There's no place like home, retirees say

While retirement is often considered an ideal time to relocate or downsize, most retirees have no interest in going anywhere on a permanent basis once they exit the workforce, a new survey finds.

Among Americans in or nearing retirement, almost 85 percent desire to stay in their current house, feeling comfortable with how things are, based on a recent poll conducted by The American College of Financial Services. Additionally, close to 45 percent say they have weighed the option of using their home's equity to pay for expenses in retirement, but only 1 in 5 feel comfortable

"Over 80 percent say they'd prefer to stay in their homes for as long as possible."

enough to actually go ahead with this strategy.

Jamie Hopkins, professor of retirement income planning and co-director of the American College New York Life Center for Retirement Income Planning, said people tend to become more set in their ways the longer they live.

"One very interesting notion was that the desire to age in place increases significantly as you get older," Hopkins explained. "We saw more uncertainty between the ages of 55 and 62. But once we started getting past 62 and you start moving into retirement, we saw that these individuals really don't expect or want to leave their homes."

Home prices continue to skyrocket
While most polls show that homeownership remains the preferred living method - renting being the alternative - the cost of purchase is on the rise, largely due to high demand and limited supply. Over the past year, median home values have risen nearly 5 percent to $187,000, according to estimates from home listings website Zillow. Other analysis puts the median figure much higher than that. For instance, the National Association of Realtors says the U.S. median for all housing types is $232,500, based on the most recent numbers released.

"20 percent say leaving a legacy for their heirs is very important."

Also factoring into retirees' decision to age in place is what they'd like to leave for their children and grandchildren when they pass. Twenty percent say it's "extremely important" to them that they leave behind legacy assets for their offspring, the ACFS report revealed. Less than half didn't think establishing a lasting legacy was important.

Less than 50 percent have a will
Interestingly, however, a number of Americans have not made out a will. Only 44 percent of Americans say they have drawn up this type of legal document, a poll conducted by Gallup found. That's down from 48 percent in 1990 and 51 percent in 2005. Most seniors, on the other hand, seem to have made the proper arrangements in this regard, as nearly 70 percent say they have a will. Still, nearly 80 percent indicated as much back in 2005 - making the current rate a decrease of 10 percent.

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