Baby Boomers Staying Put With Their Boston Area Homes

A majority of Baby Boomers surveyed recently by the non-profit Demand Institute say they plan to stay put in their Boston area homes.

Many Baby Boomers plan to stay in their Boston area homes when they retire

Many of the decisions to stay in their Boston area homes has to do with the recession. The financial crisis put an end to years of rapid wealth accumulation, causing the typical Boomer household’s net worth to fall to $143,000 in 2013 from just over $200,000 in 2007, according to Federal Reserve data.

The Boomer generation is also carrying a lot more mortgage debt. The survey found that the median outstanding mortgage balance for 50- to 69-year-olds was $118,000 in 2013, up from $48,743 in 1992. Financially, the Boomer generation is not necessarily ready for retirement, and half of their assets are tied up in their homes.

37% of the Boomers surveyed said they were planning to make a move, however. Nearly half of the movers said they wanted to get a bigger place — and that they intended to spend more money on it. But with a median net worth of just $40,000, this group was among some of the least wealthy surveyed. In fact, the report found that many of those who were looking to “up-size” were also looking to switch from renting to owning.

Many Baby Boomers Plan to Remodel Their Boston Area Homes

Boomers seemed generally unconcerned about whether or not it would be “aging-friendly” — even though a whopping three-quarters of them reported having significant health issues, such as cardiovascular conditions, arthritis, obesity and high blood pressure. Only one-in-five of the movers said they intend to live in senior housing.

Instead, many of those surveyed said they plan to use their money to remodel things like kitchens and bathrooms in order to increase the value of their existing Boston area homes.

More than 17% of the 76 million Boomers are already retired and about 10,000 will reach the traditional retirement age of 65 every day for the next 15 years. And even though many Boomers plan to stay in their current Boston area homes, the Demand Institute estimates that nationwide, this generation will purchase about $1.9 trillion in homes over the next five years.

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