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Funeral and Burial Planners Survey

A sizeable portion of the 50+ population (34%) has engaged in some preplanning for a funeral or burial, and just under a quarter of individuals ages 50+ (23%) have prepaid at least a portion of funeral or burial expenses for themselves or someone else. These are key findings of telephone interviews conducted with 1,087 individuals ages 50+ in a study that updates similar research conducted by AARP in 1995, 1998, and 1999. While those who have preplanned or prepaid may seem to be a small segment of the population, this translates into approximately 29.5 million individuals ages 50+ in the U.S. who have preplanned any part of a funeral or burial for themselves or someone else and 20.0 million individuals ages 50+ in the U.S. who have prepaid for funerals or burials. Furthermore, a substantial portion of individuals in this age group expressed an interest in environmentally friendly alternatives to traditional funerals and burials.

Additional key findings indicate that:

  • Three out of five respondents (60%) had never been contacted about purchasing their funeral in advance.
  • Fewer than one-quarter of respondents (23%) had prepaid any part of funeral or burial expenses for themselves and/or someone else, a decrease from 1995 (28%) and 1999 (32%).
  • Respondents ages 65 and over (51% or 18.1 million) were more likely than respondents ages 55 to 64 (32% or 9.9 million) and 50 to 54 (17% or 3.5 million) to have prepaid funeral and burial expenses.

The survey was conducted by International Communications Research in May 2007. Further information about the survey may be obtained by contacting Lona Choi-Allum at 202-434-6333. (32 pages)

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