What is the one piece of advice we give to young people in their twenties? Start planning for retirement.

We encourage planning for what seems like a far-off event, yet planning for a funeral doesn’t even cross our minds. Most people don’t think about dying until the average life expectancy number creeps into reach.

I think there is something healthy about planning a funeral before one’s time to die. It indicates that we’re not afraid to discuss death, it shows we have accepted the inevitable and planning a funeral forces us to get to know ourselves and evaluate our lives.

6 Reasons Why It’s Smart to Do When Your Young and Healthy

Below are a few things to think about when planning a funeral:

1. Location

Would you like your funeral at a traditional location such as a funeral home and church, or would you prefer a memorial service? How about the beach or on a mountainside? These days, the options are endless.

2. Obituary

There used to be a standard exercise in many high school English classes: Write your own obituary. This lesson forced us to evaluate our own character. Are we the kind of person we’d be proud of? In addition, penning our own obituary gives us the opportunity to take an honest look at our lives. Am I satisfied with my career? Am I taking action to achieve my dreams? Do I have the family that I desire? There is no better way to check in with oneself than by writing one’s own obituary.

Suggested Read: How To Write An Obituary – 6 Things You Need To Include

3. Music

If you don’t choose it, somebody else will. If you want pop songs during the visitation, go ahead and comprise a playlist. I just read about one young lady who wanted to make sure Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift were included in her music selection. It is very important for her to have a selection of music that represents her tastes.

Suggested Reads: Funeral Hymns: 10 Uplifting Funeral Hymns With Links (2020 Edition)

4. Readings and Eulogy

When you plan your own funeral, you get to choose the readings that inspire you. And, if it’s more meaningful to have your vivacious best friend give a eulogy instead of a dour relative who barely knows you, then go for it.

5. Flowers and Donations

Do you prefer brightly colored flowers or arrangements that are more subdued? Donations to the Humane Society or a local women’s shelter– the choice is yours if you plan ahead.

6. Funeral Meal

Are you a foodie or laid back when it comes to meals? Do you prefer comfort food or fancy finger sandwiches? How about an ice cream bar, or would you rather have a Texas sheet cake?

Planning one’s own funeral can be very empowering. It’s your last chance to say goodbye to friends and family on your terms and in your own way. Besides, revising this plan annually is like meeting with an investment advisor. Tastes and preferences change over the years. You may decide Justin Bieber is a little too risky of an investment and go with Ave Maria instead. A yearly revision also helps to keep one’s life on track and moving in the direction of goals and dreams. Finally, pre-planning and pre-funding a funeral may save your family money and relieve them from the stressors that accompany funeral planning in the midst of grief.

Suggested Read: Funeral Insurance: The Why, When, & How To Plan Ahead