Broker Check

😭 Transitioning to the Empty Nest: Boohoo or Whoohoo? 😄

| November 02, 2023

Transitioning to the empty nest is quite a jolt. You pour your life into your kids, and then they have the nerve to up and leave.

How dare they?

I was thrilled to interview Jill Savage, author of Empty Nest, Full Life. She is also a parent of five children and a marriage coach for Empty Nesters.

Joining the “Keep It Shut” Club isn’t easy!

There are things we need to hold on to, and things we need to let go of. That is key to navigating the roller coaster of emotions that happens in the Empty Nest. That is where we begin detaching from our kids, as painful as it is.

According to Savage, we want to stay attached to them but stay detached from the details of their lives. We have to let go of opinions. Now, unless they ask for our opinion, we no longer have the freedom to really offer it.

We also must let go of traditions, as your children are establishing their own adult life and their own traditions. This will help us to make that transition to the empty nest.


Boohoo or Whoohoo?

Savage says that moms and dads handle the empty nest transition differently. Likewise, different personalities and temperaments handle it differently.

The empty nester is usually either a:

  • “Boohoo-er” – cries and is sad
  • “Whoohoo-er” – excited about the new possibilities and freedom you have in life

It’s possible that within a married couple, one partner may be a Boohoo-er and the other person may be a Whoohoo-er. This may be a source of major conflict.


Reconnecting as you transition to the Empty Nest

As your kids are entering their teen years or entering college, what happens in the marriage is that we don’t even realize that our kids have been a buffer for our marriage. We have found connection by raising them together.

Once they leave, we kind of look at each other and say, “What do we have in common now?”

You’ve got to find a reconnection. It’s there. You just have to find it again. Oftentimes, they have some accumulated hurt that has been tucked away. But now that the kids are gone, it can rise to the surface. If you’re willing to do the work, there is an incredible opportunity for what Jill calls “Marriage 2.0.”


Getting Support

If you are managing the transition to an empty nest and have questions about how to manage the financial changes that come along with it, please contact me. I am a financial advisor for Empty Nesters and would be happy to listen to your concerns.

Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Susan Alefi is a Registered Representative with LPL Financial. Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial,
a registered investment advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC.