Author: janjordan

Will A Reverse Mortgage Affect Social Security, Medicare & Pension?

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont coloradoA very common concern among seniors and adult children when considering a reverse mortgage is how it will affect social security, medicare, and even certain pensions.  For many seniors, these benefits are a large part of their income. Fortunately, because the funds from a reverse mortgage are NOT considered taxable income, a borrower’s benefits will not be affected when taking out a reverse mortgage.

On the other hand, borrowers who have Medicaid, TANF, Food Stamps or SSI may see those benefits affected by this additional income.   Because these programs are government sponsored programs with strict approval guidelines based on all sources of income, even non-taxable income, there is a possibility the additional cash flow will need reported.  Other supplemental and assistance programs would need to be addressed on a case by case basis.  Working with a reputable reverse mortgage lender and required third party counseling will ensure all your questions are answered thoroughly and honestly.

Reverse mortgages are available to homeowners 62 and older.  The proceeds can be received as a lump sum, as monthly installments, or a reverse line of credit and can be used for any purpose the borrower sees fit.  This FHA insured loan allows the borrower(s) to live mortgage payment free.

Jan Jordan is a Reverse Mortgage Specialist serving the Fort Collins, Loveland, Longmont, Greeley, and Front Range areas of Colorado as well as Cheyenne and Laramie, Wyoming. Click here to contact Jan and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.  

What To Expect When Applying For A Reverse Mortgage

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoIf you’ve reached the point you are ready to apply for a reverse mortgage, you have likely done a fair amount of research (and if you haven’t, feel free to read through the informational articles here on my blog).  So what comes next? Here’s a quick run down of what to expect…

Age qualifications.  You’re probably aware the borrower needs to be age 62 or older to qualify, but in the case of married couples who both want to be on the loan, both borrowers will need to be 62 or older.  In addition, the loan amount will be calculated of the age of the youngest borrower, with the older the borrower, the more funds available.

Does your home qualify?  Not every residence qualifies for a reverse mortgage but many do.  The home must be HUD and FHA approved.  These include: single family or a 2-4 unit homes with one unit occupied by the borrower, as well as some condominiums and manufactured homes.  If you’re looking to purchase a home with aReverse Mortgage for Purchase, any new construction must have a certificate of occupancy.  Once it’s determined your home qualifies, an appraisal will be done to determine it’s value.

Financial Assessment.  In some recent changes made by HUD to ensure the continued progress of the reverse mortgage industry, a financial assessment became part of the application process.  This is set up to make sure borrowers are financially stable enough to continue to pay property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, and other related costs to the home, although once a reverse mortgage is obtained on the home, there are NO mortgage or loan payments.  Although the financial assessment is similar to that with a traditional mortgage, if borrowers don’t meet the traditional criteria, there are still options through a Fully-Funded Life Expectancy Set-Aside, which is an amount drawn under the HECM that is reserved for payment of property taxes and insurance by the lender; or a Partialy-Funded Life Expectancy Set-Aside which works the same as the Fully-Funded option except a smaller reserve is drawn when borrowers meet credit requirements but not income requirements. The amount of both of these reserves is determined by the age of the borrower and the value of the home. 

During these first steps, it’s incredibly important to work with a trusted and reputable reverse mortgage advisor and lender.  You should never feel pressured or feel your concerns and/or questions aren’t being addressed.  Also watch out for scams that some homeowners can easily fall prey to. 

Jan Jordan is a Reverse Mortgage Specialist serving the Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Longmont, Boulder and other Front Range areas of Colorado.  Click here to contact Jan and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.

There’s No Such Thing As TOO OLD For A Reverse Mortgage

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoThe 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.

Another 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.

Jan Jordan is a Reverse Mortgage Specialist serving the Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Longmont, Boulder and other Front Range areas of Colorado.  Click here to contact Jan and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.

