How Baby Boomers are Changing Funeral Traditions


Who are Baby Boomers?

We’ve all heard the term, “Baby Boomer,” and if you were born between the year 1946 and 1964, then you are considered part of this group. The Baby Boomer generation spans different social and economic times. Those born in the first years of the Baby Boom overall grew up during a period of economic growth but might have memories of rationing while the world recovered from World War II. And early memories of later Boomers might be the economic hardships of the late 70s and early 80s. Baby Boomers were influential, helping shape music, pioneering fashion trends, and fighting for social and political issues. While generational labels and the marketing theories about their shared characteristics is not an exact science, we are seeing some commonalities in how Baby Boomers view death.

How Baby Boomers View Death

In the same way, Baby Boomers were known for doing things their way; they are approaching death as a way to express their lives in a meaningful way, opting for end of life celebrations, rather than mourning their death. Baby Boomers see traditional funerals as impersonal and morbid. They want their personality and experiences to be reflected in their final farewell. End of life celebrations are being held at favorite restaurants, bars, or hiking spots. It’s not uncommon to see favors being handed out, like Grandma’s famous cookies or displaying a favorite piece of sports equipment or a sports team jersey.

Baby Boomers Like to Plan Ahead

Boomers are making funeral arrangements ahead of time to ensure they get the funeral they want. As a result, pre-need sales are increasing. The mom and pop local funeral homes are on the decline making way for newer funeral businesses that offer a full range of packages. Planning and paying for cremation or a funeral in advance not only eliminates the financial burden from families but removes uncertainty about fulfilling a family member’s wishes at a time that is typically filled with emotion and sadness.

Smart Cremation can help you plan for your end of life celebration, offering affordable and straightforward direct cremations. 

Baby Boomers and Green Funerals

Baby Boomers known for their passion in preserving the environment are also choosing green funerals as a cost-effective, eco-friendly alternative to traditional burials. The body is placed in a biodegradable coffin or shroud, with no embalming and placed directly into the ground. The body naturally decomposes over time, and the gravesite can return to its natural state. Avoiding harmful embalming fluid being absorbed into the earth, saving on natural resources like wood and steel typically used for coffins, and costing about half the amount of a traditional funeral, it is fueling a demand for green cemeteries to open across the US. 

Baby Boomers and Cremation

This new era of approaching death as a meaningful and unique experience that celebrates life has generated an increase in cremation and home funerals. In 2019, it’s projected that 55% of Americans will opt for eco-friendlier and less costly cremations, compared to that of just 5% in 1970. Cremation costs about one-third of a traditional burial and saves on natural resources making it an eco-friendlier solution. With a range of personalized options available, cremation is a popular choice with Boomers.

Smart Cremation can help design your custom cremation package. Whether you want your ashes scattered at sea, delivered in an urn to a designated loved one, fashioned into a keepsake or a timeless piece of cremation jewelry. Smart Cremation offers a complete range of possibilities.

With 10,000 Baby Boomers reaching the age of 65 each day, the next few years is likely to see some significant shifts in funeral traditions.