Category: Reverse Mortgage Info

Holidays And Reverse Mortgage

Reverse Mortgage Colorado Loveland Fort Collins Greeley LongmontWith the holidays now behind us, many families are reflecting on their experiences.  Adult children enjoyed spending time with their aging parents or relatives, grand children and great-grand children were squeezed and showered with adoration.  For some spending time with family is an encouraging sign of many happy years to come…but for others, it can be a time that raises concern about health or finances, and questions about how aging  parents will continue to cope.  Will this person need additional care?  Do they need a more adequate home closer to family or suitable for aging in place?  How does long term retirement look?

Concerns such as this are very common around the holidays.  To better guide you in the right direction and ultimately direct the family 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 Is the home outdated and in need of frequent repairs – such as a furnace, roofing, electricity?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 at home may be an option for years to come – and reverse mortgage can be a solution to many problems even for married couples. Reverse mortgages allow homeowners age 62 and older to access equity in their home, without acquiring a loan or mortgage payment, and the funds can be accessed via a line of credit, monthly installments, a lump sum, and even as a new home purchase. The homeowner will always retain the title and remains in the home. All reverse mortgages are government insured 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, Reverse Mortgage for Purchase may be an option.

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 and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.

Should You Consider In-Home Senior Care?

reverse mortgage colorado fort collins loveland greeleyIn today’s fast-paced society, seniors are more independent than ever before.  Many develop strong community ties, visit with nearby family frequently and even open their homes to out-of-state family, embrace a close circle of friends, and through options such as reverse mortgage, are able to stay in their homes comfortably for far longer than ever before.  But what happens when living at home alone becomes a concern for these seniors and/or their adult children?  In the past, it typically meant one of two things: move-in with family or move to a senior care facility.  Often times though, a move like this can be detrimental in itself.  In-Home Senior Care may be all that is needed to alleviate concerns and keep everyone happy.

What is In-Home Senior Care?

In-Home Senior Care is an option where a caregiver visits the home during scheduled days/hours in order to attend to specific needs.  This offers peace of mind to both the family and the senior.  It also helps seniors continue to lead an independent lifestyle while still receiving the assistance needed, without burdening busy family members.  The care providers receive specialized training to ensure they are adequately equipped to care for seniors with varying needs.

What Types of Assistance Will In-Home Caregivers Offer?

The types of assistance that is offered by an in-home caregiver will vary based on both the needs and the care company, but most often include:

  • Safety supervision
  • Socialization
  • Transportation
  • Light housekeeping
  • Grocery shopping
  • Cooking
  • Running errands
  • Medication reminders
  • Walking assistance
  • Helping get dressed
  • Stand-by bathing/showering assistance
  • Grooming
  • Reading aloud from books, newspapers and magazines
  • Range of motion exercises
  • and lots more

Serving as a family caregiver for an aging loved one often is rewarding, yet involves sacrifice and stress.  It also frequently takes a financial toll on the caregiver with an estimated $5,500/year spent on out of pockets expenses, not to mention lost wages due to missed work.  Considering working with an in-home caregiver may be a better option all around.

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

Are Reverse Mortgages Under Utilized?

reverse mortgage colorado fort collins loveland greeley longmont cheyenneTwo or three decades ago, the idea that an elderly couple or individual could live comfortably in their home far beyond retirement was practically unheard of.  Preparing for aging meant retirement homes, assisted living, or moving in with adult children.  Now today people are living longer and healthier lives than ever, but on the flip-side, they are retiring with less.  The Pew Research Center has found that the percent of adults who said that they “will not have enough money to live comfortably” in retirement rose from 32% to 53% in ten years. Among adults in the 55 to 64 age bracket, the percent who are “not too” or “not at all” confident that they will have enough to live on in retirement rose from 26% in to 39%.  These are alarming statistics.

Many seniors can improve their retirement outlook by considering a reverse mortgage, but very few use it as a retirement tool.  Homeowners, 62 and over, qualify for these FHA insured loans.  When creating a retirement portfolio, looking into home equity and a possible reverse mortgage can often mean the difference between getting by and living well.

