Maximize Your Retirement with HomeSafe

“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”- Abraham Lincoln 

FINANCIAL TOOLS TO FIT YOUR UNIQUE RETIREMENT

When you think about retirement, what is your vision?

I’ve found that retirement can mean something very different to each of my clients. For some their goal is to have the freedom to travel and explore the world. For others it’s right-sizing to the ideal home closer to family and with no mortgage payments. And most would like to live out their golden years with financial security and peace of mind.

The HomeSafe® suite of reverse mortgage products offers a variety of options to help you bring your retirement vision to life.

Click on the link below to download an overview on HomeSafe and learn more about the range of strategic financial solutions available.  

far-Homesafe-Brochure

Interested in the HomeSafe suite and talking about which solution will help you meet your retirement goals? Contact me to have a conversion or to set up a complimentary personal assessment.

 

HECM vs. HELOC: What’s the Difference

“Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.”- Robert A. Heinlein

A COMPARISON: HECM VS. HELOC 

One of the questions I get asked frequently is what are the differences between a HECM (Home Equity Conversion Mortgage) and a HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit).

With both a HECM and a HELOC you maintain ownership of your home but with the HECM there are a number of other significant benefits.

Below is a great piece talking about the differences between these two financial solutions.

Click here to read: far-2000-hecm-vs-heloc 

Please reach out if you’d like to learn more about how a HECM can help you meet your retirement goals. 

HUD Secretary Committed to HECM Changes

“Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.”- Walt Whitman

REVERSE MORTGAGE NEWS

HUD Secretary Confirms HECM Reforms 

In a recent Senate hearing titled, “Housing Finance Reform: Next Steps,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson confirmed HUD’s mission to enact key HECM reform in his prepared remarks.

Shannon Hicks, industry expert and President of Reverse Focus, Inc., covers the hearing in his “The Industry Leader Update” featured on HECM World and talks about the changes outlined by Secretary Carson.

Click the image below to watch the video or visit: https://bit.ly/2nBf64A. 

Interested in learning more about the proposed changes to the HECM program and what impact these will have?   

Contact me to have a conversation or to set up a complimentary personal assessment and see if a reverse mortgage is the right solution for you.

Join me in Bend Oregon for a Free Lunch & Learn Sept. 18th

SECURING YOUR FUTURE WITH A REVERSE MORTGAGE
FREE LUNCH & LEARN
Wednesday, September 18th 2019
11:00am – 1:00pm
Bend, Oregon

How Would Eliminating Mortgage Payments Change Your Life?

Join me September 18th for a Free Lunch & Learn where I’ll answer questions about reverse mortgages and talk about all of the benefits of this effective retirement solution, including:

»  Unlocking the equity in your home
»  Paying off an existing mortgage
»  Creating a tax free income for life
»  Paying off credit card debt


E V E N T  H I G H L I G H T

Buying a Home with a Reverse Mortgage


V E N U E 

Awbrey Glen Golf Club
2500 NW Awbrey Glen Dr. Bend, Oregon

RSVP REQUIRED & LIMITED SEATS 

CALL OR EMAIL ME TO BOOK
CA: 707-812-2102
OR: 541-797-0171
Email: cynthia126@icloud.com

Traditional & Reverse Mortgages: The Risks

Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.”- Steve Jobs 

NO MORTGAGE IS RISK-FREE

I’m sure you’ve seen at least a few national media headlines on how risky a reverse mortgage can be for older homeowners.

In a recent post on HECM World – one of my go-to resources for reverse mortgage news – industry expert Shannon Hicks touched on some of the most common risks that can be found in traditional and reverse mortgages and how most can be avoided.

1. Spending the Kids Inheritance
Many formal complaints filed on federally-insured reverse mortgages come from the adult children or heirs of a borrower. Many are not happy to find out their mom or dad took out a loan and are even less pleased to discover that a part or all of the home’s equity has been consumed.

In many of these cases the parents were not in a position to cover their daily living expenses and opted for an HECM to help reduce some of their financial burdens and maintain a sense of financial independence.

While heirs may have concerns about their inheritance, their parents often face real and more pressing and immediate financial concerns in their retirement years.

2. Foreclosure with Eviction
Few reverse mortgages result in the displacement of the homeowner, yet several HECM borrowers had ‘foreclosure’ proceedings initiated due to the non-payment of property taxes or homeowner’s insurance premiums.

