Boomers Really Think About Becoming "Empty-Nesters"
Baby Boomers - the 76 million people born between 1946 and 1964
who are now 40-58 years old - were recently polled on their feelings
about becoming Empty Nesters and its impact on their retirement
past spring, the Del Webb Baby Boomer Survey reveals Boomers
are embracing the idea of Empty Nesting, the stage in life when
children move out of their parent's home.
The survey found
- 71% say parenting
was a wonderful experience, but it wasn't easy; roughly 19% admit
it was more challenging than they expected.
- 58% are emotionally
prepared for the kids to leave the house.
- 26% felt
"like a newlywed once again" after the kids left home
- 36% will
move to a new home when they become Empty Nesters.
- 26% are considering
purchasing a home in an age-qualified active adult community.
- 25% expect
their adult children to move back in with them at some point;
but 28% plan to make those children pay rent.
- 31% had no
debt associated with their children when the kids left home.
income increased for 67% of Boomers after they became Empty Nesters;
60% plan to save the new-found wealth, and about half plan to
spend it traveling.
Boomers think they are going to be very upset, but when it happens
they are very much relieved when their children leave home,"
says Linda Burghardt, author of The Happy Empty Nest. "They
know they have done a good job in parenting and now they can get
their own lives back. Members of the Baby Boomer generation have
very high expectations for the Empty Nest."
Boomers like the idea of the Empty Nest, their "alone time"
may not last long. Of Boomers polled, 25% anticipate their adult
children will move back in with them, while 15% have grown children
who already returned to the nest. Called "boomerang kids,"
this is a growing social phenomenon. In fact, today more than 25%
of Americans ages 18-34 live with their parents, according to U.S.
Census figures. For 18-24-year-olds, 56% of men and 43% of women
live with one or both parents. These numbers may increase too. According
to a job search Web site, 62% of college students say they expect
to live at home after graduation.
On the subject
of "boomeranging," results of the Del Webb survey show
the following among Boomers:
- 65% would
be "happy" to help if their grown kids needed to move
- Almost one-fourth
(23%) would feel "obligated" to help.
- Of parents
eager to find other living arrangements for their adult children,
fathers (33%) were more likely to do so than mothers (14%).
addition to their grown kids, many Boomers will have to deal with
their own aging parents who may need assistance and decide to move
in with them. The survey found:
- 24% of Boomers
anticipate that their parents or in-laws will move in with them.
- About one-half
say they would be happy to have their parents or in-laws move
- 51% say they
would feel obligated to help.
- 17% would
be "eager" to find their parents or in-laws another
- 8% of Boomers
would charge their parents rent.