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March 28, 2017

Is Home Equity an Underutilized Retirement Asset?


by Steven A. Sass



The brief’s key findings are:

  • Home equity, the largest asset for most households entering retirement, can be tapped by downsizing or by taking a reverse mortgage.
  • Few households currently use either option due to behavioral and informational barriers, a preference to stay in one’s home, and high transaction costs.
  • To the extent that behavioral and informational barriers impede downsizing or reverse mortgages, home equity is an underutilized retirement asset.
  • An open question is whether more retirees will overcome these impediments and tap home equity in response to growing financial pressures.
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Written By

Denise Appleby

Denise is CEO of Appleby Retirement Consulting Inc., a firm that provides IRA resources for financial/ tax/legal professionals. She has over 20 years of experience in the retirement plans field, which includes training and technical consultation.

Denise writes and publishes educational /marketing tools for advisors; available at Denise co-authored several books on IRAs

Denise is a graduate of The John Marshall Law School, where she obtained a Masters of Jurisprudence in Employee Benefits, and has earned 5 professional retirement designations.
She has appeared on numerous media programs, sharing her insights on retirement tax laws.


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