Improve Your Retirement Income Plan With HomeSafe

“The world is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper .”- W.B. Yeats 

RETIRE WELL WITH THE HOMESAFE® JUMBO FINANCIAL TOOL 

HOMESAFE: The Financial Tool Designed for Owners of High-Value Homes  

If you’re 62 or older, now you can access even more of your home’s equity and put it to work wherever you want—giving you more control over your assets, investments and cash flow.

HomeSafe loan proceeds are tax-free with a competitive fixed interest rate that’s lower than you might expect. You can use your proceeds as you choose to fund a more comfortable and secure retirement.

The HomeSafe reverse mortgage offers these great advantages:

  • Loan amounts up to $4 million – significantly higher than a HECM allows
  • No mortgage insurance premium
  • Condominiums appraised at $500,000 or more do not require FHA approval

With HomeSafe you have a lot of flexibility with how you use your proceeds in order to fund your retirement and enjoy your golden years:

  • Pay off existing mortgage debt, have no monthly mortgage payments and improve your cash flow
  • Buy a house or condo in an upscale area or active lifestyle community
  • Pay for home improvements
  • Cover medical or in-home care expenses
  • Refinance an existing reverse mortgage to access a larger pool of funds
MAXIMIZE YOUR HOME EQUITY

If your goal is to supplement retirement income, a HomeSafe reverse mortgage could provide the key to unlock the equity value in your home.

Ideal for homes appraised higher than the HECM loan limit allows, homeowners age 62 and older can potentially access hundreds of thousands of dollars more of their equity than the FHA HECM loan currently offers.

Would you like to learn more about the HomeSafe jumbo reverse mortgage and how it may help you secure long-term financial independence? 

Contact me to have a conversation or to set up a complimentary personal assessment.

Reverse Mortgage Insights from Industry Expert, Ted Butler

“With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.
– Eleanor Roosevelt

A CONVERSATION WITH TED BUTLER 

HECM World is one of my go-to resources for keeping up to date on trends and news in the reverse mortgage world. I’m a big fan of their ReverseTalk video series and in a recent episode they featured a great conversation with industry expert, Ted Butler.

Like a lot of financial services professionals I’ve run into, Ted was once skeptical of reverse mortgages but is now an advocate for this strategic financial tool.

I couldn’t agree more with his belief that today’s reverse mortgage is one of the most effective financial solutions available to help clients address the challenge of a guaranteed income in retirement.

Similar to Ted, I’ve talked quite a bit in the past about the power of leveraging your home equity with a reverse mortgage. Reverse mortgages can give you safe access to this significant financial asset in order to provide peace of mind in your retirement years.

Click on the image below to watch the video.

Ted has become a strong voice for reverse mortgages and is dedicated to educating homeowners and financial advisors on the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) and how it can be a powerful retirement planning tool.

A New Solution to the Senior Care Challenge

“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed .”- Maya Angelou

THE REVERSE MORTGAGE STANDBY LINE OF CREDIT  

When it comes to using a reverse mortgage in retirement planning, there are several strategies that make the standby line of credit feature a “must have” for seniors. In particular, the Reverse Mortgage Standby Line of Credit can be a great solution to help create a senior care funding strategy.

Here are some key considerations for a senior care funding strategy and the standby line of credit:

  • In-home care services can reduce the need for expensive nursing homes and improve quality of care.
  • Services can gradually be ramped up as needed—from help with household chores, to 24-hour nursing care.
  • A Reverse Mortgage Standby Line of Credit can be set up in advance—before care is needed—so funding is at-the-ready.
  • Unlike a traditional Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC), the unused portion of the reverse mortgage line of credit grows over time, allowing access to more funds as the borrower ages. And the line cannot be reduced or revoked by the lender, as long as the terms of the loan are met — ensuring the funds will be there when needed.
  • There are no monthly mortgage payments for as long as you live in your home. Homeowners do remain responsible for keeping current with property taxes, required insurance and home maintenance.
  • Proceeds are tax-free (this is not tax advice so please consult a tax professional)
A Reverse Mortgage Standby Line of Credit is a smart retirement funding tool that leverages the power of an important asset – your home equity – to help make sure you’ll be in the position to receive the care you need and continue to live in your own home.
THE NUMBERS 
  • Over 97% of Americans make no advance financial plans for senior care needs. Yet 70% will need some form of senior care in their lifetime.
  • Most incorrectly believe their medical insurance will pay for care.
  • Annual costs start at approximately $30,000 for in-home care and range up to $94,000 for nursing home care.