The truth is that any borrower with a traditional 30 or 15-year home mortgage who does not pay such property charges will find themselves facing a foreclosure action from their lender – a fact that tends not be mentioned in the media.

HUD’s Financial Assessment for HECM borrowers has drastically reduced defaults for nonpayment of property charges now measuring the homeowner’s financial capacity and willingness to meet these ongoing obligations. The vast majority of what HUD calls HECM foreclosures are in fact the natural end of the loan when no equity remains or the loan balance exceeds the sale price of the home.

3. Loss of Equity
While an HECM does consume the equity of the home as payments are rarely made to reduce the loan balance but think about traditional mortgages. Traditional mortgage borrowers with substantial equity in their property who find themselves delinquent in their payments are the most likely to be foreclosed on. The lenders know they stand to recoup their security position quickly in the property.

Which is worse? Making mortgage payments for many years only to lose your home in foreclosure or having an HECM slowly consume the equity while you have no monthly payments?

4. Only One Spouse on the Loan 

Unlike a traditional mortgage, the federally-insured reverse mortgage now provides protections to named eligible non-borrowing spouses after the oldest borrower has passed away. This allows the younger spouse to remain in the home without the loan being called due and payable during a deferral period.

No protections like this are available for traditional mortgage borrowers who may have left off their spouse from the title for legal or personal reasons. In such circumstances the surviving spouse would need to refinance, sell the home, or payoff the traditional mortgage or face foreclosure.

Once again, the HECM stands out and has more protections in place to help mitigate the risk.

THE BOTTOM LINE

There is a lot of misinformation out there coming from “experts” and members of the media who seem to focus on the HECM thanks to its non-traditional design and the protected class it serves.

Yes, there are risks with reverse mortgages but there are with traditional mortgages as well and with an HECM, most can be avoided.

More Safeguards For Reverse Mortgages = Even More Peace Of Mind

No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”- Charles Dickens

ADDITIONAL CONSUMER SAFEGUARDS FOR REVERSE MORTGAGES

Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs) are the most common and most popular type of reverse mortgages. HECMs are backed and insured by the FHA to reduce borrower risk, and serve as a useful financial tool for many individuals looking to supplement their retirement income.

Now even more structured with the borrower in mind, the HECM loan is designed to help borrowers, age 62+, convert some of their home equity into cash – so they can live more comfortably and with greater financial independence.

Built into this strategic financial tool are important, recent safeguards for additional security:

  • Tightened lending limit helps borrowers preserve revenue steam for better long-term money management;
  • The annual mortgage insurance premiums borrowers are required to pay over the course of their loans has dropped from 1.25% to 0.5%;
  • The initial MIP required has increased to 2% for all borrowers. However, this represents a reduction for borrowers who take out larger reverse mortgages and were paying a 2.5 percent upfront premium.

Additional Previous Changes for Borrower Security:

  • Updated non-borrowing spouse protections;
  • Financial assessment helps determine if borrowers are willing and able to meet financial obligations;
  • LESA – Life expectancy set asides use HECM proceeds to pay taxes and insurance.
EXISTING PROTECTIONS YOU CAN ALWAYS RELY ON 

No Monthly Mortgage Payments
A reverse mortgage does not have to be repaid until you sell, move or no longer live in your home.

No Surprise Costs
During the application process, you’ll receive a clear and detailed breakdown of all fees and closing costs, including the total loan costs over the projected life of the loan.

Asset Protection
HECMs are non-recourse loans. After the loan is repaid, any remaining equity belongs to you or your heirs. This means that you can never owe more than the value of your home at the time you or your heirs sell your home to repay your reverse mortgage.

With a HECM, the reverse mortgage debt may be satisfied by selling the home to pay the lesser of the mortgage balance or 95% of the current appraised value of the home.

Independent Counseling
To ensure that you understand all aspects of a reverse mortgage, you’re required to have a counseling session with an independent counselor who’s approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Limitation On Fees
Origination fees are regulated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and cannot exceed HUD limits. In addition, origination fees and closing costs may be financed as part of the reverse mortgage, so out-of-pocket expenses can be minimal.

No Prepayment Penalty
Although a HECM loan is not due until the borrower permanently vacates the home, it can be paid off at any time, with no additional fees.

FHA-Insured
Insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to protect lenders and borrowers alike. This insurance guarantees you will receive your loan proceeds as agreed upon with the lender at the closing of the loan.

Are Your Retirement Ready?

Please think about your legacy, because you are writing it every day.”- Gary Vaynerchuk

WHAT’S YOUR RETIREMENT READINESS QUOTIENT?   

