The Known Unknowns: The Future of Funeral Homes
The funeral home business is an interesting one. To start this business, owners need to buy or lease a building and purchase equipment, supplies, and furniture, find a way of funeral home financing. Depending on the size of the business they plan to run, this can be an expensive endeavor that could take years before starting to generate income.
They are the professionals that help us deal with a very difficult time in our lives. But, what if they were no longer available? What would happen to people who want nothing more than to give their loved ones a proper burial and ceremony?
In October of 2010, the National Funeral Directors Association released data on the number of independent operators running funeral homes in America; it was staggering: from 60% in 2001 to 40% by 2008. In 2012, this percentage has dropped even further—to 34%. This means there have been twice as many closures over just two years! Why does this matter for you and me? Because we’re not only seeing fewer options but also higher prices.
The most recent National Funeral Directors Association data shows that the average cost of a funeral is $7500—and that’s not even including any burial costs! That means many Americans are left with little or no savings for their own funerals, let alone someone else’s.
So what does this all mean? It may be time to find more than one option when it comes to planning ahead for your final wishes; you never know if the place where you had always planned on having your service won’t be in business anymore by the time it needs to happen. And don’t forget about those who will want an appropriate memorial even though they’re too young or otherwise unable to plan themselves: make sure there are some instructions in place and a place to be buried or cremated.