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Unlock $100,000 of Home Equity: How Retirees Can Benefit from Relocating to Cheaper Housing Markets

Retirees are tapping into their housing wealth by relocating to more affordable areas in order to fund their retirement.[0] A recent report from Vanguard found that migrating to a cheaper housing market could help the typical older homeowner extract up to $100,000 of home equity.

The study found that around 60% of movers age 60 and above go to a cheaper housing market.[0] Over a 10-year period, this translates to a quarter of all retirees potentially shoring up their retirement funds by relocating. This is a much higher rate than what is seen with reverse mortgages, a financial product designed to help retirees access housing wealth.[0]

The typical homeowner was able to save nearly $100,000 in 2019 after selling their primary home and relocating to an area with lower home prices. Homeowners who moved from the West Coast (Washington state, Oregon and California) and in the Northeast were generally in the best position to unlock home equity due to relatively high home prices in those areas.[1] Those from Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona and Florida are also “well-positioned” according to the report.[2]

On the other hand, retirees living in Midwestern or Southeastern states like Alabama, Mississippi, Nebraska and South Dakota might end up losing money on the transaction. Home values in many of these states have not seen an increase in value as much as in other parts of the US.[3]

It’s important to consider the pros and cons of relying on this strategy for your retirement.[4] Working with a financial advisor can help you create a retirement plan and create income streams to fund your golden years.[5] Additionally, many employers offer financial planning services as an employee benefit.

Ultimately, it’s best to know how much you’ll need to retire comfortably.[4] SmartAsset’s free retirement calculator can help you answer that question by considering your annual income, when you plan to retire, and other data points.[6]

0. “Report shows HECM for Purchase product is misunderstood” ReverseMortgageDaily, 8 Mar. 2023,

1. “How Relocating in Retirement Could Make You $100,000 Richer” msnNOW, 11 Mar. 2023,

2. “Why moving in retirement can earn you an extra $100,000 — or more” CNBC, 7 Mar. 2023,

3. “It’s Possible To Make $100K or More in Retirement — How Social Security Factors In” AOL, 8 Mar. 2023,

4. “Vanguard Says Retirees Can Add At Least $100K To Retirement …” MENAFN.COM, 11 Mar. 2023,

5. “52% of retirees expect to pick up a part-time job to make ends meet” Financial Planning, 6 Mar. 2023,

6. “Research Shows This One Move Can Help You Retire” Yahoo Finance, 10 Mar. 2023,