Early retirements are way up because of the pandemic. On average, 2 million boomers have retired each year since 2011, according to an analysis by Pew 3.2
million people retired in 2020.
I know several people who retired early and in the last 18 months because of the pandemic. Some were already 70 or older and others were between the ages of 60 and 65 at retirement.
The homeownership rate among baby boomers is 74 to 82% depending upon the age of the boomer. Baby boomers are mostly hanging on to their real estate due to the lack of suitable or affordable housing. It is actually less expensive to live in a larger house than it is to buy a smaller house, at least for now.
Almost 38% of homeowners between the ages of 65 and 74 have mortgages which is way up from 1989 when it was closer to 21%. Almost 28% of homeowners who are over 75 have a mortgage.
Retirement will be easier without a mortgage. We used to worry about paying mortgages in old age but now that seems easy compared with paying for health care and or long-term care.
On the other hand without mortgage payments, there is more money for medical expenses. I have read a few articles that discourage borrowers from paying off their mortgage early. I don’t agree with most of the articles which are usually written by people in the mortgage industry.
My advice to anyone who is considering early retirement is to pay off the mortgage first unless of course, you have a lot of money and a large retirement fund.