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Majority of Americans Ages 60 to 75 Want to Stay in Their Homes

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Home is where the heart is — and that rings especially true for Americans ages 60 to 75.

Research often shows an overwhelming majority of older Americans prefer to “age in place,” once again confirmed in a survey from American Advisors Group (AAG), a reverse mortgage lender based in Irvine, Calif.

In fact, 82% of U.S. homeowners ages 60 to 75 say they’d live in their current homes for the rest of their lives if possible. Nearly 7 in 10 (68%) have expressed to their families where they want to live for the rest of their lives, with just 8% saying they’d rather live in an assisted living facility during their later years.

Pandemic has strengthened feelings about home

According to the AAG survey, 50% of these older Americans say the coronavirus pandemic has made them feel more inclined to live at home. And 83% say they feel more safe living at home than elsewhere.

There are many reasons why someone might prefer to remain in their home. But among these Americans ages 60 to 75, independence is at the top (40%), followed by happiness (25%).

In addition, 62% of respondents say they have an emotional attachment to their home. The findings show 56% of these older Americans say that home offers warm memories of their family.

Homes remain as great investments

Buying a home is generally the biggest purchase many people will make in their lives, showing it can be a great investment under the right circumstances.

According to the AAG survey, nearly 3 in 4 (73%) Americans ages 60 to 75 say their home is their most valuable asset. Further, 74% say homeownership was the best financial decision they ever made. That’s surely beneficial for the 55% of older Americans who have paid off their mortgage.

Of interest: According to the Urban Research Institute, average mortgage balances for homeowners 65 and older increased from $17,000 to $72,000 between 1989 and 2019.

Tapping into that home equity

Among those older Americans still making mortgage payments, 40% are looking to tap into their home equity to be free from monthly payments. A reverse mortgage could be an option for the majority of these older Americans — but not all of them, since you need to be at least 62 to qualify.

Before considering a reverse mortgage, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons. For instance, turning your home equity into cash could provide income during your retirement, but you’ll owe closing costs and have less of an inheritance for your children or beneficiaries. Also, the interest may not be tax deductible.

Other alternatives to reverse mortgages include:

Are you confused about home equity loans and home equity lines of credit? Consider reading this comparison guide from LendingTree.

Methodology: AAG surveyed 1,552 U.S. homeowners ages 60 to 75 on June 12, 2021, for its Importance of Home Survey.

 

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