Category: Reverse Mortgage Info

Retirement Changes For Coloradans Included in Coronavirus Relief Bill

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoThe recently passed $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill included a series of key retirement provisions. These would relax rules on retirement savings and include the option to take a hardship distribution of up to $100,000 from a 401(k) plan without the 10% early withdrawal penalty if you are under age 59 1/2. 

Retirees can also suspend required minimum distributions out of their retirement accounts for 2020.  This gives retirees flexibility especially if they don’t need the income. 

According to a CNBC article, here are the three retirement relief measures in the package:

Tax-favored plan withdrawals

The bill would allow affected savers to take coronavirus-related distributions of up to $100,000 from retirement plans and individual retirement accounts in 2020.

Those individuals are defined as people who are diagnosed with COVID-19, spouses or dependents who have the disease or those experiencing financial consequences from quarantine, furlough, layoffs or having their hours cut due to coronavirus.

If you’re under age 59½, these withdrawals would be exempt from the 10% penalty that would normally apply.

You’re still on the hook for income taxes on any amounts withdrawn, but the bill right now would give you three years to pay these levies.

“You take the money out penalty-free, that’s OK— but you still owe the tax,” said Ed Slott, CPA and founder of Ed Slott & Co. “You’re still reducing your retirement savings and you still pay the taxes.”

You also have three years to replenish the money you had taken from your retirement account.

Bigger plan loans

The bill would also allow you to take larger loans against the money you’ve saved in your workplace retirement plan.

Normally, you can borrow only up to $50,000 or 50% of your vested account balance, whichever is less.

The measure would double that: up to $100,000 against the amount you’ve saved in your plan.

Plan loans follow a different set of rules than withdrawals. You can borrow against your savings tax-free if you meet certain requirements. If you fail to repay the loan, it’s treated as a distribution and subject to taxes.

Know your employer’s approach to loans, as some plans may require you borrow from your savings before taking a hardship withdrawal, said Paul Porretta, partner at law firm Pepper Hamilton in New York.

Break on required minimum distributions

Starting in 2020, individuals who turn 72 are required to take annual mandatory distributions from their workplace retirement plans and their IRAs.

In prior years, this requirement kicked in after savers turned 70½ years of age.

This is known as the required minimum distribution.

The bill would suspend those RMD payments for 2020, a move that will keep taxpayers from drawing down on savings at a time when the market is in flux over COVID-19 worries.

“The relief bill is for people who are struggling, but this provision isn’t really for people who are struggling,” said Jeffrey Levine, CPA and director of advanced planning at Buckingham Wealth Partners on Long Island, New York.

“This is for people who have enough money that they don’t need to take from their retirement accounts,” he said.

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

How A Reverse Mortgage Can Eliminate Traditional Mortgage Payments

reverse mortgage colorado fort collins lovelandIt’s not uncommon that I get questions about why a senior may want to use a reverse mortgage to pay off an existing conventional mortgage loan.  This scenario would vary from person to person, but in the long run, if the equity in the home can eliminate a mortgage payment without acquiring another loan payment, it’s often a win-win. 

A reverse mortgage is essentially a home equity loan in which the borrower is not required to make payments. The homeowner must be at least 62 years old and meet certain income and credit guidelines.  Although a reverse mortgage does accrue interest, it does not have to be repaid until the last borrower passes away or leaves the home permanently. Almost all of these loans are FHA insured.  There are certain things like property taxes and HOA fees which the homeowner will still be responsible for. 

Here is a scenario:

Barbara is a 75-year-old widow with a house worth $495,000. She still owes $125,000 on her conventional mortgage, with no other mortgage debt such as a HELOC.

Based on her age and the home’s value, she can get a reverse mortgage that would not only pay off her mortgage but give her extra funds as well that could be accessed via a line-of-credit.

She could live mortgage payment free for the remainder of her time in the home.  

A common question with reverse mortgage is who technically owns the home?  The borrower does.  They will retain the title and can make modifications or upgrades to the home.  

In addition, this is a great option for eliminating a HELOC (home equity lines of credit).

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.

Understanding Different Reverse Mortgage Professionals

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoWhen you start navigating the waters of reverse mortgages, you will undoubtedly come across MANY different companies and individuals ready and willing to help.  Flashy ads, website calculators, famous spokesmen, and more.  But who are all these people?  And what is the difference between them?  How do you know what is the best fit for YOU?