So why is this option not utilized more often?  It is usually for one of two reasons: senior homeowners are either unaware or uneducated on the option, or negative public perception has steered them away.  Media coverage may report a negative story, but will fail to include the facts as to why these situations happened in the first place and how they can be prevented.  The majority of reverse mortgages are favorable experiences, although this is not considered newsworthy.  Some financial advisers or retirement planners are ambivalent to reverse mortgages, not adequately educating their client on this possibility.  It’s important to stay educated while watching out for scams.  And working with a reputable lender is critical when going through the reverse mortgage process or obtaining information to share with others.

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

What Makes Elder Law Different

Reverse Mortgage Counselor

Elder law is a relatively unknown segment of law and is often overlooked when seeking legal solutions.  But for some seniors and their families an elder law attorney may be exactly what they need.  Elder law is very broad and includes things like estate planning, probate, guardianship, real estate, nursing home neglect and a dozen other areas of law that affect the elderly. Typically one lawyer will not have expertise in every area, but will instead work with a network of attorneys who can supplement in specific areas when needed and vice versa.  Also, keep in mind just because an individual is elderly does not mean they need an elder law attorney.  Elder law is focused on legal problems specific to the elderly.  Concerns with other areas of law may best be handled by attorneys dedicated to those areas.

An elder law attorney should be educated and informed on reverse mortgage.  It is common for them to receive questions from clients, former clients, and their families about reverse mortgage when establishing estate plans or when they are considering a reverse mortgage for the first time.  Although reverse mortgages can be an excellent and safe tool for many homeowners, they are not for everyone and are most effective when used as part of a financial and estate plan.  It is highly encouraged to make sure any question receives an adequate answer when considering reverse mortgage – and often elder law attorneys are part of that equation.  This can also help with avoiding reverse mortgage scams.

Here are a few questions to ask when seeking out a an elder law attorney:

  • How long has the attorney been practicing?
  • What percentage of the attorney’s practice is devoted to elder law?
  • Does his or her practice emphasize a particular area of elder law? (for instance, guardianship or other specific work)
  • How much elder law training has the attorney had, and from what organizations?
  • Is the attorney a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys?
  • Will the attorney be able to work within your time limitations?

In addition to a legal network, an elder law attorney should be familiar with the “elder network”, a network of public and private community resources to assist seniors in various capacities.  This should include a reputable reverse mortgage lender.

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

Taxes And Your Reverse Mortgage

reverse mortgage loveland colorado fort collins longmont greeley boulderAs the end of the year approaches, it’s common to start receiving some questions about taxes and reverse mortgage. There are many differences between a reverse mortgage and a traditional mortgage – and taxes are a big one.  Here’s a run down of what to expect come tax time if you have a reverse mortgage.

The Tax Liability Issue

Because any funds you receive from a reverse mortgage are essentially an advance on your home equity – equity you already own and have paid for, the IRS does not consider money received from a reverse mortgage as income, they consider it an advance, therefore it is not taxed as income.  This is the case regardless of how you receive the funds – whether monthly installments, a line of credit, or a lump sum, you will never pay income tax on this.

What About Deductions on Interest?

Here’s one situation where there is a stark difference between a traditional mortgage and a reverse mortgage.  With a traditional mortgage interest and fees paid are tax deductible every year they are paid.  This is still the case with a reverse mortgage, except in the scenario of a reverse mortgage the interest is not paid until the loan comes due, therefore it cannot be claimed as a deduction until this point.  The loan comes due if the borrowers sells the home, passes away, or permanently leaves the home.

Property Taxes

With a traditional mortgage, property taxes are often taken care of by an escrow service.  With a reverse mortgage the homeowner is 100% responsible for making sure these property taxes are kept up to date.  If there are financial concerns about the ongoing cost of property taxes, discuss this with your reverse mortgage specialist.  In the financial assessment there are options to help set aside a portion of the funds to cover ongoing expenses such as property taxes and homeowner’s insurance.

Reverse mortgages are available to homeowners 62 and over, including married couples, with many protections in place to ensure borrowers are adequately educated before using this option, such as required third-party counseling.  Reverse mortgages are gaining in popularity among retirees from all walks of life.  A reverse mortgage for purchase option is available for those looking to purchase a new residence.

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 and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.