Retirement is a significant stage in life that can cause a number of different emotions depending on how well prepared you are, not only financially but mentally.

Some of my clients have a very clear picture of their retirement and have been working towards achieving their vision for many years while others are not there yet emotionally, mentally or financially to make the transition.

Gene Cohen, M.D., Ph.D., author of The Mature Mind: The Positive Power of the Aging Brain, has developed a 12-point questionnaire to help you determine your Retirement Readiness Quotient (RQ).

Cohen states, “If you have not given much thought to any of these questions, or if you do not have many good answers for them, you are probably not well prepared for retirement.” 

12 Questions to Ask Yourself About Retirement from Gene Cohen: 

1) Why are you thinking about retirement now? (Give yourself 1 point for a clear answer, 0 points if your reasoning seems fuzzy or you are simply uncertain.) Significance: Your reasons for retirement should be sound and not impulsive or the result of inadequate planning. 

2) Do you really want to retire? (1 point if yes, 0 if no.) Significance: This seemingly simple question is an excellent predictor of success in the transition to retirement. It asks you to consider your deepest desires and motivations, not just what you “think” you ought to do or what other people expect you to do.

3) What do your family and friends say about you retiring? (1 point if they think you’re doing the right thing.) Significance: Feedback from those who know you well can be invaluable when you’re contemplating retirement. Do they think it’s a good decision? Do they think you have thought it out well and prepared sufficiently for it? 

4) Have you considered whether you want a complete or partial retirement? Have you considered part-time or temporary work, or even a less-than-fulltime small business venture (emphasis on “considered”)? (1 point if you’ve considered the options, even if you choose full retirement.) Significance: If you are not entirely sure about retirement or are concerned about finances, then phased, or partial retirement is an important option to consider. 

5) Are your finances sufficient to carry you through your retirement years while continuing to enjoy your current lifestyle? (1 point if yes to both parts of question; 0 if no to either part.) Significance: If you answered no, you clearly have further financial planning to do. 

6) Have you attended a retirement preparation program or seminar focused on financial planning? (1 point if yes, 0 if no.) Significance: Such programs can help you plan spending, predict future income, and anticipate future needs. A bewildering number of options exist, and getting some objective advice is invaluable. 

7) What gives you a sense of meaning and purpose in life? (1 point if when you write it down and read it aloud you feel you’ve adequately identified what gives you a sense of meaning and purpose; 0 points if your reasoning seems fuzzy or you are simply uncertain.) Significance: A lack of clarity about your core values and what aspects of life hold meaning for you is often associated with a less fulfilling retirement.

8) What specific types of activities and experiences are important and fulfilling for you? (1 point if your description of how your plans relate to what is important to you makes sense, or 1 point if someone who is reliable and knows you considers your answer good and clear.) Significance: This is a more specific version of question 7. Your answers here provide a window on how well you really know your mind and how well you have planned how to accomplish what is important to you. 

9) Have you attended a retirement preparation program or seminar focused on social planning (e.g., community activities and interpersonal endeavors)? (1 point if yes, 0 if no.) Significance: Prospective retirees often fail to adequately plan how they will actually spend their time in retirement. Floundering in these areas can lead to frustration and a disappointing retirement life.

10) Have you developed outside interests, hobbies, volunteer activities, or areas of new learning? (1 point if yes, 0 if no.) Significance: Developing new interests can improve the quality of retirement life, and engaging in challenging new endeavors can present new opportunities for personal mastery and empowerment that are associated with positive health outcomes. 

11) Have you planned new activities that would allow you to interact with people on a regular basis and that offer chances to form new friendships? (1 point if yes, 0 if no.) Significance: Making new friends is often more difficult in retirement, and loneliness is associated with a host of mental and physical ills.

12) During retirement, will making only a modest contribution in volunteer activities be sufficient for you? (1 point if yes, 0 if no.) Significance: People who have had satisfying and personally meaningful careers can find the transition to retirement difficult if they do not plan for other ways to make a difference. Such people might consider a phased retirement so they can continue with fulfilling work while starting their retirement.

SCORING
  • 12 points: You’re in position for a great retirement!
  • 10-11 points: Your retirement will likely be highly satisfying.
  • 8-9 points: Your retirement could have problems that are likely fixable.
  • 6-7 points: You could be challenged by ambivalent feelings about retirement, requiring a solid effort to bring your situation up a notch.
  • 3-5 points: You are potentially in the trouble zone where your retirement might not work well unless you make a major effort to get it on track.
GETTING RETIREMENT READY WITH A REVERSE MORTGAGE 

You’re not alone if your RQ is not where you want it to be or is lower than expected. Fortunately there are many experts, resources and tools out there that can help and one effective financial solution is a reverse mortgage.

