Funerals and retirement may have one thing in common: many people disregard the importance of early planning. Consequently, they may struggle with financial challenges either when they wish to retire or when they are planning for funeral services later in life. With that said, more people are gradually becoming open towards planning their own funeral arrangements in advance as they are breaking the taboo of talking about death.
While the conversation is always not easy to talk about, there is still merit in getting started with the preplanning process sooner rather than later. Just like other important life events, preplanning your funeral allows you to figure out your expenses, customise the details of your funeral ceremony, and lifts the burden off your loved ones.
But is there an appropriate age to start planning? Read on as we explore further below.
Funeral planning in your 20s and 30s
Your life has just begun, and you don’t know what your future holds. Plus you may still be climbing up the career ladder, which means less spending power to invest in a lot of things.
However, similar to purchasing a life insurance package, the earlier you plan for your funeral, the more secure your future will be. That’s because you get to lock in today’s funeral costs which saves you from inflation and rising expenses. Plus, you have more time trying to decide the customisation and details of your funeral without the rush.
Not to mention, preplanning is likely to offer you flexible payment plans. Some funeral companies allow you to pay by instalments, so you don’t have to fork out a large lump sum upfront. This gives you more room to spread out payments according to your budget, while protecting your family members from shouldering this financial obligation themselves.
Funeral planning in your 40s
Once you hit the 40s, your priorities in life are likely to be your family and career. You may start to think about making retirement plans, but not so much about funeral planning. Nonetheless, it’s a good time to start thinking about the legacy you want to leave behind – advice, recipes, photos or quotes are some examples of things that convey your lifestyle and how you would want to be remembered.
This is also a good time to prepare essential end-of-life documents such as wills and life insurance. Start thinking about how your funeral package fits into your overall financial plan to prepare ahead in time.
Funeral planning in your 50s and 60s
Like many older adults, you may be preparing for your retirement plans at this age – which means getting your assets, financials and health in order. You are most likely to consider funeral planning as well, since the usual circumstances are: your children are grown and have their own families, and you have dealt with your ageing parents’ deaths. Saying goodbye to your parents gives insight into the funeral planning process, and opens the doors to conversations about discussing end-of-life preferences with close family members and friends.
If illness strikes, unfortunately this can leave you with little energy or time to make plans. Avoid the last-minute scramble – you should rest easy, knowing the difficult decisions have been made beforehand. Explore the type of service you prefer, weigh the options between burial or cremation, and your desires for personalisation. For instance, if you’re opting for a Buddhist funeral, it’s a great time to sit down with a funeral director and finalise your own arrangements, ensuring everything will be carried out according to the proper religious rites and rituals.
Preplanning isn’t something many of us wish to do as our own death may be unpleasant to think about. However, it’s good to be prepared, and you’re never too young to start the process. No matter what age you are, make an effort to create a funeral plan and save your loved ones the burden.