The elderly used to hold onto their primary residence, mostly so they could tap into the equity to pay unforeseen medical expenses, I assume.
But now, with government-sponsored healthcare, and with more of us setting up 401(k)s and other retirement plans, other options are available.
It can be a case of having your cake and eating it, too.
The Fidelity Research Institute considered the outcomes from seven different strategies for a hypothetical 75-year-old couple who own a $400,000 home and need to pull out cash. The options included major steps like selling the home and buying a smaller house, as well as less-dramatic moves, such as taking out a reverse mortgage.
My favorite option: staying in your current home, leaving your home to your heirs, after you die.
More: Options for Tapping the Equity Available in Your House – By Tom Lauricella, The Wall Street Journal Online