Tags: Munnell | home | wealth | price

Retirement Expert Munnell: Older Households Still Have Substantial Home Wealth

By    |   Thursday, 05 February 2015 01:26 PM

You might think that the busting of the housing bubble and the decline in homeownership rates have obliterated the housing wealth of older workers and retirees, but that's not the case, says Alicia Munnell, director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

"Older households do not have as much home equity as during the bubble in house prices, but it remains an important component of wealth," she writes on MarketWatch.

In 2013, according to the Federal Reserve, 77 percent of households in their early 60s owned a home, with a median price of $185,000. However, 63 percent of households in their early 60s had a mortgage

"Subtracting outstanding mortgage balances from the gross house price yields median home equity of $110,000, which accounts for more than 40 percent of the homeowners' total wealth as conventionally measured," Munnell writes.

"The importance of home equity over most of the income distribution shows that it could provide an important source of income in retirement."

Meanwhile, you can add Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, the world's biggest money manager, to the list of those warning about Americans' inadequate savings for retirement.

"One of the biggest problems facing the U.S. is we're ill-prepared to build that nest egg, . . . and there's no safety net if you're ill-prepared, other than Social Security," he tells The Wall Street Journal.

Again like many others, Fink says the problems could intensify in the next 10 years. "I'm bringing it up more and more. If you don't live your elongated life in dignity, it's a crisis."

For example, the National Retirement Risk Index from Boston College's Center for Retirement Research shows that 53 percent of households risk falling at least 10 percent short of the retirement income needed to maintain their standard of living.

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You might think that the busting of the housing bubble and the decline in homeownership rates have obliterated the housing wealth of older workers and retirees, but that's not the case, says Alicia Munnell, director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.
Munnell, home, wealth, price
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2015-26-05
Thursday, 05 February 2015 01:26 PM
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