BY FAZAAD BACCHUS
How did I end up where they’re going to fund me a funeral with charity? Is this how I’m going to go, without dignity? Few people understand the cost of a funeral these days and many just bury their heads in the sand when it comes to thinking about it. Of course the subject of death and funerals are all too morbid, so the less we talk about it, the happier we can all be. But should that really be the case?
Let us consider this: at the time of our birth we are waited and doted upon by our parents. Our birth is celebrated with great joy and anticipation. A year later the celebration continues for the first birthday party and its more fun and party, we couldn’t be more loved. As time passes on, we grow up, start our schooling, our careers, our families and move into adulthood. Here in this phase we accumulate debt, build equity and educate our children. Later on we start saving for a retirement and many begin planning for our grandkids etc.
However, this is not always the case and over the years I have noticed that there are some families who struggle to make ends meet and saving for a funeral may not be an expense they can afford, even if they want to. A typical funeral would cost somewhere between $15,000 to $20,000 and while we may balk at that figure because it certainly costs less at home, it is the stark reality here. Don’t even think that it would be easier to fly your body back home as a funeral is cheaper there, the cost of moving a body is extremely costly.
To save $20,000 over a ten-year period would cost you about $150 per month earning a steady interest of about two percent. And that’s providing you live a full ten years to be able to save, so God forbid you die before that, there will certainly be a shortfall. This is where go fund me a funeral comes into play, your family needs to reach out to charity to assist them with a funeral. Of course if they have access to savings or if they can borrow the money it might be easier on them, but is it easier on you?
One way to save yourself this headache and not depend on charity is by ensuring that you plan for this event which will come. A simple solution would be to take an insurance policy on your life and assign it specifically for funeral costs. A policy for about $25,000 should cover the expenses related to a funeral. How will I pay for it you ask? Well a sacrifice has to be made at some point along the way, either by you or your family. You can set aside a small amount from your OAS or your GIS every month to ensure that your funeral is covered. Typically, $85 to $125 per month should suffice.
And what if your spouse is in the same position as you are, then you may be able to take out a joint policy, saving on overall costs. Many who have migrated here in their later years may not have saved enough, but if you are receiving GIS you should set aside this little amount so that when you finally pass on, your funeral is done with dignity and not pity. Find a financial advisor who can help you.