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Changes In Retirement And The Reverse Mortgage Market
In recent years American’s views on retirement have changed substantially. Many are working longer not from choice but need. Dan Gorin, supervisory policy analyst for the Federal Reserve said “The definition of retirement has changed dramatically. In the past when we asked people surveyed, those who were planning to work forever had answers that were twofold; some said ‘I like to work,’ and some said, ‘I need the money.’ More recently, more people saying they’re never going to retire because they need to work.” What is ironic is that only 8% of those aged 62 or older have even considered a reverse mortgage and 2% actually took one according to a nationwide survey conducted last December by the RAND American Life Panel.
So what are the other 92% doing? It may boil down to denial and resistance in seeking assistance. Gorin says fewer than half, yes half of Americans actually seek advice on housing and retirement finances. This is tragic as the the home represents the majority for even moderately affluent individuals pre-retirement wealth. Many Pre-retirees are aware of the benefits of non-taxable home sales gains, mortgage interest tax deductions and energy tax credits but oblivious of the assets full potential when employed in a comprehensive retirement plan. Not surprising since most senior homeowners have no experience in converting debt into cash flow. This chart from the American Housing Survey in 2007 shows the sleeping giant of home equity with 64% having no mortgage whatsoever and 35% holding some combination of a mortgage, second or line of credit. Today’s retirees overlook their home being more concerned with equity security than income security. Equity security is hard-wired into the American psyche. Work, save, payoff your mortgage and retire with no mortgage payments as you transition into the fixed income years of your retirement. Income security however, lends itself more to truly solving the most vexing issue in retirement…
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