Category: Final Expense

Average Funeral Costs For End of Life Planning

Average Funeral Costs For End of Life Planning

Average Funeral Costs For End of Life Planning

Average Funeral Costs for planning and budgeting

What are the average funeral costs in the United States? The cost of a funeral depends greatly on the options you or your loved one choose.

This article includes a helpful end of life planning list with average funeral costs detailed for your budgeting – including caskets, facilities and burial plots.

The only true fact of life is that death is certain. With death comes a lot of questions, and a lot of planning. It is never too soon to financially prepare for the costs of funerals. You might be wondering what options exists and what the costs are of those options.

Average Funeral Costs Summary Chart

ServiceAverage Costs
Funeral + Burial$7,640
Casket Rental$995
Cremation Casket$1,200
Cremation Container$150
Burial Plot$100’s – $10,000’s
Casket$1,000 – $2,500
Viewing Facility Rental$425
Body Preparation$255
Hearse Rental$340
HeadstonesStart at $1,000
Source: NFDA 2019

How Much Does a Funeral Cost? Here is a Detailed Breakdown

Body Options

Burial vs. Cremation & Also Body Donation

There are three options when it comes to post life care. The two most popular in the United States are burial and cremation. The other option is body donation.  Body donation is gaining popularity because of its low cost and the idea that the person is giving back to the world one final time through donating to science and medicine.

You may have an idea in your head about what your final wishes will entail, but you should still try to understand each option and their financial obligations, so you are financially prepared. It is never to early to prepare for the inevitable.

Average Cost of Cremation

Cremation isn’t free, but it is cheaper than burial. The average cost of cremation with a viewing in the United States, is $5,150, according to the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA).  The bulk of the fee for cremation is the service fees charged by the funeral home. These fees cover the labor the funeral director and basic services.

Average Viewing Costs with Cremated Bodies

Viewing costs include the rental of the funeral home or other venue and memorial service. A viewing is a great way for family and friends to say their final goodbye to their loved one.

You can choose for the viewing to occur either before or after the cremation. Choosing to do a viewing before the cremation can result in some extra costs such as embalming and rental casket costs.

Embalming is not necessary for cremation, but many choose to include embalming if they have an open casket viewing before the cremation. The cost for embalming averaged $750 in 2019 according to NFDA.

Because a casket is not necessary for cremation, many choose to rent a nice casket for the viewing. The average rental casket cost was around $995. Flowers, and displays including photos may also increase the costs of the viewing.

Cremation Casket Rental Costs

The purchase of a casket is not necessary. However, you will be required to purchase a cremation container. A cremation casket can be purchased for around $1,200. This a traditional looking wooden casket that is burned with the remains. The alternative option would be a cremation container, which is a wooden box that isn’t lined, and typically very cheaply made. The cost of a cremation container is around $150.

When considering whether to go with a casket or a cremation container, it’s really personal preference and beliefs. Some believe there is more comfort and dignity in using a lined casket, whereas others believe the box is not the final resting place, so spending extra money on it is unnecessary.

Average Cost of an Urn

Next to consider, cremation results in the family being given back the remains. Many people decide to keep the remains in a special place, called an urn. The funeral home only has to supply a basic box for the remains.

As a result, most people choose to purchase an urn, which can cost several hundred dollars. Personalized urns that use high quality materials may even cost thousands of dollars.

Funeral & Scattering Travel Costs

In addition, if you plan on scattering ashes in a special place, you will want to consider the cost of travel.

Travel may not just be for one person either, sometimes this act is basically a small ceremony of its own and may require travel for several people. If you’re planning your own final wishes and are not wanting your loved ones to pay any costs for your funeral, you may want to consider how much it would cost for them to travel.

For example, if you want your ashes scattered in the ocean, but all of your loved ones live in the middle the United States, you will want to include the cost for them to take off work and travel so they can be there for your final wish.

Other Cremation Costs

Furthermore, funeral homes may charge other fees – including a transportation fee.

  • The transportation fee is charged for picking up the remains from the hospital or morgue and transporting it back to the funeral home.
  • The funeral home may charge you a cremation fee if it uses a third party for the cremation.
  • There may also be body preparation fees for clothing changes, make up, hair, or anything else that needs to be done to do the body in order to proceed with the visitation and cremation.

