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Redefining RetirementHow Will Boomers Fare?$
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Brigitte Madrian, Olivia S. Mitchell, and Beth J. Soldo

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199230778

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199230778.001.0001

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Retiring on the House? Cross-Cohort Differences in Housing Wealth

Retiring on the House? Cross-Cohort Differences in Housing Wealth

Chapter:
(p.296) Chapter 14 Retiring on the House? Cross-Cohort Differences in Housing Wealth
Source:
Redefining Retirement
Author(s):

Julia L. Coronado

Dean Maki

Ben Weitzer

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199230778.003.0014

This chapter evaluates housing wealth and its potential role in Baby Boomers' retirement wellbeing. The Health and Retirement Survey is used to compare Boomers' wealth position to that of the immediately preceding cohort, just prior to retirement. Results show that Boomers have more valuable homes but have also borrowed more against them, so they have a similar fraction of assets allocated to home equity as their predecessors. Unlike prior studies, this chapter shows that people do view housing as a source of wealth that can help them finance their retirement needs. Indeed, a substantial fraction of older households do move and appear to liquidate some home equity in the process. Consequently, some of the recent home equity extraction may be related to the aging of the population rather than a cyclical response to rapid house appreciation.

Keywords:   housing wealth, Baby Boomer, retirement prospects, retirement wellbeing, cohort comparisons, home equity extraction, older households, population aging, Health and Retirement Study

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