The brief’s key findings are:
- Estimates of retirement security depend crucially on the assumption of what parents do with the money that is freed up when their children leave home.
- The Health and Retirement Study’s consumption survey is used to determine whether parents save it for retirement or spend it on consumption.
- The results show that households whose kids move out increase spending by about 50 percent per person relative to other households.
- Such changes increase the risk that households will be unable to maintain their pre-retirement living standard once they retire.