Your Retirement Is Different Than Your Parents – Here’s Why

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoDecades ago, when our parents were working and raising a family, they looked at retirement as the true golden years.  It would be a time when they stopped working and lived off the fruits of their savings and investments.  Retirement planners used a three-legged-stool strategy back then.  The make up of this stool was Social Security, employer-sponsored retirement plans, and personal savings.  But somewhere between their retirement and now this stool became unbalanced – and now today’s retirees are needing to compensate for it.  But how?

First, it’s important to remember that these three components of retirement are still an integral part of retirement success, which is why it should be considered how they can be best utilized as well as protected.  But it’s also important to consider what else has changed – things like life expectancy, a more active retirement, and a move toward non-traditional and even extravagant retirement goals.   Why not have it all?  And what are the options to achieve it?

Part-Time Work: It’s not uncommon for retirees to utilize a phased retirement strategy, where they can work and begin receiving benefits.  In addition to the obvious point of this – additional income – working can help to delay Social Security benefits, as well as keep older people engaged in the community.  

Reverse Mortgage: For those with substantial equity in their homes, a reverse mortgage can be an excellent way to balance out that stool analogy with a fourth leg, or simply get the boost retirees need to live that extravagant retirement life they’ve been dreaming of.  Funds are available via a line of credit, monthly installments, a lump sum, and even to purchase home (or a combination).  Because the income is not taxed, it can be used strategically with investments, or used to delay Social Security benefits.  Another common function is a stand-by strategy that taps the line of credit now, but only uses it during bear markets to protect investments.  These FHA backed reverse mortgages do not incur any mortgage or loan payments, although borrowers must keep up with homeowner’s insurance, property taxes, and other associated costs.  In addition to living mortgage payment free, they can actually eliminate any existing mortgage or HELOC payments, and the loan is not payable until the last borrower passes away or permanently leaves the home.  

Downsizing and HELOC’s:  When considering how to make ends meet during retirement, downsizing is often part of the conversation.  Selling the home and moving to smaller one, then using any additional equity as a retirement funding source.  For anyone considering this, I’d suggest looking at the details of a Reverse Mortgage for Purchase prior to making a final decision.  A Reverse Mortgage for Purchase option can allow buyers to get more house for their money, while still having cash to stash away for retirement. 

A Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) is another common solution.  When going this route versus a reverse mortgage, ensure the new monthly payment will not cause damage down the road if other needs arise, like medical care.  

Reverse mortgages certainly won’t be right for everyone, but for many they can be used creatively to aid in funding today’s retirement that is so different than what we are used to.  

Jan Jordan is a Reverse Mortgage Specialist serving the Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Longmont, Boulder and other Front Range areas of Colorado.  Click here to contact Jan and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.

Reasons You Might Want to Refinance Your Reverse Mortgage

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeleyReverse mortgages are for seniors 62 and older, including married couples, and were once considered a life line. Times have changed, and now reverse mortgages are regularly being incorporated intoretirement planning.  But refinance a reverse mortgage?  It’s not something you hear about often, or maybe you don’t even realize it’s an option.  And why would someone want to do this?  Well, here are some fast facts:

Who might want to refinance: 

• In the case of a remarriage, possibly you want to add the new spouse (note: new borrowers added must be 62 or older).  
• Or in the case of divorce, you want to remove a spouse.  
• If the housing market has improved drastically, like we’re currently seeing all over northern Colorado, maybe you want to tap into the new equity.  
• Better interest rates?  Just like with a traditional mortgage, this matters.
• Interested in the Line of Credit option but took out the monthly installments?  Then refinance may be for you. 

