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This agency only works with local, privately-owned funeral homes. This means you will be dealing with a trusted member of your community, not some distant corporation only worried about a bottom line.
The Truth About Your Favorite Funeral Home
Your favorite funeral home might have an outstanding reputation and much valuable "goodwill" in your community. It may have been in business for over 100 years. They may have already done a very good job with the funeral of one of your family. They may be considered a pillar of good, reliable service in your community. Your town may think of no other name when the word "funeral" is mentioned. Whatever they charge must be "fair" and "reasonable," because they are such good people.
Because of this, however, the ownership may feel it is entitled to keep raising its prices year after year just like the chain funeral homes do. And they feel this is justifiable, since "prices are going up," and that's just the way it is. But they also may feel they must make a lot of money on their pre-paid, pre-need funeral plans. In Utah, many funeral home owners are loyal to Great Western Insurance Co., a funeral funding company based in Ogden, simply because it is a "Utah based" company.
But here's the reality about these funeral homes and what they offer. Their typical full funeral with casket is right around $8,000, and if you finance that funeral plan through Great Western (or Forethought) over ten years, this plan will cost you on average around $15,000 per person. This is what I refer to as "getting BUFFALOED." You have to decide if it's worth doing business with any funeral home that will do this to senior citizens.
Why Your Favorite Funeral Home Will Oversell Your Family if You Don’t Learn to Correctly Calculate and Plan
If you don’t demonstrate the knowledge and evidence of preplanning, most funeral homes will sell you what makes them a good profit at the time of need—especially the funeral homes that are already over-priced. The emotionally charged “at need” moment is when your family is the most vulnerable to over-selling tactics. The products the over-priced funeral homes make the most money on are not entirely desirable nor are they necessary to have a dignified death. Even if you really want what they promote so expensively, you can get it at better prices through calm, careful though--in advance. This might require that you not use that funeral home at all. And you can certainly learn methods and strategies that give you nearly full control of your final expenses—far in advance of the time of need and in advance of bills coming due.
This isn't even the worst news. Your favorite, family-owned funeral home may have been purchased by Service Corporation International, the big conglomerate that gobbles up as many funeral homes and cemeteries as it can buy out. SCI purchased Valley View Memorial Park and Funeral Home and Wasatch Lawn. They may still appear to you as the same family-owned funeral homes they once were, but the reality is that now they are operated by a big corporation and their prices are highest of all. I haven't done a comparison of their funding, but rest assured it is even worse than Security National Life and Forethought. Their full funeral service with casket, even if you use your church, is in the neighborhood of $9,000 (if you pay now with one check, $18,000 to $20,000 if you fund over ten years).
If you think your favorite funeral home is worth the higher prices they charge, you don’t have to use their funding insurance company, which may be too expensive for you. Use them if you feel you should for the funeral itself, but consider using an alternative funding company like National Guardian Life--which is the largest of the funeral and final expense funding companies. I have done side-by-side comparisons of what their plans costs for the same dollar amount to Security National Life, Forethought, and Security National Life. These companies funeral funding is expensive, unless you get it done in a few years or less. And early payoff may not even be an option after a couple or three years have passed. You are then stuck with the "whole enchilada" of ten years' worth of payments no matter what. You can have the benefits of guaranteed costs but still be over-charged greatly and get buffaloed. That won't happen with me, because I know how all the plans work and steer you toward only the good plans.
Examine closely what I can do for you instead. If you choose Premier Funeral Services, a high quality private company with a spotless reputation, you will only pay a fraction of what the high-profile homes are charging. But even if you have a funeral home you love and prefer, let me fund the payment plan and see how much less it will cost you. National Guardian Life is clearly the leader in funeral funding and final expense insurance. The figures speak for themselves.
Premier Funeral Services pays me nothing. No funeral home pays me any money or bonuses.
There are a number of funeral homes who hold the line on increasing prices year after year if there is no reason for them to raise prices. Examples locally are Premier Funeral Services, Cannon Mortuary, Holbrook Mortuary, Senerity Funeral Home (formerly Serenicare), and a number of others, They aren't "playing the game." See an example in another area of the country (and there are plenty more like this):