If your children are finally in college or they’ve moved away for good, you’re likely dealing with empty nest syndrome. This is the phase in life where you can try new things and maybe even splurge on a few things for yourself. Whether it’s a luxurious vacation or a gorgeous home renovation project, here are five easy, helpful rules to help you not only survive but also enjoy the empty nest phase of life.
1. Consider Moving
If the kids are officially out of the home, it might be time to downsize. You may find that you no longer need those extra bedrooms or even an extra bathroom. Moving to a new, smaller home can save you a lot of money, and it makes it much easier to focus on having some fun rather than constantly cleaning and organizing. Before you decide to make the move, talk to a local realtor. They can guide you through the process and help you find a home that’s perfect for your empty nester needs.
2. Update Empty Bedrooms
If you don’t plan on moving, consider giving your kid’s empty bedroom an update. Transform the space into a home office or a cozy reading room. If you have a hobby that you enjoy, try a new room design that will give you a brand-new workspace. These spare bedrooms are also great places for activities like yoga or meditation. Bring in some new furniture and give the room a new coat of paint in a color you love to make it your own.
3. Talk to a Financial Advisor
Now that your children are fully independent, it’s time to get your finances in order. If you’re retired, you should take a closer look at your current situation. Go through any pensions or 401(k) accounts to see just how much you have saved. A good financial advisor can help you maximize your money so that you can enjoy life without going over your budget. The empty nest period is a great time to really examine your financial situation so you can be prepared for the future and any plans you might have going forward.
4. Think About Travel
Maybe you’ve dreamt about a fabulous European vacation, but you never had the means to do so. Now is the time to consider booking the vacation of your dreams. Just be sure that you’re not dipping into retirement savings to fund your excursion. Talk to a travel agent who can offer some great deals on all-inclusive travel packages. If a foreign trip is not in the stars, you can still enjoy smaller trips like a visit to a national park.
5. Be Prepared for Kids to Return
Sometimes, even grown children run into problems and they might need to move back into your home. If this happens, it’s important that you lay down some ground rules so they understand your boundaries. Make your kids aware that they won’t be completely financially supported. Talk to them about their current situation and their goals so they can get back on their feet. While it’s great to have your children back at home, it’s best for everyone to be able to be as independent during this important time in your life.