Baby Boomers Set their Sights on Distant Memorials

Thursday, August 29, 2013


Ed vividly remembers the day he saw the invitation sitting by the phone, his eyes riveted to the words, “Come celebrate with us at our destination wedding.”

Destination wedding? he thought. Don’t all weddings involve a destination, such as to a church and reception hall?

This invitation, from a great-niece, required a bit more mileage: to Mexico, which Ed thought was certainly some sort of joke.

So you can imagine Ed’s surprise when the term “destination burial” first floated past his ears. Not only does he think his wife’s friends are bluffing, but he tosses a ten-dollar bill in the middle of the table. Grabbing a phone book, he opens it to “F” and places a wager: call five funeral homes and ask them; go ahead and ask if they’ve ever heard the term. Maybe then he won’t feel as though he is being set up for a punch line, a folly for another good-natured joke.

The first funeral home answers and promptly puts the call on hold. The second funeral home promises to put the call through to the director—but didn’t specify whether it would happen on the same day. As the minutes tick by on hold, other cell phones are called into action. Time’s a wastin’ when there’s ten dollars on the table... Read more about this eMorial Funeral Planning story

The Effect of Burials on the Environment is Greater Than You Believe

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Effect of Burials on the Environment is Enough to Turn You Green

Joe Romain knows how to paint a nostalgic picture of Sunday afternoon family bliss: Mom and Dad would pack a cooler filled with prosciutto, provolone and Italian beef sandwiches and off the family would go, with a load of toys and sporting goods in tow.

Other family members would be waiting for them, eager to play catch and to catch up on the week’s events. Sometimes, they would savor grilled, herbed tomatoes sprinkled with mozzarella cheese—if only forgetful Uncle John remembered his portable grill.

By sundown, and after passing around several carafes of red wine, the adults would be stifling the giggles as they rolled up blankets and extinguished the coals, for one solemn gesture remained: they would kneel and say a… read more at eMorial Planner Funeral Planning Website.

Baby Boomers Change For The Times

Friday, August 23, 2013

The clear-glass canning jar atop Janet Edman’s refrigerator is halfway filled with quarters.

Call it her penalty jar—the result of her efforts to eradicate the term “retirement community” from the vocabulary of visitors and even family members who dare infer that the tulip-lined haven in which she lives is home to “old folks,” “geezers” and far more offensive monikers that make her tea boil.

To Janet, age 62, twenty-five cents is a small price to pay for such a faux pas. After all, Del Webb’s Sun City in Huntley, Illinois—one of the largest “active adult communities” in the Midwest—caters to the on-the-go, live-life-to-the-fullest Baby Boom generation.

There are about 76 million Baby Boomers in the United States, and Janet is surrounded by a good number of them at Sun City. A Baby Boomer lives in every one of the development’s 5,500 homes.

If visitors don’t notice that this is an “active” environment, then Janet happily points to the evidence: Del Webb includes a golf course, tennis courts, ample walking trails and swimming pools, both indoors and outdoors. A huge lodge features exercise and weight training equipment and rooms for people to indulge an array of interests, from ceramics and sewing to computers and ballroom dancing. Here, activity abounds; people are always on the move, even if they need a nap in the middle of the day to keep up.

In warm weather, many residents putt around on golf carts to get around the community. Her mostly retired neighbors are friendly, appropriately nosey and always planning something: day trips to museums and casinos, night-time Bunco and card games and Janet’s personal favorite: “drinks on the drive,” during which residents bring their lawn chairs to a neighbor’s driveway and drink, snack and….. read more about this story


Thursday, August 22, 2013

The headline on the flyer was at once simplistic and provocative: “Come talk to us and we’ll try to help you, too.”
No dummy when it comes to even benign sales pitches, Marlene seized upon the unwritten: Help? So what’s it going to cost me for this “help”?
In this case, just a few hours of time. A few phone calls confirmed the veracity of the flyer: a group of Ph.D. candidates from a Chicago area college wished to convene a group of 65-year-old and older Baby Boomers to talk about choosing a retirement lifestyle, “staying close” to adult-age children, dealing with chronic health issues, and making choices regarding death, dying and end-of-life planning.

read more