A Place for Baby Boomers to Call Home | American Funds

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MARCH  27, 2017

A Place for Baby Boomers to Call Home

30%  Percentage of Americans age 55 and above who experience housing affordability anxiety at least once a month

It’s not just future health care costs that keep some baby boomers awake at night. Many now worry about whether or not they’ll be able to keep a roof over their heads.

Rising home prices and tepid wage growth have put home ownership affordability at its lowest level since the end of 2008, according to ATTOM Data Solutions. At the same time, U.S. rents continue to rise rapidly in many parts of the country, Apartment List reports.

Escalating housing costs can be especially challenging for those already in retirement who have seen little if any increase in their Social Security benefits over the last few years.

As a result, at least once a month nearly one-third of Americans age 55 and over worry about having enough money to provide a home for themselves in retirement, according to a recent survey conducted by The NHP Foundation (NHPF), a not-for-profit provider of affordable housing.

If you are concerned about managing your future mortgage payments, there are steps you can take that should alleviate some of that apprehension.

You may be able to refinance your loan or secure a loan modification, which can lower your monthly payments. If you are older than age 62, you might consider a reverse mortgage. A financial advisor can help you evaluate your options and determine what would be most appropriate for your particular situation.

There’s also something simple you can do if you’re a homeowner or a renter: reevaluate your objectives.

Chris Gies, senior vice president, advisor education and sales force development at American Funds, recommends sorting your investment objectives into three categories: essential, enhancement and endowment.

”With these priorities clearly in mind, you and your advisor can put together a plan that should help you realize your critical goals, including housing and others like retirement and college education for children.”

Source: “One-third of Boomers Report ‘Housing Affordability’ Anxiety At Least Once a Month,” NHP Foundation press release, February 7, 2017.

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Investors should carefully consider investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. This and other important information is contained in the fund prospectuses and summary prospectuses, which can be obtained from a financial professional and should be read carefully before investing.