Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Gauss needs to buy a Casket...
Old 04-30-2014, 09:53 PM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
gauss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 1,712
Gauss needs to buy a Casket...

Gauss' dear 83yo father passed away suddenly on Monday.

Being an only child, I am currently planning a funeral for the first time with DW. So far I am pleased with my funeral director, however I was a bit taken aback today when actual caskets with prices were shown.

Yesterday I was told that caskets would start at $695 and they do not carry anything but quality caskets. I thought I would be happy with the $695 one until I saw it. It looked to me like a rectangular pine box.

Anything that I recognized as a traditional casket was priced in the $2,000 - $4,000 range with others going up to $10,000. I have read on the Internet that in the past there have been large markups on caskets by funeral directors, so much that Federal law requires you to be given the option to purchase your own.

I don't have much time to shop for a casket, but I would be curious if others here who have been through this recently typically pay $2,000 - $4,000 for something that looks like a casket. If I can save 50% by shopping around it might be worth it (given my time constraints), but if not, I will just go with one in this range. Money is not a huge factor, I just want to make sure that I am getting a competitive price (ie I am both FIRE and Frugal at the same time!)

Thanks for sharing in advance

-gauss
__________________

__________________
gauss is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 04-30-2014, 09:56 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,149
Sorry for your loss.

I've seen sales information on them at Costco.
__________________

__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2014, 09:56 PM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Largo
Posts: 1,945
Costco.....and I'm not kidding!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg funers-hero-140428-gardner-casket.jpg (26.8 KB, 23 views)
__________________
Buckeye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2014, 10:01 PM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
gauss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 1,712
@Buckeye,

Can you ever see them in the stores, or web only?

Funeral directory warned me that some operators will sell you something over the Internet then ship something else and screw around consuming your time in the process hoping you will accept whatever they sent.

If I can see one and perhaps take possession of it, this might mitigate this risk.

Anyone ever hear of this or experience this?

-gauss
__________________
gauss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2014, 10:05 PM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,149
Quote:
Originally Posted by gauss View Post
Funeral directory warned me that some operators will sell you something over the Internet then ship something else and screw around consuming your time in the process hoping you will accept whatever they sent.
Sadly the above sounds more like a sales tactic than anything else.

Costco has a top-notch reputation. Seriously doubt you'd be unhappy with their services.
__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2014, 10:08 PM   #6
Moderator Emeritus
aja8888's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: The Woodlands, TX
Posts: 7,185
gauss, sorry for your loss.

Funeral directors will tell you anything to get you to buy one of their overpriced units. I would suspect that if Costco is supporting the sale of these, it's probably OK. Call them and ask.

Last two folks who passed in our family we had cremated and had a memorial service. We had a showing before cremation in a rented casket from the funeral home.
__________________
aja8888 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2014, 10:27 PM   #7
Recycles dryer sheets
Retire2013's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 392
I just had to buy a casket recently for my friend. Trappist monks make caskets by hand. The caskets are attractive, well made, and the money goes to support the monks and their charities. Here's the website. www.trappistcaskets.com/‎

Prices range from $1200 to $3000 for very good high quality wood.

I am sorry for your loss.

Retire 2013
__________________
Formerly known as "Retire 2014" Due to aggressive saving and a lot of luck managed to get out at end of March 2013, hence, the name change :)
Retire2013 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2014, 10:56 PM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Chicago
Posts: 1,001
Sorry for your loss.

I almost went with Costco for the casket, there were specific requests that I needed to honor (Cherry wood) and I looked into Costco. They had small corner pieces in the store, but the online pictures and descriptions were really good and they had the best price too. I told the funeral home of my intentions, they had a similar Cherry casket at almost double the cost and already in the home and they offered to match the Costco price instead of losing the sale. The one thing I remember about Costco was there were tight and specific dates/times you had to meet so you don't miss your timeline.
__________________
Dimsumkid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2014, 12:04 AM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Ally's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,191
Do what does the funeral home say when you get your own casket? Do they give you a hard time? My parents chose their own and arranged everything before they died, and the caskets they chose were about $2500-3000.
__________________
Ally is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2014, 01:00 AM   #10
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Thousand Oaks
Posts: 220
It's been a few years since we had to do this but...
We ordered one online, and arranged to have it delivered directly to the funeral home (this was a simple matter. It's a standard option that's offered). No problems. No difference between what we understood we were buying and what we got.

And, again, sorry for your loss.
__________________
"Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba…" Dr. Hunter S. Thompson.
chilkoot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2014, 03:12 AM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
gauss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 1,712
@Ally Federal law requires them to accept third party caskets. Hopefully they will do it gracefully.