What Else Can Be Done with Cremation Remains?

Finally, cremation remains can be used in a lot of different ways. Some people may keep them in a urn, others may choose to scatter them in a special location. There are other options beyond that though.

  • You can create jewelry out of cremation remains. For example, several businesses can use remains to create lab grown diamonds.
  • You can also purchase a biodegradable urn to grow a tree out of the ashes.
  • In addition, you can have them put into fireworks or ammo.
  • Finally, there are a lot of companies that use ashes to make products, such as vinyl records, glass artwork, and stuffed animals.

Average Cost of a Burial

Burials come with the most expenses. However, planning for a burial ahead of time can save everyone a lot of stress associated with the cost of a burial.

According the NFDA the average cost of a funeral with a viewing and burial was $7,640, and this didn’t include the cost of the cemetery plot or the vault.

What is a Vault and What is it used for?

  • A vault is something that is put in the ground to keep the ground from collapsing. They are not always necessary, it just depends on the cemetery, which is why it’s important to plan now.

Average Cost of Burial Space

Not all burial spaces are equal. The cost for a plot can range from a couple of hundred in a rural area, to over $10,000 in an area with less green space to bury people.

What is a Mausoleum and What is the Average Cost?

Moreover, choosing a mausoleum as an option, will result in a much higher cost. A mausoleum is an enclosed where caskets are kept in crypts. They are an above ground burial option and typically have benches or a space for people to visit.

Average Cost of a Burial Plot

In-ground plots can be cheaper, but they can also be costly. It just depends on the location. Purchasing burial space as soon as possible can ensure you have a spot and protect you from the cost of inflation.

When choosing a burial space, the size of the space matters. Some people only purchase single plots, while others purchase double plots so they can rest next to their spouse. They may also purchase a family plot. The more space you take up, the more money it will cost.

Finally, in many states though, you can create your own family cemetery on family land, following state and local laws of course. Being buried in a family cemetery can significantly reduce the cost of a burial funeral.

Average Cost of a Casket

A metal casket cost on average $2,500. This cost can increase substantially depending on the quality and design of the casket. If you opt for a basic casket, the cost could be around $1,000.

The funeral home typically sells caskets, but you can always purchase a casket from another source to save yourself money. The Funeral home has to use the casket you provide.

You also don’t need a casket at all. It is “green” burials are becoming more popular. It is a burial that focuses on natural decomposition and limiting pollution into the Earth. The option to not use a casket exist. However, if you purchased a plot on private property, that cemetery may have its own rules. It is important to fully understand the rules for the location of the plot.

Average Viewing Costs

The Viewing portion of the funeral can incur several costs. The cost for the use of the facilities for viewing averaged $425.

The cost for body preparation averaged $255. Body preparation for a visitation includes sewing and gluing specific parts of the body to create a natural sleeping look. It also includes make-up and hair styling. The other cost will be embalming.

The Average Cost of Embalming

Embalming is not mandatory, even for burials. However, many people decide on embalming because it slows the rate of decay, allowing families to have an open casket viewing and funeral with the body looking as close to living as possible. The cost for embalming can average $750.

If you’re interested in a green burial, you may choose to forego embalming or find a funeral home and embalms using Earth friendly essential oils. The Green Burial Council can answer a lot of questions regarding green burials.

Cemetery Headstone Costs

Headstones, monuments, grave markers, whatever you call them, they are part of the price tag for burial funerals. They are commonly done in granite, but the material used does affect cost.

A small flat grave marker starts at $1,000 on, while upright headstones start at $1,200. What you decide to add to the headstone can also increase the cost. The cemetery may have rules about headstones.

In addition, you will want to make sure the headstone you purchase follows the cemetery’s rules because if it doesn’t, you might be liable for the costs associated with getting a stone that is in regulation.

Hearse Costs

The use of the funeral home’s hearse is not free. You will be charged for the hearse to transport the casket from the funeral home to the location of the funeral and then to the cemetery. The average cost for the use of a hearse in 2019 was $340.

