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Home in Retirement: More Freedom, New Choices

A Merrill Lynch Retirement Study, conducted in partnership with Age Wave

Some may renovate, others relocate. But a full two-thirds of retirees agree on one thing: they are now living in the best home of their lives. This study, the latest in a series exploring new retirement realities, looks at how freedom from work, shifting family dynamics, fewer home-related expenses and unprecedented longevity are empowering retirees to pursue a home that fits their desired lifestyle and changing priorities.

Key insights from the study also include:

  • The “Freedom Threshold” phenomenon: Why, by age 61, the majority of people feel free to choose where they most want to live
  • The “Downsize Surprise,” revealing that many retirees choose not to move to a smaller home
  • Retirement HotSpots”: The places people say they want to live in retirement—and why
  • Top Renovation Projects: What retirees are doing to make their current homes even better
  • Important considerations when deciding where to live in retirement
  • New options empowering retirees to stay in their homes and remain independent in later life


This report is the fifth in a series of in-depth studies conducted in partnership with Age Wave focusing on seven life priorities, as defined through Merrill Lynch Clear®. Merrill Lynch Clear is a pioneering approach designed to connect people’s lives to their finances and help them live their best life in retirement. The study was conducted and data analyzed during the second half of 2014 and is based on a nationally representative survey of more than 3,600 respondents. To learn more about the findings, download the study here.


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For more insights on Merrill Lynch Clear and the changing retirement landscape, visit

Age Wave is not affiliated with Bank of America Corporation.


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