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How old are appraisers and when do they plan to retire?
Appraisalport poll – 1/7/13
If you are licensed or certified, what is your age range?
21 to 30 (2%) 138 votes
31 to 40 (15%) 1,027 votes
41 to 50 (30%) 2,095 votes
51 to 60 (42%) 2,284 votes
61 to 70 (16%) 1,113 votes
Over 70 (3%) 228 votes
Total Votes: 6,885
I keep hearing about the “aging” of the appraisal profession. The latest average I heard was 62 (I think). The person did not know the source of the number. When I started my business in 1985, the average age (AIREA members) was 52. The poll above shows that active appraisers are not as old as everyone is speculating. I assume that users of AppraisalPort are active residential appraisers.
Like every other type of work, the baby boomer bulge is increasing the average age for many types of workers, not just appraisers. Another significant factor is that many, if not most, workers approaching 65 plan to keep working, for various reasons. Mandatory retirement at 65 is gone for almost all workers. Retirement savings investment yields are low. Few people, except teachers, government employees, and some union workers have defined benefit pensions.
Appraisers tend to be older as appraising is a second career for many of us. (It is my third career.) The number between 41 and 61 is 72%. There are fewer newer appraisers as many left the business during the recent downturn. This is what happens in the inevitable residential lending downcycles.
The over 70 number seems relatively low, probably because the first Baby Boomers are now 66 years old. Many people I know between 66 and early 70s are still working and plan to continue. However, we are cutting back on work hours. No more 60-80 hour work weeks for us!! (I will be 70 this year.) Yes, there are a few licensed appraisers over the age of 90!!
Personally, I don’t care about the problems of lenders finding armies of trainees for the next upcycle. There will always be experienced residential appraisers needed. Lenders have been wanting to get rid of unnecessary deal-killer appraisers since they first started using them during the Great Depression.
AppraisalPort poll – 1/21/13
I plan to retire or leave the appraisal business within the next:
5 years (22%) 1,304 votes
6-10 years (17%) 1,056 votes
11-15 years (15%) 938 votes
16-20 years (14%) 825 votes
21 or more years (15%) 938 votes
Not sure at this point (16%) 991 votes
Total Votes: 6,052
My comments: Very interesting and not as definite as the age poll above, which had 19% over the age of 61. I would have also expected more “not sures” than 16%. I am not sure myself when I will retire, meaning giving up my appraisal license and designations. In California, you only have a one year grace period to reinstate your license, then you go back to a trainee and do everything all over again.
I strongly recommend that appraisers keep your license if you possible can. It is not that difficult to get a few non-lender appraisals a month, which can keep you somewhat active and give you few extra bucks. Also, if you really need more money, you can do more appraisals. It is a lot easier and you make a lot more money than taking a part time WalMart job.
9/20 Update: not much has changed, except the average appraiser age is around 60. No new trainees due to AMCs requiring state certification plus 5 years experience to be approved. Baby boomer aging.