What you need to know: 

• The process is similar to that of a traditional mortgage refinance, except you will still be able to live mortgage and loan payment free.
• You will need a new appraisal.
• Some older lenders have exited the reverse mortgage industry, such as Wells Fargo and Bank of America.  If you currently have your loan with one of these lenders, you’re not out of luck, you can still refinance through an existing lender.  
• You can shop around.  You are not stuck with your current lender.
• If your previous reverse mortgage was not FHA insured, you can switch to one that is.  The FHA insurance offers consumer protections, including the promise that you’ll never owe more than your home is worth at the time the loan comes due.
• You will need to take part in third party reverse mortgage counseling.
• If you received your reverse mortgage before 2015, be aware some of the requirements have changed.  Now income and credit does play a factor, although there are options if you fail to meet the new criteria. 
• If you’re not sure you want to stay in the home, refinancing may not be the best move.  Instead possibly consider selling the home to pay back the existing reverse mortgage, then look at a Reverse Mortgage for Purchase to downsize or move to a more suitable home.
• After the refinance, the borrower will still be responsible for property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, and other related costs to the home such as HOA fees, upkeep, and utilities.  

Jan Jordan is a Reverse Mortgage Specialist serving the Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Longmont, Boulder and other Front Range areas of Colorado.  Click here to contact Jan and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.

5 Things You Need To Know About Reverse Mortgages

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoReverse mortgages have made a serious comeback in the past couple years.  After regulation changes were enacted in 2015, the reverse mortgage loan once considered a desperate lifeline is now being used as a retirement tool for even the wealthy.  The loans are still only available to seniors 62 and older (including married couples) with the amount of funds available increasing depending on age and appraised value of the home, but now those funds are often being accessed in ways not available before – such as a line of credit or to purchase a home.  This really is not your mother’s reverse mortgage, it’s something much more versatile than it was years ago.

Here are some lesser known facts about today’s reverse mortgage:

1.)  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the borrower will always remain the homeowner as long as basic responsibilities such as property taxes are paid, homeowners insurance is kept current, and utilities and HOA fees are paid.  One of reverse mortgage’s scariest myths has always been that a bank will own the home.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.  Not only will the borrower remain the homeowner, they will also retain the title.

2.) There are NO mortgage or loan payments.  That’s correct.  Regardless of how the borrower decides to utilize the reverse mortgage funds, they will not pay a loan or mortgage payment while they remain in the home.

3.) With a Reverse Mortgage for Purchase, borrowers can wrap both the home purchase and the reverse mortgage into the same transaction allowing them to buy their dream home – AND the reverse mortgage will substantially supplement purchasing power allowing a home to be purchased that may have once been out of their price range.  When using a Reverse Mortgage for Purchase, the borrower is required to provide some down payment and the reverse mortgage funds will make up the rest of the purchase price.

4.) Married couples can both be on the loan regardless of how the funds are utilized.  Another all too common myth is that in the case of a married couple, if one spouse passes away the other spouse will be evicted.  When working with a reputable reverse mortgage lender this should never happen.  As long as both spouses are 62 or over, they can both be on the loan allowing either borrower to stay in the home until the last spouses passes away or permanently leaves the home.

5.) Heirs are not “saddled” with the debt of a reverse mortgage.  After the borrower(s) pass away, there are several options as to what the heirs can do with the home.  And in today’s hot housing market, the home may gain equity that can be available to the heirs.  Most all reverse mortgages are FHA insured meaning the loan will never exceed the amount of the home sale – even if more is owed, and it also means it will only ever require the amount of the loan even if the home is worth much more when it comes due.

Jan Jordan is a Reverse Mortgage Specialist serving the Fort Lupton, Erie,  Lafayette, Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Longmont, Boulder and other Front Range areas of Colorado. Click here to contact Jan and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.

Finding A Reputable Reverse Mortgage Lender In Colorado Is Easier Than You Think

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoFor many seniors, a reverse mortgage is a feasible option to living within a budget, without the constraints and worry of excessive financial distress.  In order to qualify for a reverse mortgage, the individual must own their home, be at least 62 years old, and have some equity in the home.  Funds from a reverse mortgage can be accessed in various ways including a line of credit, monthly installments, a lump sum, and they can even be used to purchase a new home. In general, the older the borrower (or the youngest borrower in the case of married couples) and the more valuable the home, the more money available.  Other factors also come into play, such as: the appraised home value, interest rates, and the amount of equity in the home.  Once a basic understanding of how a reverse mortgage works, the next step is finding a lender.

