Ah, the empty nestâ€”that tranquil, far-off place harried parents dream about. An idyllic state where the kids are grown and on their own, couples reacquaint, and long-deferred leisure fills hours once claimed by domestic obligation. Whether or not reality fulfills those dreamy expectations, the empty nest is a new reality for millions of Baby Boomers each year. And more than a state of being, itâ€™s also a physical place of sticks and bricksâ€”and thatâ€™s where we come in.
As Better Homes and GardensÂ® Real Estate reported following a 2014 national survey, percent of Boomers say they plan to move from their current home. Their reasons, as diverse as this generation is large, include downsizing; cutting back on maintenance; being near recreation, family, or jobs; and finally buying their dream home. Many in this middle-age-and-older cohortâ€”the youngest Boomers are at least 50 and the oldest turn 69 this yearâ€”will have ample means to follow their hearts.
In fact, many do, as a report from the Demand Institute found that those who plan to move and downsize are actually upsizers, preferring smaller homes but with luxury features or high-end amenities, which reflects the considerable size of their savings. Collectively, they stand to receive the greatest inheritance in history, with estimates valuing the haul at $10 trillion to $15 trillion.
Meet the empty-nester
Seventy-two percent of empty-nesters already have grandchildren (they are getting older, arenâ€™t they?). They value their free time, and 53 percent say they have plenty of it. That number will surely rise as more retireâ€”as theyâ€™re doing it at a rate of about 10,000 a day.
Getting away is important to this group, 56 percent saying they plan to take a vacation within six months. And while they may call it vacation, many of these Boomers take their time away pretty seriously â€” nearly a third (31 percent) identifying travel as a true hobby.
Thirty-six percent of these folks see themselves living near family ten years from now. If the figure seems low, it probably reflects an expectation that their children will follow a trend established firmly during the Baby Boomerâ€™s prime working yearsâ€”following their career dreams across the miles and time zones.
Learn the rest of our empty nester fast facts and find out what opportunities they present to real estate professionals in the latest Clean Slate post!