Funerals and the Baby Boomer Generation
It comes as no surprise for most people to discover that funeral planning traditions stem from the lives and viewpoints of older generations. The reason so many of the services offered through a funeral home are geared toward those with conservative views is that the largest percentage of their clientele is part of an aging population.
As Baby Boomers move to the forefront in terms of funeral pre-plans, and start organizing memorial services for their parents, themselves, and loved ones, there will be a shift away from many of the tried-and-true methods of the past.
What Do Baby Boomers Want?
As a generation, Baby Boomers are noted for their ability to self-start and to put a stronger focus on family over tradition. In terms of the workforce, this has translated to a large number of older workers exploring new careers and finding ways to balance family and work .
These same findings are true within the funeral industry, as well. The recent rise in memorial services that celebrate life in a way that is unique, the higher proportion of low-key cremations, and video and web tributes are all part of the Baby Boomer outlook.
What Does this Mean for Funeral Plans?
Because of the Baby Boomer tendency to plan ahead and make financial-savvy decisions, there has been a recent rise in the amount of funeral pre-plans being made. For some, this means selecting and paying for the entire funeral upfront; for others, it involves taking out a funeral insurance policy or setting aside part of an estate to cover funeral costs. Either way, there is a chance for substantial savings when these types of scenarios are paid for in advance.
Other Baby Boomer decisions have less to do with money and more to do with celebrating. Because technology is such an important part of the Baby Boomer lifestyle, things like video feeds of funeral services, memorial websites, and online tributes are more common. You might also find that this generation is more open to unique caskets, non-traditional music choices, or even living funerals, in which the celebration takes place in the weeks or months before death occurs.
The Changing Face of the Funeral Industry
The choices that Baby Boomers make today will influence the direction the funeral industry takes over the next few decades. Although there will always be a demand for funeral services that are traditional and full of the somber reverence due to an occasion like this, expect there to be more and more opportunities to fuse technology and burial, and to put a focus on celebration rather than bereavement.
Although the funeral industry has been notoriously slow to adopt new changes and strategies, the Baby Boomer generation is likely to continue playing a role in the services being offered—and the price point at which you can expect them.