How Money Scripts Affect Funeral Planning

Rick KahlerAdvisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.

The unconscious beliefs we hold around money affect our financial choices throughout our lives – and beyond. Our money scripts have an impact on the way we think about final expenses for our loved ones and ourselves.

I was reminded of this as I read about a recent survey conducted by Choice Mutual, an insurance company specializing in funeral insurance policies. The survey’s focus was on the impact of inflation, and it found that 28% of respondents had changed burial or funeral plans because of increases in the cost of living.

Other findings in the survey revealed various ways our money scripts affect our funeral planning.

  • If money were not a factor, 68% of respondents would change their funeral plans. The leading choices were more traditional burials and cremation, the two most expensive options.
  • Not surprisingly, given the source of the survey, 39% of respondents planned to pay for their last expenses with funeral insurance or a prepaid funeral plan. While this can be a helpful way to cover funeral costs, pay attention to the fine print before buying any plan or policy.
  • When asked if they had ever been burdened by the costs of a loved one’s funeral expenses, 39% answered “yes.” This mirrors a recent study in the U.K., cited by Yahoo, that reported 43% of adults had gone into debt or experienced financial hardship to pay for a funeral.
  • “Let their family figure it out” was the method that 23% of respondents chose to address final expenses. If this is the plan your family members are following, a discussion might be in order.