A new report from American Advisors Group (AAG) has found that senior homeowners overwhelmingly want to remain in their homes for as long as possible as they age as it is the place feel safest amid the pandemic.
According to the survey from the California-based reverse mortgage company, 92% of seniors plan to live out their golden years in the safety of their own home while only 8% want to move into some sort of assisted-living facility. This includes 82% who said they do not plan to ever move, no matter the circumstances.
Seniors are now also viewing their house as more than a place they live—but instead as their most valuable asset—as 73% of seniors now say it is worth more in the current market than all of their other investments combined.
The COVID-19 pandemic only strengthened seniors thoughts about living at home for the rest of their lives. 50% more seniors agreed with this sentiment and felt safer at home after the events of the 18 months than they did before the pandemic.
The report also found that 55% of seniors have paid off the mortgage on their homes and are now living debt-free in that aspect while 40% of those who have not paid off their mortgages are exploring reverse mortgages in order to leverage their equity against the remaining monthly payments on their home.
"Buying a home is one of the largest purchases someone can make, and for many seniors, that purchase has turned into an investment," said AAG Chief Marketing Officer Martin Lenoir. "Our data shows that older Americans are well aware of what their homes are worth and are looking to utilize the equity they have gained, which is a big reason why we're seeing so many seniors interested in reverse mortgages. Homes not only embody the journey that seniors have lived, they also represent a possible retirement strategy for the future."
America’s seniors also see value hidden in their homes that goes beyond finances. 63% of seniors say they have an emotional attachment to their home while 40% of seniors answered that “independence” is the most important benefit to continuing to live in their current home. Their overall “happiness” was the second most popular answer at 25%.
AAG’s Importance of Home Survey was conducted on June 2, 2021, and included 1,552 participants. Responses include numerous formats, including yes-and-no answers, ranking preferences, and multiple-choice replies. The survey was conducted digitally so that participants could answer from the safety of their homes. All participants were selected randomly with age (60-75-years-old) and homeownership being the only qualifying factors.