Baby boomers staying in homes versus downsizing after retirement, report says

Baby boomers staying in homes versus downsizing after retirement, report says

May 22, 2019

The trend of Baby Boomers postponing retirement

Barron’s Associate Publisher Jack Otter on the economic impact from Baby Boomers working longer.

Baby boomers are electing to sit out on downsizing homes after retirement and instead stay at the house they raised their children and lived in for years, a Tuesday report stated.

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The reason for the growing trend is due to baby boomers staying on the workforce longer instead of retiring. Jennifer Schramm, a strategic policy adviser for the AARP Public Policy Institute told USA Today that many people are choosing to continue working after some saw their retirement savings “hammered” during the financial crisis. Baby boomers are also staying healthy and working to “finance longer retirements.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 40 percent of people ages 55 and older “were working or looking for work in 2014.” The bureau predicts the number will increase through 2024, especially for those ages 65 to 74 and 75 and older.

A Chase Housing Confidence Index and U.S. Housing Confidence Survey released in January found 52 percent of the baby boomer homeowners surveyed did not plan on moving from their current homes and downsizing. Nine in 10 boomers were looking to renovate their homes, a sign that they were planning on staying and not moving.

A USA TODAY/Ipsos poll in 2007 found 43 percent of 45 to 65-year-olds were planning on staying in their homes through retirement.

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Jeff Levy, 58, an insurance broker, said he planned on working until he was in his 70s and didn’t think moving was in the cards for a while.

“Our home is less than one mile from my office,” Levy told USA Today. “Downsizing and moving further away from the office is not attractive.”

Danielle Hale, the chief economist for realtor.com, said those deciding to stay versus move was likely contributing to low housing supplies.

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A study by Trulia also found 16.1 percent of “senior households” had younger generations living in the home with them in 2016. That number is up from 14.4 percent in 2005.

Meanwhile, some baby boomers have just paid off their mortgage and don’t want to do the whole process over again.

“Why get into another situation?” Levy’s wife, Shelly, told USA Today. “We've got a nice house. Now it’s our turn to go on vacation.”

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