Using Your Home Equity as a Retirement Asset

“The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.” – H. Jackson Brown Jr.

REVERSE MORTGAGE BASICS 

Why You Should Consider a Reverse Mortgage  

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about the basics of a reverse mortgage and how this versatile retirement financial tool can help provide peace of mind in your golden years.

Reverse mortgages are becoming increasingly recognized by homeowners and financial advisors as a smart and safe way to access an important retirement asset: your home equity.

Most reverse mortgages are government-insured Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs). You will often hear the terms used interchangeably. Available exclusively to people age 62 and older, a reverse mortgage could help you live more comfortably and be more financially prepared for the future.

For example, you can use a reverse mortgage to >>

  • Avoid selling investments at a loss in a “down” market.
  • Establish a “stand-by” line of credit that you can tap into as needed. Unlike a traditional Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC), a reverse mortgage line of credit cannot be reduced or revoked, as long as the terms of the loan are met. And the unused line of credit grows over time.
  • Supplement retirement income with tax-free funds.
  • Pay for medical or long-term care costs.
  • Finance the purchase of a more suitable home, with no monthly mortgage payments. 

To be eligible for a reverse mortgage, you must:

  • Be at least 62 years old
  • Live in the home as your primary residence
  • Not be delinquent on any federal debt
  • Participate in a consumer information session held be an independent counselor who’s approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

Some of the Key Benefits of a Reverse Mortgage 

  • The ability to use your home equity to help you maintain a more comfortable standard of living, in your own home.
  • Tax-free loan proceeds you can use in multiple ways.
  • Great flexibility. You can choose to take your proceeds as a line of credit; monthly advances for a set period of time; a monthly stream of funds for as long as you live in your home; a lump sum; or a combination of these options.
  • No monthly mortgage payments. If you qualify and have an existing mortgage, home equity loan or any other type of debt, you can pay it off and reduce your monthly expenses. Or, if you own your home free-and-clear, you can get the additional funds you need with no monthly mortgage payments.

One thing to note is that as the homeowner, you remain responsible for paying property taxes, homeowner’s insurance and homeowner’s association dues if applicable.

HOW MUCH MONEY CAN YOU GET? 

This depends upon a number of factors including your age, your home’s current appraised market value, the amount of equity, FHA lending limits, the current interest rate, and the reverse mortgage product and payment option you choose. If you have an existing mortgage, your reverse mortgage will first be used to pay that off.

Would you like to learn more about reverse mortgages and get a quote that’s tailored to your specific needs and situation? Contact me to have a conversation or to set up a complimentary personal assessment.

The Emotional Challenges of Decluttering

The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.– Thich Nhat Hanh 

DECLUTTERING YOUR HOME: THE EMOTIONAL CHALLENGES

There comes a time when it’s necessary to declutter your home and go through the process of sorting your belongings and parting with those that aren’t necessary.

If you are planning on aging in place, it can be very good to streamline your surroundings and organize your home in a way that you can:

  1. Have easy access to the things you need.
  2. Enjoy memories stored up in photos, letters and mementos.
  3. Find critical things quickly and within a safe reach.
  4. More easily navigate through your home, especially if you have any mobility issues.

For seniors moving into a smaller, more manageable space, decluttering is an inevitable step as you prepare for this next stage of life in your new right-sized home.

Decluttering can be an extremely satisfying experience but also one that takes time and causes you to deal with a variety of different emotions.

COMMON EMOTIONAL CHALLENGES WHEN DECLUTTERING

1. Fear you might regret getting rid of a certain item
Holding onto a particular item due to the fear that you might need it someday is probably something most of us have experienced.

