Is There a Right Age to Make Funeral Plans?

Short answer to the title question: it varies! Longer answer: there are many factors that lead people to prearrange and there is certainly an average age people begin to do so, based on data we’ve collected. However, even the average data doesn’t tell the whole story. Let’s dive into the most common factors that lead people to prearrange, average ages to prearrange, and the benefits of prearranging at a younger age, and we’ll see if we can find an answer to this question together.

Why do people prearrange?

Of our policy owners polled, 69% have planned a funeral prior to prearranging, and nearly half (49%) have helped plan someone else’s memorial or funeral service after the death occurred. Often, losing a loved one and going through the process of planning their funeral motivates people to prearrange their own funeral afterward. They know firsthand how emotionally difficult it is to plan a loved one’s funeral and how many tasks need to be completed (125 or more tasks, in fact!).

Brianne Niedermyer, Training and Development Specialist, mentioned, “[One of our agents] has prearranged a funeral for a father and then all three of his kids who are in their 50s.” Brianne noted, “Generally, when people lose someone they love or are close to, they begin thinking about or start the process of prearranging their own funeral.”

Prearranging your funeral takes the emotional and financial burden off your loved ones when the time comes, allowing them to grieve without the burden of planning your funeral.

What age do most people prearrange?

In our Preneed Motivators report 2021 data, Homesteaders found that 65% of people believe between the ages of 70 to 84 is the “right” age to prearrange. A key factor in many policy owners’ decision to prearrange is that they feel they have reached the “right” age to plan. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), life expectancy in the United States was 77.3 years in 2020 – down from 78.8 years in 2019, so it’s becoming more important to prearrange earlier.

Can you prearrange at a younger age?

Absolutely! Pam Kleese, Director of Research and Insights, noted a hesitation younger people have about prearranging, “A common reason some people give for not wanting to prearrange yet is that they don’t know where they’ll be living when they die. To them, it seems foolish to make plans with a funeral provider in their current town, when they might not actually use that provider when they die because they’ve moved.”

However, there is a solution to this issue, “Our product is ‘portable’ which means it goes with the insured,” Pam continued. “The future funeral provider decides if it wants to honor the preneed agreement, which I suspect happens more often than not. Regardless, the insurance policy, and therefore the funding, remains valid.” 

We know it can be intimidating to think about planning for your funeral, especially if you are young and healthy. However, it’s important to think about prearranging at a younger age so you can protect your surviving family if the unexpected occurs. Additionally, premiums are lower the younger you are, so there is a financial benefit to prearranging at a younger age. Here are some common questions answered about funding your prearranged funeral.

If you’re wondering if you’ll regret prearranging your funeral, our 2021 data shows that nearly all policy owners (98%) indicate they are completely or very satisfied with their decision to prearrange. Many even recommend advance funeral planning to someone else after prearranging.

So, do you think we’ve answered the title question? We don’t think there is one “right” age to prearrange – it’s an extremely personal decision, and you get to decide what is right for you. But as we’ve seen above, the sooner you prearrange, the better. If you’d like to prearrange but don’t know where to begin, start by talking to your loved ones. Read this blog for tips on how to begin that conversation and communicate your desires. When you’re ready to start the prearranging process, contact your trusted local funeral provider.

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