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What should an older American do with their home as they age? Homes are often the largest source of equity for a family, but they are generally not liquid assets. As homeowners age when does assisted living become an option? How is that paid for in a time without as many retirement pensions as a decade ago?

These questions are ones the Academy is interested in answering. Sometimes with sound financial planning, sometimes with types of loans or borrowing strategies, often by selling a home outright.

The financial service industry often prohibits agents and professionals from providing advice in the area of home equity. Once I give advice on your home, a fiduciary duty of care may apply. And not every agent is capable of prudent and loyal advice in this area. So we have a conundrum. Agents and advisors are not being trained to provide this critical advice, consumers go without help. And our academy is aimed at helping bridge this gap.

Recent Posts

Lifetime Income for Women: A Financial Economist’s Perspective

Written by David F. Babbel

Published by Wharton Financial Institutions Center Policy Brief: Personal Finance

Her First Job at 66
Last December, I was attending a large sporting event in Philadelphia and sat next to an engaging couple. The woman had never worked outside the home, having been occupied with rearing eight children — a “his, hers and ours” type of situation. Her husband had been educated at one of America’s finest universities, had completed a very successful career, and then retired three years earlier from a well-paying profession. When the man and woman learned that I was a finance and insurance professor, the conversation turned quickly to financial matters.

They informed me that the defined benefit pension plan of the firm from which the man had retired had been discontinued and re-opened as a defined contribution 401(k) retirement savings plan. Under such plans, the investment risk is transferred from the employer and government entirely to the employees and retirees. This meant that instead of receiving a comfortable monthly income throughout the rest of their retirement, they received a lump sum of cash that they could elect to place in a menu of mutual funds, or withdraw all the cash, and use it however they desired. The man seemed to be quite concerned about their financial future, and suffered from several degenerative ailments. We discussed the treatment
options and prognosis, which were not hopeful.

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