Magazine article USA TODAY

Retirement Is on the House

Magazine article USA TODAY

Retirement Is on the House

Article excerpt

Many seniors know only too well the meaning of the phrase, "house rich, cash poor." Many may not be as familiar with the numerous strategies for unlocking the wealth they may hold in the equity of their home. Even though that asset won't fund all their retirement needs, it can help out when cash is fight. The Institute of Certified Financial Planners offers these ideas:

Sell your home. Many seniors live in the house they raised their children in, and now R may be too big and too expensive to Own. Selling it and moving into a smaller, less expensive home, condo, or rental apartment can free up the equity locked inside. The profit from the sale can be invested in certificates of deposit, mutual funds, an annuity, or other appropriate investments that generate fairly regular income. Homeowners age S and over can take advantage of the once-in-a-lifetime Federal income-tax exemption of up to $125,000 in capital gains from the sale of a home.

Rent your home. One version of this is to rent out the entire home and buy a second, less expensive one. The rent will have to be sufficiently greater than your new mortgage payments plus the income you could have made had you invested the down payment on the new home. Renting out only part of your home makes more financial sense, if you don't mind having people live with you. This option is especially attractive to someone living alone who wants companionship and has a home with empty bedrooms. …

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