- Your 50s are a good time to assess your mortgage debt.
- By the time your 50s roll around, you may have already whittled down a large chunk of your balance.
Is your home loan balance similar?
Although it's more than possible to buy a home during your 50s, many people end up buying property earlier in life. And that may have been the case for you, too.
In fact, if you bought a home in your 30s or 40s, and you're now in your 50s, there's a good chance your mortgage balance is whittled down substantially compared to where you started out. But it's a good idea to assess your mortgage balance and see if it pays to pump more money into your home loan.
How much mortgage debt do 50-somethings have?
The average borrower in their 50s owes $306,998 on a mortgage, according to Personal Capital. That number is actually somewhat surprising, because a lot of people have, by that point, been paying off a home loan for 20 years.
However, it's also worth noting that Personal Capital collected this data in 2021, at a time when home values were soaring and had been high for a solid year. It may be that some of the borrowers it's accounting for refinanced their mortgages and took cash out of their homes, thereby adding to that debt.
Are you comfortable with your mortgage balance?
Whether you owe $306,998 or a much lower or higher amount, now's a good time to assess your loan balance and see if it pays to start putting more money into your mortgage. Many people want their homes paid off by retirement. If you're on track to meet that goal, then there's probably no need to make any changes.
But let's say you recently did a cash-out refinance and now have a larger mortgage balance to pay off. It may be that based on your new loan term, your home won't be paid off in full by retirement unless you make extra payments. And so if that's something you care about, it pays to start working those added payments into your budget sooner rather than later.
What if you have too much mortgage debt?
If you're worried you owe too much money on your mortgage, or you're having trouble making your monthly payments, it may be time to consider downsizing. Say your adult kids recently moved out, and so you're now an empty-nester. Does it really make sense to pay for a larger home when a smaller, less expensive one will suffice?
Remember, the less you spend on housing, the more money you'll free up for other purposes, whether it's padding your retirement savings account or simply being able to more easily manage your bills. So if you feel your mortgage balance and payments are too high, start exploring some options for easing that burden -- especially if your needs have changed and you no longer need the amount of living space you have.
One thing you may want to avoid doing right now, though, is refinancing your mortgage. Borrowing rates are very high right now, so while refinancing can, in some cases, lower your monthly home loan payments, these days, you're less likely to reap savings by going that route.
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