Seniors Owe on Homes

Physician's Money Digest, January15 2004, Volume 11, Issue 1

USA Today

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It's part of the picture that most doctorshave of their retirement—owningtheir home free and clear. However, ananalysis of census data by suggests that this goal is no longer consistentlybeing attained. In fact, about28% of homeowners age 65 and olderstill carry a mortgage on their homes.That's up from about 20% in 1990 and19% in 1980. Some suggest that thistrend reflects a change in attitude towarddebt among generations. Whereas theGreat Depression bred a generation ofseniors who valued debt-free living,today's generation approaches debt withless caution. Also contributing to thedebt levels of current seniors is that moreof them attended college than any generationprior, which incurred a markedincrease of educational debt that slowedthe mortgage payment process. The increase in home prices, lowinterest rates, and the benefit of taxdeductions for interest paid on mortgagesalso contribute to this trend.