Empty-nesting, upper middle-class households with discretionary income living sophisticated lifestyles
Full Pockets, Empty Nests consist of upper-middle-class households on the cusp of retirement. They contain a wide range of family types: singles and couples as well as divorced and widowed individuals, all of whom have a comfortable lifestyle. What they don’t have are children still living at home. In fact, many live in resort and retirement communities in the coastal states, enjoying a sophisticated style of life in pricy condos and beach houses. Most of these adults are in their 50s and 60s, well-educated and earning good salaries at the peak of their white-collar careers. One in five households contains a retiree whose substantial nest egg provides plenty of disposable income to maintain upper middle-class status.
Being childless, the households in this segment lead busy social lives. They often go to cultural activities, and many enjoy nightlife and upscale restaurants. They like sports and frequently attend professional sporting events and keep themselves fit on their own at nearby health clubs. These educated households also like to travel, indulging their curiosity while traveling abroad by patronizing museums, restaurants and musical performances.
Despite their healthy incomes, the members of Full Pockets, Empty Nests are not into flaunting their success. They may shop at the high-end Nordstrom and Bloomingdales, as well as specialty shops such as Talbots, but they’re also happy to pick up a bargain at a discount department store or warehouse club. Somewhat late adopters, they’re content to watch conventional TVs that don’t dominate the room. They’re much more likely to own a camera than a camcorder. Though they like to drive nice cars - luxury sedans and premium CUVs, for instance - they’re not into showing off in humongous SUVs.
Financially secure and lacking an aspirational streak, Full Pockets, Empty Nests make a tough advertising audience. They like to read newspapers and magazines that cover news, business, entertainment and fashion, but they’re not big fans of radio. Their TV viewing patterns mostly follow the national average except when it comes to news, documentary and biography programs. Movie addicts, they do notice ads in theaters. They have above-average Internet use, going online for utilitarian purposes like sending email, getting the latest headlines, tracking their stocks and comparing prices before shopping.
With their child-rearing days behind them, members of Full Pockets, Empty Nests have now turned their attention to bettering their communities through civic and political action. They tend to be liberal in their outlook, donating money to political causes and supporting green issues from varied angles - whether it’s driving a hybrid or buying organic food. They’re tolerant of people from other cultures and think of themselves as global sophisticates. As the senior managers in their workplaces, they regard their work as important to their identity. More than anything else, they believe that they can control their destiny through hard work and an independent spirit. These are the kind of people who manage their own money, have succeeded in building a substantial nest egg and are happy to give some away to a variety of causes: arts, environmental, political and public broadcasting.
Upper middle-class and approaching retirement, Full Pockets, Empty Nests consist of a mix of childless couples and singles as well as divorced and widowed individuals. This segment is mainly between 51 and 65 years old; a quarter is of retirement age. These are cultured households where nearly half contain someone with a graduate degree. A majority of adults still work and hold senior positions in white-collar professional and technical services, but more than 20 percent are retired. In their established neighborhoods, these households are predominantly white with an above-average presence of Asians.
Full Pockets, Empty Nests can be found in some of the nation’s most popular playgrounds: Miami Beach, Fla., Vail, Colo., Santa Fe, N.M., and Provincetown, Mass. A high concentration lives in the metro sprawl of cities along the West and Northeast coasts. Their housing styles vary - from beachfront bungalows and mountainside condos to older houses - but what they all share are hefty price tags. Housing values in this segment average over $340,000 - more than 50 percent above average. Many of their neighborhoods are sought-after addresses where residents don’t want to leave; more than half of Full Pockets, Empty Nests have lived at the same residence for over a decade, though above-average percentage like to get away to a second or vacation home.
Full Pockets, Empty Nests are living the good life. Without children to support, they enjoy the arts and like to attend plays, dance performances and concerts that feature classical or pop music. They enjoy socializing with friends at a bar, nightclub or a professional baseball or basketball game. They’ll eat out at upscale restaurants and casual chains like The Cheesecake Factory and California Pizza Kitchen. When it’s time for a movie, they’ll choose dramas, suspense thrillers, romances or documentaries - all genres are of interest really, except for kids’ films. They often read movie reviews and purchase tickets via an online site.
