It’s not something a lot of people give much thought to, but it’s actually more expensive to die in some Australian cities than others.
In fact, dying in Sydney can be just as costly as living there, according to new research by finder.com.au. While the average funeral in Australia costs around $7,449, a service in the Emerald City will set people back $8,357. Similar to the housing market, Sydney’s funeral costs have increased by 10 per cent since the previous year.
While it isn’t as populous as some of the cities along the east coast, Perth was named the second most-likely city to stiff people on funeral costs. Although significantly cheaper than Sydney, the average funeral in Western Australia’s capital is $7,584. Perth narrowly beats Brisbane, which took third place at $7,505.
Meanwhile, Tasmania is actually the cheapest state to die in, with a funeral coming in much less than the average at $6,832. The research also concluded that 11.2 million people, or 60 per cent of the population, aren’t planning to pay for their own funerals, meaning family members and friends will be forced to foot the bill. The average Adelaide funeral is $7,114, while those dying in Canberra can expect to fork out $7,303 for a service. Due to a lack of data, Darwin and Melbourne were excluded from the data.
“Funerals have been a part of our culture for thousands of years but unfortunately it’s not something we like to think about when it’s our own,” Bessie Hassan, Insurance Expert at finder.com.au said. “With the average funeral in Australia costing almost $7,500, it’s important to think about what that cost would fall on if something went wrong without warning.”
The research also analysed whether burials or cremations cost Aussies more. In Sydney, for example, a burial can cost an additional $591 when compared to a cremation.
“Burials are more expensive than cremations in Australia because of the ever-increasing price of land,” Hassan noted. “When you factor in additions such as candles, celebrant fees and overcrowding in cemeteries, prices add up quickly and the cost could really impact whoever is left to foot the bill.”
There have already been calls in New South Wales to privatise cemeteries in an attempt to deal with the burial-space shortage, while there are other plans to rent grave plots to families for 25 years before freeing them up for new bodies after that time. While existing graves would not be impacted, families would have an option to renew their tenancy up to 99 years.
Still, the advice from experts is for people to plan their own funeral before they pass away.
“Those who are concerned should consider prepaying the cost of their service or taking out a comprehensive information on what Australians should look for in a funeral plan or insurance policy,” Hassan added.