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“It Sure Isn’t Cheap to Die”- Funeral Costs

Let me start by asking you a couple simple questions;

Have you ever heard anybody say, “Boy, that wedding sure was cheap to host!”

How often do you hear, “Buying our house cost us next to nothing!”

When was the last time you heard this one? “Raising our kids and putting them through college cost us virtually nothing!”

These statements and conversations rarely, if ever exist. The statement that does exist and has been regurgitated to me numerous times throughout my career is that “it sure isn’t cheap to die.”

The bigger question

Now let me ask you – as I have asked everyone from my second cousin twice removed (who is convinced he can just dig a hole in his own backyard – no fuss, no muss), to the inquiring lady whom I last met with to discuss her preplanned funeral options.

What is your measure of comparison?

If you are comparing the cost of dying to a steak dinner for six at Ruth’s Chris or a Christmas season grocery haul at Costco, then yes, I would agree – the cost of dying is expensive.

However, if you acknowledge the cost of dying as a major life event, the comparison measure puts funerals on the lowest end of the scale.

There is a cost for all major events in life – death is one of them

Although death is one of many guaranteed costs in life; it’s an expense that appreciates the very least.

The averages indicate that we Canadians seem to live rather well and that the cost of dying is actually the seventh most expensive event that we spend our hard earned money on.

  • Home $385,906
  • Raising a Child $243,660
  • Wedding $26,900
  • Car $26,755
  • College Tuition $25,393
  • Vacation Hawaii $9,765
  • Funeral Cost $7,446

Doing the math

If you consider the average life expectancy in Canada is now 83 years; the average cost of a funeral in Canada is $7,446 – that works out to roughly $89 per year for each year we remain upright. I am certain that most Canadians are spending more than $89 at Tim Horton’s each year.

Nonetheless, there are costs for all of life’s major events.


I suspect if you told someone it would cost them $5,340 to enjoy Tim Horton’s coffee over the course of 5 years, their response would be “it sure isn’t cheap to drink coffee”; but in the perspective of relevance anything worth paying for is worth saving for.

In a time where the average life expectancy in Canada is now 83 years; it’s never too late to put your spare change to a better use.