If you think Cost of living The US health care system is expensive, so wait until you know the cost of dying.
A new report details the direct financial impact of a loved one’s death and the costs of the invisible loss.
2023 report compensation for dying It was released today by Empathy, a company that helps people manage the logistics and emotional burden of death. It contains the results of the survey.
Overall, the average direct costs associated with the death of a loved one can reach $20,000. That’s before factoring in lost income from taking time off or the medical bills required to manage health and mental health symptoms.
On average, survey respondents reported spending $3,584 on funeral homes (lower than the 2021 national median of $7,848). National Association of Funeral Directors). Burial plots cost respondents an average of $1,841. Minor expenses such as catering, a priest, flowers, music, and invitations could all together cost her more than $1,700, making funerals the largest expense associated with the death of a loved one. .
But funeral costs aren’t the only cost. Survey respondents reported spending an average of $4,384 to take care of financial matters such as hiring an accountant and paying bills.
Respondents spent approximately $5,000 on legal matters, including attorneys’ fees and costs associated with selling assets. Disposing of the property could add him another $4,000.
Many respondents reported using their own financial resources to pay death-related bills. 42% used their credit card or checking account and 36% used savings. Only 14% had access to funds specifically designed for these purposes, such as life insurance or last arrangement insurance.
Rinal Patel, founder of Pennsylvania-based company Suburb realtorexperienced firsthand the costs associated with the death of a loved one.
In February 2022, her 35-year-old brother died of a heart attack while in Dubai on business. Patel spent more than $4,000 of her to fly her body back from Dubai and covered the full funeral costs, about $10,000.
“He was my only brother. I couldn’t bury him in a foreign country,” she said.
In addition to direct costs, Patel’s brother’s death also impacted her income. As her business owner, Patel missed her deal while she was away mourning the death of her brother.
“His death took a lot of toll on me financially, emotionally and psychologically,” Patel said.
Death-related costs occur at a time when many people can least afford it.
Nearly all (92%) of working respondents reported taking time off or adjusting their work commitments to manage their experience. For many workers, it costs money indirectly.
Nearly a quarter (23%) of respondents said they took unpaid leave, and about half (51%) said they took paid time off. Women are more likely than men to take unpaid leave and are half as likely as men to report being satisfied with their employer’s bereavement leave policy (9% vs. 19%).
Empathy reports that most US companies offer one to five days of bereavement leave. But most people need more time than that to manage the logistics of death, let alone grieve properly.
Jasmine CobbA licensed grief and trauma therapist from Texas, was lucky enough to take advantage of unpaid paid leave when her mother passed away in 2020 from complications of metastatic breast cancer.
Although her employer was supportive at the time, Cobb found a mismatch between most employers’ bereavement policies and employee needs.
“Generous bereavement is an oxymoron and generally non-existent,” she said. This tends to be a mismatch if
medical expenses at the time of death
In addition to the significant economic impact, 93% of survey respondents reported experiencing at least one health symptom as a result of the loss. The majority of respondents experienced at least two symptoms, and 34% had four or more of her symptoms for more than a few months.
Persistent symptoms included anxiety, reported by nearly half (46%) of respondents. Other symptoms included sleep disturbance (38%), weight loss or weight gain (33%), irritability or anger (30%), and memory impairment (30%).
Women were more likely than men to experience symptoms for more than a year.For example, 23% of women and only 12% of men reported feeling anxious for more than a year. Women were twice as likely as men to experience prolonged sleep disturbances (16% vs. 8%) and weight gain or loss (14% vs. 7%). One in her 10 women (11%) reported persistent panic attacks, compared to 6% of men.
Brittany Nicole Mendes, 27, Marketing, based in Tennessee Florida Panhandle.comseven years after his brother’s death, is still experiencing symptoms related to the loss.
Mendez, then 20, was visiting family in San Francisco for Christmas when he learned his 22-year-old brother had been hit by a car while walking at a crosswalk. he died the next day.
The direct financial burden fell on his parents, who started a GoFundMe to help with the unexpected funeral costs, but Mendez didn’t get paid for the extra weeks he spent in California with his family.
Mendes’ real cost came in the form of persistent mental health problems.
“I never had real anxiety, panic attacks, or depression until he passed away,” she said.
After his brother’s death, Mendez had difficulty eating and sleeping. She still suffers from extreme panic attacks from her fear that she or her loved ones will unexpectedly lose her life.
Daniel Jones, 38, from Tampa, Fla., is also suffering from the lingering health effects of the 2021 death of his mother from heart failure. Ms. Jones’ mother died when she was 57.th birthday.
Jones paid for everything, including travel expenses and cleaning up his mother’s house. She minimized her expenses by replacing her funeral with visits with certain friends of hers and her family. Her cousin, who worked at her funeral home, helped her mother get cremated.
But non-monetary costs hit Jones.
“Her death rocked my world,” she said. “It was hard going back to work. I cried between jobs.”
Jones began seeing a therapist, who was confused because she herself had just died in her own family.
“I stopped seeing her,” said Jones. She said, “She couldn’t make up for the missed appointment.”
Ms. Jones said she had many sleepless nights throughout the night. She said she only ate if someone reminded her. Her cooking, grocery shopping, and walks all reminded Jones of her mother. They talked every day during these routine activities.
“I couldn’t go into the kitchen because it made me think of her,” she said. She said, “It was hard for her to go back to the life she once knew.”
Jones, a certified nutritionist and wellness strategist, writes: her grief experienceshe said she had gained 20 pounds since her mother’s death.
No wonder the effects of death last so long. The process of managing death can take much longer than expected. On average, it took respondents about a year to resolve all financial issues related to the death of a loved one. They spent an average of 20 hours a week addressing these issues. More than half (62%) said completing these issues took longer than expected.
A plan can offset the direct and indirect costs of death. Not only does it reduce the financial burden if some costs are paid upfront, but people whose loved ones had pre-planned funerals are less likely to lose their jobs and experience anxiety, sleep disturbances, and memory loss. People reported being less disabled. Planning ahead also made it less likely that people would struggle to enjoy their daily lives after losing a loved one.