It could be an out-of-style pair of pants, workout equipment that you don’t use anymore or tools you haven’t looked at in ages. These are typically the things that end up sitting at the back of your closet, in your basement or in your garage untouched for more years that you can remember.

The key is not to let excess belongings hold you back from creating the ideal atmosphere and living situation in your home. You should critically assess whether you actually need or envision needing a particular item in the future and if the answer is no, it’s time to part with it.

2. Fear you could lose out on something valuable 
Fortunately there is eBay and appraisers to help address this fear. Simply look up the item on eBay to get a realistic idea of the current market value. If it is something you believe could be very valuable, consider having it appraised. From there you can decide whether you prefer to sell or hold onto the item.

3. Feelings of guilt due to getting rid of a gift or something inherited 
I’m the first to admit that it can be challenging to get rid of something that was a gift, was handed down to me or was inherited from a family member.

Family dynamics and nostalgia definitely can come into play, leading to feelings of guilt. I’ve found it helps to take your emotions out of the process and assess these items with the goal of creating a cleaner, organized and more functional home in mind.

4. Concerns about where the item might end up 
Some people might feel guilty letting go of something that once had value to them without knowing where it will end up and whether it will ultimately be appreciated.

Try to think of it this way – is it better for that item to sit in the back of your closet untouched or to be donated where there is the chance it will go to someone who needs it more?

5. Feelings of nostalgia that make it difficult to decide whether to part with a certain item 
This is one of the biggest challenges when trying to declutter. Sentimental memorabilia like old books, souvenirs, childhood toys, etc. can be difficult to part with and for good reason. These items can have an emotional hold over you.

There is no clear solution to overcome this but here are a few things to consider that might help. Getting rid of sentimental items does not mean you’re devaluing that time of your life. Your memories aren’t in physical objects. You can still hold onto and celebrate those memories and moments even if you part with these sentimental items.

However if you love a particular piece and it brings you joy, by all means keep it.

6. Feeling overwhelmed 
Feeling overwhelmed when thinking about decluttering and figuring out where to start is quite common. It can be challenging to get motivated if you do not have a clear plan for how to sort and decide what to get rid of and what to keep.

You can always pick up a copy of one of Marie Kondo’s books or watch her show “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” on Netlfix for some inspiration and guidance.

For larger decluttering projects, you might consider hiring a professional home organizer. There are a number of services out there that specialize in helping seniors and their families downsize, declutter, sort and organize.

Decluttering can be a time-consuming and emotional task but if you have clear goals and are prepared for the various emotions you might face, it will be more manageable and less challenging.

Planning for Your Golden Years

“Faith and fear both demand you believe in something you cannot see. You choose.– Bob Proctor

WHEN SHOULD YOU SEEK ADVICE 

There are many important decisions to think about for your later years in life and at times it can seem overwhelming. The good news is that there is no lack of expert resources you can tap into so you’ll be more prepared and at ease leading up to and during retirement.

Having solid, good information is crucial to making sound decisions and minimizing risk and stress.

One of my favorite writers at HECM World, Amara Rose, identified 4 areas where seniors should seek advice in advance in her most recent article.

#1. AGING IN PLACE
I’ve talked about this a great deal and it’s been reported in numerous studies but more and more Americans are wanting to age in place. With aging in place comes the question of caregiving and most likely in-home assistance. Even a fit, healthy senior needs to plan for this in the case they live to be a ripe old age, take a fall or suffer from an unexpected illness and require temporary or longer-term assistance.

According to Genworth Financial, $45,760 is the average annual cost for a home health aide.

This is where a certified financial planner (CFP) could be a strategic resource for seniors and family members to work together and put a plan in place ahead of time.

#2. RETIREMENT PLANNING
My clients can have very different visions for their retirement years but most are planning for an active lifestyle, which is in alignment with the majority of the 76 million Boomer retirees and soon-to-be retirees out there. Whatever lifestyle you’re envisioning, you’ll need to make sure your bank accounts and any other financial resources will be able to support it.

