Cremation now the most popular disposition choice for Americans

2016 marked the year that more cremations were conducted than burials.  Last year 50.2% of dispositions were cremations.  This is a huge shift in the funeral industry and a significant change in tradition.

Why are more Americans choosing cremation?  There are several reasons cited, but by far the most common reason is COST.  Economical conditions for the majority of Americans mean that the days of elaborate and costly traditional burials are over.

Cremation costs A traditional burial would cost anywhere in the region of $10,000 – $20,000 depending upon the cost of the casket and cemetery plot.  If the deceased had not made any pre-need funeral plan, and surviving family are left to fork out for the funeral, then spending tens of thousands of dollars is just NOT an option.

CNN reported in 2015 that 76% of Americans were living paycheck to paycheck.  And these are the folks that cannot afford the sudden ‘disruption’ to their finances of an unexpected expenditure such as a funeral.

And let’s face the harsh reality which is that there really is NO financing for a funeral. Seriously who is going to lend money based upon having no means to ‘re-possess’ the goods?!!

Affordable cremationSo for many Americans cremation has just entered the scene as the ONLY viable affordable alternative to conduct a funeral.

A cremation service will cost you within the region of $3,000 – $4000.

This is a full service funeral but with a cremation conducted after the service.

A cremation memorial where the deceased is first cremated and then a memorial service held with the cremated remains costs less than a full-service cremation.

A cremation memorial is likely to cost in the region of $1,500 – $2,500.

For those families that can only afford the bare minimum, or for those families that do not desire any services whatsoever, then a direct cremation is the solution.  A direct cremation is where the funeral home and/or crematory simply handle conducting the cremation of the deceased and returning the remains to the family.

A direct cremation costs anywhere in the region of $425 – $1,595 depending on the city, location and provider.  The cost for a direct cremation does vary geographically.  For example, Las Vegas NV is probably the cheapest place to purchase a direct cremation and Lafayette LA is one of the most expensive for a direct cremation.

It is always wise to check cremation prices from more than one funeral home or cremation service provider.  You will quickly discover that the cost for a cremation service can vary, even for the exact same service.

If cost is king for you and you want to arrange a low-cost direct cremation and keep your funeral costs to a minimum, then DFS Memorials can help you.  DFS Memorials is a network of local, independent funeral homes all offering an affordable direct cremation package.  We conducted extensive price comparison research to recruit a local cremation provider that represented best value in quality and price for a simple direct cremation.

Use the state links on the right-hand side to find your nearest DFS Memorials provider and discover the affordable cost for a direct cremation in your area.

5 tips to best compare cremation costs?

average cremation costMost other major purchases we make in our lives, we are always cost-conscious, and will shop around for the best price.  A funeral can be a huge expense, but a purchase that until more recent times, a family would not ask upfront about the total cost.  It was almost deemed to be undignified to be asking a funeral director ‘how much’?

Now folks are very mindful consumers, and the Internet has provided a wonderful tool with which we can price-shop with some anonymity.  What is happening without a shadow of doubt is that families now want to ask ‘how much’ and to compare costs.

Cremation is the new buzz in the death care sector right now, as more and more families decide that cremation is a preferable alternative to an expensive traditional funeral.

So, we have put 5 tips together here to help you understand how best to compare cremation costs between cremation service providers.

#1  Compare like-for-like cremation packages

Ensure you are comparing the same type of cremation service package between different providers.  Whether you opt for a cremation memorial or a direct cremation, check that what is included from each provider is exactly the same.  Some providers bundle together services and include things like the cremation container, a cremation urn and even death certificates.  Whereas other providers may appear to be offering a discount cremation price, but they have not included basic items/services that you will require.  Unless you happen to have a cremation container at home, you WILL require the cardboard container for cremating the body, yet some providers charge an additional $50-$100 for this!

#2  Not all funeral service providers are created equal

Understand that different funeral service locations have a different pricing structure.  A large traditional funeral home with a fleet of vehicles, a large staff and premises will have a larger overhead that they need to maintain.  Corporate funeral locations such as Dignity Memorial and the Neptune Society also tend to have a higher pricing structure for cremation services as they have profit margins and share-holders to appease.  You will often find that the small local independent funeral home will be able to offer you more affordable cremation prices and have more flexibility on flexing their prices.

cremation prices#3  Seek out cremation specialists

As cremation has become more popular in the last few years, some funeral service providers have opted to specialize in the field of cremations.  This means they have set up separate cremation businesses focusing solely on cremation, and therefore in many cases, offering more competitive cremation prices.   In several states established independent funeral firms have set up a state-wide cremation society to meet the demand for simple and affordable cremation services.  Many of these ask a small membership fee to join and access reduced cost cremation packages.

