What Motivates the Baby Boomer Generation to Prearrange?

As Baby Boomers begin thinking about end-of-life issues, funeral professionals should understand their attitudes and preferences. Whether or not someone from this generation is ready to make advance funeral plans for themself, their perceptions of funeral service will shape how funeral professionals promote the value of their services.

To help you identify how you can align your funeral home’s services to the Baby Boomer generation’s preferences, let’s explore the following topics:

  • What is the Baby Boomer generation?
  • What motivates Baby Boomers to prearrange?
  • What advance funeral planning options do Baby Boomer’s prefer?


What is the Baby Boomer Generation?

The Baby Boomer generation includes people born between 1946 and 1964. Most demographers split Baby Boomers into two groups: those born between 1946 and 1955 (i.e., came of age in the 1960s) and those born between 1956 and 1964 (i.e., came of age in the 1970s). The former group – Leading-edge Boomers – experienced tremendous social and political upheaval during their formative years, including high-profile assassinations and the Vietnam War. It’s common for Leading-edge Boomers to be individualistic and social-cause oriented. The latter group of Baby Boomers – Generation Jones – grew up during Watergate, the Cold War, the oil crisis and high inflation, making them tend toward less optimism and more distrust.

What Motivates Baby Boomers to Prearrange?

Baby Boomers have unique buying habits and attitudes, even when making advance funeral plans. Funeral professionals should consider the following factors when working and communicating with clients in this demographic:

  • They are the first group of people turning age 65 who believe they have more than 20 years to live.
  • According to Pew Research Center, they stay in the labor force longer.
  • They may be budget-conscious because they provide financial support for their dependent children and their elderly or ill parents. Because of their commitments to both the older and younger generations, you’ll often see this group referred to as the “Sandwich Generation.”
  • Their desires for memorialization are likely quite different than those from previous generations.

According to our latest Preneed Motivators report, all Baby Boomers are more likely to have looked for information online before prearranging. The research further found that policy owners in the Leading-edge Boomer group are more likely to:

  • Have had professional assistance with their will and Medicare planning.

 Whereas policy owners in the Generation Jones group are more likely to:

  • Have recommended prearranging to both family and friends.
  • Be motivated by the loss of a loved one or dealing with a will.
  • Have first heard of prearranging from an advertisement.


Accounting for these groups’ similarities, differences and overarching characteristics and aligning your funeral home’s services with their preferences will help you better meet their prearrangement needs. Keep reading to discover how to enhance your service offerings to align with this generation’s preferences.

Baby Boomer Advance Funeral Planning Preferences


Add Personalized Details

The National Funeral Directors Association notes that Baby Boomers make funeral decisions based on values that differ from previous generations. One of the most notable trends is their desire for personalization. Consumers realize 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 meaningful to them.

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 lets Baby Boomers put their unique plans in writing, ensuring their families can carry out their wishes in the way the deceased would have wanted.

Determine Their Digital Legacy

Social media platforms allow 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 option) or have it removed. Social media preferences can become part of the discussion when people plan ahead for their final wishes.

Incorporate Meaningful Technology Into Their Funeral

Along with increasing social media usage, the same study from Pew Research Center shows that watching videos is a popular online activity among Baby Boomers. 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 share with loved ones at the funeral.

Make Plans for a Parent

As mentioned above, many younger Baby Boomers fall into another group: the Sandwich Generation.” People in this group often simultaneously care for dependent children and elderly adults. A Pew Research Center study reported that nearly half of adults in their 40s and 50s have a parent 65 or older and either raise a young child or financially support an adult child. This group may not be ready to consider advance funeral planning for themselves, but it can be a valuable service to offer as they talk to their parents about their final wishes.

Relieve a Burden from Loved Ones

According to several surveys, the Baby Boomer generation shows attitudes of worrying about their children's future. The Pew Research Center revealed that 34% of Baby Boomers believe their children will not enjoy as good a standard of living as their parents 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.


To position your funeral home as an organization capable of providing value and service to Baby Boomers, you must understand their motivations and preferences and align your service offerings with their needs and wishes.

This approach may demand different marketing and sales tactics, including messaging and methods of communication. Investing in a market analysis rooted in market research can help you uncover information about attitudes and perceptions of Baby Boomers unique to your community. And while conducting a market analysis may seem like a daunting task, you can enlist the help of your Homesteaders Account Executive, who can work with you to complete the market analysis and develop a strategy for acting on your results.

Download the full Preneed Motivators report to access more insights about the Baby Boomer generation and find solutions for how you can position your funeral home as the go-to resource in your community.

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