One of the challenges in planning for your golden years is pinpointing exactly what your expenses in retirement will look like. A CFP and an accountant/CPA are two potential resources. It’s always ideal to consult these experts sooner than later so you can get an understanding of what’s required to achieve positive outcomes in retirement and start on the right path.

#3. END-OF-LIFE CARE  
Discussing end-of-life care is never easy but necessary. Questions like do you want palliative and hospice care, a DNR (do-not-resuscitate) order or every possible medical intervention in the case of serious illness should be answered and put in writing.

Speaking with your physician or another trusted healthcare professional to discuss options for end-of-life care so you have the facts and make informed decisions is crucial. Then consult an Elder Law and Special Needs Law attorney to ensure your long-term care and end-of-life care plans are official and complete.

#4. ESTATE PLANNING & ASSET PROTECTION  
Estate planning is incredibly important to making sure your property and assets end up in the place you want and the decisions in your absence will be made by the people you trust and reflect your wishes. Prudent planning will also provide protection for your loved ones and ideally prevent potential messes when you’re gone.

Estate planning can involve the services of a variety of professionals, such as an Elder Law or Special Needs Law attorney, your accountant, financial planner, life insurance advisor, banker and broker.

Getting all of your ducks in a row for your years later on in life doesn’t have to be complicated if you leverage the many resources out there. With some skillful planning with the proper experts, you can be fully prepared financially, emotionally and mentally.

Build Up Your Nest Egg with a Reverse Mortgage

“Celebrate what you want to see more of.” – Tom Peters

ADDING A REVERSE MORTGAGE TO YOUR NEST EGG STRATEGY 

Having a healthy nest egg is one of the keys to financial stability in your golden years but life isn’t always predictable and things could come up that put your savings at risk (illness, job loss, market collapse, etc.).

The cost of living and retirement has also changed and a $1 million nest egg won’t get you as far as let’s say 10 years ago.

Some financial experts recommend seniors pay off their mortgage and rent in retirement as a potential solution.

Yes. Housing can be a big expense in retirement years but it’s not the only one. According to a recent report from the Employee Benefit Research Institute, by the age of 90 “heath care expenses account for more than 20 percent of the households’ entire budget.”

The selling and buying solution also doesn’t take into consideration two things:

  1. More and more older American prefer to age in place and live out their golden years in the comfort of their own home.
  2. By selling and renting seniors could be giving up one of their biggest assets, home equity.

BUILDING YOUR NEST EGG
WITH A REVERSE MORTGAGE

A reverse mortgage is often overlooked but can be a strategic addition to a retirement plan to help maintain and ideally grow your nest egg – in particular the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage’s line-of-credit feature.

The line of credit provides senior homeowners with money they can tap into later on in life, and the credit grows at a hate higher than that of a conservative investment portfolio. Another advantage is there are no monthly mortgage payments with an HECM.

All retirement woes and financial challenges will not necessarily be solved with a reverse mortgage but it is a potential solution for long-term savings shortfalls and combined with other methods, can lead to more financial peace of mind in your retirement years.

Are Self-Driving Cars The Answer To Seniors’ Mobility Challenges?

“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.” – Stephen Hawking

WILL SENIORS LEAD THE SELF-DRIVING REVOLUTION? Seniors Lead the Self-Driving Revolution? 

Older Drivers Could be the First to Embrace Self-Driving Cars

Autonomous cars have not been an easy sell and not everyone is onboard with the idea. A lot of people are hestitant to hop into a driverless car and they are most likely many years away from becoming the norm.

However, seniors might just become the early adopters of the emerging autonomous vehicles. These vehicles could be the answer to aging drivers’ diminished capacity to drive safely behind the wheel and the lack of transportation alternatives out there.

Many seniors rely on friends and family to drive them where they need to be – from medical appointments to grocery shopping or a visit to the local library. There are Uber and Lyft but these services are not available everywhere.

This puts seniors, in particular those wanting to age in place, in an ideal position to experiment with something new that could ultimately make their lives easier and give them more autonomy. 

