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Older Americans On The Go: Financial and Psychological Effects of Moving

Esteban Calvo (), Kelly Haverstick and Natalia Zhivan ()

Issues in Brief from Center for Retirement Research

Abstract: Moving is an important decision for any homeowner, requiring one to weigh the familiar comforts of a home and neighborhood against the uncertain potential of a new location. A move decision may be even more challenging for an older person. On the one hand, older people often have a decades-long attachment to their current residence. On the other hand, they may face new opportunities (ample leisure time) or challenges (the loss of a spouse) that affect their desire or ability to stay where they are. This brief is the second of two examining moving decisions among older Americans. The first brief covered how often older households move, where they move, and their stated reasons for moving. An initial analysis of these reasons indicated two general types of movers: those who are able to affirmatively plan a move (“Planners”) and those who react to a change in their circumstances that may force them to relocate (“Reactors”). Given the different stated motivations of these movers, the determinants and consequences of their move decisions may vary. This brief tests these hypotheses, using the Health and Retirement Study. The first section introduces the sample of households used in the analysis. The second section analyzes what characteristics influence a decision to move. The third section looks at the impact of moving on home equity, while the fourth section considers the impact on psychological well-being. The final section concludes.

Pages: 13 pages
Date: 2009, Revised 2009
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-age, nep-mig and nep-ure
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