The costs of living in the United States are rapidly outpacing any increases in income for those still in the workforce, but for those who have already left the rat race and are currently living on fixed incomes, the negative effects of eroding buying power are even more acute. Many retirees are still treading water after one of the most devastating recessions in American history and have resorted to using their homes as “banks,” taking out home equity loans with the assumption their home values will continue to rise forever. With a growing number of Baby Boomers retiring without adequate savings, still paying off multiple mortgages, and facing skyrocketing healthcare and housing costs, the next recession could spell disaster for the largest generational group of American citizens. This report on older American housing debt is a wakeup call for us all. Maybe it’s time for a paradigm shift in viewing our home as a place to live not as a speculative investment for future financial gains.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Al and Saundra Karp have found an unconventional way to raise money and help save their Miami-area home from foreclosure: They’re lining up gigs for their family jazz band.