But, according to Richard Burns, President & CEO, The NHP Foundation, “There is a disconnect between Baby Boomers’ current financial status and where they perceive themselves in retirement. This ‘wishful thinking’ carries potential consequences that will likely have a large impact throughout all areas of the economy.” Data from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau substantiates this. Older homeowners owe almost double on their current mortgage, than the same age group did a decade ago, a likely driving force for why well over a majority of Baby Boomers expect to delay retirement, and why “affordability” is the most essential housing aspect of retirement according to respondents, with 60% ranking it as their greatest desire. WHAT WORRIES RETIREES MOST In order of importance, the three outcomes that worry prospective retirees the most are: an inability to afford quality healthcare (36%), dependency on children (28%), and being forced to choose a living situation inferior to their preference (22%). For 85% of those surveyed, their preference is the ability to continue living in their current home. Of the two-thirds of those surveyed that rent or have a mortgage, 76% either have no retirement budget or will rely on SSI for at least half of their income, though 83% still believe they will be able to age in-place. Along with these findings, only 17% of those who have no retirement budget and will rely on SSI for at least half of their income, think they will have to move. But the evidence shows that many will have to consider alternatives to aging in-place. These include everything from renting out a room (though less than 17% of those surveyed feel this is a likely option) to seeking out affordable housing. “Renting quality affordable senior housing may be the best answer for many older Americans,” continues Burns, “With 1 in 4 in desperate need of affordable housing, equating to 2,500 new retirees every day, there needs to be a priority to create an adequate supply of affordable rental housing for boomers now and in the future.” For those approaching retirement who haven’t got a sound financial plan in hand, the need to take a hard look at available options and make decisions they can live with today and in the future, is paramount.
THE NHP FOUNDATION: THOUGHT LEADERSHIP
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