Over the next decade the entire baby boomer generation will be in retirement age. According to a study done by Harvard University, 60% of those between the ages of 50 and 64 had a mortgage in 1992 and by 2010 that number past 70%. Income levels generally start to peak in one’s late 40s and as retirement nears the costs of homeownership can consume a growing percentage of their income.

Considering the data this Harvard study has revealed it’s more important than ever to take steps to prepare for the financial commitment of a mortgage, whether your nearing retirement or not.

If you need help managing your mortgage you could consider a refinance or a reverse mortgage. If interest rates are lower than your current rate, which could be very possible seeing as rates hit their lowest level since summer of last year in October, you may want to check in with your loan officer to see how much you could save with a refinance. For those of you who are already in retirement and have equity in your home you may qualify for a reverse mortgage where you can supplement cash flow by tapping into your homes equity.

Even if you are not retired or even nearing retirement there are still things you should be doing to prepare so you are building wealth for your future. For example if your employer offers a match you should be sure you are taking full advantage of this free money. If you are currently in the real estate market you may want to look into state and federal government programs which often provide financial assistance and property tax breaks.