As funeral directors have been noticing around the country, cremation is trending upward—and that trend isn’t slowing down any time soon. From our experience in this industry and through talking with our directors, preneed insurance salespeople, and final expense insurance representatives, we’ve gathered four main reasons why cremation is becoming so popular.
When speaking with clients who are pre-planning their own funeral and have selected cremation for their future remains, the number one reason we hear to explain that choice is because of how cost-efficient cremation is compared to a traditional burial. In 2017, the average cost of a burial was about $7,000, with close to $2,000 spent on a casket. If the deceased is buried in a vault, that price goes up. Cremation, by contrast, usually costs around $1,100 in total. The attitude of many pre-planners nowadays is frugality before tradition. Many clients talk about certain aspects of the traditional funeral package being unnecessary or unimportant. The actual disposal of bodily remains, for more and more people, is moving down the list of financial priorities.
It’s widely believed that cremation is more green than interment, and with environmental conservation on everyone’s mind recently, people are trying to find more ways to do their part for our planet. When comparing cremation to burial, it’s actually quite difficult to make an apples to apples comparison and define which is better for the earth. Although the crematory process is initially harmful because it produces greenhouse gases, the long-term effects of burial influence the soil and groundwater for years—and that’s not taking into account the amount of space required to bury bodies in the ground. Although taking care of the environment is not usually the first reason people decide on cremation over burial, it can play a factor in your pre-planning process as you make that pro and con list.
3. Generational Priorities
The generation that idolizes tradition and custom is phasing out into the generations of their children and grandchildren who have different ideas about what is important. Many younger pre-planning patrons select cremation instead of burial because they would rather put their money toward the elements of the funeral that seem more important to them. An attitude of stateliness, respect, and grandeur is not on most young pre-planners’ minds when they consider how else that money could be spent—on travel for the family, on college funds for kids, on house payments, etc. For millennials, especially, lasting memorials and markers are less of a priority—perhaps because of the prevalence of photographs, videos, and computers saturating their entire lives.