Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

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GerryL
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Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

Post by GerryL » Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:09 pm

On this forum we’ve frequently seen (and participated in) discussions about “free” meals for listening to a wealth management pitch. Has anyone ever attended an event put on by Smart Cremation? (I believe I heard that they now run most cremation services in the US.)

I got an invitation in the mail to attend a luncheon/seminar for veterans to learn about funeral benefit services, including VA benefits and national cemeteries. I was thinking it might be useful to go just to know what questions I might want to be asking as I ponder this aspect of my future. And I am intending to be working on my will and estate plans in the coming months.

I’m guessing they will want to sell me some sort of pre-pay plan, but I’m certain that I will not be signing on any dotted lines.

Your experiences? Is this a reasonable use of time or is it on par with a time-share presentation?

sport
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Re: Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

Post by sport » Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:35 pm

GerryL wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:09 pm
Is this a reasonable use of time or is it on par with a time-share presentation?
Well, we all will have a need for funeral arrangements. Few, if any, people need a time-share.

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JMacDonald
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Re: Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

Post by JMacDonald » Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:40 pm

If you are a veteran, you have burial benefits:
https://www.cem.va.gov/burial_benefits/
Best Wishes, | Joe

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cheese_breath
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Re: Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

Post by cheese_breath » Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:55 pm

Smart Cremation? They burn you up and put what's left in a jar. How smart do they have to be to do that? Their website says it's up to 44% less than a burial. I believe that. MIL was cremated, and it was a lot cheaper than burying her. The funeral home handled the whole thing. We didn't need Smart Cremation.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

strafe
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Re: Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

Post by strafe » Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:16 pm

Is your question about the seminar or the provenance of the lunch? I’d guess that it tastes like chicken.

Housedoc
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Re: Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

Post by Housedoc » Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:25 pm

I have skipped the lunch seminars from burial folks.
Everyone has their limits!
Dinner, well maybe..HA

Teague
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Re: Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

Post by Teague » Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:30 pm

If you go, try not to think of the 1973 film Soylent Green.
Semper Augustus

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

Post by Doom&Gloom » Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:35 pm

strafe wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:16 pm
Is your question about the seminar or the provenance of the lunch? I’d guess that it tastes like chicken.
Well-done steak.

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whodidntante
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Re: Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

Post by whodidntante » Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:37 pm

Ask for a free sample.

Miriam2
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Re: Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

Post by Miriam2 » Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:46 pm

Teague wrote: If you go, try not to think of the 1973 film Soylent Green.
Teague! You crack me up! From your Bourbon Soaked Fruitcake to Soylent Green :D

BTW are you still on the Retirement Roll Call?

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jabberwockOG
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Re: Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

Post by jabberwockOG » Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:51 pm

There is no such thing as a free lunch or dinner for that matter when it comes to any type of these "seminars". Besides a meal you get a sales pitch, and they at a minimum, get your detailed contact and registration information. Absolutely not worth it.

Teague
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Re: Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

Post by Teague » Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:53 pm

Miriam2 wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:46 pm
Teague wrote: If you go, try not to think of the 1973 film Soylent Green.
Teague! You crack me up! From your Bourbon Soaked Fruitcake to Soylent Green :D

BTW are you still on the Retirement Roll Call?
Thanks, Miriam2, I'm honored! :happy I'd almost forgotten that recipe...

I did actually retire. It's been a year now minus a few days. How time flies! :sharebeer
Semper Augustus

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cheese_breath
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Re: Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

Post by cheese_breath » Thu Nov 15, 2018 11:12 pm

sport wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:35 pm
GerryL wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:09 pm
Is this a reasonable use of time or is it on par with a time-share presentation?
Well, we all will have a need for funeral arrangements. Few, if any, people need a time-share.
Could it be they sell time-shares for the best urn display slots in the mausoleums?
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

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cheese_breath
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Re: Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

Post by cheese_breath » Thu Nov 15, 2018 11:16 pm

Teague wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:30 pm
If you go, try not to think of the 1973 film Soylent Green.
If that's Aunt Betsy you're eating, then what's in her urn? Mouse droppings?
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

MJW
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Re: Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

Post by MJW » Fri Nov 16, 2018 12:39 am

cheese_breath wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:55 pm
Smart Cremation?
What's next, multifactor cremation?

