Every day 10,000 more people are turning 65 years old. I saw this on a television commercial for insurance. This is an amazing statistic that announces the coming of the Baby Boom generation. This pace is supposed to continue for the next 20 years.
The television ad might have been talking about insurance, but since I am going to be a part of this migration, I started thinking about all of the other consequences. This huge influx of people known as the Baby Boom generation has changed a lot of things as they have grown up. This is going to be no different.
As they age, they will impact the housing market for senior living units and retirement community dwellings. They will impact the travel industry and how senior citizens will travel and spend their money. They will impact the health insurance industry and how health care is provided. They will also impact the funeral industry and all of the those involved with preparing to die.
The percentage of people that are choosing cremation has risen from about 4% in the 1980’s to around 40% nationwide today. That rate is expected to rise to about 60% in the next 15 years. It is already over 70% in some communities and is over 50% in the metropolitan area that I live in. The cremation process itself is also going to change as it responds to the environmental pressures and wishes of this generation. There is a new kind of cremation known as bio cremation that will use about 1/8 of the energy used in the traditional cremation and be carried out using water, pressure, heat, and an alkaline solution. It will not have the pollutants of the cremation using fire and gas.
In that same vein, there are more cemeteries setting aside land for green burials and proposing a plan to the family that will incorporate no maintenance and a possibility of reuse of the land in 20 years. Memorials will be a natural stone or a planted tree. I am convinced that more changes will be on the horizon.