Retirees Choosing to ‘Upsize’ Homes

Americans traditionally have chosen to downsize in retirement, but that may no longer be the case. A wave of retirees are choosing to upsize and enjoy the best home of their lives in retirement, according to a recent Merrill Lynch and Age Wave retirement study of more than 3,600 respondents. In fact, 65 percent of retirees recently surveyed say they’re currently living in the best home of their lives.

The study showed that 49 percent of retirees say they didn’t downsize in their last move and 30 percent ended up moving into larger homes. Retirees’ top reasons for upsizing were wanting a home large and comfortable enough for family members to visit (33 percent) or even live with them (20 percent). One out of six retirees – or 16 percent – say they have a “boomerang” child who has moved back in with them, according to the study.

Nineteen percent of retirees also said they upsized in retirement in order to have a more prestigious home and 16 percent say they wanted a larger home to have more room for friends to visit, according to the study.

Source: “Home in Retirement: More Freedom, New Choices,” Merrill Lynch (July 2015)

Why the ‘Age 61’ is Important to Real Estate

By age 61, the majority of people feel free to choose where they most want to live, according to Merrill Lynch, “Home in Retirement: More Freedom, New Choices.”

“Throughout most of people’s lives, where they live is determined by their responsibilities,” according to the report. “Most careers demand that people live within a reasonable commuting distance from where they and/or their spouse work. However, as people enter their 50s and 60s, they begin to cross what this study reveals to be the ‘Freedom Threshold.'” That’s the age when people say they can finally choose where they want to live, according to the survey of more than 3,600 retirees.

Most retirees move at least once during retirement. But surprisingly, only half choose to downsize into a smaller home. Three in ten of retirees decide to upsize into a larger home.  The top reason to upsize: They want to have a home that’s comfortable enough for family members to visit and stay with them, according to the survey.

Source: “Home in Retirement: More Freedom, New Choices,” Merrill Lynch

Federal Reserve to Begin Publishing Rate Forecast?

Beginning Jan. 25, the Federal Reserve will start to publish a forecast four times a year that includes predictions about the direction of short-term interest rates, The New York Times reports. The report will include a summary of how long the Fed expects to keep short-term rates at current levels.

“More guidance on rates might help lower long-term yields further — in effect providing a kind of stimulus,” the Associated Press reported in an article announcing the change. “Lower rates could lead consumers and businesses to borrow and spend more. The economy would likely benefit.”

The Fed’s move will provide greater insight into its methodology and decision-making. 

Since 2008, the Fed has left its key short-term rate at record lows near zero. This past summer the Fed announced it intended to leave the rate low until at least mid-2013. 

 Source: “Fed to Publish a Forecast of Rate Moves, Guiding Investors,” The New York Times (Jan. 3, 2012) and “Fed to Regularly Forecast Interest-Rate Changes,” Associated Press (Jan. 3, 2012)

More news from Placerville in the “Sierra Foothills” of El Dorado, Placer, Amador and Sacramento Counties of California at: www.sierraproperties.com or www.dougandbudzeller.com