Owning A Home May Lead To Healthier Retirement In Your Golden Years

Dated: 05/29/2017

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A recent study by the Urban Institute showed that older homeowners not having outstanding debt will benefit by owning their own home due to the rise of the median home value.  Older homeowners in today's housing trends are uniquely in a better position to use their homes for an increase in retirement security and extra income than they were two years ago.

An interesting fact is even though overall homeownership dropped from 64.5 percent to 64.4 percent from 1998 to 2012 the increase of homeownership for adults  age 65 or over had an increase of 79.2 percent to 80.7 percent.

Overall the outstanding mortgage debt in the time period between 1990 and 2006 rose to 11.3 trillion from 2.5 trillion before having a decrease to 9.9 trillion in 2016.  Even with the drop older homeowners were increasingly indebted, homeowners aged 65 and older saw their housing debt rise from 23.9 to 35 percent with the median debt rising to $82,000 from $44,000.

A culprit may be that rising medical bills caused some older homeowners  to borrow against the equity in their homes.  This may also have left them unable to pay the mortgage on the timeline that they usually did.  Major factors in changes of social attitudes about a false security in home equity which increased property values in the early part of 2000s and indebtedness  were the cause.  Unfortunately debt levels are still on the rise due to the decline in home values between 2006 to 2012 leading to a decrease in home equity.

Most older homeowners accumulated equity in their homes regardless of their household debt,  Homeowners prior to the recession could have seen an increase of 54%, $39,000 to $60,000 of their incomes by selling their homes and annuitizing the profits from the sale.   By 2012 the increase fell to $49,000 which was a 50% decrease.  Equity in homes rose to $166,000 from $117,000 in the period from 2000 to 2006 but dropped to $129,000 in 2012.

Although there were decreases in the equity of homes owned by older homeowners the study still shows that being a homeowner will be a great benefit when you retire in your Golden Years.  Good news is home prices continue to appreciate and the lack of inventory in the coming decade should help homeowners approaching retirement.


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