After years on the job and endless family responsibilities, baby boomers are ready to redefine what it means to be retired. A composite of Del Webb Baby Boomer surveys completed throughout 2013 found that boomers plan to use retirement to revamp their social lives and focus on their overall physical well-being.
Del Webb, an adult community builder and a brand of national home building company PulteGroup, Inc., has been surveying the 50 and older demographic for more than 15 years, seeking to better understand the attitudes and opinions of the generation born between 1946 and 1964.
More than half (57 percent) of baby boomers indicated in 2013 that they intend to retire by age 65 – compared to the median retirement age of 67 in 2010. Once retired, they hope to find better balance in their lives by placing an increased emphasis on:
Activities and hobbies that enhance physical/mental well-being (62 percent) Spending time/focusing on family (51 percent); and Traveling (34 percent)
While family remains important to baby boomers, not having children around presents a newfound freedom. As a whole, nine of ten current empty nester boomers indicated they are happy, and they look forward to increased personal time (95 percent), time with their significant other or dating (85 percent), and socializing with friends (85 percent) now that the kids are gone.
This freedom becomes so dear to them that 68 percent said they would rather lend their child financial support than allow them to move back home. When asked if boomers are planning to move now that the kids have left the nest, more than half (55 percent) say they are planning to move to a new home at some point in the future, with nearly 10 percent indicating they may move out of state or to a warmer climate.
"For the first time in what may seem like a lifetime, boomers are transitioning to a new stage in their lives that is filled with zest and personal discovery," said Fred Ehle, vice president of brand marketing for Del Webb. "They are able to re-evaluate their lives and focus on what is most important to them – which tend to be friends, family and a healthy lifestyle. Once they do so, they optimize every available opportunity to live their 'new' lives to its fullest extent."
Part of this newfound freedom can also involve finding new friends and companions later in life through dating. When asked about their attitudes toward dating, 56 percent of single boomers said they are open to dating – showing love and companionship knows no age limits. Forty-five percent of single boomers said they are actively dating, but not necessarily looking for love and marriage. Whether looking for a new friend or someone to tie the knot with, single boomers agreed that the top ways to meet someone is through friends/family (66 percent) and social activities/fitness classes/clubs (56 percent).