Boomers Say They Prefer the Empty Nest

Baby boomers whose adult children have moved out of the home are much more likely to provide monetary assistance than have them move back in, a new survey reveals, and a majority have already repurposed those vacated rooms.

Empty nesters would like to stay that way, as 68% of those surveyed said they’d rather financially assist their adult children than have them move back home, according to the Del Webb Baby Boomer Survey, conducted in September 2013 on more than 500 empty nesters across the United States. 

“Once kids leave the home, parents take a close look at their home and often find their large home no longer fits their new lifestyle. Do they need all this space?  Do they want to maintain the large yard?  So, they think about downsizing or moving to a new area,”  said Fred Ehle, vice president of brand marketing for Del Webb, a division of homebuilder PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE:PHM). “Often, they look at redecorating their kids’ former rooms as a temporary solution before making the leap to move.”

A majority of those surveyed (70%) had repurposed their children’s rooms, often converting it for personal use, upon becoming an empty nester. 


Home buyers older than 50—including boomers, empty nesters, and pre-retirees—are in the housing market’s fastest-growing category, according to the National Association of Home Builders, with the 55+ range responsibly for more than 20% of new homes sold in the 2012.  

About 55% of boomers in the “empty nest” category said they plan to move now that their kids are out of the house.

“Becoming an empty nester marks a new life phase, and downsizing in place or moving to a new home is an exciting part of the transition away from their primary career or from the day-to-day rearing of school-aged children,” said Ehle. “Whether staying close to home or moving across the country, there are many options for empty nesters as they plan for their newfound freedom.” 

View PulteGroup’s infographic from the survey. 

Written by Alyssa Gerace

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