Make sure downsizing is right for you before you take the leap.
Let’s face it: the word downsizing often conjures up images of loss or failure. But what if the definition of downsizing in retirement really means a step up: freedom from hassles and overhead with the flexibility to do and be more of what you want in this next stage of your life?
Here are five things to consider before you put up the “for sale” sign: Read more
Is it better to rent or own your home in retirement? It depends on your goals and financial situation.
Weigh the pros and cons of each housing option as you head into retirement.
“There is no one correct answer,” says Doug Heddings, founder of Heddings Property Group. “Each individual retiree must evaluate their financial portfolio to determine the cash that they will need to live on a monthly basis,” he says. Most retirees grew up with the idea that owning a home is always the best choice. The U.S. Census reports that 81 percent of Americans age 65 and older are homeowners. But that attitude may be changing. Experts agree it’s unwise for retirees to carry over large debts into their retirement years. In 2009, half of retirees carried mortgage debt, a figure that doubled from 2007 when only one in four had mortgage debt. And a recent study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University projects more than 2 million Baby Boomers now entering retirement will opt to rent.
So how do you decide?
Watch out for these drawbacks of using a reverse mortgage to fund retirement.
The truth about reverse mortgages are far from ideal. In fact, there are a few reasons to avoid getting a reverse mortgage as part of your retirement plan. Most of these reasons revolve around the fact that this type of income stream is actually a loan against your home’s equity that has to be paid back.
Here are five reasons to think twice about getting a reverse mortgage: Read more
Is a reverse mortgage right for you?
Reverse mortgages have become the cash-strapped homeowner’s financial planning tool of choice. For decades, retirees looking to convert their biggest asset — home, sweet home — into income were forced to choose between either selling their house or taking out a home equity loan, which sentenced them to an unwelcome schedule of high-interest monthly payments.
Introduced in 1989, such loans enable seniors age 62 and older to access a portion of their home equity without having to move.
The bank makes payments to the borrower throughout his or her lifetime based on a percentage of accumulated home equity. The loan balance does not have to be repaid until the borrower dies, sells the home or permanently moves out. Read more