If you use the service car or van for the funeral service, it could also cost you money. The average cost for the use of the funeral home’s service vehicle was $150 in 2019.

Open and Closing of Plot Fees

The other fee you will incur with a burial is the opening and closing of the plot. Digging up the plot and then refilling it usually requires the use of specific machinery, such as an excavator.

This cost could be included in your plot purchase, but it could also be separate fee due upon opening/closing of the plot.

Likewise, opting for a crypt in a mausoleum doesn’t get rid of this cost either. Opening the crypt can cost money as well. When searching for a cemetery be sure to ask them of the costs that will come up when it is time to use the plot.

Non-Traditional Burials

Traditionally, in the United States, burials occur with the body in a casket, in a cemetery. This is not the only form of burial though.

  • Green Burials in which the body is placed naturally in the earth to allow for natural decomposition is becoming more popular.
  • There is also the option for an ocean burial. Burials at sea are legal, and must follow certain guidelines, such as the burial must take place more than 3 nautical miles from a shore. More information on the legality of ocean burials can be found on the Environmental Protection Agency website.

Body Donation

A Non-Traditional, But Helpful, Low Cost Option.

Body donation is typically low cost or completely free of costs. There maybe stipulations on whether a body is accepted. You can reach to several programs in your area to find one that best fits your needs and beliefs. Typically these programs are ran by universities, but there may also be private organizations in your area.

Body Farms

Body Farms are often ran by Anthropology departments at universities. You can research your local or closest university to see if they have a Body Farm.

In these cases, the cost of body donation is completely free. They may charge a travel fee if they have to pick up the remains from a specific distance. You may still need to contact a funeral home to pick up the remains until the organization that runs the Body Farm can make arrangements to transfer the remains to their land.

What exactly happens on a Body Farm?

Well, they put the body in different environments to study the decay process and develop new ways to make identifications on bodies. It can seem like a less than peaceful ending, but the scientific advancements made because of Body Farms is incredible! It is a great way to keep helping science move forward after death.

Whole Body Donation

Medical schools use donated bodies to help students study medicine and perfect techniques they need to become incredible doctors.

Body donation to these programs is free of cost. If you live near a medical school, you can contact the university to find out if they have a body donation program, and whether there are any costs associated with the program.

Typically, it is a cost-free option, but occasionally you may need to cover the cost of transportation. However, the program usually covers cremation of the remains after the body has been used to it’s fullest extent.

There are other programs as well, such as Medcure, which services 45 states and is a cost free option. Medcure covers transportation costs, the cost of the death certificate, and the cost of cremation. The program you choose may also offer confirmation on how the body was used. This can give families a sense of pride knowing their loved one was part of research that is helping people.

How to Pay for Funeral Costs

Here are the most used ways of paying for funeral costs:

  1. Final Expense Insurance – Also known as funeral insurance or burial insurance. This is a whole life insurance plan that gives you a lump-sum of cash when you pass to help you pay for your end of life expenses.
  2. Prepaid Plans – Plans made with service providers before you pass that cover the costs at a specific facility or with a specific company.
  3. Savings / Retirement Funds – Paying with cash.

NOTE: Long Term Care Insurance – Unless you have a special rider on your long-term care insurance, it will not pay for your final expenses.

Average Funeral Costs Summary

As you can see, the average funeral costs in the United States vary significantly depending on the options you choose. Having a plan and a budget set in place early will help you to save money in the long run.

Final Expense Insurance will help you with making sure these costs are covered for your loved ones after you are gone.

Funeral Insurance – Best Rates, Reviews and Recommendations

Funeral Insurance – Best Rates, Reviews and Recommendations

Funeral Insurance – Best Rates, Reviews and Recommendations

funeral insurance rates reviews article from medicare life health

Which funeral insurance companies and policies are the best? You have a lot of choices when it comes to funeral insurance (also known as burial insurance or final expense insurance.) We are here to help make sense of your options and choose the best funeral insurance policy for you.

