How seniors can lessen the mortgage burden

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Depending on circumstances, those retiring with a mortgage can take a variety of steps to lessen the financial burden.

If payments are unmanageable, seniors can sell their home and move to a smaller place, said James Wells, a housing counselor with ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions. By downsizing, seniors can not only reduce their mortgage payments but also other expenses that come with a larger home.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau also recommends setting a goal to pay off the mortgage by a certain time and including that in one’s retirement plan. And for those nearing retirement age who are buying a new home or refinancing, the agency says to consider a term of 10 to 15 years rather than 30.

Those who do get into trouble can receive free counseling though AARP’s housing solutions center, set up in the wake of the foreclosure crisis.

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