I rented until 1995 when I purchased my first home (I am 67). To me, it is like a bank account.
When I rented, I paid the landlord's mortgage. Now I pay my own and will be reimbursed when I sell.
When I rented, I had to vacate over and over as each landlord either sold their property or had family they wanted to put into it. No one can make me move out of my own home until I am ready.
Crag, do not allow society to tell you what and how...it is your life and it is up to you to decide what is right for you. I tried both and am happier being a home owner.
Best of luck in whatever you decide.