Funeral Insurance Basics

  • Funeral insurance is a small, whole life insurance policy that can cover end of life expenses. It is also referred to as final expense or burial insurance.
  • When you die, the value of the policy is paid to your family members in cash, tax-free.
  • They can use this money for anything; however, most policies are purchased for the purpose of paying for funerals, burials and any other final expenses.

The Benefits of Funeral Life Insurance

The benefits of burial or funeral insurance include:

  • A quick payout of cash in the event of your death.
  • Flexibility to use the payout benefit however your beneficiaries like.
  • A small emergency fund. (The policy will eventually build up a cash value that you can access.)
  • Easy applications and broader approval than other forms of life insurance. (No medical exams, guaranteed coverage options available).
  • Premiums stay level. (Your cost-per-month will not increase).
  • The face value (payout) will not decrease over time.
funeral insurance reviews

Competitive Carriers / Insurance Companies

The best funeral insurance policy for you will depend on your needs and purchasing circumstances. Often, rates are based on simple health underwriting, gender and age. Some companies are more competitive for some people depending on their ratings.

Some of our recommended insurance companies include:

  • Mutual of Omaha
  • Foresters
  • Transamerica
  • Royal Neighbors

Funeral Insurance Cost

The cost of your funeral / final expense policy will depend on how much cash benefit you will need when you die and your underwriting situation when you purchase it. Your age is a primary factor on how much your policy will cost.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ’s

Is the Policy Payout Taxed?

Funeral / Burial Insurance is tax-free. Just like any other life insurance policy (that follows the rules set by the U.S. government), you do not have to pay taxes on the money paid out by your policy.

What is the Difference Between Insurance vs Prepaid Plans?

Final expense / burial insurance is different than buying a prepaid funeral plan, burial plot or cremation service. You can directly prepay for end of life services at various service providers, funeral homes and burial locations.

Your insurance cash payout is not prepaying for any vendors or locations. It is just a lump sum paid to your family (or beneficiaries) for them to use as they wish.

You can use a prepay plan in addition to funding a life insurance plan, or as a stand-alone option. Many people like the freedom of their family being able to use the life insurance money as they wish. Most often, the circumstances and associated costs of your death are unpredictable. You can alleviate stress for your family by giving them flexibility in using your policy funds.

Can I Buy Funeral Insurance Online?

Yes, the simplified nature of these life insurance applications do afford the opportunity to purchase a policy online in some instances. However, since there are many options available from multiple companies, we suggest you talk to an independent insurance agent.

Independent insurance agents will often represent multiple companies and can listen to your needs and direct you to a company that will have the best plan for your unique needs.

Find an agent near you here.

What Does Funeral Insurance Cover?

These policies are typically purchased to cover the following:

However, as mentioned before, this money does not have to be used for any particular thing. Your beneficiaries are provided a lump sum of cash when you pass, and they have the right to use the money for whatever they may need.

Burial Insurance for Seniors Ultimate Buying Guide

Burial Insurance for Seniors Ultimate Buying Guide

Burial Insurance for Seniors Buying Guide

This is your ultimate guide to burial insurance (also called final expense insurance or funeral insurance).

burial insurance for seniors buying guide

Burial insurance plays a unique role in your financial planning. Many people buy these policies to help their loved ones cover end of life expenses for themselves.

Two Reasons for Having End of Life Insurance

  • Sometimes, people buy end of life insurance because they do not have cash on hand to cover funeral expenses, and they do not want their passing to put a burden on their family.
  • Other times, they might have cash on hand, but still want to provide their family with accessible funds, that is not in stock form, to pay for their funeral/burial. They do this in order to preserve their cash/investments to pass on to their family.

An Example of How to Use a Burial / Final Expense Policy

A couple years ago, my family lost my father in law. He was survived by his wife of 49 years. However, he had decided a few years back to purchase a final expense policy to cover his funeral and burial expenses in the event of him passing. Although he had plenty of investments that could have covered his expenses, he knew it would be easier for everyone just to have access to quick cash if needed.

My father in law was right. With his policy, we were able to “assign” funds from the policy directly to the funeral home and to the place we purchased the casket. That was much easier than freeing up invested retirement funds. Moreover, his widow didn’t have to worry about end of life expenses eating into her cash savings.

