Unreal Estate

Now is not the time to count on your house to prop up your retirement

When the stock market was flying six year ago, some folks looked at their soaring portfolios and concluded they had enough money to retire--only to have to burrow back into work after the Internet bubble popped. Now another set of aspiring retirees, this one reveling in inflated home values, may be in for a similar rude awakening.

Houses are not tech stocks. If your property doubled in value over the past 10 years, you can be reasonably sure that it will hang on to some, if not much, of the gain. But counting on further rapid appreciation is foolish. The average...

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