Here’s some information I think anyone considering a reverse mortgage needs to know about the various professionals who work in the industry:

Banks and Credit Unions – Most local banks and credit unions do not offer reverse mortgage loans, although sometimes the larger ones will.  Unfortunately seeking a loan through them can often mean little or no face-to-face time, and it’s not uncommon for these banks to leave the industry down the road.  At one time Wells Fargo and Bank of America were in the business, but they quit, leaving their borrowers with loans that few employees can understand and little help if reverse mortgage customers need it. 

Brokers – A reverse mortgage broker is a third party individual that is licensed by the state but doesn’t work directly with a lender, instead they essentially shop the marketplace.  When working with a broker, borrowers will pay higher fees because they will have to cover the costs of the broker.  In addition, because all transactions run through a third party, things can easily get slowed down or even stalled completely.

Direct Lender Specialists – This is the category I fall into.  Working directly with a lender that specializes in FHA insured HECM reverse mortgages, such as Mutual of Omaha, direct lender specialists are able to offer local, personal, face-to-face time with clients, and eliminate the need for costly third-party fees.  We are able to do all this while ensuring the smoothest, most efficient transaction possible because they are handling the loan and not farming it out to another company.

Reverse mortgages are available to individuals and married couples age 62 and older.  These FHA insured loans allow homeowners to live mortgage and loan payment free until they pass away, permanently leave the home (meaning 12 consecutive months), or they default on financial responsibilities associated with the home, such as property taxes or homeowner’s insurance.  The funds are available via monthly installments, a line of credit, a lump sum, or even to purchase a home

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.

Everything You Need To Know About Reverse Mortgage For Purchase

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoReverse Mortgages, once typically thought to only help struggling seniors, have undergone enormous changes recently and are being used to help even affluent retirees achieve their retirement dreams and home buyers purchase new homes.

The Reverse Mortgage for Purchase program is quickly gaining in popularity. This program allows seniors to purchase a home using a reverse mortgage and live mortgage payment free. To qualify for this program, borrower(s) simply need to be age 62 or older, be purchasing a home to become their primary residence, and have their “required investment”. The borrower will still be the homeowner and will always retain the title. In addition, similar to a homeowner who owns their home free and clear, there will not be a monthly mortgage payment but the borrower will still be required to pay property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, HOA fees, and basic upkeep and utility payments.

The borrower can use this loan to purchase single family homes, town homes, and FHA approved condos, and even homes under construction. 

As mentioned above, the borrower will need to have their “required investment” or down payment. This amount is determined by a calculation set by HUD based on: the lesser of the sale price or appraised value, the age of the youngest of the borrowers, and the current expected interest rate. There are many examples available of these numbers to help real estate professionals and borrowers determine the price bracket they should search based on the required investment they have available.

Unlike a traditional mortgage where the loan reaches a “maturity date”, reverse mortgages have a “maturity event”. This is the event which causes the loan to become due and payable. These “events” include: the last remaining borrower passes away, the homeowner sells the home, the last remaining borrower leaves the home for 12 consecutive months, or the homeowner defaults on property taxes or insurance.

Prior 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.

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.

How to Use Home Equity for Retirement Security Through A Reverse Mortgage

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoDid you know home equity can be used to reduce the overall risk of your retirement plan? Your house is a great asset that for many years has been overlooked in financial planning for seniors. This is making a sharp turn lately as retirement experts are beginning to understand how tapping into home equity via a reverse mortgage should never be underestimated.

Let’s take a look at where most seniors sit currently when it comes to retirement…

• Only 22 percent of workers are very confident they will have enough money in retirement.

• 45 percent of Americans have saved exactly nothing—zero.

• The expected lifespan of women is 20 years past the age of retirement, and two years longer than men.

• The average retiree can expect to spend $220,000 in out of pocket health care costs during retirement.

• Medicare pays for an average of 62% of a seniors health care costs, leaving 38% to come out of pocket.

• 36% of up and coming retirees will rely on Social Security as their sole income.

A reverse mortgage can help in many different ways – and the how the funds are spent is entirely up to the borrower. Whether it’s a monthly payout or a line of credit, when combined with other retirement planning tools, reverse mortgage can allow retirees financial security during the years they worked so hard to enjoy.

Reverse mortgages are available to senior homeowners 62 and over – even married couples. They will live mortgage payment free, always retain the title to the home, and because these loans are FHA insured non-recourse, no one – including heirs – will find themselves saddled with the debt after the owner passes. There are also various solutions for adult children or other family members who may want to keep the home in the family.

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.

Is Your Home HUD Eligible For A Reverse Mortgage?

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeleyReverse Mortgages are a specialized loan available to seniors 62 and over.  This creative resource is used by a wide demographic – from those looking to supplement a fixed income, to the more affluent in need of protection for retirement assets, and even those wanting to purchase a home in retirement.  But there are some requirements when it comes to the actual home…

Which types of homes are included? 