Do I Need Burial Insurance / Funeral Insurance?

From my story above, we can see that:

  • In this instance, the final expense insurance policy wasn’t completely necessary. However, it was convenient, made everyone feel secure, and was generous.
  • However, in other instances, burial insurance could be completely necessary for funeral/burial expenses. For example, if the person it is bought for lives on a fixed income, check-to-check, with no significant savings, then this policy could be a life saver for the survivors.

Can I just save for end of life expenses?

Yes, saving up for funeral expenses is one option, but sometimes this saving just doesn’t happen. In addition, death is often accidental or unexpected, and you might not have enough time to save up what you need.

Funerals and burials can lead to debt if your loved ones are not prepared to cover these costs. As a result, you will need a solid plan to cover these costs, and funeral / burial insurance is often your most secure option.

Let’s look a little deeper into what is final expense insurance and where / how to find a policy.

The Definition of Burial Insurance / Final Expense

Final expense insurance, which is also called burial insurance or funeral insurance, is a type of whole life insurance that helps you pay for end of life expenses.

  • USED FOR: For example, a final expense life insurance policy could help you pay for a funeral, burial, casket or end of life hospital fees.
  • AMOUNTS: These policies are often for smaller amounts (smaller face values) as they have larger premium payments and often shorter timeframes to own them. Typically, policies are for $5,000 to $25,000.

Final Expense / Burial Insurance Cost

So, what does final expense insurance cost? First, these polices are whole life policies, which means that it is a “permanent policy” you will fund and keep until you pass.

Second, burial insurance policies usually have “face values” (payouts) between $5,000 and $25,000. Since they are whole life, they will gain a cash value as you pay your premiums, and they will pay your beneficiaries their face value in cash when you die.

Your rates (premiums) will depend on:

  • What company you choose.
  • Your age and other underwriting criteria.
  • How big of a face value (payout) you choose.

Applying for and Getting Final Expense Insurance Quotes

Insurance companies made burial insurance accessible to many types of people. Moreover, people that would be turned down by other forms of life insurance (or turned off by expensive premiums), can often find funeral policies that fit their needs.

Some funeral / burial insurance policies offer:

  • Guaranteed coverage for certain age groups
  • Ability to skip medical exams
  • Affordable premiums that don’t increase
  • Cash value in the policy to access in an emergency
  • No wait periods to start a policy

So, how can you get burial insurance quotes?

I suggest talking to an independent insurance agent to compare quotes for any type of life insurance policy. They will be able to discuss your unique needs and match you with the best product for you.

More about Independent Agents

Best Final Expense / Burial Insurance Companies

What is the best burial insurance company (aka final expense insurance carrier)? Depending on where you live, you will have multiple different options for insurance companies to choose from.

Some of the biggest players in funeral insurance are:

  • Mutual of Omaha
  • AIG
  • Foresters
  • AARP
  • AAA
  • Royal Neighbors of America
  • Transamerica

We will have reviews of each company coming soon.


Is final expense life insurance worth it?

Yes, funeral insurance / burial insurance is worth buying for those you love in the event of your death. It provides:

  • Quickly accessible funds to pay for end of life expenses
  • A potential way to build a small emergency fund in cash value
  • Peace of mind, that your loved ones will not be stressed about your end of life expenses in the event of your death.

Finally, if you need to talk to someone about a policy, please contact us here and we will find an agent to help you.

What is Final Expense Insurance?

What is Final Expense Insurance?

What is Final Expense Insurance?

Final expense insurance (also known as burial insurance or funeral insurance) is an insurance policy that provides cash to cover end of life expenses such as funeral and burial costs.

They are typically smaller face values (the amount of payout money). In addition, insurance companies often structure them as whole life policies.

what is Final Expense Insurance


My father-in-law passed away two years ago. His passing was my first experience in how important Final Expense Insurance is. It made everyone’s lives easier that he had a policy in place to cover end of life expenses.

Up until a few years ago, my father-in-law had a larger term policy on himself and his wife. However, they decided to cancel that policy since they were set financially for retirement. Fortunately, he had a good agent that set him up with a smaller Final Expense policy.

