House not only a home, says study

May 22, 2007 @ 2:22 pm

By Evan Cooper

Most current and soon-to-be retirees view home equity not as a source of income but as insurance against unplanned expenses.

That's the major finding of a recent poll of 2,673 individuals aged 50 to 65 conducted by Harris Interactive and the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

Seventy-two percent of those surveyed had no plans to use home equity for current income.

"But given that the retirement landscape is becoming more treacherous, that picture may change," the report said.

"Being inadequately prepared for retirement, having to rely on a defined contribution plan, and having a mort­gage are all positively related to plans to tap home equity in retirement - and these factors are all on the rise," the report added.

The survey report, "Do People Plan to Tap their Home Equity in Retirement?", suggests that a similar survey conducted five years from now "will show significantly more people planning to tap their housing equity to cover living expenses in retirement."

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