Funeral Costs and Financial Planning
Financial Planning for What Comes After
Smart financial planning isn’t just about planning for retirement. It’s about preparing for all of life’s transitions—paying for college, entering the workforce, marriage, and starting a family. Unfortunately, we often overlook that one last transition when we neglect to include end-of-life in our financial planning.
The truth is, it’s not just hard to think about what comes after, it’s hard to find information on what it actually costs. That’s why we’ve created the Funeralwise Funeral & Final Expense Calculator. This free, easy to use tool will help you come up with an estimate of funeral costs as well as other costs that contribute to final expenses.
Whether you are working with a financial advisor or doing your own planning, you can use our Final Expense Calculator to see what the type of funeral you have in mind might cost. Using those estimates you can create a plan to help manage those costs and decide the best way to pay for them.
Final Expense Calculator
The Final Expense Calculator uses average industry prices to estimate funeral costs. You can do “what if” analyses by changing the selections to see the impact on estimated costs. Of course, your actual costs will depend on factors such as where you live and what funeral service providers you select, but establishing a realistic baseline estimate can help you get started.
Calculating your final expenses is a great first step
Did you try the calculator? If so, you have just completed a basic funeral plan with your choices for how you’d like things handled. You also had the chance to save that information. If you did then you now have FREE access to our Wise Plan Essentials. Both the calculator and the Wise Plan Essentials are part of our Wise Planning System. The system is designed to help you plan the type of end-of-life celebration you want on your own terms. For those who want even more options, upgrade to our Wise Plan Complete. See the Wise Planning System comparison chart for a list of the features.
The best way to learn about the Wise Planning System is to give it a try. Even experienced users have questions from time-to-time. Below are answers to some of the questions we hear most often.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Wise Planning System
People are often surprised at the estimates for funeral costs that they see. Unfortunately, these days, funerals are expensive! Most surveys put the average cost of a traditional funeral at $7,000-$10,000. Remember that our funeral estimates are based on average costs. Actual costs will be more or less depending on your unique circumstances. The beauty of the Funeralwise Wise Planning System is that you can see all the individual elements of a funeral so that you can decide what is important to you. This can help you control your costs so that your funeral doesn’t break the bank. Save the results of the cost calculator for free access to Wise Plan Essentials.
The Wise Plan Essentials includes the most critical information that you and your family will need to take care of your basic funeral needs – your choices for interment, services, providers, and products. If you’d like even more features like the ability specify all the details of the ceremony and a way to appoint a “Plan Guardian”, or create a “Time Capsule” to record detailed information about you and your life, including your ethnic background, education, military service, career, hobbies, and interests, upgrade to our Wise Plan Complete. To see how the Wise Plan Essentials and the Wise Plan Complete compare, click here.
The Final Expense Calculator is a tool that allows you to quickly generate an estimate of funeral costs and final expenses. This is similar to the Quick Plan, it’s just a different user interface. When you save the cost estimate it gives you instant access to the Wise Plan Essentials. The Wise Plan Essentials offers a variety of additional planning tools such as the ability to specify funeral products and sharing options. You’ll also be able to get real-time adjustments to your final expense estimate. You can get even more planning options by upgrading to the Wise Plan Complete. To see how the Wise Plan Essentials and the Wise Plan Complete compare, click here.
Absolutely. When you use the Wise Plan Essentials or the Wise Plan Complete you can remove any items that you have already paid for from the estimate. Even though an item such as cemetery space won’t be in the estimate, you can record the information about it so that all your funeral-related information is in one place.
When you upgrade to the Wise Plan Complete you get access to a full range of funeral ceremony planning features. You can specify who you would like to officiate, what type of readings you would like, music selections, floral arrangements, and pallbearers. If you would like particular religious or institutional rituals included such as military or first-responder, there’s a place for that.
With the Wise Plan Essentials, you can print or email your plan. When you upgrade to the Wise Plan Complete you get access to the Plan Guardian feature. “Plan Guardians” are trusted people who you can invite to share the details of the plan. Plan Guardians receive secure online access to the plan. You can choose whoever you like to serve as your Plan Guardian. We commonly compare these people to Trustees. They are individuals who you trust to handle the details of your end-of-life wishes.
Of course! You have access to the Wise Planning System 24/7. You can change it as often as you like. In fact, we recommend that you revisit your plan at least once a year to make sure that it reflects your current wishes.
A very helpful feature of the Wise Plan Complete is it’s “Time Capsule” section. This part of your plan allows you to record detailed information about you and your life. This information isn’t just good for an obituary or eulogy, it’s great for recording your legacy and genealogy. The type of information you might like to store is your education, military service, career, community service, hobbies, and interests. Your family will appreciate that you have organized this information for them.
The Wise Planning System is a great complement to your overall financial plan. You will see real-time detailed cost estimates and have the capability to make changes to your funeral choices. This gives you power over how much you spend so that you can lower the expected costs. The Plan also provides the ability to get an instant funeral insurance quote. We also carry a directory of Final Expense Advisors that you can call on for help. If you are working with a financial advisor we recommend that you upgrade to the Wise Plan Complete so you can grant them access as a Plan Guardian. If you use Wise Plan Essentials you can print a copy of your plan to use as a reference when you are setting your financial goals.
We have two ways to help you locate a funeral service provider. You can use our Find a Provider directory using the menu on the top of our website or you can access the directory from inside the Wise Plan Essentials. The directory includes funeral homes, cremation services, celebrants, final expense advisors, and cemeteries. The directory all includes pet cremation services and pet cemeteries.
In the Wise Plan Essentials, you can see options for urns, caskets, burial vaults, and grave markers. You can select your preferred product choices without making a purchase. If you need more information about buying funeral products we recommend that you visit our Buying Funeral and Memorial Products page. It is chock full of information on how to buy, tips, and advice. We carry a selection of urns and memorial products in the Funeralwise Store.
Best of all, the Wise Plan Essentials is Free! Seriously, it’s Free. Just save your cost calculator results. If you’re looking for even more options, consider upgrading to the Wise Plan Complete. The low one-time cost gives you all the features of the Wise Plan Essentials plus detailed ceremony planning, biographical data, and recordkeeping.