How much does Cremation Cost in 2023?

Last Updated June 12, 2024

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Want to maximize your finances? Leave a large sum for beneficiaries?

Consider Cremation!

But, how much does cremation cost in 2023? 

Approximately $2,213 for direct cremation services, and around $7,000 for the cremation services paired with a full viewing, service, transportation, embalming, etc. 

Cremation is the more affordable option than a traditional funeral when it comes to your final wishes, however, multiple variables go into the cost of cremation vs burial, including the extravagance of your viewing, service, accessories, etc. This price may also change depending on the region you live in (Northwest, South Atlantic, etc.) as well as current global events, like the existence of Covid 19, etc.

Average Cost of Cremation vs Burial?

“How much does cremation cost in 2023?”

At Final Expense Benefits, we determined that on average, being cremated will run you anywhere between $4,000 and $8,000 depending on the type of cremation.

Direct cremation, which involves only the cremation process, costs between $3,000 and $6,000.

“How much does burial cost in 2023?”

Burial + ceremony averages out to even more, heading towards $13,000 in 2023. 

Aspects associated with these services such as transportation, containment, and non-declinable fees, are also present although optional. These will inevitably drive the average price of cremation up as a result. According to the NFDA’s latest Member General Price List Study, funeral costs, on average, increased by 6.4% over the past five years, indicating steady growth in funeral costs as a whole. Cremation costs have been adjusted as well as the economy fluctuates, although not notably. Although, since demand is increasing proportionally, we may see the same trend reflected in cremation costs moving forward into 2022/2023. 

Is It Cheaper To Be Cremated or Buried?

In 2023, inflation is affecting gas prices and the cost of cremation vs burial. Depending on the state of residence, a proper funeral tends to be near $8,000 in 2023, which does not always include other costs such as burial, plot, and headstone costs. There’s also a plethora of optional expenses associated such as embalming, ceremony, non-declinable fees, transportation, casket, and what have you. Burials can reach the upper ranges past $12,000, sometimes even towards $15,000, depending on the route chosen by the beneficiary. 

Cremation tends to be a lower-cost alternative coming in between $2,000-$7,000 in the United States. There are also fewer extra expenses associated with cremation services and the option to go with a more minimalistic approach. 

What Cremation Options Do I Have?

Usually, the process involves a cremation casket, which comes in many forms. There are even cardboard boxes that serve as cremation caskets, as the casket is inevitably going to incinerate in the furnace used to cremate human remains. Cardboard caskets are usually not above 100$, and the most expensive caskets can reach up to $2,000. Embalming, transporting a body, as well as renting a casket for a viewing all carry heavy costs as well, totaling up to $4,000 for just those mentioned above.

Traditional Cremation Ceremony

This is your most common cremation type, essentially combining a funeral service with cremation. A conventional funeral service is held, providing participants with a viewing of the body, service, and applicable ceremony. After the viewing, instead of a burial + plot accompanying the body, the body is instead cremated and returned to the family in either an urn or container chosen by beneficiaries.

Cremation with Memorial Service

Similar to a traditional cremation ceremony, the only difference here is that the remains of the departed are not actually present, likely already having been cremated. Although minor, removing the body preparation steps associated with a funeral would noticeably reduce costs overall.
Direct Cremation

Or Cremation with no cremation services, this may be an option for those that wish to have their own personal viewing or no viewing at all. This option also coincides with those that wish to spread the ashes at a personal location relevant to the deceased. As one might guess, this is the cheapest option by far and only incurs the minimum costs of cremation services.

No Cost Cremation

Don’t be fooled if you see this option somewhere, the cremation services may cost nothing and the ashes may be returned back to the family of the departed, but, on the terms of scientists. There is no time frame in which you can expect to see these remains again, nor will you receive any kind of special urn. This may be an option for those who cannot fathom the costs mentioned above.