Reverse mortgages have undergone several major changes for the better over the years, which has led many financial professionals to take note. Now when used as a part of a coordinated retirement planning strategy, a reverse mortgage can improve the overall success rate of your portfolio and help make your vision for retirement a reality.

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.

Boomers Facing Retirement With Less Savings & More Debt

“Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.– Mother Teresa  

BABY BOOMERS RETIRING WITH LESS SAVINGS & MORE MORTGAGE DEBT 

It’s no surprise that life expectancy is continuing to get higher today and baby boomers are expected to live longer than previous generations.

Experts predict a record number of boomers will be entering retirement in the near future and according to a report by the Stanford Center on Longevity entitled “Seeing Our Way to Financial Security in the Age of Increased Longevity”, they are heading into this next phase of life with less savings and more debt.

The report highlighted an increase in mortgage debt among older homeowners as a big concern pointing to data showing that in 2012, one-third of homeowners 65+ years of age were still paying off a mortgage – up from less than a quarter of homeowners in 1998. The amount owed on a mortgage has also nearly doubled from $44,000 to $82,000.

The report states:

 “Considering the vast size of the Boomer population, increased life expectancy, and the rate at which today’s Boomers are retiring, being ill-prepared for retirement has profound implications for the overall well-being of individuals, families, and society today and for generations to come.” 

But it’s not all bad news. Baby boomers have options for supplementing their retirement income and better preparing themselves for what should be their golden years. Leveraging home equity could be an ideal solution.

HOME EQUITY & RETIREMENT
As mentioned in my last email, senior housing wealth is at an all-time high, which presents a real opportunity for older homeowners.

For many people home equity represents the largest component of personal wealth and should be seen as an asset to consider in a comprehensive financial plan. Reverse mortgages can be a strategic way to tap into your home equity, pay off an existing mortgage and increase your retirement income.

Reminder of how a reverse mortgage mortgage works: 

  • Reverse mortgages are loans for people 62+ years of age that allow you to borrow against home equity without being required to pay a monthly mortgage payment.
  • You can continue to live in the comfort of your home.
  • Some of the equity in your home is first used to pay off any existing mortgages, and the remaining loan amount is converted to non-taxed cash that you may receive in a lump sum, a monthly disbursement, or a line of credit.

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 

 

Add Flexibility & Growth To Your Retirement Planning With HomeSafe® Select

NEW PRODUCT RELEASE FROM FAR: 
The Jumbo HELOC Reverse Mortgage “HomeSafe” Select 

2018 has seen the introduction of a number of new reverse mortgage products.

One of the newest is ‘HomeSafe Select,’ an addition to the HomeSafe lineup from Finance of America Reverse (FAR).

Available for borrows aged 62+ in California (addition states expected in the future), the non-recourse, non-FHA reverse mortgage features an initial closed-end draw of 25% of the loan proceeds at closing. The remainder of funds is available to borrowers as an open-ended line of credit with a 5% internal rate of growth to be drawn and repaid at any time. Like the HECM, HomeSafe Select is a non-recourse loan.

To demonstrate how the product can be used, FAR provided the following example:

With HomeSafe Select, a 72 year old in California with an $800,000 home value and an $80,000 balance on the first mortgage may be able to receive $270,400 in proceeds after paying off the first mortgage versus receiving approximately $220,000 with the HECM. The borrower’s value in the line of credit could be $300,301 at the end of year three and $425,833 at the end of year 10.

ADDING FLEXIBILITY & GROWTH TO RETIREMENT  

According to FAR president Kristen Sieffert, “With HomeSafe Select, people can start planning for retirement today and also benefit from a growing line of credit that can be accessed when they need it.” She also believes it is a product that will bridge the gap between HECMs and proprietary products.

At the moment, HomeSafe is the only adjustable rate proprietary reverse mortgage on the market, with the open-end adjustable rate based on the Wall Street Journal 3-month LIBOR index.

