More Seniors Renting Instead of Owning

If you have ever thought that the work and expense of owning a home are no longer bringing you joy or sucks up too much time and resources, you are not alone.  More people are choosing to rent, especially Americans who earn over $150,000 annually and older adults. 

According to a recent report by Forbes, renters currently make up 34 percent of all U.S. households, the highest proportion since 1960.  And in the past decade alone, the number of renters his risen by more than 9 million.  Renting among adults over the age of 60 jumped by 32 percent since 2010 signalling a change in the American attitude towards homeownership.

Homeownership has long been entrenched in the American dream but with rising housing costs, especially on either coast and lifestyles that include more moving around, that ideal is slowing exerting less influence on the decision whether to rent or buy.  More adults between 55 and 64 are choosing to rent even when they could manage a mortgage financially because they value freedom over the benefits of homeownership. 

What may have begun with the recession creating more renters after losing their jobs and their homes has continued as more people choose to rent leaving themselves more time and money to travel, enjoy cultural events and with fewer unexpected expenses.  And older adults who rent often enjoy amenities on-site such as a fitness center, tennis courts or a pool, activities that can be a draw for visiting grandchildren. 

Renting can be cost-effective for seniors on a fixed income because there are no property taxes to pay or worries about declining home values.  Renters insurance is less expensive and utility costs in a smaller apartment are generally less than a home.  Seniors also have more flexibility regarding where they live or the size of a rental that meets their changing needs. 

Deciding whether to own or rent your home if you are considering moving or downsizing? Learn more about the benefits and drawback of renting versus owning, and for an online home calculator, following this link to a recent AARP Bulletin.