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Monetizing Housing Equity to Generate Retirement Incomes

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  • Ngee-Choon Chia

    (Department of Economics, National University of Singapore)

  • Albert K C Tsui

    (Department of Economics, National University of Singapore)

Abstract

The public housing program and the unique way of financing housing through the mandatory savings system in Singapore have created a class of homeowners. This paper compares the instruments available to different flat owners to monetize their assets, including the Lease Buyback Scheme (LBS), subletting, downsizing and reverse mortgage. We estimate the present value of retirement incomes derived from these options by incorporating the survival probability which is forecasted using the Lee-Carter demographic model. We compare the monthly payouts that can be unlocked and discuss the tradeoffs of adequate retirement with the elderly preference for leaving a bequest and ageing in place. Our results show that LBS is the most attractive option. It allows the elderly to age-inplace while generating a steady stream of monthly drawdown and possibility of leaving a bequest. Subletting releases housing equity while retaining the asset. This helps the elderly to fulfill their bequest motive. Reverse mortgage is the least attractive option, yielding the lowest retirement income due to high loading factors.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National University of Singapore, Department of Economics, SCAPE in its series SCAPE Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 0901.

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Date of creation: Jul 2009
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Handle: RePEc:sca:scaewp:0901

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  1. Ngee-Choon Chia & Albert K C Tsui, 2005. "Medical Savings Accounts in Singapore: How much is adequate?," SCAPE Policy Research Working Paper Series 0502, National University of Singapore, Department of Economics, SCAPE.
  2. Olivia S. Mitchell & John Piggott, 2004. "Unlocking Housing Equity in Japan," NBER Working Papers 10340, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. McCARTHY, DAVID & MITCHELL, OLIVIA S. & PIGGOTT, JOHN, 2002. "Asset rich and cash poor: retirement provision and housing policy in Singapore," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(03), pages 197-222, November.
  4. Chia, Ngee Choon & Tsui, Albert K. C., 2003. "Life annuities of compulsory savings and income adequacy of the elderly in Singapore," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(01), pages 41-65, March.
  5. Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 2004. "Aging and Housing Equity: Another Look," NBER Chapters, in: Perspectives on the Economics of Aging, pages 127-180 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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