ADDITIONAL FEATURES OF HOMESAFE SELECT
  • Availability for properties valued up to $10,000,000
  • Loan proceeds up to $4,000,000
  • No monthly or annual mortgage insurance premium
  • No pre-payment penalties
  • No FHA approval required for condos valued over $500,000
  • Open-end adjustable rate based on WSJ 3-month LIBOR index

Would you like to know if you can refinance your current reverse mortgage into the HomeSafe Select product? 
Contact me to see if refinancing is possible and will add additional cash and benefits.

Redefining “Home” with a Nomadic Retirement

“Let’s make our future now, and let us make our dreams tomorrow’s reality.
– Malala Yousafzai

RE-IMAGING “HOME” & TRAVEL IN YOUR GOLDEN YEARS 

You might think a nomadic-lifestyle or “location independent” living is something just for millennials or the younger generation. However this less traditional life-style can be perfect for physically fit seniors looking to explore the world during their retirement years.

Going 100% nomad might not be your preferred approach but rather taking the nomadic-lifestyle in spurts, which is very possible with a reverse mortgage.

You can maintain your home base as your primary residence, as required with an HECM, and then do extended stays while always returning to your house to ‘reset’ the clock after the time away.

There are many options out there now to make living as a short-term nomad more accessible.

ON THE ROAD 

ROAM
Roam is based on the basic concept of providing access to incredible co-living spaces and local communities around the world. It’s about “roaming together” and finding a community in places like San Francisco, Bali and Tokyo, to name a few.

It could be an ideal solution for retired or semi-retired persons or those who work remotely looking to enjoy privacy and comfort in a diverse community for a week, month or longer and then return nice and refreshed to their home.

BEHERE
For older woman wanting to do some solo travel and become more immersed in a local culture or community, Behere could be the answer.

Behere enables women to live in a new city, one month at a time without any long-term contracts or obligations. What you’ll get is a foreign living experience in a fully furnished apartment close to a city center with a vetted city host, access to workspaces and even a fitness membership.

UNSETTLED
Then there’s Unsettled. The site promotes Unsettled’s one-month or two-week retreats as being for those who seek to “challenge the status quo, invest in their curiosity, and find new inspiration, growth, and adventure through travel and intentional community.”

The retreats are hosted in destinations from Tuscany to Morocco, Buenos Aires to Bali and offer private accommodations, a shared workspace, local experts and immersive experiences, workshops, etc. among a curated community of peers.

RETIREMENT & “HOME” REDEFINED

How we define retirement has changed and so has the concept of “home.” Home isn’t necessarily where your mortgage (or reverse mortgage) is. It’s where you feel most comfortable, live your life and have the experiences that bring you joy.

For those travel-loving seniors, a short-term nomadic lifestyle creating “temporary homes” along the way is what will bring them joy and a reverse-mortgage can help make this doable.

Looking for alternative mortgage solutions?

Change your thoughts and you change your world.
– Norman Vincent Peale

MORE LENDING OPTIONS 
– Alternative Mortgage Solutions –

Have you worked hard to build a business and are ready for the home of your dreams but fear you’re not a good candidate for a loan?

Or perhaps you recovered responsibly from a credit incident and have the ability to repay a loan but have been discouraged by a realtor telling you you might not quality for one?

While my focus has traditionally been reverse mortgages, the lending landscape is changing and today there are more options to help open the door to the home you’ve always wanted.

PROGRAMS 

Non-Prime

  • Foreclosure, short sale & BK OK
  • Up to $5 million loan amounts
  • 90% LTV, no MI
  • One month bank statements for income
  • No reserves

ODF®

  • Foreign national loans
  • Stated income/DSCR
  • Business purpose/no TRID
  • Interest only loans available
  • Below 500 credit score on exception

Maggi Plus 

  • 24 month from credit event
  • One year W2 or 1040 to 80%
  • LTV 80% LTV, no MI
  • Bank statements for income
  • Interest only available

Email or call me to discuss your lending options and figure out which solution could be the right fit for you  or to set up a complimentary personal assessment.

Maximize Your Home Equity With A HomeSafe Reverse Mortgage

“All you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to your destination.
– Earl Nightingale 

Considering a reverse mortgage?

Seniors ages 62+ can now access significantly more home equity than the HECM loan limits allow with a HomeSafe Reverse Mortgage, which could lead to funding a more comfortable and secure retirement.