My in-laws did have enough in savings to cover a funeral. However, it was just so much easier not to have to worry about how to get access to that money. Their savings sat invested in mutual funds and stocks, which take a few extra steps to get to. Consequently, no one wanted to go through any more extra steps to get to it.

The insurance money was delivered easy enough. We did have to wait for the hospital to file a coroner’s report before we could get the money. However, in the meantime, we “assigned” the insurance money to the funeral home and burial services before we had it. The whole experience was positive and the final expense money was helpful.

What is Final Expense Life Insurance?

  • Final expense policies are life insurance policies. Just like other types of life insurance, a final expense policy issued by an insurance company pays money to a designated beneficiary when the insured person dies.
  • Final Expense policies are whole life policies. Since whole life premiums are usually more expensive than term premiums, the face value is usually a smaller amount.
  • The purpose of these policies is to pay for end-of-life expenses. For example, you could use them for funeral costs, burial fees, and even medical bills.
  • Of course, you can use the money for anything. It is just a cash payout.

The Benefits of a Whole Life Policy

As noted, a final expense policy is usually a whole life policy. This means a few things:

  1. Your policy will have a cash value in addition to a face value. A cash value in an insurance policy is an amount of money you have access to for loans while the policy is active (in force). (The face value is the amount of money your beneficiary receives when you die.)
  2. The cash value grows on a tax-deferred basis.
  3. Your final expense policy will have level premiums. (The premiums will be guaranteed not to go up as you age.)

How Much Final Expense Insurance Do I Need?

When you are deciding how much cash you need consider funeral costs, burial costs, end-of-life medical bills, and any other loose ends. According to Mutual of Omaha, an average funeral costs about $7,000 to $10,000. Most people don’t have access to that sum in cash. Even those that do, might have other things they want to do with that cash.

Every insurance company prices premiums differently. Additionally, they all offer different face value amounts (i.e. the amount of money your beneficiary receives when you die). However, the usual amounts are anywhere from $2,000 to $40,000.

Funeral Costs to Consider

Costs of Funerals will depend on your post life choices. For example, you could choose to be buried or cremated. Alternatively, you could choose something non-traditional such as body donation, which could cut down on end of life costs. Burial costs include caskets, as well as, the plot where you want to be buried.

Your funeral choices will also affect the cost of your burial costs. Funeral homes have vary price points, churches may also have donations or fees involved in their services. Many families also choose to have food provided. Food costs also vary significantly – from free potluck style options, to full catered events.

Here is a summary chart of the average costs for funerals in the United States. For more in depth coverage, please read our article “Average Funeral Costs for End of Life Planning.”

Average Funeral Costs Summary Chart

ServiceAverage Costs
Funeral + Burial$7,640
Casket Rental$995
Cremation Casket$1,200
Cremation Container$150
Burial Plot$100’s – $10,000’s
Casket$1,000 – $2,500
Viewing Facility Rental$425
Body Preparation$255
Hearse Rental$340
HeadstonesStart at $1,000
Source: NFDA 2019

Average Funeral Costs for End of Life Planning.”

Alternatives to Final Expense Insurance

You could get confused as you look into the different options available for retirement and end of life planning. For example, there is Long-Term Care Insurance, Prepaid Funeral or Burial Plans, and other forms of life insurance. What can you use for what? Let’s look at a few options and what they are useful for, including…

  1. Prepaid Plans
  2. Long Term Care Insurance
  3. Savings / Retirement Funds

1. Prepaid Funeral Plans

First, let’s look at prepaid plans. Prepaid plans are different from final expense insurance. These are contracts with specific funeral or burial providers that allow you to prepay for their products and services before you need them. In contrast, with a final expense policy…

Your insurance cash payout is not prepaying for any vendors or locations. It is just a lump sum paid to your family (or beneficiaries) for them to use as they wish.

You can use a prepay plan in addition to funding a life insurance plan, or as a stand-alone option. Many people like the freedom of their family being able to use the life insurance money as they wish. Most often, the circumstances and associated costs of your death are unpredictable. You can alleviate stress for your family by giving them flexibility in using your policy funds.

