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More Americans Retiring With A Mortgage

Poll QuestionFewer seniors are heading into their golden years mortgage free.

That’s bad news for this burgeoning American demographic, which is expected to grow to 132 million by 2030.

In 2012, less than a third of older adults owned their homes free and clear, according to “Housing America’s Older Adults: Meeting the Needs of an Aging Population,” a new report from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies and AARP Foundation.

Also scary: A third of adults age 50 and over – and 37% of those 80 and over – dedicated 30% of their income to housing. Nearly half of those nearly 20 million households had “severe housing cost burdens,” meaning more than half of their income went toward housing.

To accommodate high housing costs, these seniors have cut back on food and health care expenses.

Fifty-somethings who have yet to retire are cutting back on retirement savings, the survey found.

Housing burdens are most common among low-income households, specifically those with annual incomes of less than $15,000. But more than half of those earning $15,000 to $29,999 were affected, too.

The report found that 73% of homeowners ages 50 to 64 were still paying on a mortgage in 2010, an increase of 12 percentage points from 1992.

And non-housing-related debt is also on the rise for that age set, from $8,700 in 1992 to $17,100 in 2010.

In the end, a growing number of us will die with mortgage debt. Here are 5 scenarios about what might happen if you have a home loan when you die.

We’ve talked a lot about retirement savings woes in the past, but mostly about whether or not folks’ savings would cover them for the entirety of their retirement years, or if they would be able to enjoy all of the trips and rounds of golf they envisioned during their working years.

We can just about guarantee that you’ll be stretched thin if you’re making mortgage payments out of your retirement savings account.

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Will you retire mortgage free?
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