#4  Know the ‘Funeral Rule’ and your right to be given cremation prices

Until quite recently funeral homes really did not like disclosing prices, especially on their websites.  On many occasion, I have even phoned a funeral home who have still been reluctant to disclose a price for a cremation.  According to federal regulation a funeral home MUST disclose prices from their General Price List (GPL) when you make an inquiry.  Whether in person, by phone or by email.  If they fail to do so, they are in breach of the Federal Trade Commission’s ‘Funeral Rule’ and you can report them to the FTC.  The FTC conducts surveys annually to test compliance and nearly every year they are a number of funeral homes who are fined for non-compliance.

If you do some research and compare cremation prices between 5 funeral homes in an area you may be surprised by what different responses you receive, and how much the cost can vary.

As this is a purchase that is generally made under duress at a difficult time, and often with no prior experience of this type of purchase, we make very vulnerable consumers of death care services.

#5  Use a cremation cost comparison service

There are a few ways that you can do a cremation cost comparison in an area.  You can use a service such as Everest Funeral Planning & Concierge Service.  However, there is a fee for this service.    You can use a service like the DFS Memorials network.  At DFS Memorials we researched and compared direct cremation prices in an area to select an affordable cremation provider to represent the network in an area.  This means we can quickly connect you with your local, independent funeral home that offers a low-cost cremation service.  You will also find today that some independent funeral homes have conducted research in their own area and published a local cremation price comparison chart on their website.

Hopefully these 5 tips will help you understand how best to compare cremation costs whether you are preplanning and considering purchasing a cremation plan, or you have an immediate need for an affordable cremation service.

What is a direct cremation service? A simple and affordable alternative

direct-cremation-servicesIt is common knowledge that we are experiencing a cremation trend in the United States but maybe not as readily acknowledged that there has also been a growing demand for direct cremation services.

A direct cremation is a simple cremation without any ceremony or additional services being offered by the funeral services provider.

Some funeral service providers refer to it as a “direct cremation with no ceremonial services”.  The deceased is collected from the place of death, transferred to a crematory and/or funeral home, all the legal documentation is completed and then the deceased is cremated and the cremated remains returned directly to the family.

The growing demand for this type of cremation service is largely due to the need for more affordable and simple disposition services.  More families either cannot afford an expensive funeral service, or simply do not want to spend unnecessarily on funeral costs.  Aside from the cost factor, more families do not want fussy traditional funeral rituals and more families are dispersed than living together in a state or city, so a simple cremation can provide an effective and efficient means to take care of the remains of a loved one.

Which funeral service providers offer direct cremation services?

I believe it is fair to say that nearly all funeral service locations offer a “direct cremation” service on their General Price List.  It is often towards the bottom of the price list.  It can be the lowest cost cremation service on a price list as it involves the most minimal services from the funeral location.  Historically it has not been promoted as a service offering as many funeral directors feel it does not reflect the level of service they would prefer to offer a family.  And, of course, there is not the same level of profit in a direct cremation!

The funeral profession, in the main, still feel that we need the ritual of a funeral service in order to have closure on a death.  Although I can acknowledge that this is very important to some individuals, some families today do not feel that an immediate ritual is necessary.

Some funeral providers have opted to focus on cremation, and sometimes indeed direct cremation, as the core of their funeral businesses.  These providers will clearly promote their direct cremation packages and prices.

Independent Cremation Societies have emerged offering a variety of cremation services, including direct cremation.  Service Corporation International has its cremation brands with National Cremation and Neptune Society.  A number of online cremation networks or portals have emerged that help you arrange a direct cremation online at a lower cost.  These vary between networks of independent funeral homes such as DFS Memorials, Parting.com and Cremation.com who all openly disclose the funeral homes that participate in their network and direct you immediately to the local funeral home.

In difference to these networks there are also online portals trying to capitalize on the opportunity to resell cremation services into funeral businesses at a cost and not disclosing which funeral company you would be dealing with.  Heritage Cremation Provider, Legacy Cremation Services and Simple Cremation Online are examples of such portals.

Direct cremation is going to provide the simplest and most economical disposition method for those who either do not want any services, or cannot afford services.   As this market grows there will be more and more competition between funeral service providers, and it will be imperative to ensure you compare prices and inclusive services and check exactly WHO you are dealing with.

Why do people choose cremation?

Cremation is taking the death care industry in the USA by storm!  From a nation once entrenched in the tradition of burial, within a decade our nation has shifted to prefer cremation, with the cremation rate overtaking the burial rate this year.