I prefer a low cost index cremation.

sawhorse
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Re: Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

Post by sawhorse » Fri Nov 16, 2018 1:51 am

I have nothing to add other than to say that I find the concept - listening to a cremation seminar while eating - pretty surreal. I would be tempted to go for the experience :P

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celia
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Re: Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

Post by celia » Fri Nov 16, 2018 3:43 am

We went to that presentation and enjoyed it. (There are a lot of "hot" jokes that can be thrown in so it was also humorous.) We had been thinking about cremation but not done anything about it and hadn't thought of where to start. Ours was open to anyone. Don't know why this is being restricted to vets as I hear that everyone eventually dies. :oops:
cheese_breath wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:55 pm
MIL was cremated, and it was a lot cheaper than burying her. The funeral home handled the whole thing. We didn't need Smart Cremation.
It would have been even cheaper if you had just just skipped the funeral home. There's no need to pay them anything since SmartCremation will pick you up wherever you are and bring you back for your memorial service or just spread your ashes.

We signed up with them at the lunch as it cost us less than we were planning to spend on cremation anyway (about $3400 per person). We might have been able to pay less somewhere else but was glad it was all decided. It's one less thing for our survivors to worry about. Our package even included international pickup to bring you home, which they subcontract out to another party. That part would be pretty cheap as very few people would use that option.

The presentation was also entertaining and there was no pressure to buy. Everyone there already knew it was a sales talk. At the end, a little over half the attendees wanted to think about it some more, so were free to leave.

Longdog
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Re: Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

Post by Longdog » Fri Nov 16, 2018 4:52 am

Doom&Gloom wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:35 pm
strafe wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:16 pm
Is your question about the seminar or the provenance of the lunch? I’d guess that it tastes like chicken.
Well-done steak.
I’m thinking barbecue.
Steve

RickBoglehead
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Re: Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

Post by RickBoglehead » Fri Nov 16, 2018 6:13 am

celia wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 3:43 am
We went to that presentation and enjoyed it. (There are a lot of "hot" jokes that can be thrown in so it was also humorous.) We had been thinking about cremation but not done anything about it and hadn't thought of where to start. Ours was open to anyone. Don't know why this is being restricted to vets as I hear that everyone eventually dies. :oops:
cheese_breath wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:55 pm
MIL was cremated, and it was a lot cheaper than burying her. The funeral home handled the whole thing. We didn't need Smart Cremation.
It would have been even cheaper if you had just just skipped the funeral home. There's no need to pay them anything since SmartCremation will pick you up wherever you are and bring you back for your memorial service or just spread your ashes.

We signed up with them at the lunch as it cost us less than we were planning to spend on cremation anyway (about $3400 per person). We might have been able to pay less somewhere else but was glad it was all decided. It's one less thing for our survivors to worry about. Our package even included international pickup to bring you home, which they subcontract out to another party. That part would be pretty cheap as very few people would use that option.

The presentation was also entertaining and there was no pressure to buy. Everyone there already knew it was a sales talk. At the end, a little over half the attendees wanted to think about it some more, so were free to leave.
That seems about $2,000 too high, but maybe California has emission laws?

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cheese_breath
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Re: Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

Post by cheese_breath » Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:14 am

celia wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 3:43 am
.... it cost us less than we were planning to spend on cremation anyway (about $3400 per person)....
How many people? Do they have group rates?
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

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tennisplyr
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Re: Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

Post by tennisplyr » Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:31 am

Sounds like great fun!
Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.

3-20Characters
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Re: Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

Post by 3-20Characters » Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:37 am

cheese_breath wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:55 pm
Their website says it's up to 44% less than a burial.
I don’t a want free dinner or lunch that badly but if went, the first question I’d ask is why isn’t much cheaper? I’m definitely doing the cremation thing for myself when the time comes but I’m going to shop around.