Where to find a lender?

Reverse mortgages are marketed in every possible way.  Television, radio, mailers, internet, etc.  Although not all of these methods ensure trouble, some of them can be scams.  When seeking a reverse mortgage lender, it’s important to speak with people you trust.  Ask around at your bank or financial institution.  Speak with a financial or retirement adviser.  Talk with neighbors or friends who have utilized a reverse mortgage.  Seek information from the local Chamber of Commerce or Better Business Bureau.   Utilize other resources that may be available in your community.

What to look for in a reverse mortgage lender?

Working with a reputable reverse mortgage lender is critical.  The reverse mortgage industry is riddled with scams and flashy sales.  It can be risky to get involved with a lender who does not offer all the details or who is just looking to make a “quick sell”.   A reputable lender will have strong connections in the community, working closely with a network of professional organizations.

Accreditations and ratings?

Seek out a lender that is a member of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA).  Members of the NRMLA must conform to a strict code of lending ethic.  Look for a lender that is affiliated with the  Better Business Bureau (BBB), where you can also learn of any complaints against the company.

Follow your gut.

When it comes down to it, always follow your gut.  Just because a lender may meet all this criteria doesn’t mean they will be right for you.  If you do not feel comfortable or feel your questions are not being adequately answered, there is nothing wrong with seeking out a different lender.

Jan Jordan is a Reverse Mortgage Specialist serving the Fort Lupton, Erie,  Lafayette, Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Longmont, Boulder and other Front Range areas of Colorado. Click here to contact Jan and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.

Can You Sell A House With A Reverse Mortgage On It?

Typically when a senior takes out a reverse mortgage loan on a home, they intend to age there.  But on occasion and reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradofor various reasons, the homeowners wants to or needs to sell the home before the loan comes due and payable.  So, what now?

Although this is an important factor, it’s not nearly as daunting as it sounds.  Here’s where to start:

Step 1.) Locate your reverse mortgage loan documents and find any pertinent information regarding the sale of the home.  It will vary from lender to lender.  Most (but not all) reverse mortgage loans are FHA insured.  This means even if you owe more on the loan than the home is worth, you will never owe more than the home sells for.  Consult with a real estate or elder law attorney if you have questions or concerns.

Step 2.)  Contact the reverse mortgage lender to get a payoff quote.  This combined with a home appraisal will give you a good idea of what the sale will look like and what amount of funds you could potentially walk away with.

Step 3.)  Find a real estate agent.  When seeking out an agent, be sure to provide your reverse mortgage loan information up front and look for someone who has experience with such a sale.

Step 4.)  Prepare the home for sale.  From here, everything is similar to any home sale.  You want to prep the home, keep it clean for showings, update anything you may need, etc.

Step 5.)  Sell the home, pay off the reverse mortgage loan (consult with a real estate or elder law attorney if you have questions when paying off the loan), then reap the rewards.  Congrats!
Reverse mortgages are available to seniors 62 and over all over Colorado.  To learn more, contact a reputable reverse mortgage lender.

 

Retirement and Reverse Mortgage

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoWith the varieties of opinions about reverse mortgages out in the marketplace a question comes up, that is, ‘would a reverse mortgage be a fall back, last resort, or would it be a positive option for a financial plan?’ While the answer lies in the hands of the borrower, or owner, there are worthy considerations to take into account.

Some might label those choosing a reverse mortgage as poor planners, those that did not take the time or effort to look long at their future needs and desires and work that into a plan. This mentality is changing fast though, as retirement experts are determining reverse mortgages can not only supplement the needs of some senior, they can offer them the retirement they always dreamed of.

