A study published not too long ago declared empty-nesters to be among the happiest demographics living in the US. Apparently very few sensations can compare to the sense of relief that attends a child achieving security via a stable job and their own place to live. It can be assumed then that the opposite must be true when things don’t quite work out after pomp and circumstance. As of 2018, more recent graduates are living at home than ever, particularly in areas crippled by the housing bubble of 2000.
An uneven solution composed of underemployment, career malaise, and an ever-changing job market has slackened two generations in their race to adulthood—a consequence that not all parents mind. Although a new study, conducted by 55Places of 1,860 empty nesters, revealed that a quarter threw a party when their birds took flight, but 66% experienced grief and loneliness as a result.
The study authors wrote, “According to respondents, becoming an empty nester is bittersweet. Nearly 70% of empty nesters surveyed said they enjoy their lifestyle, but 66% have experienced “empty nest syndrome,” or a feeling of grief and loneliness since their children moved out of the house.”
Nesting sad face
The average parent surveyed agreed that 21 is an optimal age for a child to move out of the house, even if just about half said their child was older than this when they found their own place. Thirty-eight percent of the children actually end up moving back, and 40% of respondents were not okay with it. Reasoned primarily by financial factors, 60% of parents expect their children will return to base in the very near future. Forty percent of parents consistently have to help their children make payments, with the average nester spending over $250 on their kids a month-fractioned by cell phone bills (24%), rent (19%), groceries (18%), student loans (15%), medical bills (14%), car payment (12%), wedding (12%), dining out (10%), and mortgages (8%).
Despite the wealth of items just indexed, 86% of participants believe that their children will be financially independent within the next two years. Of the 62% of empty nesters that feel more financially stable since their kids moved out, 50% are dedicating their surplus to retirement savings, while others use it for important bills and principally paying off their own mortgages.
One thing distance hasn’t strained is communication, with the vast majority either talking to their children every day or at least once a week. Strangely, 30% of nesters say they actually talk to their children more since they left the house. Spouses additionally reported growing closer to their spouses after their kids moved out.
The authors wrote, “Being an empty nester certainly has its pros and cons. Even though the house might be quieter, it doesn’t mean parents aren’t enjoying it. Overall, 80% said they’ve been spending more one-on-one time with their spouse, 63% said they’ve become closer with their spouse, and more than half (58%) said they are now more intimate with their spouse since the kids moved out.”