The vast majority of seniors - 92% - said in a recent poll they’d prefer to “age in place” in their current residence, rather than sell up and move to some sort of assisted living facility, opting for in-home dementia care and home health care services instead.
That somewhat unsurprising finding came from the American Advisors Group’s Importance of Home survey published this week.
Among the findings, the poll revealed that 73% of seniors view their their homes as their “most valuable asset”. It’s not something they want to cash in on though, as 82% of respondents said they’d prefer to live in their current home for the remainder of their life, if they’re able to.
One of the factors pushing this desire to age in place is safety, and the reassurance that having their home provides. The poll found that 83% of American seniors generally feel safer in their own homes compared to living somewhere other than their own place. Regarding the coronavirus pandemic, exactly 50% of respondents said that has been a factor in their desire to remain in their home.
Another focus of the survey was on how seniors perceive their homes in terms of value. It found that 74% agree with the idea that buying their home was “the best financial decision they have ever made”. Another 62% said they have since made an emotional connection to their home.
Perhaps contributing to their sense of security is that a majority of seniors are done with their mortgages too. More than half – 55% - said they have paid off their mortgage in full. Of those who still have a mortgage, 40% said they’d be open to the idea of drawing on some of their home’s equity if doing so would mean eliminating a monthly mortgage payment.
AAG Chief Marketing Officer Martin Lenoir said the poll proves the idea that buying a home is one of the largest financial decisions people will ever make, and that for many, that purchase becomes a key investment.
“Our data shows 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.”