To uncover perceptions, emotions, attitudes, and behaviors of empty nesters, Life Reimagined commissioned a survey. This report presents findings about current empty nesters (whose last child moved out within the last 5 years) and soon-to-be empty nesters (whose last child will move out within the next two years) who are at least 40 years old and have a child who is at least 17 years old.
Key findings include the following:
- The term “Empty Nester” is widely understood and disliked by few.
- Soon-to-be empty nesters experience a wide range of emotions. They worry most about their children and missing their children, but it gets easier over time.
- Adjusting to life as an empty nester does not take as long as anticipated.
- Not only do they quickly become comfortable, but empty nesters are also satisfied with their experience.
- Empty nesters do not do as many things as they anticipate.
The online survey was fielded by Morar Consulting, under the direction of mBooth, from August 12-21, 2016. Survey data was weighted using estimated population incidence levels for each segment and sub-segment obtained through the recruitment/screening process. The segments are current empty nesters (whose last child moved out within the last 5 years), soon-to-be empty nesters (whose last child will move out within the next two years), and boomerang/former empty nesters (who was previously an empty-nester but at least one child has now moved back home). For more information contact Colette Thayer at CThayer@aarp.org.
Thayer, Colette. Empty Nesterdom: Attitudes and Behaviors of Current and Soon-to-Be Empty Nesters. Washington, DC: AARP Research, May 2017. https://doi.org/10.26419/res.00165.001