So why are families now opting for cremation instead of burial?

The most popular reason is driven by the consumer demand for more affordable funeral services.  Since the economic downturn of 2008 more and more families simply cannot afford the cost of a full-service funeral.

According the NFDA a typical burial costs $7,045 (and this is without the cemetery costs).  Many families today living paycheck to paycheck cannot afford this cost, especially if no provision or life insurance was in place.

Thus the demand for cheaper alternatives has grown, and cremation can save thousands on the cost of a funeral.

Direct cremation costs even less than a memorial cremation service, and in most metro areas in the US a direct cremation can be arranged for between $600 and $1000 complete.

Check out this infographic gives a useful overview of why people are choosing cremation.

 

Affordable Cremation in Central Florida $795

low-cost-cremationCremation is a popular choice in Central Florida.  Florida has a retirement population, many of which opt for cremation as an inexpensive and convenient means to make final arrangements.

The cost of cremation services can play a significant part in this decision, as a direct cremation can be arranged in central Florida for just $795 complete.  The cremated remains can be transported (if required) to anywhere in the U.S., or overseas, if there is a need to return remains to family outside of Florida.

The DFS Memorials provider for Orlando and Central Florida can be reached on (407) 710-8865.

If you have an immediate, or imminent, need for a simple low cost cremation then we can help you arrange everything for one low price of $795*.  Families’ attitudes to funerals are changing and cremation offers families greater flexibility in arranging end of life services.   We understand that many families just want a simple, “no fuss” option, one that can be delivered at a low cost.

A direct cremation package can help you arrange a low cost funeral.  The direct cremation takes care of the immediate disposition of the deceased, and once the cremated remains are available, a memorial or ash-scattering service can be conducted.

When you can take care of everything for $795*, and are dealing with a family-owned funeral business, why should you pay more than this?

What is included in the $795* Simple Cremation Package?

Our simple cremation service includes:

  • Collection of the deceased from the place of death
  • Transfer to the funeral facility*
  • Shelter of the deceased
  • Filing of death certificate and cremation permit
  • The cremation process
  • Return of the cremated remains in a temporary cremation urn

*an additional mileage fee can apply if outside our basic service area

 Are there any extra costs?

The additional fees are county fees, which are subject to change and payable to the county in order to facilitate the cremation proceeding.  Death certificate fees in Florida are $10 per copy at present.

Can we still have a funeral service if we arrange a direct cremation?

Yes, of course.  You can arrange a memorial service once you have the cremated remains returned.  A memorial service is the type of funeral service where the deceased’s body is not present.  You can hold a memorial service with, or without, the cremation urn present.  A memorial funeral service can also take the shape of an ash scattering ceremony, or a candlelit vigil or tribute.  We have some useful resources to help you plan and make your own memorial tributes in our Memorialization section.

Our lowest cost cremation is available throughout the Greater Orlando area and the counties of Flagler, Lake, Orange, Putnam, Seminole, and Volusia.

*There is an additional $100 processing fee

Affordable Cremation Services in El Paso $925

low-cost-cremationThe DFS Memorials member serving El Paso will ensure that you can arrange a dignified funeral for an affordable cost.  Covering funeral costs can be a worry, and there is no need to be paying out thousands of dollars just to bury or cremate your loved one.  Our family-owned & operated funeral home in El Paso offers a compassionate and professional service at an inexpensive price.

Working with our provider in El Paso, we can help your family conduct a low cost cremation or burial.   They have 4 locations serving the Greater El Paso area, plus a cemetery and can therefore offer you these  affordable funeral packages:

Complete Direct Cremation Service :  $925

Complete Traditional Funeral Service (Incl. Casket & burial plot) : $3,995

Call (915) 201-2446 for immediate assistance, to preplan a funeral,                            or with any questions you have.  Se Habla Español

¿Está Vd. buscando un entierro simple, digno y asequible?

¿Quiere Vd. rebajar los gastos funerarios por miles de dolares?

DFS Memorials es una red de funerarias autorizadas, familiares que sirven a sus comunidades locales.

llamar por teléfono a nuestro proveedor en El Paso ahora.   Cremación directa completo  – $925

$750 cremation available to residents of Sunset Heights, East El Paso, Ysleta, Mission Valley El Paso, West El Paso or Upper Valley, Northeast El Paso,West Central El Paso and Anthony, Canutillo, Clint, Fabens, Homestead Meadows North, Homestead Meadows South, Horizon City, Montana Vista, San Elizario, Socorro, Sparks, Vinton, Tornillo, & Westway.

