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What Keeps Baby Boomers from Walking Away?

As more and more baby boomers approach their golden years, many are finding themselves having to make a choice they never imagined: Whether or not to walk away from their mortgages.


""YouWalkAway.com"":http://www.youwalkaway.com/ released the results of a client survey, revealing that the looming prospect of a fixed income is driving many older struggling homeowners to strategically default while they still have something left.

The study found that, compared to younger defaulters, baby boomers are more likely to have depleted their savings before making the decision to default, leaving them with little to no money during their retirement.

According to the survey, while younger generations see walking away from an underwater home as a strategic business decision, boomers appear to be more concerned about the morality of defaulting on a mortgage contract. When asked how difficult it was to reach a decision, 75 percent of respondents said they struggled over the morality.

As a result, many boomers inadvertently remove their ""safety net"" of 401ks and other funds in order to maintain an underwater property. Nearly half - 48 percent - of respondents said they depleted at least a large portion of their savings before defaulting.

However, after walking away, few seem to regret their decision. Fifty-three percent of those surveyed said they would have made the same decision to walk away if they were 20 years younger. An overwhelming 97 percent said they would recommend their decision to a family member facing the same circumstances.

One client started a ""blog"":http://adventuresindefault.wordpress.com/2012/08/09/2-years-past-foreclosure/ on her experience defaulting. In it, she expresses satisfaction with her decision nearly two years later:

""We don't think about it much anymore, it's just a house we used to live in, and now we live in another one. It's kind of funny to me now to think of how much I and I know others stress over the ""ethics"" of walking away [. . .] So we choose to be thankful for a home we can afford that's full of a family who has really pulled together for the things that count most in life. No regrets.""

The highest percentage of respondents (34 percent) were 50-59 years old.


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