The Korea Herald


Baby boomers face more time alone

By 이종민

Published : May 30, 2011 - 18:56

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Baby boomers are living without their children at home for significantly longer than their parents did, according to a state-run women’s research institute.

The longer so-called empty nest period where husbands and wives live alone after their children leave home creates a financial burden for children who care for their parents.

The Korean Women’s Development Institute said the average period that baby boom parents spend alone after their children leave, called the empty nest period, is 19.4 years, compared to 1.4 years for the previous generation.

Baby boomers are those born between 1955 and 1964.

As one of the issues covered in the institute forum on the generation of century-old families Monday, experts point out that the baby boomer generation highlights the importance of marriage.

They also believe that providing for aging parents of baby boomers will create problems as well.

Han Gyoung-hye of the College of Human Ecology at Seoul National University, says that baby boom couples will live for 19.4 years in an empty nest before one spouse dies.

“The empty nest period of baby boomers is continuing to increase when compared to their parents,” she added.

The trend is due to the fewer number of children that people choose to have today, and their longer life span compared to their parents.

This will eventually cause problems where senior citizens will have to take care of senior citizens, she said.

By Robert Lee (