Baby Boomers and Funeral Plans
There is no mistaking that the Baby Boomer Generation has shaped much of our culture over the past fifty years or so—and that includes funeral planning. With almost 80 million individuals who share the same general values and outlooks, Baby Boomers have directed everything from the political landscape (they hold the most U.S. offices of any other generation right now) to the economy (they are the single largest economic group in the United States). Baby Boomers have more discretionary income than any other age group and are estimated to control 70 percent of the total net worth of American households.
It is no wonder, then, that the next wave of funeral trends is likely to cater to this crowd. Most Baby Boomers are currently in their 60s, an ideal time to begin thinking about funeral plans and to set aside funds for this process. Many Baby Boomers have recently lost their own parents, and have experience with funeral planning and have strong ideas about what they’d like to do differently for their own funerals. And most importantly, they have the money to pre-plan a funeral exactly how they want it.
How Baby Boomers May Change the Funeral Industry
The funeral industry has long been a field where tradition dictates most of the decisions. People have been opting for simple elegance, quiet grace, and reverence for so long that these options tend to override new technologies or industries, which means many funerals take on a similar tone.
However, with advanced techniques in body interment (think everything from cremation or direct burial to resomation) and more options when it comes to personalizing a funeral, Baby Boomers may help push things to the next level.
Baby Boomers are known for not only having more money to spend, but for knowing what they want and how they want it. They are responsible for the great changes in the coffee industry (where you can get a latte in pretty much any flavor and type you want), and we can only assume that they will bring similar changes to the death care industry. In fact, according to NBC News, funeral homes are already seeing more things like customized caskets in showy themes and increased pre-need sales.
Planning a Funeral No Matter What Your Age
There is no question that Baby Boomers are in an ideal position to begin their advance funeral planning, even if it’s only to start setting money aside or to purchase burial insurance. But remember, you don’t have to wait until your 50s or 60s to start thinking ahead. Whether you want a traditional funeral with all the somber grace of years past, or something more whimsical, the time is right to sit down with a funeral director or your estate lawyer to begin outlining your final wishes.
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By Amy Johnson