CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The Funeral Consumers Alliance says Massachusetts only needs 210 funeral homes, but there are currently 519. In 2009, there were 644 funeral homes, creating even more competition.
Terri Leutsch of Chicopee said, “I think that having 500 obviously gives the consumer a lot of opportunity to shop around.”
However, having more funeral homes means funeral prices are only going up, costing between 7-thousand and 10-thousand dollars.
Sr. Joyce Wise of Springfield said, “I like to think that people would come down on their prices because a lot of people can’t afford to bury their loved ones.”
Higher costs continue because the number of homes exceeds the number that could be supported full-time by the death rate, and if families can’t pay the price, they need other options.
Death and funerals are typically topics that people don’t want to discuss, but when it comes to smart shopping for funerals, it’s a conversation that people should be having early on. Planning early gives you more time to look at options and factor what’s important.
According to Sandy Ward of the Funeral Consumers Alliance, “It’s like a menu you can choose from. You may want the funeral home for the care of the body, and for the transportation of the hearse, but maybe not for the services. You can mix and match.”
That means mixing and matching what your insurance covers, venues, and services without sacrificing pennies to get the job done quickly. You can also pre-pay funeral arrangements in payments to avoid further stress. Planning ahead means more time to plan cheap and avoid rushing laying a loved ones to rest.