Around 15% of Americans say they would consider a reverse mortgage once eligible, according to a new survey released Thursday, with responses varying widely depending on age. Among respondents — investors between the ages of 35 and 64 who were polled by Kiplinger and digital wealth management company Personal Capital — 31% of those under 50 said they would consider a reverse mortgage, while only 10% of those over 50 reported that same sentiment.
The figures compare with a historically low penetration rate among Americans eligible for reverse mortgages; estimated at lower than 2% in recent years versus a much higher proportion of the population with the home equity available to qualify.
Health care costs remain a key concern for those surveyed, with 39% reporting they are somewhat confident that they have saved or will save enough to retire comfortably and 22% stating they are worried about high health care costs in retirement and 16% concerned they will run out of money altogether.
With respect to housing wealth, the vast majority — 72% — of respondents with a mortgage expect to pay it off by retirement.
The responses of those under 50 versus those over 50 were surprising, the surveyors noted in releasing the results.
“Surprisingly, the poll also finds that younger Americans are more actively preparing for retirement than those over 50,” Kiplinger and Personal Capital stated in a press release. “For example, they are more likely to contribute the maximum to their workplace retirement plan and are more likely to have a health savings account. They are also more open to alternative ways to fund retirement, such as purchasing an annuity, applying for a reverse mortgage, or relocating in retirement.”
Read more about the survey results at Kiplinger.