Top 10 Cheapest States for Cremation

Within the United States, specifically regarding cremation expenses, the consensus data compiled by experts is categorized using the regions, such as the Pacific, South Atlantic, New England area, the south, mountain standard, what have you. These different regions all contain different generalized ranges in which a median price is agreed upon. For example, within the pacific regions, the average cost for cremation remains at $5,610, whereas in New England, the average cost climbs up to $6,598. 

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These figures were obtained from the NFDA and are estimates only. For a detailed quote, please contact an agent. 

What is a Cremation Society?

A cremation society is an organization that generally consists of a group of members under a pre-planned agreement involving any future cremation requests made by said person or their beneficiaries. You don’t have to preplan your cremation or consider the cost of cremation vs burial as they’re included with membership. Although this is a common occurrence when involving yourself with such an organization. Some states mandate that society may be used to describe a business organization, wherein some states forbid this involvement, such as NY state. 

Cremation societies specialize in preplanning cremation or disposition arrangements, usually provided through a package or plan. These plans will generally contain a ranking system, meant to help you differentiate between which funeral type you wish to have. “Memberships” or “plans” usually involve a membership fee, ranging anywhere from $25 for individual membership, to $100 for a family. As mentioned previously, cremation costs can vary wildly depending on the process you wish to participate in. 

It’s important to note that as a result of some state laws, a “cremation society” may exist in any form, from a personal local group to a nationwide organization. Due to the large range of differences when aligning one’s self with a cremation society, we urge you to use your best judgment and to do your research. Most independent cremation societies will offer a discounted rate, or a supplemental package to their members, further incentivizing affiliation. Large corporate cremation entities usually don’t accept “members” in a societal sense, and don’t offer you anything out of the ordinary – it’s essentially glorified preneed insurance. 

Social Security / Survivor Benefits?

In case anyone was wondering, Survivor Benefits or Social Security Income are not affected whatsoever by any insurance policies or payouts. As these policies don’t hold cash value as an asset would, there is no technical basis for these to interfere. Burial Insurance is also a one-time payout and is generally used immediately for funeral expenses and stuff of that nature, whereas survivor benefits/social security is a lifelong payment made to you if the requirements are met. 

Cremation in 2023

Cremation has been slowly but steadily trending upwards since the 80s, correlating to the overall increase in funeral costs beginning around the same time. According to the NDFA’s 2022 analytics, the cremation ratio in America was projected to rise to 57.5%, vs the burial rate remaining close to 36.6%. Approximately 60.5% of Americans surveyed in 2022 claimed that they wished to pursue/see greener funeral options, either for environmental reasons or to save on costs. Also according to the NDFA, the concurrent amount of funeral homes in America has decreased from almost 20,000 in 2010, to just under 19,000 in 2021, directly reflecting the shift in preference in favor of the cremation process.

Spikes in death, such as those involved with a pandemic (covid 19), will inevitably raise funeral costs, or at least accelerate their growth by creating more demand for funeral services and less supply.

How Can I Cover The Cost Of Being Cremated?

Burial Insurance

Cheaper than your average Whole Life Policy while still existing within the jurisdiction, Burial Insurance provides a great middle-ground when preparing for funeral expenses. Burial Insurance is specifically tailored to generate payout quickly relative to the rate at which you pay your premium, as does not contain any restrictions or clauses regarding what the payout is used for, although generally, funeral expenses are where this is allotted. This policy also avoids the medical examinations associated with traditional whole life insurance policies, guaranteeing acceptance for all applicants, albeit at adjusted rates correlating to your current condition, age, habits, etc. 

Funeral Society

As touched on above, a funeral society offers itself as an affordable, stress-free option for those wishing to have a plan prior to any untimely circumstances. 

Preneed Insurance

Similar to a funeral society, preneed insurance involves an agreement with a funeral home or other location offering said services. 

Direct Cremation/No Cost Cremation Process

If out of options, time, or money, then a direct cremation may be your best bet. Although the drawbacks can be troublesome, you would be able to cremate your loved one free of charge. Drawbacks include no time frame to expect the returns back and you cannot choose specific amenities such as urn type, flower dressings, etc. 