2. Long Term Care Policies

Long Term Care Policies (LTC) are not life insurance policies, so they are not useful in paying for end of life costs. LTC is an insurance policy that helps you pay for assisted living and nursing care when you need it in a long-term capacity. However, these costs do not include what is needed after you pass.

On the other hand, people often ask…

Can I Use My Final Expense Policy for Long-Term Care (LTC) Costs?

Do I need Long-Term Care Insurance?

Potentially, yes. Some Final Expense policies have accelerated death benefits for terminal illness or nursing home confinement. This means you can use the face value of the policy as cash to pay for these expenses. However, if your policy is only for $10,000, this will not get you far!

If you are looking to use insurance to cover long-term care (LTC) costs, a final expense policy is not the tool to use. Final Expense policies usually do not have a big enough face value, or accrue cash fast enough, to fund LTC. Look at funding an Indexed Universal Life (IUL) with a LTC/Critical Care Rider to help with this.

Additionally, you can get a Long Term Care Insurance Policy.

3. Savings and Retirement Funds for End of Life Expenses

Yes, you can use your savings and retirement investment funds for paying for end of life costs. Just note, that these need to be accessible to you when you need them to cover the bills. If the money is tied up in the stock market, you will need to account for the extra time and fees it will cost to free up that money.

Also, make sure that you are not relying on a pension or annuity that will expire once you pass. Some annuities have pay outs written into them when a annuitant dies, but some are done paying out completely with an end of life event.

Finally, know that often we have the best intentions for saving for retirement, but it doesn’t always work out the way we hope. If you think there might be a chance that you won’t be able to save enough, a funeral policy might be the tool you need to protect your family/friends.

Is Final Expense Life Insurance for Me?

What is Final Expense Insurance Pin

To start, insurance companies created final expense policies for older adults (typically 45 years old +). If you are younger and reading this article, there are better options for you at this time in your life. Head over to our IUL page to learn about Indexed Universal Life, or think about term insurance.

As you get older, term insurance and other higher face value whole life policies get more expensive. In addition, insurance takes on a different importance as your debts dwindle and your savings rise. You can read more about insurance needs as you age in our article “Life Insurance in Retirement?”

Final Expense Life Insurance is a great solution for older adults that need to take care of their loved ones by leaving cash to cover their end of life expenses.

Reasons for Having Burial Insurance

What is your reason for having final expense insurance? Finding your why is an important part of the buying process for funeral insurance.

Sometimes, people buy end of life insurance because they do not have cash on hand to cover funeral expenses, and they do not want their passing to put a burden on their family.

Other times, they might have cash on hand, but still want to provide their family with accessible funds, that is not in stock form, to pay for their funeral/burial. They do this in order to preserve their cash/investments to pass on to their family.

What Insurance Companies Offer Funeral / Burial Insurance?

There are many insurance carriers that offer final expense insurance as a part of their whole life offerings. Here are a few of the larger companies that offer solid, competitive products:

  • Mutual of Omaha
  • AIG
  • Transamerica
  • Foresters
  • AARP
  • Royal Neighbors of America
  • AAA

What to Look for in a Policy

The best funeral / burial insurance policies offer at least a few of the following benefits:

burial insurance for seniors buying guide
  • Level premiums (meaning the cost does not increase)
  • Affordable premium options
  • Guaranteed coverage (for people between certain ages)
  • Ability to skip medical exams (simplified or guaranteed issue in some cases)
  • No wait periods
  • Cash value build-up in the policy (for emergency access)

How Do I Get a Policy?

If you are ready to get a final expense policy, it is time to talk to an agent. She or he can help you in creating a solution that meets all your needs. Different companies have different options and riders, so it is a good idea to work with an expert to set your’s up right. It does not cost you anything extra.


Final expense insurance is an important part of your retirement planning.

It is a good option for owning life insurance in retirement that can secure yourself and your loved ones for the seen and unseen future events.

As we have seen, sometimes, even if you have saved enough for your final expenses, and paid off your debts before you retire, you still may benefit from final expense insurance. Especially, if your money is tied up in stocks or retirement funds, and you need access to cash quickly.