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Empty nesters want kids to move out and move on


Photo: Finn Rindahl

Empty nesters are enjoying better social lives, traveling more frequently, and having more financial freedom.

In a survey of 509 adults age 40 to 70, nine out of 10 empty nesters, defined as those whose children have permanently moved out of the home, indicate they’re happy and look forward to more social and personal time now that the kids are gone. This age group includes baby boomers who are age 49 to 67.

The top responses included:

  • Having more personal time, 95 percent.
  • Lower grocery bills and fewer expenses, 91 percent.
  • Spending more time with their significant other or dating, 85 percent.
  • Going on a dream vacation, 80 percent.
  • Socializing with friends, 80 percent.
  • No longer attending school-related functions, 68 percent.

Lend a hand, not a room

The empty nesters surveyed were asked what they would rather do if their adult child was facing a hard time with finances – help support them financially or allow them to move back home.  

The answer? 68 percent said they'd lend their child financial support rather than allowing them to move back home.

The survey also showed that 70 percent have turned their child's room into another room for personal use, including 34 percent as a guest room; 14 percent as an office; four percent as a media room; and two percent as a storage room. 

Savings inspired by wanderlust

No longer budgeting for kids-related expenses, empty nesters are now saving for "big ticket" items.

The vast majority of empty nesters in the survey, 78 percent, are saving for a trip of a lifetime and/or more traveling.

Other top mentions: 50 percent are saving for their children and grandchildren's inheritance; 38 percent are saving for a sports car, boat, or other recreational vehicle; and 21 percent are saving for a second/vacation home.

The survey was conducted online by Russell Research as a Del Webb Baby Boomer Survey for the national homebuilder PulteGroup Inc.

Copyright 2013, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist


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