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Reverse Mortgages as Retirement Financing Instrument: An Option for “Asset-rich and Cash-poor” Singaporeans

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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 unique way of financing housing through the mandatory savings system in Singapore has created a class of “asset-rich and cash-poor” Singaporeans. This paper provides a framework to assess the viability of a reverse mortgage (RM) market so that such instruments may be harnessed as a source of financing retirement income for home owners. Based on different cost of capital, we estimate the probability of loss for both the private supplier and public provider of RMs. The probability of loss is computed by three major components: choice of replacement ratio and property growth rate; forecast of cohort survival probability by joint-life; and generation of yield curves to discount the future cash flows. The stochastic forecast of survival probability is estimated using the Lee-Carter demographic model based on the abridged life tables. The discount factor for future cash flows are generated from stochastic interest rates. Our simulation results indicate that based on the benchmark scenario, RM instruments by private providers are likely to achieve about 50% replacement ratio for the 4-room public housing owners. However, the market may be missing if a replacement ratio of 70% is required.

Suggested Citation

  • Ngee-Choon Chia & Albert K C Tsui, 2005. "Reverse Mortgages as Retirement Financing Instrument: An Option for “Asset-rich and Cash-poor” Singaporeans," SCAPE Policy Research Working Paper Series 0503, National University of Singapore, Department of Economics, SCAPE.
  • Handle: RePEc:sca:scaewp:0503
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    File URL: http://www.fas.nus.edu.sg/ecs/pub/wp-scape/0503.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Venti, Steven F. & Wise, David A., 1991. "Aging and the income value of housing wealth," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 371-397, April.
    2. Ruth Hancock, 1998. "Can housing wealth alleviate poverty among Britain's older population?," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 19(3), pages 249-272, August.
    3. John C. Cox & Jonathan E. Ingersoll Jr. & Stephen A. Ross, 2005. "A Theory Of The Term Structure Of Interest Rates," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Theory Of Valuation, chapter 5, pages 129-164 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    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. 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.
    6. Nandinee K. Kutty, 1998. "The Scope for Poverty Alleviation among Elderly Home-owners in the United States through Reverse Mortgages," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 35(1), pages 113-129, January.
    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. Louise Sheiner & David N. Weil, 1992. "The Housing Wealth of the Aged," NBER Working Papers 4115, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Marie-Eve Lachance & Olivia S. Mitchell & Kent Smetters, 2003. "Guaranteeing Defined Contribution Pensions: The Option to Buy Back a Defined Benefit Promise," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 70(1), pages 1-16.
    10. Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 2000. "Aging and Housing Equity," NBER Working Papers 7882, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Christopher J. Mayer & Katerina V. Simons, 1994. "Reverse Mortgages and the Liquidity of Housing Wealth," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 22(2), pages 235-255.
    12. Christopher J. Mayer & Katerina Simons, 1993. "Reverse mortgages and the liquidity of housing wealth," Working Papers 93-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
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    Cited by:

    1. Joan Costa i Font & Joan Gil & Oscar Mascarilla MirÛ, "undated". "Preferencias de la poblaciÛn ante la financiaciÛn de la dependÈncia: La hipoteca inversa en Espana," Studies on the Spanish Economy 230, FEDEA.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    incomplete reverse mortgage market; replacement ratio; probability of loss; risk free interest; breakeven annuity;

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