HOMESAFE ADVANTAGES 

There are a number of significant advantages with a HomeSafe jumbo reverse mortgage, including the proceeds being tax-free with a lower-than expected competitive, fixed interest rate and more:

  • Loan limits of up to $4 million —significantly higher than a HECM allows
  • No mortgage insurance premium
  • Borrowers have the Flex1 option to receive part of their proceeds as monthly term payments (over a 12-60 month period), or as a lump sum
  • Condominiums appraised at $500,000 or more do not require FHA approval
With this new proprietary and powerful retirement financing tool you can use the proceeds as you choose. For example:
  • Pay off existing mortgage debt, have no monthly mortgage payments and improve cash flow
  • Preserve invested assets
  • Cover medical or in-home care expenses
  • Refinance an existing reverse mortgage to access a larger pool of funds

Contact me to learn more about the HomeSafe jumbo reverse mortgage  and how it might help you with your long-term retirement strategy.

When Aging Parents Need Help

Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” – Harriet Beecher Stowe    

CARING FOR AN AGING PARENT

Many aging parents would like to maintain a level of independence for as long as possible and more and more seniors are wanting to age in place.

This is understandable but it’s not always easy if caregiving or assistance is required.

Caregiving has changed quite a bit over the years with technology playing a bigger role when it comes to immediate help (i.e. medical alerts) but for senior’s children or other family members it can be difficult to know where to turn for the basics and for different types of assistance.

Help is there though for everything from non-medical assistance home care to short or long-term home healthcare.

Senior Concierge Services

One solution is a “senior concierge.” If an aging parent does not require medical assistance but needs help with tasks such as grocery shopping, meal preparation, transportation to appointments, etc., a senior concierge service can be an ideal solution.

Senior concierge services provide a full range of personalized services based on the individual client’s non-medical needs.

Asking for help might present a challenge for an aging parent and language can make a difference. Senior concierge certainly has a nicer ring to it than a geriatric care manager making it a little easier to get over any initial resistance.

Home Healthcare 

Some families might find themselves in situations needing more assistance than a senior concierge can provide. In these cases a home healthcare professional may be required.

The demand for home healthcare workers is growing significantly as the number of seniors hoping to age in their own homes continues to increase.

Fortunately there is no lack of agencies, from national to local service providers, who will screen, hire, bond/insure, pay the salary and replace the employee if necessary. You can also hire someone directly via word-of-mouth referral or leveraging online resources.

Family Support 

A family might decide to take on their loved one’s care on their own and simply need some support from someone that can relate to what they are going through.

There are a number of support networks out there such as the Family Caregiver Alliance.

The Health and Human Services website in your city or county is also a resource for finding caregiver support, as well as a local senior center.

Regardless of what level of support or assistance you or your family members need, you are not alone and there are many avenues available to get help.

Would you or a family member like to learn more about paying for a senior concierge or home healthcare with a reverse mortgage? 

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

Reverse Mortgages: Myths vs. Realities

“What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.– Ralph Marston

REVERSE MORTGAGE MISCONCEPTIONS 

A reverse mortgage can be an effective retirement planning tool to increase your income streams using one of your largest assets: your home.

Yet many eligible seniors avoid reverse mortgages or are not inclined to consider them due to the many misconceptions that exist about these types of loans.

Let’s tackle a few of the common misconceptions: 

Myth: The lender takes title to the home.
Truth: You still retain ownership of your home. The reverse mortgage is only a lien against the property.

Myth: The loan can exceed the value of the property, sticking you or your heirs with a large bill when you eventually leave your home.
Truth: A reverse mortgage is a “non-recourse” loan, which means that you, your heirs, or your estate will never owe more than the appraised value of the home at loan maturity.

Myth: You can’t get a reverse mortgage if you currently have a conventional mortgage.
Truth: Although this is true, you can get a reverse if you use the proceeds to pay off your existing mortgage at close.

Myth: A reverse mortgage can cause you to be evicted from your home.
Truth: You leave your home when you choose. No one will force you from your home. The reverse mortgage is not due until your home is no longer your primary residence.

The Reverse Mortgage: not your typical loan

One of the biggest advantages of a reverse mortgage is that unlike conventional mortgages, there are no payments involved.

Instead, the lender makes payments to the borrower either through a lump sum, monthly payments, or a line of credit.

Financing home healthcare with a reverse mortgage

More seniors in the US are opting to stay at home and age in place and face the financial challenge of paying for home healthcare, which can be quite expensive.

Medicare and Medicare supplements are frequently used by seniors or their family to cover these costs but it’s often not enough.

A reverse mortgage could be the ideal solution it help ease the financial burden of in-home healthcare. Learn more in my new email covering home healthcare: https://bit.ly/2tRTEIF