Empty Nesters – What now?

The youngsters have grown up, they’ve managed to move on with occupations, connections and even homeownership or rental. Today your house has become strangely silent. It is easy to feel nostalgic, loss and possibly sadness, yet this is simply another stage in your life! A continual development of what you have built.

Yet, whether it’s you and your partner or just you by yourself, it is important to acknowledge that having your ‘chicks’ flown the coop should be viewed as an achievement, confirming that you’ve performed your task of being a parent. For some parents they may feel a loss while others embrace the new found freedom!

I for one don’t like being categorized or stereotyped. I am original and different than everyone else. But when I stop to think about this, I am just like most people, thinking they are different and therefore fit a certain type of description. My wife and I are on the cusp of being empty nesters , I find myself looking at what I want in life as I move closer to having to make that decision. I know I have 3-5 years before this reality will hit but I find myself torn between being too involved in my children’s lives and being too uninvolved.

My thoughts keep taking me to; will I stay in town or can I enjoy a warmer climate. For me personally, I think this is my future lifestyle. Being able to run the organization at arms length, from the comfort of a warm tropical waterfront home office. But what about the children and grandchildren? I’m thinking a more manageable home close to them but independent (wherever they move to) and then enjoying the winters down south. This is what I see my future empty nesting lifestyle looking like.

Having a European background, I remember the plastic on the living room furniture and a dining room that was exclusive to guests. Heck we weren’t even allowed to come in through the front door! As I grew up, married and had children, we always used every room in the house. Dining room –we used it. The gold rimmed china from our wedding – we use it. Dining table – used for diners and meetings I hold at home. Every room is used, but with the kids not being home as much, it feels a little like a museum. Being used less and less. How much usable space will I really need?

For me empty nesting will afford me more time to work on the things I like, further developing my business – working smarter not harder. Not having the pressures of ‘raising a family’ yet still remaining close to my family. Exploring photography, helping others starting their business. Maybe even teach or coach and hopefully more snuggling with my wife!

Retirement is more difficult for me, as I can’t see myself as getting ‘old’. I see myself getting ‘older’ but not old. Working will always be a part of what I do and I have planned my career so that I may continue enjoying it into my retirement years.

I may be a little different than most, thinking about what my future will look like and actually assembling some sort of plan for it. Having experienced the passing of loved ones, working the 55+ market and managing senior transitions has really emphasised how important our later years really are. Yet it’s difficult to share those thoughts and feeling unless others understand them too. We just ‘aren’t there’ when we are younger.

What does empty nesting look like to you?

These tips and scenarios are that of Paul Cutajar. Founder of The LifeStyle55 Real Estate Network, focused on implementing  programs for Mature clients . Combining Master Accredited Senior Agents  REALTORS®, Financial Advisors, Professional Care givers, Sell n Stay programs and Affordable Housing for Seniors.  www.TheLifeStyle55Network.com