When Should Retirees Tap Their Home Equity?

56 Pages Posted: 28 Oct 2020 Last revised: 19 Jul 2023

See all articles by Christoph Hambel

Christoph Hambel

Tilburg University - Department of Econometrics & Operations Research

Holger Kraft

Goethe University Frankfurt

André Meyer-Wehmann

Goethe University Frankfurt

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 19, 2023

Abstract

This paper analyzes a household’s optimal demand for a reverse mortgage. We study a rich life-cycle model that can explain the low demand for reverse mortgages as observed in US data. We find that the demand for reverse mortgages is particularly pronounced for cash-poor, house-rich retirees, and households with a strong bequest motive and low pension income. We analyze the optimal response of a household that is confronted with a health shock or financial disaster. If an agent suffers from an unexpected health shock, she reduces the risky portfolio share and is more likely to enter a reverse mortgage. If there is a large drop in the stock market, she keeps the risky portfolio share almost constant by buying additional shares of stock. Furthermore, the probability to take out a reverse mortgage is hardly affected unless her financial wealth is small.

Keywords: reverse mortgage, consumption-portfolio decisions, biometric risks, financial disasters

JEL Classification: D14, E21, G11, G21, J14, R21

Suggested Citation

Hambel, Christoph and Kraft, Holger and Meyer-Wehmann, André, When Should Retirees Tap Their Home Equity? (July 19, 2023). SAFE Working Paper No. 293, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3720645 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3720645

Christoph Hambel

Tilburg University - Department of Econometrics & Operations Research ( email )

Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

Holger Kraft

Goethe University Frankfurt ( email )

Faculty of Economics and Business
Theodor-W.-Adorno-Platz 3
Frankfurt am Main, 60323
Germany

André Meyer-Wehmann (Contact Author)

Goethe University Frankfurt

Faculty of Economics and Business
Theodor-W.-Adorno-Platz 3
Frankfurt am Main, 60323
Germany

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
78
Abstract Views
666
Rank
253,417
PlumX Metrics