Oct
02

Older Americans with Mortgage Debt on the Rise

October 02, 2014

mortgage debtMany older Americans are carrying mortgage debt, a trend that is taking away the security that many of us expect for our retirement years. There are some startling statistics in a new

Equifax Finance blog article that illustrates the problem:

  • About 33 million Americans over the age of 65 own their homes, making them the age group with the highest homeownership rate.
  • The percentage of homeowners over age 65 with mortgage debt increased by 8 percent from 2001 to 2011.
  • The median amount of mortgage debt owed for this demographic increased 82 percent, from $43,400 to $79,000.
  • For the over age 75 bracket, mortgage debt is at 21.2 percent.
  • When the recession hit in 2007, the number of seniors who defaulted on mortgage payments increased five times.

Older Americans with mortgage debt are being forced to stay in the workforce longer and those facing foreclosure have a particular difficult time, as they are also often faced with physical and/or mental ailments. For those nearing retirement, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recommends following these three tips to avoid mortgage debt in your later years:

  • Make mortgage pay-off part of your retirement plan; plan to pay off your mortgage before you retire so you don’t have to deal with monthly mortgage payments in your retirement years.
  • Be careful with a loan modification – it may be a good idea for your situation, but just understand the terms upfront.
  • Set a realistic budget based on decreased (and fixed) income, rising healthcare costs and home modification costs.

Read the

full article on the Equifax Finance blog, where you can find other articles on retirement and other personal finance topics, including credit, savings, taxes, insurance and identity theft protection.

About The Author

Amanda Winters

Read All Stories By Amanda Winters

Amanda Winters joined the mRELEVANCE team in 2007 as an account manager focusing on real estate clients. With extensive experience in the homebuilding industry, having served as the communications representative at a nonprofit that builds housing for the homeless, she is a perfect fit for the team.

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