Where Seniors Are Most Likely Still Paying Their Mortgage

Married couple in their 60s, sitting at a kitchen table reviewing paperwork. Both are dressed casually.

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Many financial experts recommend older homeowners pay off their mortgage balances before they retire since mortgages tend to be the largest debt owed by many Americans. But that isn’t practical for many Americans: Nearly 10 million homeowners aged 65 and older still have a mortgage, according to a new study from LendingTree. That translates to nearly 19% of homeowners 65-and-up across 50 metro areas who still have a mortgage, researchers say.

The largest shares of homeowners 65 and older still with a mortgage are in Miami, Los Angeles, and Sacramento, Calif., according to the analysis. On the other hand, three Texas metro areas—Houston, Austin, and Dallas—have the smallest share of homeowners 65-plus with a mortgage.

Older Americans who are still paying off their mortgage tend to have lower housing costs. Their average monthly housing cost is $268 less than it is for the general population, according to the LendingTree study.

The study also found that older age groups tend to have homes worth less than those owned by the general public. Older homeowners’ homes are worth an average of $10,626 less than homes owned by the general population, according to the study.