Becoming empty nesters is a huge milestone for Aussie seniors with many experiencing a range of emotions when their children leave home. On one hand, parents are proud to see their offspring make their way in the world, but on the other, the lack of day-to-day contact after years of living under one roof can be a difficult transition.
However, according to new research released by the Australian Seniors Insurance Agency, most Boomers are embracing the new-found freedom by spending more time on their own hobbies and interests.
More than half of seniors reported feeling happy after their children moved out, while a slightly smaller proportion of 41.1 per cent said they were sad about the development.
Perhaps not surprisingly, it was the mothers who found it that little more difficult to say goodbye to their children than the fathers, at 49.4 per cent and 31.4 per cent respectively.
For Starts at 60 members, the departure of their beloved children was somewhat of an emotional rollercoaster as they came to terms with the transition. Some claimed it was a very tough situation to handle, while others said they were very much proud parents to hear their children were taking the next step in their lives.
“[I] felt a sense of lost when daughter no:1 moved out at 17 years for educational purpose. Took a long time to get used to an empty room, [SIC]” one person said.
Another added: “I have 5 children and all have moved out of home. I was happy for them to start their adult lives and be in charge of their own future. If they had not moved out I would have felt a failure as a parent.”
While it is obviously a massive change both personally and financially, the research showed after the initial shock of the situation had worn off, most felt a sense of freedom.
A total of 74.2 per cent admitted they enjoyed the extra free time at their disposal, with almost three in five seniors reporting they were spending more time on their hobbies and interests after their children left home. This included exercising, eating out and socialising with friends.
As an added bonus, a significant proportion of Boomers claimed they had taken advantage of the extra space in their homes, with three in 10 saying they had enjoyed transforming their children’s old rooms into a space for their own hobbies.