At home, they relax with a book, peruse their coin collection or kick back in their favorite recliner to listen to classical music, jazz or early rock ’n’ roll. Fitness-minded, they typically belong to a health club to lift weights and work out on cardio machines. Though they’re not usually into outdoor activities, they do go hiking and canoeing. While many already live in resort communities, that doesn’t keep them from traveling to other domestic and foreign fun spots. Many regularly go on vacation in Europe, Mexico and the Caribbean.
As shoppers, they like to buy nice things but aren’t particularly showy. They drive new cars but allow others to pilot the monster SUVs. Instead, they go for hybrid and premium sedans, CUVs and sports cars, preferably well-made imports. For clothes, they’re just as likely to shop high-end retailers like Nordstrom. Bloomingdales or Talbots as well as discounters like Target, Marshalls and T. J. Maxx. They enjoy filling their homes with decorative objects and shop at Williams- Sonoma and Crate and Barrel. However, they’re not into electronic gadgets and are still happy with TV screens under 30 inches. Many like the convenience of shopping at home, and they regularly buy men’s clothing, gardening items and do-it-yourself products from catalogs.
Full Pockets, Empty Nests grew up with print media and that remains their first love. They’re fans of news and like to read the business, entertainment, fashion and travel sections. They’re healthy subscribers of magazines that cover many of the same subjects. They also watch much more than the average amount of TV - particularly news, documentary and biography programs. They also watch cable channels like Starz, TCM, HLN and MSNBC. Their idea of escapist fare is watching tough-guy gastronome Anthony Bordain.
Full Pockets, Empty Nests are content in their lives and progressive in their politics. A majority are affiliated with the Democratic Party, and they’re more than twice as likely as the general population to describe their political outlook as very liberal. They support recycling, equal rights for all people and ethical behavior by businesses. Relatively few are fervent about faith or religion. Well-integrated into their communities, they often belong to arts groups, veterans' clubs, unions and the AARP.
These educated households like to keep up with international events. They travel often and believe that other cultures have a great deal to offer. They’ve worked hard at their jobs and see them as fulfilling careers rather than a paycheck. They believe in the power of individual effort and achievement.
Heath is a priority; these households make sure to exercise every week and eat a well-balanced diet. They get regular check-ups from their doctors and often take preventative medicine. Self- described foodies who like food presented as an art form, they avoid fast food and cook at home with the freshest ingredients. When they go out to eat, they like foreign cuisines.
In the marketplace, they’re utilitarian consumers. At this stage in their lives, they’re not interested in trying to impress others with conspicuous consumption. In fact, they like to plan their shopping trips as part of their desire to exercise control over their daily lives. Ultimately, price is less important to Full Pockets, Empty Nests than getting exactly what they want.
With healthy incomes and investments, Full Pockets, Empty Nests are financially secure. They typically do their own investing and describe themselves as careful money managers. These upper middle-class households own variety of investments: stocks, saving bonds, mutual funds and CDs. Thanks to steady contributions, they’ve turned their 401(k) and IRA accounts into a high-balance nest egg. Many members are preoccupied with preserving their wealth, and they boast high rates of having tax shelters and cash management accounts. With their active lifestyles, they rely on standard credit cards and home equity lines of credit to cover their expenses. Many reduce their financial risks by taking out umbrella, disability and health insurance. In their world - filled with older drivers and dangerous highways - more than a third carries high-value car insurance.
Despite their advancing age, Full Pockets, Empty Nests are above-average users of the Internet. They’re more likely than average go to online to read newspapers and magazines, send email, get stock quotes and make travel plans; many also participate in online auctions and listen to podcasts and Internet radio stations. Their favorite Websites include CNN, Amazon, MapQuest, Netflix and Weather.com, as well as sites featuring entertainment, golf, college football and fantasy football. Online shopping is also popular, and they also visit sponsored Websites and links for product comparisons. However, Full Pockets, Empty Nests are a bit shy about next- generation Internet technology, with few going online through cell phones or wireless connections.