To Stay or To Go? Deciding When To Age In Place

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoRetirement has evolved over the past few decades.  At one time it was assumed you’d live with your adult children or in a senior home as you age.  At another time, dreams of moving far away to warmer climates and lush golf courses was the trend.  And now, the preference is staying at home and aging in place.  

According to American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), 90 percent of retirees now say they want to age in place, with 82% of them reporting they prefer in home care if medical assistance becomes necessary. 

So how do you know if staying put during retirement is right for you?

1.)  You have established professional, social and family networks 

Strong social networks is critical to a happy retirement.  Professional networks from working or volunteer networks from performing acts of service can help to decrease boredom and boost moods.  Social networks help physically, mentally, and emotionally.  An established circle of friends, as well as nearby family, has been proven to lend to a successful and content retirement.  Moving away from children, grandchildren, and even great grandchildren can be very difficult for many. 

2.) You have important service providers established

Important service providers include everything from doctors and dentists, to financial planners and attorneys, to mechanics. In the case of chronic or serious conditions, staying put may be out of necessity to remain near medical providers or in home me

3.) It’s difficult to sell the home

Although Colorado has seen a boom in the housing market, there are still some areas where selling the home may be a difficult option.  Or for personal reasons, you simply don’t want to. 

Reverse mortgages have been making it possible to age in place for years now.  These specialized loans are available to homeowners 62 and over, including married couples with many protections in place to ensure borrowers are adequately educated before using this option, such as required third-party counseling, reverse mortgages are gaining in popularity among retirees from all walks of life.  A reverse mortgage for purchase option is available for those looking to purchase a new residence.

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 and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.

Can A Reverse Mortgage Provide Financial Security?

Reverse Mortgage Colorado Financial PlanningThe reverse mortgage of today is NOT your mother’s reverse mortgage.  The once shamed program is now helping seniors from all different walks of life fill retirement gaps and provide protection and stability through their golden years. Financial advisers and retirement planners are beginning to incorporate a reverse mortgage into retirement portfolios at the beginning of retirement, rather than using them as an emergency life line once the “nest egg” has been exhausted.

Through the use of a strategic FHA insured reverse mortgage, retired homeowners are able to use the equity in their homes as an available line of credit for life – without being required to make a monthly mortgage or loan payment.  That’s right – a reverse mortgage CAN provide Colorado’s seniors with guaranteed cash flow for life – as long as they continue to live in the home and keep their property taxes, homeowners insurance, and HOA fees up to date.  The funds can be used for whatever the borrower deems fit – additional income, medical expenses, vacations, home repairs or modifications, gifts, etc.

Reverse mortgages are available to homeowners 62 and over, including married couples with many protections in place to ensure borrowers are adequately educated before using this option, such as required third-party counseling, reverse mortgages are gaining in popularity among retirees from all walks of life.  A reverse mortgage for purchase option is available for those looking to purchase a new residence.

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 and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.

What You Need To Know About Reverse Mortgage Counseling in Colorado

reverse mortgage colorado loveland fort collins longmont greeley boulderPrior to being approved for a reverse mortgage, HUD’s Federal Housing Administration (FHA) requires each borrow to participate in a counseling session with an approved agency. These not-for-profit agencies are funded by the federal government and work closely with both the FHA and lenders to ensure a smooth process.

The goal of this session is not to steer a potential borrower in one direction or another, but to make sure they clearly understand all aspects of a reverse mortgage.

Here is what you can expect at your counseling session:

The potential borrower will need to schedule an appointment directly with a counseling agency. The lender does not initiate or take part in the session, but can provide you with resources to seek out a counselor. The session will take place in person or over the phone – although the FHA recommends a face-to-face meeting whenever possible.

Prior to your appointment, the counseling agency will provide you with a packet of information to allow you to prepare for the session. During the session the counselor will discuss your immediate and long-term financial needs, your reasons for seeking out a reverse mortgage, address any questions or concerns you may have, and clearly educate you on the process as well as the pros and cons of a reverse mortgage. Again, they are not there to “sell” you on the product, but to educate instead.

