OK Boomer: Why Some American Retirees are Ditching Their Mortgages in Favor of Renting

Posted By: Jon Lowder Blog ,

The trend of older Americans choosing to rent instead of buying a home to live out their golden years isn't news to most people in the apartment buisness, but it seems to just now be catching the attention of main street. Business Insider has a story that looks at some of the factors behind the trend:

"I think that renting is a tool that's overlooked by many retirees," Greg DuPont, a financial planner in Columbus, Ohio, said. He has seen retirees going against the traditional advice of having a paid-off mortgage in favor of renting, and considers it to be a smart financial move in some cases. "The whole notion of homeownership and building equity and transferring that equity down to the kids has been kind of a flipped on its ear by what happened in 2008," DuPont said. 

For years, a paid-off mortgage has been seen as the key to a stable retirement. But today, increased costs of homeownership and changing lifestyles make renting a more appealing option than ever for many retirees. "When you start looking at the big picture when planning for retirement, and break free of those traditional notions of homeownership, you end up liberating yourself," DuPont said...

"People don't realize until they start really crunching the numbers that some of the changes in the tax code have reduced the deductibility of property taxes and local taxes, etc.," he added. "That really has made the price distinction between buying a home and renting closer than people think."

Renting isn't all that uncommon for retirees these days.

"Since 2005, Americans in their 50s and 60s have accounted for the largest portion of the country's increase in renters," Lynnette Khalfani-Cox reported for AARP.