Recent research shows that the peak age of home ownership is 65. When people start getting older, the rate of home ownership falls gradually until they reach the age of 75. At that point, the rate of decline is very sharp.
The study also found that home ownership is the main housing arrangement for people who are older. About 80 percent of respondents reported living in their own homes at the age of 65. However, only about 60 percent live in their own homes at the age of 90. Researchers said that housing is considered an asset and gives homeowners access to housing services. They believe this is why the number of people living in their own homes does not decline until they reach much higher ages.
Researchers found that the main cause of housing transitions in older people is the death of a spouse. More than 40 percent of respondents went from owning to renting after a spouse died. Since the death of a spouse normally results in an income reduction, lower income was the second most common reason why people transitioned from owning to renting. About 30 percent of households reported this as a secondary cause for moving. In contrast, only about 10 percent of the respondents said that a shift from owning to renting was the result of a spouse moving into a nursing home.
The survey also found that the median household income for people between the ages of 50 and 64 who own their homes is just under $80,000. However, people in the same age group who rent have a household income less than $55,000. Living with family, roommates or in other housing situations shows a very low percentage average for this age group. After these individuals reach the age of 75, the percentage average for alternative living arrangements increases. In addition to this, the study found that couples and singles have different home ownership rates. For singles, the rate is about 60 percent. Couples’ home ownership rate is about 90 percent.
With more access to modern health care treatments and medications, people are living longer. While no couple or individual can predict the future, it is important for people to have a plan for living situations later on. To be better prepared for a possible nursing home stay or an income reduction, there are various types of valuable insurance policies that can help people avoid costly events. Discuss these options with an agent to learn more.