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Monetizing Housing Equity to Generate Retirement Incomes

Author

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  • Ngee-Choon Chia

    (Singapore Centre for Applied and Policy Economics)

  • Albert K C Tsui

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Ngee-Choon Chia & Albert K C Tsui, 2009. "Monetizing Housing Equity to Generate Retirement Incomes," Microeconomics Working Papers 22759, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:eab:microe:22759
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Ronald Lee & Timothy Miller, 2001. "Evaluating the performance of the lee-carter method for forecasting mortality," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 38(4), pages 537-549, November.
    3. Palacios,Robert J. & Pallares-Miralles,Montserrat, 2000. "International patterns of pension provision," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 98252, The World Bank.
    4. Chia, Ngee-Choon & Tsui, Albert K.C., 2005. "Medical savings accounts in Singapore: how much is adequate?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 855-875, September.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Mitchell, Olivia S. & Piggott, John, 2004. "Unlocking housing equity in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 466-505, December.
    8. Palacios,Robert J. & Pallares-Miralles,Montserrat, 2000. "International patterns of pension provision," Policy Research Working Paper Series 98252, The World Bank.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    public housing; Lease Buyback Scheme; LBS; Lee-Carter demographic model; Singapore;

    JEL classification:

    • R20 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - General
    • H81 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - Governmental Loans; Loan Guarantees; Credits; Grants; Bailouts
    • H82 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - Governmental Property

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