According the HUD’s Federal Housing Administration, the home must be a single family home or a 2-4 unit home with one unit occupied by the borrower. Some condominiums and manufactured homes that are approved by HUD also meet FHA requirements.

In the case of a Reverse Mortgage for Purchase, borrowers can use a reverse mortgage to purchase a single family home or 2-4 unit home even new units under contstruction.

Are there reasons my home may not qualify?

A home with very little equity may not qualify, although homes with existing mortgages may.

In addition, homes must be maintained with general upkeep and be current on property taxes and other expenses relevant to the home.

A second home or vacation home may not qualify.  The borrower must be living (or plan to live) in the home.

Bottom line

The funds from a reverse mortgage can be accessed via a lump sum, line of credit, monthly installments, or to purchase a home. If you have questions let your specialist guide you in the many scenarios that are possible and the two of you can think creatively about your needs and desires.

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.

A Guide For Adults With Aging Parents

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoWith the holidays behind us, it’s not uncommon for adult children to reach out to me to discuss a reverse mortgage as an option to help their aging parents.  They often spend a little more time with family and may realize things are changing with their parents and in their home.  Here are my tips to helping your parents or older loved ones…

1.) Talk with them

Don’t hide your concerns or exclude them from the conversation, no matter how uncomfortable it is.  Ask them to sit with you and discuss your concerns.  Discuss their wants and needs.  Learn about their financial situation and retirement resources.  Having a honest face to face conversation is the first step to determining what is best for them.  

2.) Discuss living arrangements 

Find out what your parents want to do long term regarding their home.  Discuss what they ultimately want, and what would make them change their mind.  According to AARP, 90% of retirees want to age at home.  Do they have concerns with their home?  Do they need updates?  Is the home too big?  Too many stairs?  Do they want to move to a smaller home?  If medical care became a need, how will this be managed?

3.) Look into the various options such as insurance and reverse mortgage

When discussing how to finance potential scenarios, educating yourself about the various options such as long term care insurance and reverse mortgages will go a long way.  The two can even be used together by using some of the reverse mortgage funds to pay for long term care insurance, especially when there are medical concerns.  

4.) Come to an agreement about how much is expected out of adult children

Adult children may want to give the world to their parents, but is that really feasible?  And how do the parents feel about that?  Determining expectations all around, along with setting hard boundaries, will ease any resentment down the road.

5.) Seek out a professional

There are many resources for seniors – whether it’s community resources or elder attorneys.  When you’re unsure of the options or what is best, enlisting a professional can help to ease everyone’s mind. 

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 Scams in Colorado

Reverse Mortgage Scams

You may hear about email scams, telephone scams, door-to-door soliciting scams – but what about reverse mortgage scams? Unfortunately just as we have scams in every segment of society and at every opportunity, reverse mortgages and seniors are not immune to such activity.

In the past decade, reverse mortgages also known as Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HCEM), have increased more than 1,300 percent! This certainly offers an astounding opportunity for fraud perpetrators.

What do reverse mortgage scams look like?

Victims may be offered a free home, an investment opportunity, or foreclosure and refinance assistance. Senior citizens are often unsuspecting targets for scammers, as they are not familiar with the multitude of unscrupulous and dishonest “programs” that exist. Scammers reach their victims often through churches, investment seminars, television, radio, billboard, and mailer advertisements.

When considering a reverse mortgage product, it is very important to research the company. Most reverse mortgages are insured by the Federal Housing Authority (FHA). Seek out companies that are a member of the Better Business Bureau and associated with the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association.

Tips for Avoiding Reverse Mortgage Scams:

• Do not respond to unsolicited advertisements.
• Be suspicious of anyone claiming that you can own a home with no down payment.
• Do not sign anything that you do not fully understand.
• Do not accept payment from individuals for a home you did not purchase.
• Seek out your own reverse mortgage counselor.

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.

Can You Be Too Old For A Reverse Mortgage?

Reverse Mortgage Helping Seniors in Fort Collins Colorado Loveland GreeleyThe 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.

A Quick Look At How A Reverse Mortgage Impacts Taxes

reverse mortgage loveland colorado fort collins longmont greeley boulderThere 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.  There are options to help set aside a portion of the funds to cover ongoing expenses such as property taxes and homeowner’s insurance.

Jan Jordan is a Reverse Mortgage Specialist serving the Boulder, Longmont, Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, and Front Range areas of Colorado as well as Cheyenne and Laramie, Wyoming.