Survey shows retirees want to remain in homes

By Kelly Leighton | June 7, 2016 | 2 min. read

More retirees- or those close to that time- want to stay in their homes as long as possible.

According to the results of The Home Equity and Retirement Income Planning Survey, 83 percent of retirees and those close to retirement do not wish to relocate as they age.

The appeal of staying in one’s home increased with the age of the respondents. Sixty-seven percent of those aged 62 to 74 “strongly” agreed they did not wish to relocate, while only 48 percent of those aged 55 to 61 did. Twenty-one percent hope to spend 20+ years in a home, 58 percent expect to stay more than 10 years, and 42 percent expect to stay less than 10 years.

Eighty-eight percent of respondents have already though about where they will live in retirement.

“One very interesting notion was that the desire to age in place increases significantly as you get older,” said survey author, Professor of Retirement Income Planning and Co-Director of The American College New York Life Center for Retirement Income Planning Jamie Hopkins. “We saw more uncertainty between the ages of 55 and 62. But once we started getting past 62 and you start moving into retirement, we saw that these individuals really don’t expect or want to leave their homes.

However, if they did choose to move, 44 percent are looking for a more livable home, while 35 percent want to downsize. Fifteen percent are looking for a less expensive home. When comparing renting and buying, the choice was overwhelmingly buying (64 percent) over renting (5 percent).

The survey also examined respondents’ understanding of reverse mortgages. Only 30 percent passed a ten-question quiz on it, and 10 percent answered every question incorrectly.

“This is really going to open a lot of eyes about just how little people moving into retirement with some home equity know about reverse mortgages,” Hopkins said.

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