MetLife: 41% of Boomers Cite Home Equity as Possible Income Source

Baby Boomers are more likely than younger generations to count on their family being able to use their home’s equity as income in the event that they passed away unexpectedly, according to a MetLife Mature Market Institute survey, “Multi-Generational Views on Family Financial Obligations.”

All three generations, including Gen Xers and Gen Yers, believe they have responsibility and obligation to: save enough for retirement to avoid having to ask family members for assistance; have a parent live with them if they need to do so due to a major health or financial issue; and make sure a spouse would have enough money if a financial provider dies suddenly, among others.

While just 31% of Gen Xers and less than one in five Gen Yers report their family could use the equity in their homes should they pass away sooner than expected, 41% of Baby Boomers see their home’s value as a source of income.

Incidentally, Baby Boomers are more likely than the two following generations to believe that life insurance should provide for surviving spouses, with 82% of having policies for their spouse, compared to 66% of Gen Yers and 76% of Gen Xers.

Ensuring the ability to pay off a mortgage (50%) and cover funeral costs (52%) rank among the top reasons for having a life insurance policy, according to half of those surveyed.

No matter which generation they belonged to, respondents strongly valued being financially independent in old age so as not to be a “burden on their children.” However, they also felt strongly responsible to protect elderly parents who aren’t as independent as they themselves strive to be, reports MetLife.

The best legacy for the next generation may be a sound financial plan now for the older generation, says MetLife. And for the older generation, even if they plan to try to stay in the home as long as possible, it’s wise to discuss “what if” alternatives as “housing decisions inevitably impact financial planning at all life stages.”

View the MetLife Mature Market Institute survey findings here.

Written by Alyssa Gerace

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