A new lease of later life - the perks of an empty nest for over 55s

For many parents, seeing their child move out can trigger a wide range of emotions. Empty nest syndrome often brings with it a process of grief and sadness and can feel quite bittersweet for parents experiencing this sudden change within their lives. However, this transitional period can also lead to a new opportunity for parents to redefine who they are what they want. As one door closes, another can open to new opportunities and a new lease of later life for over 55s.

In a recent survey conducted by Key*, a thousand current and future empty-nesters discussed the pros and cons of their children moving out listing tidier homes, lower food bills and cheaper energy as perks of their children moving out. In fact, 65% of parents admitted they were looking forward to the day their kids finally left home – although they also confirmed that the felt a certain degree of grief watching their last child move away. Despite the positives, 61% will feel ‘very sad’ when their last child moves out.

However, they also agreed that their children moving out will give them much more freedom than they had before and were open to the benefits of an empty nest. Their new living situation gives parents the chance to reassess who they are and what they want for their home now that they have the space to do it.

When asked just under four in ten (38%) turned their children’s former rooms into something else – with a guest bedroom the top choice. Another 12% had already cleared out the ‘clutter’ their children had left behind. Around a fifth converted the space into a home office, while more than one in twenty opted for a dressing room. They also used the space to build dedicated art studios, home gyms and even a bar.

While parents might miss their children, the distance can also be a blessing and almost a third of adults aged 65-74 feel the relationship with their children has improved since they moved out of the family home. The move can help them redefine their parent/child relationship ready for a positive new phase in life. Nevertheless, many parents are happy to have an ‘open door’ policy for kids to come and move back in if they want to.

Could equity release help your clients make the most of their empty nest?
In 2021, the home of mum and dad has been a major factor in helping children move out and buy their first home. Key’s FY 2021 Market Monitor** report listed one of the most popular uses of equity release was gifting money to their loved ones to help them on the property ladder. In fact, 22% of customers in 2021 chose to use some of the funds released from their homes for this purpose, boosted by the Stamp Duty Holiday that ended in September 2021. Similarly, 34% of clients chose to make home and garden improvements with equity release.
If you have a client in mind, Key Partnerships can help. We provides a robust referral process to help you broaden your advice proposition without compliance responsibility. 

Alongside supporting your clients, for every case that completes, you could also add a valuable income stream to your business. In 2021, the average Key Partnerships referral fee paid on each completed case was £1,980***. To find out more on how to refer clients, visit us here.

*Key Research
**Key Market Monitor FY 2021
*** Key Partnerships average referral payment per completed case across the UK in 2021