 

National Cremation

affordable cremationNational Cremation is owned by Service Corporation International (SCI).  It operates as a low cost cremation brand for SCI offering families simple and affordable cremation services.  National Cremation operates out of 28 locations in 15 states.

I think it is fair to say that National Cremation is the most ‘budget’ brand that SCI operates, and their direct cremation prices can be fairly comparable to the local market price for a low cost direct cremation.

They also offer prepayment options where the cost for a direct cremation can be prepaid over a given period.  There may be incremental costs for this.

Need to find an inexpensive cremation option in NW Arkansas?

basic-cremation-costDFS Memorials offers the best value direct cremation package to residents of Northwestern Arkansas.  A simple direct cremation package covers everything to immediately take care of the disposition of the deceased.  Collection from the place of death, transportation to the funeral facility, completion of all required documentation (death certificate, cremation authorizations and cremation permits), a basic cremation container, the cremation and returning the cremated remains to the family in a temporary urn.  A wider service area can be served although an additional mileage fee may apply depending on location.

Simple, direct cremation for $790

  Call now on  (479) 259-2812 for immediate assistance and to ask any questions you may have

If you have limited resources and need to find the lowest cost funeral option available to you, then your local DFS Memorials member can offer you ‘quality service at a low price’, ensuring you can arrange dignified yet inexpensive funeral services.

Serving residents in the areas of Benton, Conway, Fayetteville, Forrest City, Ft. Smith, Hot Springs Jacksonville, Jonesboro, Little Rock, Pine Bluff, Rogers, Russellville & Searcy, and in Craighead, Faulkner, Garland, Lonoke, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, Sebastian, St. Francis, and Washington counties.

Arranging a low cost cremation in Connecticut

funeral-pricesDFS Memorials now has an affordable cremation provider serving Connecticut.  All State Cremation & Funeral Care can help you arrange the lowest cost cremation services in the state of Connecticut.  A complete direct cremation is available for $1,400.

Peter and his team are available to assist you at your time of need.  Call (203) 864-6010 with any questions you may have.  They cover the whole state of Connecticut offering a low cost cremation.

Serving: Bridgeport – Hartford- New Haven – Stamford – Waterbury

 

How is our aging population going to be able to afford to die?

According to a new study from Feeding America millions of aging Americans can little afford to eat, never mind afford to cover their end of life expenses.  The study reports that a significant number of Baby Boomers (defined as those now between the ages of 50 and 64) are not the affluent generation we once believed, and are actually facing numerous economic and health issues.

A report by Feeding America and AARP found that approximately 8 million boomers are struggling to afford to eat and are turning to charity for food!  10,000 people turn 65 every day and this growing aging population, overwhelmed with financial issues, is going to have a knock-on effect on the billion dollar death care industry.

How are seniors changing their funeral plans?

affordable-funeralsWhat we are witnessing right now in the US is a huge shift towards cremation as a funeral alternative. Why? Mainly because it presents a much lower-cost option for those families who cannot afford to spend thousands of dollars on a funeral.

In fact, what we are observing through the DFS Memorials network is that the real shift is towards ‘direct cremation’.  This is the lowest cost disposition option available and means that the funeral services provider just delivers the service to cremate the deceased without any ceremony and returns the ashes to the family.  In most metro areas in America a direct cremation costs between $695 and $995…so as you can see this makes for a much more affordable death care option.

With a more mobile retiring population and the less traditional sentiment of the boomers, direct cremation provides an inexpensive and more versatile disposition choice.

The sad reality is that not only is there a generation of boomers struggling financially, their children are also struggling under the weight of the poor economy.  CNN reports that 76% of American families are living paycheck to paycheck which really demonstrates the real financial situation.  If Mom or Pop have not put funds aside in a funeral plan or life insurance….who really has the funds to pay for a funeral?

How will this affect the death care industry?

Profits are down across the nation as we shift from that traditional $10,000 – $15,000 funeral to a simpler cremation alternative that can cost anywhere between $995 and $3,500.  This means many funeral homes are themselves struggling financially.  Many have already closed or amalgamated and the largest corporate death company has bought out its two nearest competitors over the last few years!

The industry is still largely embracing cremation as an opportunity to sell creative ‘personalized’ services under the notion that boomers want something different and are prepared to spend on unique life celebrations.  Whilst there will always be those individuals who can afford to spend on an extravagant send-off, there will be far more who want the simple and least expensive cremation option.

“A society will be judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members and among the most vulnerable are surely the unborn and the dying,”

~Pope John Paul II