Category: Long-term Care

Are You Ever Too Old For A HECM Reverse Mortgage?

reverse mortgage advisor connecticutThe minimum age for a reverse mortgage loan is 62, but what about a maximum age?  Is anyone ever too old for a reverse mortgage?  I don’t think so, although it won’t be right for everyone.

Reverse mortgages are available to homeowners, or those seeking to purchase a home, who are 62 and older, including married couples.  There are NO loan or mortgage payment requirements while living in the home, but they are responsible for continuing to pay property taxes, homeowners insurance, and any other associated costs such as HOA fees and utilities.  The loan becomes due when the last borrower passes away or permanently leaves the home (for 12 consecutive months).

Common reasons for seeking out a reverse mortgage include boosting retirement income, strategically protecting retirement assets or delaying the use of them, medical care, or simply to have a safety net.   The creative uses for reverse mortgages go full circle.  But what about the very elderly?  How can it help them?

I once worked with a 100 year old man to obtain a reverse mortgage on his home and fund in-home care while he continued to age.  He was able to reside at home with 24 hour care at a cost of $10,000 a month.  When I was sitting at the closing table with this client and his lawyer, the lawyer mentioned that that he could move to an assisted living facility at half the cost ($5,000/month). This gentleman’s quick, sharp answer back to everyone? “NO…. I’m staying in my home.”  And he did.  And I was honored to have helped him be able to do that.

An example would be if a parent-adult child duo were living together as they both age.  In many of these cases, it’s common both are age eligible to be on the loan.  And why shouldn’t they be?

Sometimes the elderly want to live out the final years of their life by sharing time and gifts with those they love.  Why not offer inheritance while you’re here and can enjoy watching those you love reap the rewards of it?

Whatever the reason, reverse mortgage may be the answer, no matter how old the borrower is.

One concern that can arise is whether or not the elderly can pass the financial assessment needed to obtain the reverse mortgage loan, since they likely have limited income by this point.  But older borrowers can tap a larger percentage of their home’s equity, allowing for a potential set-aside of funds to cover required expenses. The reason is that their life expectancy is shorter, meaning the expected term of their loan will be shorter, too.

Should Your Elderly Parent Age In Place?

reverse mortgage advisor connecticutAs you watch your parents or loved ones age, it can sometimes be a struggle to determine the best option for their long term housing. Should they age in place in their home? Should you make space in your home for them? Should they move to a long-term care facility? Or should they move to a home that more adequately suits their changing needs?

To better guide you in the right direction, here are some questions to ask yourself:

• Are they able to get around by him or herself? Are there stairs in the home?

• Is this person able to take medications without assistance? Is there a health concern that would require more regular supervision, such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s?

 • Is your parent able to manage mortgage payments, home-owners insurance payments, and property taxes. Is the home outdated and in need of frequent repairs – such as a furnace, roofing, electricity?

• Where is this home located? Is it in close proximity to relatives, hospitals, etc? Or is it secluded and away from town?

• Is this person lonely? Has he or she suffered the loss of a spouse? Does he or she have a solid social group or close friends?

Based on your answers to these questions, aging in place may be an option and a HECM reverse mortgage can help to fund it. Reverse mortgages allow homeowners age 62 and older to access equity in their home. The homeowner retains the title and remains in the home. With a reverse mortgage homeowners can lessen the financial burden of mortgage repayment and, if needed, in home medical care.  All reverse mortgages are government guaranteed with an FHA backed loan and no repayment is due until the last borrower passes away or permanently leaves the home. At that time there are several options that include keeping the home in the family.

If selling the current residence and moving into a new home is a more reasonable route, a HECM Reverse Mortgage for Purchase has many perks including living mortgage payment free in the new home.

Often times adult children encourage their elderly loved one to move in with them, not taking into account that this person will be leaving everything that is familiar, including their home, neighborhood, friends and social circles. Before making this decision, consider whether the move will be a strain on the family of which this person will be joining or the person who will be making the move. Depression can be cause for concern with the elderly and interrupting a solid routine or social interaction and hobbies can often make this concern a reality.

If this person has medical concerns, considering live-in care or a long term care facility may be the best option. There are many outlets to help guide you in the best direction when making a decision on the proper route or facility.

Sara Cornwall is a local Reverse Mortgage Advisor serving the entire state of Connecticut. Contact Sara and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.

Are You Prepared to Take Care of Your Parents?

reverse mortgage advisor connecticutThe cost of eldercare in Connecticut is staggering.  And so is the toll it takes on an adult child.  Are you prepared for either?  Or both?

A recent MetLife study estimated that the total cost incurred by the caregiver alone (not including the costs directly related to care) is an average of $324,044.  The financial impact can be similar to having children, but without the planning.  So, how can one prepare for this?  Here are a few suggestions:

1.) Talk with other siblings and relatives.  Have any of them considered this?  Do they have plans or ideas they haven’t shared?  Utilizing networks early on can help alleviate worry down the road.

2.) Talk with mom and dad.  Not always the easiest or most comfortable conversation to have, but a very important one nonetheless.  Find out what they want these upcoming years to look like, and what kind of long term care insurance, pensions, and home equity they may have.  Do they have a retirement planner that has factored any of this?

3.) Look into long term care options and weigh out the costs along with the pros and cons.  Although your parents are your parents, and you love them dearly, you may not be the best option as a caregiver among the many options available today.

4.) Consider a reverse mortgage.  The once frowned upon reverse mortgage program is now being utilized to brighten long term retirement scenarios.  This FHA insured loan not only eliminates mortgage payments but allows the borrower to access the equity in their home via monthly installments, a line of credit, or sometimes even a lump sum.  This is a great option for those wishing to age at home, as the loan does not come due until the last borrower passes away or leaves the home permanently, or if property taxes or homeowners insurance become grossly delinquent.

Reverse mortgage is an individualized, specialized loan for those 62 and older that allows older Americans to tap into the equity of their home while living mortgage and loan payment free.  If you are planning ahead let a reputable reverse mortgage advisor guide you to creatively to suit your needs and desires.

Sara Cornwall is a local Reverse Mortgage Advisor serving the entire state of Connecticut. Contact Sara and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.