Baby Boomers (people born between 1946 and 1964) have unique buying habits and attitudes, and this generation’s needs are especially significant for funeral professionals to understand as Boomers age and consider end-of-life issues.
When taking Baby Boomers’ overarching characteristics into account, there are many reasons why preneed funeral planning just makes sense for them. Here are a few of the ways prearranging can meet their needs by aligning with their preferences.
1. They can add personalized details.
The National Funeral Directors Association notes that Baby Boomers are making funeral decisions based on values that are different from those of previous generations. One of the most notable trends is the desire for personalization. Consumers are realizing that they don’t have to stick to a traditional format and that funerals can be as unique as the people they celebrate. By planning ahead, Baby Boomers can think about how they want to incorporate the things that are really meaningful to them.
2. They can make their wishes known.
Going hand-in-hand with the concept of funeral personalization is the fact that advance funeral planning allows people to make their wishes known. An advance funeral plan allows Boomers to put their unique plans in writing to ensure they’re carried out in the way they would have wanted.
3. They can determine their digital legacy.
Social media platforms are allowing people to connect and share their experiences and personal stories – and Baby Boomers are among those who, according to Pew Research Center, are increasingly using social media. Depending on the social media platform in question, loved ones may have options to keep a deceased person’s account open (Facebook’s memorialized accounts are one example of this) or have it removed. Social media preferences can become part of the discussion when people plan ahead for their final wishes.
4. They can incorporate meaningful technology into the funeral.
Along with increasing social media usage, research (via MarketingProfs) shows that watching videos is a popular online activity among Boomers/seniors. There are many ways to incorporate videos into a funeral service, and planning ahead can help make those video elements even more meaningful. For example, people who prearrange can record, in their own words, some messages to be shared with loved ones at the funeral.
5. They can make plans for a parent.
Younger Baby Boomers may also find themselves classified in another group: the “sandwich generation.” People in this group find themselves simultaneously caring for dependent children and elderly adults. In 2013, Pew Research Center reported that nearly half of adults in their 40s and 50s have a parent 65 and older and are either raising a young child or financially supporting an adult child. This group may not be ready to consider advance funeral planning for themselves, but it can be an important service as they talk to their parents about their final wishes.
6. They can relieve a burden from loved ones.
Surveys of this generation’s attitudes show that Boomers worry about the future of their children. The Pew Research Center revealed that 34% of Boomers believe their children will not enjoy as good a standard of living as they themselves have now (in contrast to 21% of people in other generational groups reporting the same belief). Prearranging and funding a funeral can help relieve the burden on loved ones when the time comes.
7. They can achieve peace of mind.
Homesteaders’ 2013 survey of policy owners shows that virtually all of them are either completely or very satisfied with their decision to prearrange. In addition to providing an opportunity to rate their satisfaction, the survey asked participants to comment on their experience. Their feedback included comments such as:
- “I’m real satisfied. I’m just so happy that I got it done.”
- “After you get it done you have peace of mind that nobody will have to take care of that for you.”
- “I think it’s the best decision I’ve ever made.”