Once you have completed the counseling session, you will be provided with a “Certificate of Completion”. This certificate verifies to your lender that you have completed the counseling session and that you understand the essentials of a reverse mortgage. Your counselor will also follow up with you to ensure you have no further needs, questions, or concerns.

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.

What You Need To Know About Identity Theft

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoWhat is Identity Theft?

According to the 1998 Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act identity theft is when someone “knowingly transfers or uses, without lawful authority, a means of identification of another person with the intent to commit, or to aid or abet, any unlawful activity that constitutes a violation of federal law, or that constitutes a felony under any applicable state or local law.”

The three most common types of identity theft are:

  • Financial identity theft (using another’s identity to obtain credit, goods and services)
  • Identity cloning (using another’s information to assume his or her identity in daily life)
  • Medical identity theft (using another’s identity to obtain medical care or drugs)

How does Identity Theft happen?

In today’s technology driven society, protecting your identity is more important than ever.  But don’t assume identity theft only happens online.  It can happen anywhere, anytime.  Someone could be watching over your shoulder as you fill out a form at your doctor’s office.  Another individual could be rummaging through your trash, hoping to find a tossed out credit card offer.  Your email program’s spam filter may not be blocking those emails from Phishing websites.  There are many ways to fall victim to identity theft, arming yourself with facts and prevention is key to protection.

How do I protect myself from Identity Theft?

  • Be aware of your surroundings.  When filling out forms that include private information, take a seat away from others when possible. Never throw out forms or paperwork that may have your personal information on them, always take these home with you and dispose of them properly.
  • Don’t toss out credit card offers or other junk mail that pertains to obtaining credit.  In addition, any other private information you have – bills, car registration, insurance documents, bank statements – should always be disposed of properly and NEVER put out with your household trash.  These items should be shredded or burned.  In addition, limiting the amount of junk mail you receive by “opting out” of mail distribution lists can vastly decrease your risk.  Opt out by calling 1-888-5-OPTOUT.
  • Never follow links to bank accounts, credit accounts, PayPal accounts, etc from an email.  “Phishing” emails may appear as a completely legitimate email from your bank or credit card company, warning you of unauthorized transactions or other alarming information.  These emails will include links that take you to a website that looks identical to your bank’s – but it’s not.  Once you enter your information into this “Phishing” site, you have given some of your most valuable financial information to a con-artist.  ALWAYS access your bank and credit accounts by entering their web address into your web browser, NEVER through a link.  Reputable companies will not contact you via email about such important matters.
  • Don’t respond to emails offering money in exchange for “helping” an individual transfer money into the country.  These are always scams and have proven to be very dangerous.
  • Password protect your computer and your wireless internet. Use firewalls and virus protection software.
  • Never give personal information to telephone solicitors or door to door solicitors.  Do not give out personal information over the phone unless you placed the call yourself.
  • Lock your car.  Identity theft via “glove compartment” information is on the rise.  Keeping your car locked can ensure you are not an easy target.
  • Don’t carry your Social Security card in your wallet or purse.  Purge expired credit cards, insurance cards, and ID’s regularly.  Keep these items at home in a safe place.
  • If you do not have a locking mailbox, do not mail payments using your mailbox.  Always take the mail directly to the post office.

What do I do if think I’ve been targeted?

Contact the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-IDTHEFT or www.ftc.gov

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

Can A Reverse Mortgage Help To Delay Social Security?

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoWhen planning for retirement, there will no doubt be a discussion about when a retiree should start taking their Social Security benefits.

There are perks to delaying, for example Social Security benefits stand to increase as much as 7-8% per year if you don’t apply until age 70.  But many seniors need this income.  With the ability to apply for a reverse mortgage at the age of 62, and current low interest rates, retirees stand to actually make gains by using a reverse mortgage to supplement while delaying benefits.

When approved for a reverse mortgage, the borrower can choose from a variety of ways to access the funds.  It could be a monthly installment, a lump sum, or even a line of credit that in itself stands to grow over time.

This is a creative way to use the hard earned equity in your home to your benefit.  A well educated financial advisor would easily be able to help you decide if this is a good option.  Reverse mortgages are available to seniors 62 and over, including married couples, with an approved type of home.  The borrower will always retain the title to the home and reverse mortgages are insured by the FHA.

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.