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Housing Crash Robs Senior Citizens

Thursday, June 11, 2009 posted by Tommi Crow

The worst housing market since the Great Depression is taking a huge toll on senior citizens in this country.  The crash in housing values, especially in retirement haven’s such as Nevada, Florida, California and Arizona, is robbing these long, hard working Americans of their retirement and adequate health care.

While most people believe that seniors have no mortgage on their homes, the reality is that hundreds of thousands of retiree’s owe money on their homes.  Even for those lucky enough to own their house outright, the unprecedented drop in home values means they have less equity to live on or exchange for a move to retirement housing or health care facilities.

  • According to the AARP, 25.5 million people over the age of 50 have a mortgage on their home.  More than 680,000 (which represents 30 percent of all distressed property) baby boomers are deliquent on their mortgage or are in the process of foreclosure. 
  • Many seniors have little saved, other than the equity in their homes.  36 percent of all retiree’s state that their savings and investment nest egg is less than $25,000, excluding home equity and benefit plans.
  • Seniors banked on rising home prices and leveraged their primary asset through equity loans and reverse mortgages.   Those that leveraged assets to afford retirement owe an average of $150,000 on their houses.
  • Retirement communities and long term care facilities are suffering from the housing market, too.  Seniors usually sell their homes to finance admission into senior housing facilities.   Dire market conditions often mean no sale at all, or one at substantially discounted prices.  Many people are left with no choice or options, forcing them to cancel plans to move to housing that fits their changing needs.

Although seniors and retiree’s are often overlooked in the news, the housing and stock market crash have taken a huge toll on their lives and well being.   Most have worked all their lives to build secure nest eggs for their golden years, only to discover that half a lifetime of work and savings vanished in the blink of an eye. 

Click Here to Read More from USA Today

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