Many seniors trying to retire with a mortgage

According to a recent LA Times article many seniors are retiring with mortgages. When Tom Greco bought his four-bedroom home three decades ago, he assumed he’d pay off the mortgage before retirement — just as his parents did. Things didn’t work out that way. Instead, his $4,500 monthly mortgage payments — a consequence of several equity withdraws over the years — became a financial drag.”It’s pretty hard to retire with that,” the Irvine attorney, 66, said.  More and more older homeowners are carrying mortgage debt, a burden that threatens to delay their retirement and curtail spending among the massive baby boomer population. Nearly a third of homeowners 65 and older had a mortgage in 2011, up from 22% in 2001, according to an analysis from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, using the latest available data. The debt burden also grew — with older homeowners owing a median of $79,000 in 2011, compared with an inflation-adjusted $43,400 a decade earlier. For decades, Americans strove hard to pay off their mortgages before retirement, an aspiration that when achieved was celebrated with mortgage-burning parties.