Robyn Mancell sold her Southern California, four bedroom home four years ago when her youngest child left. She moved to a cheaper, one bedroom apartment nearby.
"There was a lot of upkeep," the 58-year-old said of her former place.
As some empty nesters and retirees decide to downsize, giving up a mortgage for a rental may be attractive, depending on where they live and their other income streams, financial and real estate experts say.
About half of seniors surveyed by Credit Sesame, a credit and loan management site, said affordability is the top reason they aren't buying homes.
Retirees 65 and over in markets like Providence, Rhode Island, Kahului and Honolulu, Hawaii, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, New Haven, Springfield, Massachussetts and Reno rent at a rate 1.2 times more than the national average, according to data compiled by realtor.com.
On the other hand, retirees own at 1.1 times the national average in markets like The Villages, Punta Gorda, Sarasota and Vero Beach, Florida, Prescott, Arizona, and Santa Fe, despite it being also cheaper to rent there, according to the realtor.com data.