-gauss
__________________
gauss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2014, 03:16 AM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
gauss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 1,712
All,

Thank you for you input. I ended up ordering one from Star Legacy (they are Walmart's casket supplier). I called them up in the middle of the night. Confirmed that we could make a plan to have it arrive with plenty of time in advance of the deadline for the funeral preparation. Worse case I could sell this one on Ebay and still buy the funeral home's offering if need be. Also confirmed that it is a standard size casket and should have no problem fitting into a grave site at our local National Military Cemetery (another seed of fear planted by my funeral director).

Best thing of all was this. Thought I was talking to the night salesmen getting the phone calls forwarded to his personal phone at home. Turns out after reading on the Internet, I was talking to the CEO of the comapny! How cool is that?

FWIW Here is what I bought. It spoke to me. I paid an extra $99 to get 10:30am next delivery in case they miss Friday for whatever reason and it stretches out to Monday. Less than $1,700 out the door.

-gauss
__________________
gauss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2014, 06:03 AM   #13
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 855
Very nice choice.

Sorry for your loss. And thank you for sharing your experience about something that many of us will encounter.

Kindest regards.
__________________
spncity is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2014, 12:24 PM   #14
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,948
Gauss, I am so sorry you are going through this. My sincerest condolences.

That said, that casket is beautiful and less expensive than the ones you were quoted at the funeral parlor. Seems like a good choice.
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2014, 04:48 PM   #15
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Seattle
Posts: 2,906
Sorry for your loss.

Everyone in our family has agreed to cremation which cuts down on a lot of everything and doesn't burden other people.

I do tend to think that a funeral home needs to make money somehow. If they are not overcharging for the casket then they will just raise the price of something else.
__________________
Fermion is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2014, 05:01 PM   #16
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
braumeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Northern Kentucky
Posts: 8,630
Condolences to the OP. It's always rough, no matter what the circumstances.

My family is the same as Fermion; simple direct cremation.

Actually, this surprised me when my father died. As a disabled WW II veteran (wounded in Europe), I naturally assumed he would want burial in a national cemetery. But when I asked him about it, near the end, he asked me to just scatter his ashes over his favorite fishing area in Jamaica Bay near NYC.

My mother was also a WW II vet (WAC) and when I talked to her about it she just said to put her ashes near my father's.

Totally simple, and somehow touching. In both cases, I took my kayak back to Brooklyn, paddled out and consigned their ashes to the sea. It was a nice closure for me.
__________________
braumeister is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2014, 05:56 PM   #17
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
calmloki's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Independence
Posts: 5,460
Sorry Gauss. Tough time. My Mom went with cremation, my gal's Mom went with a very simple casket. Turned out the funeral home wanted about three or four times what we could buy the casket for - had it delivered to the funeral home and there was zero blowback on them using it.

Later, when looking into proper practice for an Orthodox Jewish funeral, I realized that the coffin we had purchased was most likely for that type of funeral. Really liked what I read about that style of burial.

Orthodox Caskets from Aurora Casket
__________________
calmloki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2014, 06:02 PM   #18
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 1,318
Condolences Gauss.
My husband and I are going to be cremated. That said, a neighbors wife was just cremated and the wooden box (about the size of a cigar box) cost $1200.
__________________
splitwdw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2014, 06:12 PM   #19
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Seattle
Posts: 2,906
Quote:
Originally Posted by splitwdw View Post
Condolences Gauss.
My husband and I are going to be cremated. That said, a neighbors wife was just cremated and the wooden box (about the size of a cigar box) cost $1200.
I should put in my will that I want my ashes contained in a decent quality coffee can. That is about how much I care what happens to them when I am gone. (and if anyone wastes a ounce of that coffee I will come back to haunt them!)
__________________
Fermion is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2014, 06:15 PM   #20
Full time employment: Posting here.
Redbugdave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Columbia, SC
Posts: 959
I am sorry for your loss, Gauss.

I am glad you posted on here about caskets. I some good information has been presented that I did not know.

I think your father would be proud of a son that does not waste hard earned money and getting the same quality.
__________________

__________________
"I either want less corruption, or more chance to participate in it." Ashleigh Brilliant
Redbugdave is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Buy, buy, buy! Dr. Doom said so. NW-Bound FIRE and Money 16 10-23-2013 05:09 PM
Recession over? Buy, buy, buy? NW-Bound FIRE and Money 42 05-27-2009 05:53 PM
Generator: To buy or not to buy.... wabmester Other topics 20 12-27-2006 04:26 PM
TIPS or IBONDS, To Buy or Not To Buy... ? ShokWaveRider FIRE and Money 7 06-25-2006 01:29 PM
buy and build or just buy land and wait ? lonedog Life after FIRE 11 02-13-2006 10:55 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:19 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.