Though the cremation process can be a cheaper alternative, the last thing anyone wants to do is leave that financial burden for their family to handle, when you’re gone. We at Final Expense Benefits have one goal, and that’s to ensure you’re able to live your life without the fear of financial loss. 

How Do I Get A Policy?

Thankfully, here at Final Expense Benefits, we contract with only the top senior life insurance companies. If you’re a senior on a fixed income, we work with carriers like; We’d like to reassure you that there are a plethora of options regarding how you would like to handle funeral expenses, and as stated above, carry a very wide range of costs and features. If you’re interested in partaking in these costs, but aren’t sure how to prepare properly, then consider the following. 

How Much is Cremation?

“How Much Does Cremation Cost In 2023?” Good Question.

On average this sits around the $6,000 range but may change depending on the region you wish to be cremated in. 

The answer to this question may change depending on a few factors, such as the state you wish to be cremated in, etc. Above is an attached chart of a potential basepoint you can expect to see. 

“But Can I Afford to Be Cremated?”

We’d like to think so, even on the tightest budgets. If prepared enough in advance, you may even have excess funds for whoever is involved. To summarize, burial insurance provides you with an affordable monthly premium in return for up to $50,000 in coverage in the event of untimely circumstances. Again, this coverage amount may be used at the discretion of the beneficiary and usually only costs ~60$ a month. There are no cost cremations, or a direct cremation process, that provides you with cremation at a very reduced rate. There’s also your everyday average whole life insurance policy that may cover these expenses. Whatever you choose, just know we support your decision. 

It’s hard enough to think about your final wishes, let alone how they will be paid. Many seniors worry about their loved ones being left with the burden of funeral and burial costs. Here at Final Expense Benefits, no matter your income or budget, we can assist in bringing you and your family peace of mind with senior life insurance for your final expenses.

What Does The Bible Say About Cremation?

You might have asked yourself at one point,

“What does the bible say about cremation?”

To which we say, there is no indicative answer stated by God or the bible.

In fact, there’s a passage you may be familiar with. 

Genesis 3:19, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”

or paraphrased, “ashes to ashes, and dust to dust”.

As said by the bible, all humans will return to dust as they once came. One could argue this even encourages the cremation process or something of the sort. A big reason this question may come up is due to the belief that you may not be eligible or able to transport to heaven as ashes. Although we’re not religious experts, nor do we claim that any of our statements regarding the bible are cold hard facts, we feel that if god can create life from the universe then he can recreate life from our ashes. Ultimately, it’s up to you if this invalidates your religious beliefs, and there are plenty of other options if cremation comes across as disrespectful to your faith. There are plenty of burial options for you or your loved one, and here at final expense benefits we specialize in connecting you to the right plan for your budget and mental health.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this article gave you a rough idea of how much does cremation cost in 2022. To conclude, whatever route you decide to take, there are a tremendous amount of options available to you, all considerably easy relative to the reward given to beneficiaries in the end. All routes mentioned tend to revolve around having a plan or being prepared in advance. We recommend waiting as little as possible to begin this process, and to call us free of charge at (866) 311-4338. Even if you’re not interested in purchases, we’d love to offer you a consultation so that you may be prepared in the event coverage is desired.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Cremation Records Public?

Technically, no. If for some reason, the whereabouts of a family member are unknown, one may request a death certificate in which you partake in a verification process confirming you are related to said person.

How Long Does Cremation Take?

On average, this process takes a day to complete. The delivery and preparation of remains usually incurs a longer duration in which you can expect to wait.

What Happens During the Cremation Process?

Remains are placed into a kiln of sorts, where intense heat and pressure calmly dismantle the body until nothing remains but the combined ashes of said person.

How Much Does Cremation Cost in 2022?

The price of cremation averages out from $5,500-$6,500 depending on the state you live in. 

What Does The Bible Say About Cremation?

Although a little debatable, the bible does not explicitly state whether it’s a good or bad thing. 

How Much Is Cremation?

It depends on the state, as well as a few other factors. Overall, cremation is a cheaper alternative to a traditional burial. 

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