Category: Information for Financial Planners

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You’re still on the hook for income taxes on any amounts withdrawn, but the bill right now would give you three years to pay these levies.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

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.

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.

How To Use A Reverse Mortgage And Social Security Together

reverse mortgage colorado fort collins loveland greeley longmont cheyenneWhen 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.

Are Heirs Saddled With Reverse Mortgage Debt After Borrowers Pass Away?

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont coloradoA common question and concern surrounding reverse mortgage is what will happen to the home after the homeowners pass away?  Will the bank take possession?  Will it be allowed as inheritance?  Will it be possible to keep the home in the family?  Will the family of he deceased be held liable?  These are very valid concerns – so I’d like to offer some clear and concise guidance.

When the last homeowner passes, whether we’re talking about you or a loved one, the home will transfer into the estate or a specific person according  to the wishes expressed in the homeowner’s will.  At this time there are three main options:

1.  Pay off the remainder of the loan

Depending on the amount of equity that still exists in the home, the financial situation of the family, and just the overall ability of those involved, this may or may not be a feasible option.  It’s not uncommon for a portion of life insurance to be used in this manner.  Because these loans are FHA insured, if the loan is repaid, it will never be more than the home is worth – even if the housing market is in a deep low spot.

2. Obtain a conventional loan.

Many mortgage brokers are familiar with the reverse mortgage process and the right broker will be able to help those in need identify the best route in obtaining a conventional loan and keeping the home.

3. Sell the home

The final option is to sell the home.  When there is not a desire to keep the home, the heirs can sell the home.  When the home is sold, the loan will be repaid and any remaining equity from the sale will go to the heirs.

If there are no heirs or the heirs are not interested in the home, no one will be held liable.

One last note, as long as the communication lines remain open, the bank will typically allow up to one year to help with the transition.  This one year is allotted in three month increments.

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.

HUD Increases Reverse Mortgage Loan Limits Beginning January 1, 2020

Reverse Mortgage Colorado Financial PlanningIn early December, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that the lending limit for FHA insured HECM Reverse Mortgages will be increasing for the fourth year in a row.

Beginning on January 1, 2020, the lending limit for government-insured reverse mortgages will be $765,600, marking an increase of $39,075 from the lending limit HUD set for 2019.

History of HECM Reverse Mortgage Lending Limits |
2009-2016 | $625,500
         2017 | $636,150
         2018 | $679,650
         2019 | $726,525
         2020 | $765,600

What These New Limits Mean for Borrowers
 
If you’re a prospective reverse mortgage borrower who has a home valued at or around the new 2020 lending limit, the new MCA will allow you to borrow demonstrably more money in a reverse mortgage transaction.

Remember, the amount of money you can borrow is directly influenced by current interest rates, your home value, and your age at the time that the loan is originated; younger borrowers qualify for generally lower proceeds when compared with older borrowers.

That means that these new limits can certainly make a major difference in the ability for borrowers to earn more money in loan proceeds.

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.  The funds can be received via line of credit, monthly payments, lump sum, or as a reverse mortgage for purchase for those looking to purchase a new residence.  The funds can be used however the borrower deems fit – additional income, medical expenses, vacations, home repairs or modifications, gifts, etc.

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.

 

 

Reverse Mortgage and Taxes: Everything You Need To Know

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.  In the new 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.

Jan Jordan is a Reverse Mortgage Specialist serving the Erie, Lafayette, Fort Lupton, Dacono, 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.

Yes, Married Couples Can Get a Reverse Mortgage

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoIt’s not uncommon to hear heartbreaking stories of reverse mortgages that left a spouse in dire straits after the other spouse passed away.  How could this happen?  Is it something that you need to worry about?  If you and your spouse are considering obtaining a reverse mortgage, it’s important to understand the long term effect it could have on either spouse once the other passes away, and feel confident any appropriate protections are in place.

What Married Couples Need to Know 

When applying for a reverse mortgage the amount of money you can receive is calculated according to the age of the youngest borrower.  The older the borrower, the more money is available from the lender.

If both homeowners are over the age of 62, both homeowners can be on a reverse mortgage loan.  If both spouses are on the loan, the loan continues if either passes away and will continue until both borrowers have passed.

Another scenario to consider is if a borrower obtains a reverse mortgage and then remarries.  If this was to happen, it wouldn’t be unheard of for the married couple to live in the home for 20 or more years before the borrower passes.  At this time the new spouse would not be protected under the existing reverse mortgage loan.  If you have reverse mortgage and you remarry, you could consider looking into refinancing the reverse mortgage and adding the new spouse to the loan.

And yet one more thing to note is the possibility one spouse needs to move out of the home into an assisted living facility due to health concerns.  If this happens, as long as the spouse that remains in the home is on the loan, they can continue under their current reverse mortgage.

Bottom line: If you are married and are considering obtaining a reverse mortgage, it is extremely important to work with a trusted and experienced reverse mortgage specialist who can easily answer all of your questions and address any concerns you may have.  Making sure both spouses are protected should be a lender’s top priority.

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.