GuyInFL
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Re: Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

Post by GuyInFL » Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:46 am

Checkout
https://clark.com/family-lifestyle/save ... l-society/

Before you go and let us know how it turns out.

bob60014
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Re: Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

Post by bob60014 » Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:25 am

We have something similar to Smart Choice here called the Cremation Society of Illinois which may offer prepayed options (unsure) and I dont recall getting a seminar offer from them. Basically, because they dont have the overhead of a funeral home office, staff, chapel, casket showroom, hearse etc., they are able to provide services for a fraction of the cost.

The cost here for a basic cremation is approx $1700 which includes transport of the body, cremation, all paperwork and urn. In comparison, the local funeral home quotes $3000 for the same services.
Last edited by bob60014 on Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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jabberwockOG
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Re: Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

Post by jabberwockOG » Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:57 am

Turnkey local cremation services in our town run $800 to $1000. Hope the food was fantastic because for $3400 that was an expensive lunch.

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HueyLD
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Re: Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

Post by HueyLD » Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:03 am

celia wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 3:43 am
We went to that presentation and enjoyed it. (There are a lot of "hot" jokes that can be thrown in so it was also humorous.) We had been thinking about cremation but not done anything about it and hadn't thought of where to start. Ours was open to anyone. Don't know why this is being restricted to vets as I hear that everyone eventually dies. :oops:
cheese_breath wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:55 pm
MIL was cremated, and it was a lot cheaper than burying her. The funeral home handled the whole thing. We didn't need Smart Cremation.
It would have been even cheaper if you had just just skipped the funeral home. There's no need to pay them anything since SmartCremation will pick you up wherever you are and bring you back for your memorial service or just spread your ashes.

We signed up with them at the lunch as it cost us less than we were planning to spend on cremation anyway (about $3400 per person). We might have been able to pay less somewhere else but was glad it was all decided. It's one less thing for our survivors to worry about. Our package even included international pickup to bring you home, which they subcontract out to another party. That part would be pretty cheap as very few people would use that option.

The presentation was also entertaining and there was no pressure to buy. Everyone there already knew it was a sales talk. At the end, a little over half the attendees wanted to think about it some more, so were free to leave.
What if the company goes out of business, bankruptcy or otherwise? I guess your upfront payment would burn to ashes.

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VictoriaF
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Re: Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

Post by VictoriaF » Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:05 am

Do you get lunch before or after the cremation?

Victoria
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cheese_breath
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Re: Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

Post by cheese_breath » Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:08 am

VictoriaF wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:05 am
Do you get lunch before or after the cremation?

Victoria
They stuff a sandwich into your urn with you.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

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HueyLD
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Re: Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

Post by HueyLD » Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:13 am

Where I used to live, a fairly good size funeral home that heavily promoted its "pre-arrangement" program went out of business and lots of people lost their hefty prepaid fees. And there is no way to know the future especially after one is dead.

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goingup
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Re: Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

Post by goingup » Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:31 am

There's another organization called Neptune Society that operates in 24 states, 45 locations. Might be good to compare service/prices.

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celia
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Re: Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

Post by celia » Fri Nov 16, 2018 11:25 am

HueyLD wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:03 am
What if the company goes out of business, bankruptcy or otherwise? I guess your upfront payment would burn to ashes.
Part of our cost went into a trust fund (as required by law) to cover that case. It is also refundable should you die and not use the service (ie you were lost at sea or your survivors bury you).

Besides informing our kids about our planning, I've added that cost to our list of assets as a reminder to file for it should circumstances not go according to the plan.

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HueyLD
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Re: Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

Post by HueyLD » Fri Nov 16, 2018 11:40 am

Neptune Society is being sued by the State of Colorado for using accounting gimmicks to hide their not putting sufficient prepaid money into the trust fund as required by law.

