Empty Nesters Not Wallowing in Self-Pity

October 15, 2013 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – Empty-nest syndrome may be a thing of the past.

Empty nesters are enjoying better social lives, traveling more frequently and have more financial freedom, according to the most recent Del Webb Baby Boomer Survey from national homebuilder PulteGroup Inc. As a whole, nine out of 10 empty nesters—defined as those whose children have permanently moved out of the home—indicated they are happy and look forward to more social and personal time now that the kids are gone. 

Empty nesters said they enjoy:

• Having more personal time (95%);

• Lower grocery bills and fewer expenses (91%);

• Spending more time with their significant other or dating (85%);

• Going on a dream vacation (80%);

• Socializing with friends (80%); and  

• No longer attending school-related functions (68%).

The empty nesters surveyed were asked what they would rather do if their adult child was facing a hard time with finances—help support him financially or allow him to move back home. The answer was clear: Sixty-eight percent said they would rather lend their child financial support than have him move back home. The survey revealed 70% have turned their child’s room into another room for personal use—34% as a guest room; 14% as an office; 4% as a media room and 2% as a storage/junk room.

When asked if respondents are planning to move now that the kids are out of the house, more than half (55%) indicated they plan to move to a new home sometime in the future, with nearly 10% saying they may move out of state or to a warmer climate.

No longer budgeting for kid-related expenses, empty nesters are now saving for big-ticket items besides their retirement and a new home. Seventy-eight percent are saving for a trip of a lifetime and/or more traveling. Other top mentions: Fifty percent are saving for their children and grandchildren’s inheritance; 38% are saving for a sports car, boat or other recreational vehicle; and 21% are saving for a second/vacation home.

The Del Webb Baby Boomer Survey was conducted online by Russell Research from September 13 through 16, among 509 online empty nesters across the U.S.