The spectrum of vehicles that will eventually be introduced into the market will provide options to older drivers so they can consider the type that suits them best.

There will also be different levels of autonomy to choose from to meet the varying needs of seniors.

The Numbers & Geography 

  • A 2014 report from the U.S. Census Bureau projected the number of people age 65+ to grow to close to 84 million by 2050, up from about 43 million in 2012.
  • Around 20% of baby boomers run the risk of being left without any family to transport them wherever it is that they need to go.
  • By 2050, surviving baby boomers will be over the age of 85.
  • Many experts estimate 2030 to 2050 as the years when fully autonomous vehicles will reach consumers.
  • According to the New York Times roughly 70 percent of adults over the age of 50 live in the suburbs, and 16 million age 65 or older live in communities basically with no public transportation.
All of these factors could make seniors a prime target for driverless cars.

With that said, there’s still no knowing how or if this group will embrace self-driving cars. It will surely a shift in mindset but could present a compelling alternative to being homebound.

Senior Housing Wealth Hits an All-Time High

“There are no limits to what you can accomplish, except the limits you place on your thinking.
– Brian Tracy

The Highest Amount of Tappable Home Equity For Seniors Since 2000 

According to the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association’s quarterly release of the NRMLA/RiskSpan Reverse Mortgage Market Index (RMMI), homeowners 62+ years of age have now amassed $6.97 trillion in home equity – with a growth of 1.4% over the 3rd quarter of 2018. And this trend shows no signs of slowing down.

The NRMLA RMMI hit 249.37, its highest mark since 2000 in Q2 with the NRMLA noting the increase was mainly driven by an estimated 1.7 percent increase ($143 billion) in senior home values, which was offset by a 0.8 percent or $12.8 billion increase of senior-held mortgage debt.

– HOME EQUITY –
ONE OF THE GREATEST ASSETS FOR SENIORS

“At a time when we’re seeing stock market volatility and the potential for a mild recession in the near future, it’s the perfect time for families to gather and take stock of their retirement resources and make necessary adjustments to ensure continued financial security,” said NRMLA President and CEO Peter Bell. “Housing wealth should be considered with other financial assets.”

For many homeowners, the equity they have built up in their home is their largest financial asset. There are a number of opportunities for senior homeowners to responsibly leverage their home equity and realize their vision for their retirement years.

More than a million senior homeowners have used a reverse mortgage to supplement retirement savings and age in place. This financial solution is a strategic way for older home owners, mostly retirees, who are no longer earning regular salaries but are spending down their savings, to access their home equity without having to increase their monthly expenses.

Happy Holidays & Gratitude

Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection.
– Winston Churchill

‘Tis the Season to be Thankful, Grateful & Blessed

One of the great joys of the holiday season is the opportunity to say a heartfelt “Thank You”!

Thank you to all of you who allowed me to be of service, for all of the kind referrals, and all of the countless generous efforts, I am profoundly grateful.

I recently read an article, which shared the statistics below. Let’s take a moment to reflect on all of the amazing gifts and blessings that we all have in our lives:

IF you woke up this morning with more health than illness…
THAN you are more fortunate than the millions of people who will not survive this week.

IF  you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation…
THAN you are ahead of 500 million people in this world.

IF you can attend your church without fear of harassment, arrest, or death…
THAN you are more blessed than THREE BILLION people in this world.

IF you have food in your refrigerator, clothes onyour back and a roof over your head…
THAN you are richer than 75% of our world.

IF you have money in the bank, or even spare change in a dish someplace…
THAN you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy.

IF you can read this email…
THAN you are doubly blessed as there are over two billion people in the world that cannot read at all.

GRATITUDE
As each one of our days is truly a gift, and today will never come again, why not show your gratitude for all that you have by being a blessing to another.

 Be a friend
2  Encourage someone
3  Let your words heal
 Pay attention to another’s need
5  Lend a hand
6  Be kind

May this Christmas season help us to appreciate all of the love in our lives, and may its true meaning fill your hearts and home with an abundance of joy. 

Warmly, Cynthia Kee