The housing market collapse followed by the quick increase in housing prices since then has fueled the current “renting vs. buying” debate.
Add retirement to the discussion, and the issue takes a whole other turn. Is renting a better bargain in your retirement years, especially if the bulk of your investment strategy has been concentrated in paying off your house?
Neal Frankle, of Weath Pilgrim, illustrates the implications of owning vs. renting in retirement.
“Let’s look at a simplified illustration to make the point. Assume Patty Rich is 65 and retired. Her only asset is her home, which is free and clear — she has no mortgage. And her only income comes from Social Security and pension,” writes Frankle. See the chart below:
Although Patty doesn’t have a mortgage, it costs her $1,200 a month to hold on to her property. Says Frankle: “Many people are very surprised to see what the real costs of owning property actually are.”
Now see the following chart for Ann, who is renting and focused on a retirement fund, as opposed to real estate.
You can see that Ann’s rent is higher than what it costs Patty to maintain her home. So what? Ann’s net income is almost 50% greater (jumping from $1,800 to more than $2,600 a month) because she has investment income and that more than makes up for the higher rent she pays.