I was recently talking with an older woman in my church. She told me that it would cost $33,000 for her and her husband to be buried in a cemetery in our city, not including the cost of caskets or the burial plots. They already own the burial plots, but if they had to buy them today, the cost would be $11,000 each. Why so expensive? Well, land is very expensive in my city, and apparently this cemetery engineers the graves to withstand a nuclear strike. Are there cheaper options? It’s difficult to figure out without a lot of effort since the funeral industry thrives on opacity. Our state only allows burials to occur in established cemeteries, which are regulated by cities and counties, and since our state is a nightmare of zoning, regulation, and NIMBYism, I wouldn’t be surprised if it is difficult to get a permit to establish a new cemetery, leaving one faced with whatever prices the established cemeteries want to charge. In fact, in my online research I discovered that one major city (population nearly 1 million) in my state doesn’t allow any cemeteries within city limits.
This elderly couple is now planning on cremation because the cost of burial is so high. Any thoughts?