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Posts tagged with: half-maration

How to Prepare for Funeral Costs and Prevent Debt

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A funeral can put you in debt. Many people are not prepared for any costs associated with funerals, which means they take on debt to cover those costs. According to Market Watch, the funeral market in the United States is worth about $20 billion. There are 2.4 million funerals annually, and many generate debt for the family. Here is how you can prepare for funeral costs and avoid funeral cost debt.

1. Pre-Planning a Funeral

It sounds a little morbid to plan your funeral, but there is a lot of logic behind it. If you don’t want your family to take on debt for your funeral, paying for your funeral before you die is a good way to do that. It is also a great way to save money on costs.

Funeral costs continue to rise; locking in pricing now can save thousands of dollars. Pre-planning and prepaying for your funeral is an easy way to reduce the risk of debt and find significant savings. It takes the stress off your family and ensures your end-of-life planning is carried out how you want.

2. Check Your Life Insurance

It is important that you become highly familiar with your life insurance coverage. There may be clauses you are unaware of that can affect the debt a funeral can generate. For example, according to Bankrate, many policies will not pay out if the insured passes away while committing a felony. Another clause (the slayer rule) is if it is suspected that the beneficiary killed the insured, the insurance is not paid out.

Of course, they are extreme clauses, but other clauses can be hidden in your policy that may affect the payout. You must read your life insurance policy from beginning to end to understand what coverage is provided and what clauses exist. If things are not as planned, consider shopping for a new policy.

3. Complete Funeral Costs

Funeral costs are often underestimated. The cost of a funeral has many different components that, if unprepared for, can generate debt. For example, a funeral requires fees paid to a funeral home, purchasing a casket, flowers, and other incidental expenses. If burial is the plan, you will need to cover the costs of a cemetery plot.

According to Livability, rural cemeteries have been popular since the 1830s and continue to be popular. Rural cemeteries are usually less expensive than urban cemeteries. The average cost of a cemetery plot ranges between $500-$10,000, depending on the geographic location. A complete cost analysis of a funeral’s components is essential to ensure an informed decision is made.

4. Cremation Services

Many people make the mistake of thinking that a cremation means there is no funeral service. You can opt for cremation and still have a service at a much lower cost than having a traditional funeral. Getting creative with end-of-life services can be an easy way to avoid debt. On average, cremation costs about 15% of traditional funeral and burial costs.

Taking on debt for a funeral can be financially devastating. Cremation can help families avoid debt for end-of-life costs. Sometimes, adjusting plans is necessary to avoid. Most religions accept cremation; it is done with dignity and comes with added benefits. It may be the right solution for your family.

No one likes to talk about death and dying and plans surrounding funerals, but they are conversations that need to be had. Funeral expenses are something that should be planned to avoid debt. Learn more about planning for funeral expenses today.

Oh Dear, We Hit a Deer

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We hit a deer

We’re careful drivers and go slowly on our country roads at night. In the three years we’ve lived out in the sticks, we’ve never hit a deer. But last night we were unlucky. A deer darted out into the road so fast that we didn’t see it coming, so we smashed right into it. Thankfully we didn’t sustain any injuries, and it didn’t seem like the deer was hurt too badly because it kept on running. 

We were only two minutes away from home, but we pulled into the nearest driveway after we heard the loud thud, expecting our bumper to be toast. Luckily the body of the car didn’t seem to be damaged. Our headlight was smashed pretty badly though, and our car started making a squeaking noise during turns. We suspect it’s either a problem with the wheel assembly or the steering column, but we won’t know until we bring it to our preferred car mechanic, who can’t see us until tomorrow. 

Our neighbors came down the driveway to make sure we were ok. Apparently, the deer had been hanging out in their yard and got spooked by their pomeranian, which is why it darted out into the road so fast. This incident has really made me think twice about driving at night. We’ve had a few close calls with deer, but we’ve always had enough warning to hit the brakes and avoid an accident. This time the deer was running so fast that I didn’t even see it and thought we had hit something on the road itself. 

The Financial Side of the Accident

We don’t know exactly what’s wrong with the car yet, but I’m anticipating that the repairs will cost at least a couple hundred dollars. We have comprehensive insurance coverage, so filing a claim for this shouldn’t cause our insurance premiums to increase. However, the deductible is pretty steep at $500, so this is going to be an expensive trip to the mechanic even though we have coverage for deer accidents. 

Although the body of the car looks okay to the naked eye, I’m sure there may be damage we aren’t seeing. After all, we aren’t car experts. If the car is totaled, my understanding is that the insurance company will pay out the cash value of the car minus our deductible. However, our car is only worth about $4,000. Luckily we have around $14,000 in savings in our car replacement fund. We were able to pad this account a bit more thanks to some bonuses my partner got after my last car replacement fund update

You Never Know What’s Going to Happen

This accident has shown me that you never know what’s going to happen, so you have to be financially prepared for the unexpected. Even if you plan to drive your vehicle until the wheels fall off, you can hit a deer two miles from home and total your car. We’re lucky that we weren’t injured and we’re in a decent financial position to be able to replace this car if needed. But if this accident had happened a year or two ago when we didn’t have a solid car replacement fund saved up, we would’ve been in trouble. 

I’m definitely going to make savings more of a priority going forward. This accident has hit home the importance of liquidity. If most of your money is tied up in home equity or retirement accounts where you can’t access it in an emergency, you can easily go into debt or drain your emergency fund due to incidents like this one. 

Have you ever hit a deer? How did it impact your finances? 

Read More 

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