Hannah Kennedy | Phaneuf
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Hannah Kennedy

I’m a single mom, with two children. My son, Josh, is 14 and my daughter, Ella, is 17. My ex-husband and I split our parental duties right down the middle. While I think we do a pretty good job at co-parenting, at the end of the day, being a single mom is extremely tough, both mentally and financially. Getting by on a single income is hard enough, and adding the cost of two teenagers puts a lot of financial stress on a person. While Josh still has a few more years at home, Ella will be heading to college in the fall in New York. For some reason, the thought of her leaving home has prompted me to think a lot about the future. I’ve started thinking about my future, as well as the futures of my children. Life has been a bit of a roller coaster for all of us, and I want the future to be as stress-free as it can possibly be.

Teens kissing mom

My Story

When my ex-husband and I got divorced, it was hard on the kids. They were relatively young at the time and it put a lot of emotional strain on their lives. The constant travel back and forth between houses, inevitable arguments, and their awareness of the financial difficulties that my ex-husband and I were going through wasn’t easy on them. Looking back now, I wish I could have sheltered them from all of that; luckily, everyone turned out okay.

The other day my daughter and I were talking about her plans for college. We talked about the classes she was interested in taking, what she wanted to after she got her degree, where she wanted to travel, and other life plans and goals she had for the future. I realized then that, while I couldn’t spare them the pain of losing me – when the time comes – I could spare them with the burden of planning and paying for my end-of-life services. I don’t want or need anything fancy, but as with many things in life, costs add up quickly. I don’t want the burden of my vision for my funeral to be placed on anyone but me, and especially not my children.

I don’t have a lot of money in savings, but what I do have, I want to be able to put towards my kid’s education, and other aspects of their lives in the future –weddings, helping with home purchases, gifts for grandkids someday. So, I knew I needed to find a solution where I would be able to pay for those services over time, rather than all at once. I don’t have a huge budget to begin with, so I thought that finding affordable services, with a flexible and reasonable payment plan that fit into my budget was going to be tough, and maybe even impossible.

Benefits of Pre-Planning

Of course, no one wants to think or talk about what’s going to happen when we die. It’s not a fun topic, and, until recently, it was something I really didn’t want to deal with, either. But since my children have gotten older, I find myself thinking about it more often. I realized recently that, when I die, I don’t want my children to be left with the burden of trying to guess what type of services I would have wanted. And, I certainly don’t want them stuck with the paying for those services – no matter how old they are when the time comes. They have better things to do with their money.

I decided to do some research on planning ahead for a funeral, find out how it works, and whether it would be a good option for me. It turns out it is a good option for me. Now, I’ll sleep better at night knowing that I’ve started a process that will hopefully make the lives of my children easier in the future, and especially during what I imagine will be a difficult time for them.

How Pre-planning Changed Our Lives

I heard back from a local funeral home and crematorium, and they provided me with transparent pricing for all of the services I inquired about, in addition to a variety of options for paying over time. As a single mom, being able to budget the payments into my current income was the most important thing for me. Luckily, they offer several different types of payment plans, so I could find a payment amount that worked for my budget and my wishes. Now I know that, when the time comes, my children will appreciate the fact that they don’t have to worry about fulfilling my wishes, because I have made them clearly known, and they will be bought and paid for already. All they’ll have to do is focus on saying goodbye.

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