There are many reasons to consider a reverse mortgage in a forward moving plan, making the choice before it might be the only option available (though this is not bad either.) First of all, many coming into retirement are ready to downsize or move. Maybe they raised their children in a two story house in Illinois, and now do not need five bedrooms, or to weather the cold when their children and families are in clement areas such as Georgia or South Carolina. A reverse mortgage makes this possible.

The amount a reverse mortgage can be reaches a defined limit, taking into account the equity of the present home and the age of the borrower(s.) This limit can be used in multiple ways, it can go towards that downsized home, be a line of credit, can cover monthly payments for the rest of their lives, or can even be a lump sum the borrower receives immediately.

There are also other typical reverse mortgage scenarios.

For instance, as well as one might plan, life offers us unexpected events. A reverse mortgage is a respectable option when a family is in distress, many foreclosures have been avoided with the solid help of a reverse mortgage. And sometimes, when a family is not even in distress, they wish to take advantage of all their hard work, which is there in the form of the home they own, and have liquid resources instead of just equity that cannot be utilized. The ways a reverse mortgage can be brought into the questions of a plan are as unique as the personal life situations existing.

For seniors 62 and older, a reverse mortgage can objectively be considered as an alternative revenue option. This takes away the stigma sometimes attached to it as a choice that was the only option left, a fall back when it is really a move forward.

Jan Jordan is a Reverse Mortgage Specialist serving the Fort Lupton, Erie,  Lafayette, Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Longmont, Boulder and other Front Range areas of Colorado. Click here to contact Jan and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.

 

Debunking Reverse Mortgage’s 5 Most Common Myths in Colorado

Reverse Mortgage Loveland Fort Collins ColoradoThe Reverse Mortgage, created to aid the realization of retirees dreams, will be in your face if you have approached, or are approaching, the eligible age of 62. As with the all special offers across Colorado, marketing can promote it in such a way as to allure you – or to terrify you.

There are a number of points to know when you begin to learn about reverse mortgage. These are simple facts and not marketing strategies.

1.) First of all, married couples can both be on the reverse mortgage loan if they are both over the age of 62. This means when one passes, the other can continue living in the home under the same agreement. No changes take place just because both are no longer in the home.  This gives the remaining spouse a true security as they navigate through the transition of losing their life partner.  The same would apply if one spouse was to leave the home permanently and move into an assisted living facility.  As long as both partners are on the loan,  and one still remains in the home, nothing changes.

2.)  Second, there are NO monthly mortgage payments. So long as the borrower(s) remain in the home as their primary residence, their only financial responsibilities are the homeowner’s insurance, HOA payments, property taxes and basic upkeep/utilities.  This is the case whether a traditional reverse mortgage is acquired, or a reverse mortgage to purchase a home.  No mortgage payments, ever.

3.) Third, funds from a reverse mortgage will not affect Social Security, Medicare or pensions because they are considered “tax free” income.  They also are not declared on tax returns as income.

4.) Fourth, you retain the title to your home and it stays in your name.  There is not a transfer of ownership just because you drew upon the equity of your personal asset.

5.) Lastly, you can access the funds in various ways including monthly payment, a line of credit, a lump sum, or as a purchase.  And the funds can be used however you see fit.  Borrowers can even use a reverse mortgage to buy a new home via the Reverse Mortgage for Purchase program allowing the home purchase and the reverse mortgage loan transaction to take place at the same time.  This a great option for those who wish to be close to family, in a desired location or have a place that fits your new lifestyle, or even move to your retirement dream home.

Reverse mortgage are available to seniors 62 and over all over Colorado.  To learn more, contact a reputable reverse mortgage lender.

Jan Jordan is a Reverse Mortgage Specialist serving the Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Longmont, Boulder and other Front Range areas of Colorado, as well as the Cheyenne and Laramie communities of Wyoming.  Contact Jan to learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.