This company has bombarded my area with "free" lunch seminars. Their invitation envelopes always came with some sort of scent and I had to wash my hands after feeding the envelopes into the shredder.

ncbill
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Re: Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

Post by ncbill » Fri Nov 16, 2018 11:52 am

$3400 is a little speedy for just cremation.

Here plenty of local providers will do a direct cremation for under $1000.

dknightd
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Re: Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

Post by dknightd » Fri Nov 16, 2018 11:56 am

When I retire and have time to waste I might start going to these things. You might meet interesting people. Free food. Free information. You can always walk out if you want. . .

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cheese_breath
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Re: Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

Post by cheese_breath » Fri Nov 16, 2018 12:11 pm

HueyLD wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 11:40 am
Neptune Society is being sued by the State of Colorado for using accounting gimmicks to hide their not putting sufficient prepaid money into the trust fund as required by law.

This company has bombarded my area with "free" lunch seminars. Their invitation envelopes always came with some sort of scent and I had to wash my hands after feeding the envelopes into the shredder.
I think that was smoke.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

b0B
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Re: Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

Post by b0B » Fri Nov 16, 2018 12:24 pm

cheese_breath wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:08 am
VictoriaF wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:05 am
Do you get lunch before or after the cremation?

Victoria
They stuff a sandwich into your urn with you.
Maybe just burnt toast.

white_water
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Re: Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

Post by white_water » Fri Nov 16, 2018 2:58 pm

Basic cremation runs $700-$1200 locally.

My final instructions includes using the cheapest plan, paid with spouses credit card, might as well get that 2 cash back on travel!

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cheese_breath
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Re: Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

Post by cheese_breath » Fri Nov 16, 2018 3:33 pm

Just looked it up, and MIL's funeral home cremation cost $2713. That included
  • Pickup of the body from our home where she died
    Temporary storage
    Delivery to cremation facility
    Cremation
    Urn
    Newspaper obituaries
    Death certificates
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

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cheese_breath
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Re: Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

Post by cheese_breath » Fri Nov 16, 2018 3:34 pm

white_water wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 2:58 pm
Basic cremation runs $700-$1200 locally.

My final instructions includes using the cheapest plan, paid with spouses credit card, might as well get that 2 cash back on travel!
Does COSTCO have a plan? :D :moneybag
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

Dontwasteit
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Re: Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

Post by Dontwasteit » Fri Nov 16, 2018 4:25 pm

Vanguard does cremation for 0.04% (Admiral)!

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CAsage
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Re: Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

Post by CAsage » Fri Nov 16, 2018 4:53 pm

We all need to dispose of our earthly remains, but we do not all need funerals. I recall our family spent a fortune (maybe $10k) when my Dad passed in 1989, but we had a Catholic second wife to negotiate with. When my Mom passed a few years ago, her much older, wiser, and cheaper children price shopped for the lowest cost cremation service available locally, and skipped the funeral, the service, newspaper notice etc., and got out the door for about $800. It was no frills but complete service - pickup, storage, cremation, cardboard box, few Death Certificates. Private disposal at sea done separately. Mom would have been very proud of us! That is EXACTLY what I want my children to do. Call around - you can save a lot.
Salvia Clevelandii "Winifred Gilman" my favorite. YMMV; not a professional advisor.

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tennisplyr
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Re: Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

Post by tennisplyr » Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:50 pm

What if you choke to death on your lunch do you get a free cremation?
Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.

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Re: Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

Post by JBTX » Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:03 pm

Teague wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:30 pm
If you go, try not to think of the 1973 film Soylent Green.

https://youtu.be/AadNhoRl2pQ

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White Coat Investor
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Re: Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

Post by White Coat Investor » Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:06 pm

GerryL wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:09 pm
On this forum we’ve frequently seen (and participated in) discussions about “free” meals for listening to a wealth management pitch. Has anyone ever attended an event put on by Smart Cremation? (I believe I heard that they now run most cremation services in the US.)

I got an invitation in the mail to attend a luncheon/seminar for veterans to learn about funeral benefit services, including VA benefits and national cemeteries. I was thinking it might be useful to go just to know what questions I might want to be asking as I ponder this aspect of my future. And I am intending to be working on my will and estate plans in the coming months.

