Can you afford to die?

By Lakecia Shockley - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - We took a closer look at how you can save money when it comes to low cost funerals. From elaborate caskets to the grave yard, these days an average funeral can cost between $4,000 and $8,000.

"It's a big ticket item," said Charles Rader, President of Rader Funeral Home. "Much more so than it used to be. Everybody's thoughts on what a casket should cost or what a funeral should cost is different and so we try to offer a wide range of prices. If they come in and they say, 'I only have so much money, what can we do?' Well, we're going to sit down and we're going to work on it. They may end up having a grave side service at a cemetary. We're going to cut cost the best we can."

One way to cut cost is picking cheaper monuments.

"For just a very basic monument, probably $250 on up to thousands and thousands of dollars," Rader. "It all depends on the granite you purchase. Dark granites are going to cost more than the gray granites."

"If they like to read, and that's always a big interest, we have an urn that looks like books," said Wanda McGrede with East Texas Funeral Home.

At East Texas Funeral Home, customers can save thousands of dollars by opting for cremations.

"We receive three to four calls a week for cremation as a disposition," said McGrede. "We're finding more and more people are choose cremation because of the simplicity of it."

Stanmore Funeral Home has also seen a rise in cremations because of the economy.

"In the African American society, cremation really was not in their vocabulary but its becoming more prevalent now, just to cut down that cost," said Ollice Hughes, office manager.

When it comes to caskets, shop around, including online. At you can find discount coffins of all kinds. It even shows you how much you can save compared to the listed price.

Funeral homes say another way to save cost is by locking in a pre-need price. Basically, you pre-pay for your funeral at today's cost and years from now when you pass away you won't have to higher funeral prices.