Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, October 15, 2016

MVNews this week:  Page A:9



Mountain Views-News Saturday, October 15, 2016



Dear Savvy Senior,

How much does an average funeral and body burial 
cost? I need to make funeral arrangements for my 
aunt, who’s terminally ill, and would like to have a cost 
idea going in so I can plan and budget appropriately. 

The Executor 

Dear Executor,

It definitely pays to know what charges to expect 
when pre-planning a funeral. Most people don’t have 
a clue, and can often be upsold thousands of dollars 
worth of extra services you may not want or need. 
Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect.

Funeral Prices

The first thing you need to be aware of is that funeral 
costs will vary considerably depending on your 
geographic location, the funeral home you choose 
and the funeral choices you make. With that said, 
here’s a breakdown of what an average funeral 
costs, nationwide, according to recent data from the 
National Funeral Directors Association.

 Professional services fee: This is a basic non-
declinable fee that covers the funeral provider’s time, 
expertise and overhead. $2,000

 Transfer of the remains: This is for picking up the 
body and taking it to the funeral home. $310

 Embalming and body preparation: Embalming 
is usually mandatory for open-casket viewing, 
otherwise it’s not required unless the body is going 
to be transported across state lines. Embalming 
costs $695. Other body preparations, which includes 
hairdressing and cosmetics runs $250.

 Funeral viewing and ceremony: If the viewing 
and funeral ceremony is at the funeral home, you’ll 
be charged for use of the chapel and any necessary 
staff. Costs: $420 for viewing, and $495 for funeral 

 Metal casket: This is a big money maker for funeral 
homes, with markups of up to 300 percent over the 
wholesale price. $2,395.

 Funeral transportation: Use of hearse and driver 
$318 to transport the body to the cemetery. Use of a 
service car/van $143.

 Memorial printed package: This includes printed 
programs and memorial guest book. $155.

 In addition to these costs, there are a number of 
other related expenses such as flowers for the funeral 
(around $200 to $400), the newspaper obituary fee 
($100 to $600 or more), the clergy honorarium ($200 
to $300) and extra copies of the death certificate ($5 
to $35 per copy depending on the state).

 And, a number of large cemetery costs like the 
plot or mausoleum fee, the vault or grave liner that’s 
required by most cemeteries, and the opening and 
closing of the grave, all of which average between 
$2,000 and $4,000; and the gravestone, which 
typically costs between $1,000 and $3,000.

 All told, the average cost of a total funeral today is 
around $11,000 or more.

Ways to Save

If you aunt’s estate can’t afford this, there are ways to 
save. For starters, you should know that prices can 
vary significantly by funeral provider, so it’s wise to 
shop around.

 If you need some help finding an affordable 
provider, your area funeral consumers alliance 
program may be able to refer you. See Funerals.
org/local-fca or call 802-865-8300 for contact 

 There are also free websites you can turn to, like that lets you compare prices, and that will provide estimates 
from local funeral homes based on what you want. 

 When evaluating funeral providers, be sure you get 
an itemized price list of services and products so you 
can accurately compare and choose what you want.

 But, the most significant way to save on a funeral 
is to request a “direct burial” or “direct cremation.” 
With these options your aunt would be buried 
or cremated shortly after death, which skips the 
embalming and viewing. If she wants a memorial 
service you can have it at the graveside or at her place 
of worship without the body. These services usually 
run between $600 and $2,000, not counting cemetery 

 Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. 
Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.
org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show 
and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! ….October Birthdays

Janda Ferris, Darlene Traxler, Margit Johnson, Sole Krieg, George Maurer, Dick 
Anderson, Barbara Cline, Eva Poet, Mary Jane Baker, Dixie Coutant, Cathleen 
Cremins, Alma Mays, Adie Marshall, Darlene Crook, Susan Gallagher, Maggie Ellis, 
Gloria Giersbach, Elva Johnson, Ellen O’Leary, Jenny Piangenti, Gail Ann Skiles, 
Anita Thompson, Linda Boehm and Angela Stella. 

*To add your name to this distinguished list, please call the paper at 626.355.2737. YEAR of birth
not required but you must be over 60.


