78% of Seniors Own Homes Outright, But Some Struggle with Upkeep

The vast majority — 78% —  of homes in the U.S. headed by someone age 75 or older are owned free-and-clear, a recent report reveals.

This statistic was one of many compiled by the Administration for Community Living in their 2017 Profile of Older Americans. Offering in-depth demographic breakdowns of seniors, the report included information on topics like population numbers, housing, income, and poverty levels.

Not surprisingly, the numbers show the aging population has grown sharply — and will continue to expand by leaps and bounds in the future.

“Over the past 10 years, the population age 65 and over increased from 37.2 million in 2006 to 49.2 million in 2016 (a 33% increase) and is projected to almost double to 98 million in 2060,” the report states.

Looking at housing, the profile found about 11.9 million households were headed by someone age 75 or over, with 76% of those households owned and 24% rented as of 2015. It also confirmed that some of the older homeowners had problems with maintaining their residence.

“Among the homes owned by people age 75 and over, 3.5% had moderate to severe problems with plumbing, heating, electric, wiring, and/or upkeep,” the report states.

In terms of the home values of homeowners 75 and older, the median value was $150,000 when compared with the median value of $180,000 with homeowners of all ages.

The report also noted that the U.S. Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure — which takes into account costs like medical out-of-pocket expenses — rose to 14.5% in 2016. This is 5 percentage points higher than the poverty measures that do not include the same health-related expenses. Similar to other recent reports, data indicated that older women had poverty levels about 3% higher than older men.

Among all households headed by someone age 65 and older, median income sat at $58,559 in 2016.

“The major sources of income as reported by older persons in 2015 were Social Security (reported by 84% of older persons), income from assets (reported by 63%), earnings (reported by 29%), private pensions (reported by 37%), and government employee pensions (reported by 16%),” the profile indicated.

Written by Maggie Callahan

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