This Is the Average 60-Something's Mortgage. How Do You Compare?
- Paying off a mortgage takes time.
- Many people who are in their 60s still owe money on their home loans.
- It can be a challenge to retire with added debt.
Do you owe more or less than your peers?
Buying a home is usually a good investment, but it typically comes with a mortgage. And it can take decades to pay off this kind of debt.
That means many people who are in their 60s still owe money on their homes -- especially if they have refinanced their loan one or more times or if they've moved around throughout their lives and obtained a new mortgage each time they did.
So, just how much do people in their 60s owe on their homes? Here's what the data shows.
How much does the average 60-year-old owe on their home?
According to Experian's State of Credit 2021 report, the average mortgage debt among baby boomers came in at $198,203. This is below the average mortgage debt of Gen Y and Gen X, who respectively owe $255,527 and $259,100. But it is above the U.S. average of $192,276.
As people get older, they are more likely to own homes and thus have mortgages. But, ideally, once people buy homes, they will start repaying their mortgage and so their loan balance will come down. This doesn't always happen, though, because people often refinance or move, which resets the clock on their loans.
Unfortunately, it can become an issue when people in their 60s or beyond still have large home loans. This can become a problem because these older Americans get ready to retire while they still have a lot of debt to pay off.
Should you retire with an outstanding mortgage loan?
If you are in your 60s and you still owe a lot of money on your mortgage, you'll need to decide if retiring with such a large loan makes sense. To make that choice:
- Consider your options. If you could sell your current home and afford to pay off your loan in full and use the remaining proceeds to buy a smaller space, then this is often a good idea. You can get rid of your mortgage debt and lower your housing costs so you don't have to spend as much once your paychecks have stopped.
- Make sure your housing costs are within your budget: If you are considering retiring while still carrying a balance on your loan, you'll want to make sure your total housing costs will remain within your budget even after you stop working. You can find out how much income you'll have by adding up funds from different sources such as Social Security and your pension and savings. Then, make sure your total housing costs, including your loan, are below 30% of your budget. If they aren't, then you likely shouldn't retire with your current loan and may need to consider alternatives.
- Determine how long it will take to repay your balance. If you can pay off your mortgage by working a few extra years, you may want to consider staying on the job until the loan is gone so you can preserve your savings. Of course, if your loan is close to the average that boomers owe, it may be a challenge to do this.
By thinking about all of these issues, you can decide whether retiring with your mortgage balance is feasible or whether you'll need to find another solution to your housing in retirement.
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