A good time to shop for a coffin is before you actually need one. This sounds a bit morbid doesn't it?
But let's compare this scenario to shopping for a new car or a wedding dress or a home.
Honestly, do you get the best deal when you shop last minute? Do you get what you want for a good value?
Or do you choose to buy something simply because you have run out of time, you are under huge amounts of stress to not only choose the right "thing" but you must make the purchase within the strict confines of time and deadlines?
Some people fear planning for the inevitable because they are superstitious. Some think that if they plan and pay for their own funeral and coffin that their death will actually follow.
While I don't guarantee that this doesn't sometimes happen, the likelyhood is small. Remember- making a plan doesn't mean you must implement the plan. A plan however, will save you lots of money, undue stress, and many family arguments.
Funeral costs are enormous-make no mistake about it. Most people don't save for the cost of a funeral like they might do for a wedding or for holiday shopping. Yet, funerals can be paid for in a lay-away type plan. Coffins can be extremely costly. Just ask anyone who recently experienced the death of a loved one and paid for the costs associated with a funeral or burial.
Coffin shopping is not an everyday event. Read this article of Judy Bolton-Fasman's story about coffin shopping for her mom. My mom, Nonnie, always wanted to be cremated so as a family we did not experience the emotions tied to coffin shopping. Yet my imagination conjures up enough stress to feel the pain and suffering one must feel in making decisions and choices about what is the "best" way to respectfully bury someone you love without the horror and angst of a getting a large bill after the fact.
The emotions of grief and raw sadness do cloud one's fiscal judgement.
The skyrocketing costs of funerals and burials is a huge burden to most people, yet guilt and lack of planning ahead places those that are in the business of selling coffins and funeral services at a big advantage.
Imagine the cost of a coffin being equal to the cost of a new car!
Times are changing however, and the 20.7 billion dollar funeral industry will be changing too. One can still opt for special requests and pricey funeral services or cut costs by being cremated-usually half the price of an average funeral of $8,000.
There's always the do-it-yourself-version of funerals. Possibly the least costly of all options...but not necessarily one that fits all needs!
The graying nation of Boomers will detemine what happens to future coffin shopping excursions in the next few decades. If you want to save money, time and stress, pre-planning and pre-paying is highly recommended.
And this one's for my theatrical mother!