HOBBIES ARE GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH

Do you have a hobby? Hobbies can give meaning and purpose to your life in retirement. As Robert Putnam points out in his book, Bowling Alone, it’s easy to discount the importance of hobbies and social engagements. Putnam details the widespread decline in civic engagement, from PTA memberships to neighborhood potlucks and bowling leagues. Over a couple of generations, Americans have misplaced the concept of free time.

SPECIAL PLANS FOR YOUR SPECIAL PEOPLE

Lily is a beautiful, active and full of personality toddler who happens to have Down syndrome. Lily’s parents and I have been friends for years and I have the continuing pleasure of watching Lily and her siblings grow up. While Lily is becoming a physical therapy rock star and hitting all her milestones in a timely fashion, her parents have started planning for the future.

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WHY WE ENJOY OUR HOBBIES

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a hobby as “a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation, engaged in especially for relaxation.” Hobbies include anything from playing a musical instrument to gardening, bird watching or sewing. A hobby is a way of focusing on something you enjoy just for the sake of that enjoyment. It may also be a way to clear your mental palette. You could be stressed out by a situation at work or the challenges of raising children and need an escape.

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headstone and dirty the interior of the casket. Average cost of a vault is $1,300. The average cost for a hearse or funeral coach and any other cars is $300.


There are ways to cut funeral and burial costs:


According to the National Funeral Directors and numerous other sources, the average cost of a traditional burial is presently $7,000 to $10,000.


Traditional funeral services typically include embalming and dressing the body, renting the funeral home, holding a viewing, transporting the body via a hearse to the funeral site and purchasing the casket, a cemetery plot or crypt and a headstone or tombstone. Direct burials involve a simple burial container, no viewing or visitation and no embalming, but a memorial service can still be held graveside.


Funeral homes charge basic service fees. These include consultations, preparation and filing of permits, coordinating arrangements and third-party overhead costs. Fees vary among funeral service providers but average to $2,000, according to the National Funeral Directors Association.


Body delivery costs $125 to $500, depending on the distance it must travel to the funeral home. Funeral homes charge a daily fee, ranging from $35 to $100, for storing a body, even if it is embalmed.


Embalming came into popular- ity during the Civil War when bodies needed to be transported long distances. Embalming is not legally

BURIAL COSTS COVER A WIDE SPECTRUM

required and many environmentally conscious individuals are opting against it. Costs range from $225 to $1,200, according to the National Care Planning Council. Average cost to prepare the body for viewing and visitation is $200. The viewing can cost anywhere from $150 to $1,200. Funeral ceremony staff coordinate and supervise the funeral arrangements and assist with the ceremony for $500 to $800.


Casket options range from cardboard ($50) to metal and fine wood. Funeral industry studies have found the average person buys one of the first three models shown, and their choice is generally mid range. Pine caskets are less expensive, but funeral homes rarely display them. The average cost of a casket is about $2,200.


Many cemeteries require caskets to be placed inside an outer container called a grave liner or burial vault. These rectangular boxes are made of concrete, metal or composite plastic. They are made to last forever and will preserve the cemetery’s lawn and grounds. A casket buried without a vault or liner will eventually deteriorate and collapse, resulting in uneven ground. This can tilt a

ANGELA S. HOOVER

Angela S. Hoover is a Staff Writer for Living Well 60+ Magazine

more articles by Angela S. Hoover