I’m guessing they will want to sell me some sort of pre-pay plan, but I’m certain that I will not be signing on any dotted lines.

Your experiences? Is this a reasonable use of time or is it on par with a time-share presentation?
That would make me feel old to receive that invitation. I'm confident my estate will be able to spring for my final expenses.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

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Taylor Larimore
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Re: Cremation seminar – A better way.

Post by Taylor Larimore » Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:07 pm

Bogleheads:

I have made arrangements with the University of Miami Medical Department to receive my remains from a funeral home to improve medical science. The U of M reimburses the funeral home and pays for eventual cremation of my remains.

My dad showed me the benefits when he died. I appreciate having no funeral expenses and admire him for his contribution to medicine and a selfless life of helping others.

There is no "free lunch."

Best wishes.
Taylor
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle

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Re: Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

Post by brandy » Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:16 pm

3-20Characters wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:37 am
cheese_breath wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:55 pm
Their website says it's up to 44% less than a burial.
I don’t a want free dinner or lunch that badly but if went, the first question I’d ask is why isn’t much cheaper? I’m definitely doing the cremation thing for myself when the time comes but I’m going to shop around.
Last year I applied for a "Willed Body" program at the local university, and was "accepted". Google body donation program or some such. They take bodies immediately after death to use in their teaching programs. They have parameters, one of which is, "if they need a body at the time." Here's faqs from one school: https://bodydonation.med.arizona.edu/faqs . I filled out part of the paperwork with a note that full information is in my desk, take it when you take my body. IF they do not take it, there is a crematory named, with a check for about $700 for their services. Google inexpensive cremation in your area. In my city, the crematorium is not permitted pre-payment, so the check is with the paperwork.

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Re: Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

Post by brandy » Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:20 pm

CAsage wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 4:53 pm
We all need to dispose of our earthly remains, but we do not all need funerals. I recall our family spent a fortune (maybe $10k) when my Dad passed in 1989, but we had a Catholic second wife to negotiate with. When my Mom passed a few years ago, her much older, wiser, and cheaper children price shopped for the lowest cost cremation service available locally, and skipped the funeral, the service, newspaper notice etc., and got out the door for about $800. It was no frills but complete service - pickup, storage, cremation, cardboard box, few Death Certificates. Private disposal at sea done separately. Mom would have been very proud of us! That is EXACTLY what I want my children to do. Call around - you can save a lot.
This is what I'm paying for: pickup, storage, cremation, cardboard box,a few Death Certificates. The crematorium manager knows I'm on the university list, but it they do not take my body, their service will be called.

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Raymond
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Re: Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

Post by Raymond » Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:40 pm

JMacDonald wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:40 pm
If you are a veteran, you have burial benefits:
https://www.cem.va.gov/burial_benefits/
Thanks for the link!
MJW wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 12:39 am
cheese_breath wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:55 pm
Smart Cremation?
What's next, multifactor cremation?

I prefer a low cost index cremation.
Smart Beta Incineration (SBI)™ :happy
"Ritter, Tod und Teufel"

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Re: Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

Post by AlphaLess » Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:44 pm

sport wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:35 pm
GerryL wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:09 pm
Is this a reasonable use of time or is it on par with a time-share presentation?
Well, we all will have a need for funeral arrangements. Few, if any, people need a time-share.
LoL.

Interesting line of thinking.

I would argue the opposite: none of us would NEED a funeral arrangement.
Literally, none. Zero. Zilch. Zip. Zero. Net.
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JMacDonald
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Re: Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

Post by JMacDonald » Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:26 pm

Raymond wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:40 pm
JMacDonald wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:40 pm
If you are a veteran, you have burial benefits:
https://www.cem.va.gov/burial_benefits/
Thanks for the link!
Apply for Pre-Need Burial Eligibility Determination
https://www.cem.va.gov/cem/pre-need/index.asp
I did it a while back.
Best Wishes, | Joe

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