ACTIVITIES: Unless listed differently, all activities are at the
Hart Park House (Senior Center) 222 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre

YWCA San Gabriel Valley - Intervale Senior Cafe 

Seniors 60 years of age and up can participate in the YWCA Intervale daily lunch program held at the 
Hart Park House Senior Center. Meals are served Monday through Friday at 12:00 pm and participants 
are encouraged to arrive by 11:45 am. Meals are a suggested donation of $3.00 for seniors 60 and over 
or $5.00 for non-senior guests. Daily reservations are necessary, space is limited. Please reserve your 
lunch by calling 626-355-0256.

Tech Talk: Will resume in the fall. 

Hawaiian and Polynesian Dance Class: Every Tuesday morning from 10:00 - 11:00am. Join instructor 
Barbara Dempsey as she instructs you in the art of hula. 

Bingo: Every Tuesday beginning at 1:00 pm. Cards are only $0.25 each! Everyone is welcome to join. 
May be cancelled if less than 5 people. 

Free Blood Pressure Testing: 2nd Tuesday of the month from 11:00am - 12:00 pm. No appt. necessary. 

Chair Yoga: Mondays and Wednesdays from 11:00 - 11:45am. A suggested donation of $5 at one of the 
classes is requested, but is not required. 

Case Management: Meets the second Thursday of the month. Case Management services are provided 
by the YWCA and provide assistance in a variety of areas. Appointments are required and can be 
scheduled by calling the HPH Office at 626-355-7394. 

Birthday Celebrations: Every second Thursday of the month at the Hart Park House. The free birthday 
cake is provided by the Sierra Madre Civic Club. 

 Game Day: Every Thursday starting at 12:00 pm. (Please note the time change.) A regular group of 
seniors play poker. Other games available for use. 

 Free Strength Training Class: Every Friday from 12:45 - 1:30 pm with Lisa Brandley. The class utilizes 
light weights for low impact resistance training. All materials for the class are provided. 

Senior Club: Every Saturday at the Hart Park House Senior Center. Brown bag lunch at 11:30am. 


Thurday, October 27th, 11:00am - 1:30pm

Medicare Annual Election Period is here. If you have any questions on your health plans, please 
come to the Medicare Resource Table at the Hart Park House on October 27th from 11:00 a.m. 
to 1:30 p.m. A licensed representative will be available to answer questions as well as gather 
information. No appointment necessary.




Date: Wednesday, November 9th, 2016 
Time: 9:45am - 2:30pm 
Meeting Location: Hart Park House 
Cost: $10.00 (Does not include lunch)

Description: Founded in 1894, the historic Graber Olive House 
is located in a pleasant residential area north of Ontario’s 
Business District. Here in quiet and serene surroundings, 
visitors are welcomed and delighted to discover a bit of early California. Participants will take a guided 
tour of the facility and may browse leisurely in the gift shop which feature Graber Olives, fine goods, 
and gifts. Lunch will be on your own at Molly’s Souper. Please bring money for lunch and souvenirs if 
desired. Level of walking: Medium. Please call the Hart Park House 626-355-7394.


Arcadia Senior Services in partnership with 
the Parkinson Support Group is having a free 
informational presentation on Friday, October 21, 
2016 at 1:30pm. The health seminar will take place 
at the Arcadia Community Center, 365 Campus 
Drive, Arcadia. Guest speaker, Dr. Cathryn Hu, 
OMD will give helpful information regarding how 
to boost your immune system for the upcoming 
cold and flu season. Some of the topics she will 
discuss are: what is your immune system, how to 
tell if my immune system is not strong enough, 
what are immune diseases, and how to improve 
your immune system through diet, vitamins and 
herbs. If interested in attending, please call Arcadia 
Senior Services 626.574.5130. This program is for 
individuals age 50 and over. 

About the City of Arcadia

Nestled in the foothills of the San Gabriel 
Mountains, Arcadia is an 11.38 square mile 
community with a population of just over 56,000. 
Located approximately 20 miles east of downtown 
Los Angeles, Arcadia is known for combining 
small-town charm with the conveniences and 
amenities of a mid-size city. Arcadia is a full-
service charter city governed by a five-member 
City Council, elected at large. Recognized 
for exceptional education and recreation 
opportunities and beautiful neighborhoods, 
Arcadia is also defined as the “Community of 
Homes” and has twice been designated the “Best 
City in California in which to Raise Kids” by 
Business Week Magazine.


Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: