this particular cemetery, it would cost $1831. If I were to buy the same spaces on a 30 month payment plan, paying 6.99% interest, the total cost would be $1992.46.

Use Interest to Your Advantage

Here's the kicker. Instead of paying interest for your final expenses, why not earn it. This is what I mean... 
Using the numbers the cemetery gave me, the monthly payments for that 30 month payment plan would be $63.36 per month. If I took that same amount and invested it into a mutual fund, earmarked for final expenses, that earned a 10% rate of return from my age (46) to 65 years old, that investment would be $43,796.69. And if I were to live to 85 years old, it would be $369,460.10. I think either one of those examples would be enough to bury me, or even have a space burial. I think that would be cool, don't you? Oh, by the way, if I were to live as long as my grandma did (102 years old), the amount in that investment would be INSANE!!! 
So just don't do what everyone does or what everyone tells you "This is just how things are done." There is always a different way of doing things, and a good portion of the time, its a smarter way too.

The reason I do this is to give people hope and to try to inspire others. To make them think about their finances, whether they are young or old, so they can win financially.
If you have any questions for me about my posts or if you need help learning how to live on less than you make and creating a budget, you can call me at (616) 454-2046 or e-mail me at I’d be happy to do what I can to help! 
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