Category: Retirement

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You’re still on the hook for income taxes on any amounts withdrawn, but the bill right now would give you three years to pay these levies.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

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.

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.

Tips For Finding A Reputable Reverse Mortgage Lender In Colorado

reverse mortgage colorado loveland fort collins longmont greeley boulderFor 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.

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.

 

 

A Look At The Looming Retirement Crisis

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoNumbers are being released showing that the impending retirement crisis may be worse than originally thought.

Half of Americans have less than $10,000 in savings.  Nearly half of the oldest Baby Boomer generation have insufficient resources to pay for basic retirement living expenses and healthcare costs.

The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College estimates that our “retirement income deficit” is $6.6 trillion. That number represents the gap between pension and retirement savings that American households have today and what they should have to maintain their standard of living in retirement.

Over 6 million American seniors are living in poverty.  This number is expected to grow by 33% by the year 2020.

These stats are concerning not only for the retirees, but also their families. A reverse mortgage can help by becoming an important piece of retirement planning. Seniors 62 years and older now have the ability to fund their retirement using the equity in their homes, alleviating mortgage payments, and receiving either a line of credit, monthly installments, or occasionally a lump sum.  These funds are not taxable as income, and will continue for as long as the borrower remains in the residence. 

For many, this option makes a world of difference, allowing for the sought after prosperous retirement years instead of barely scraping by on a budget. And the reverse mortgage funds can be used for any purpose the borrower chooses, and is often used to help with every day expenses or long term medical costs.

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.

Reverse Mortgage vs HELOC vs Downsizing

Reverse Mortgage Colorado Financial PlanningHome equity accounts for approximately 70% of a senior’s assets, not including social security or pension.  Often times tapping into this equity becomes inevitable when facing health crisis or financial restrictions in retirement.  Using home equity should be part of a larger financial plan and there are a few ways it can be incorporated.

Reverse Mortgage

reverse mortgage is available to seniors 62 and older with married couples being eligible to both be on the loan if both meet the age requirement.  Homeowners who obtain these loans do not make monthly mortgage or loan payments but  instead receive the funds in a variety of available options, including monthly installment and a line of credit.   The loan does not have to be repaid until the last borrower passes away, at which time there are options available to heirs.  The amount of the loan depends on the amount of equity in the home and the age of the borrowers – the older the borrower, the more money they can receive.  This is an excellent option for both seniors with questionable retirement funds or the retiree who is looking to boost their portfolio.

Home Equity Loan

home equity loan (HELOC) also taps into equity by borrowing money against the home.  This type of loan will be processed as a conventional loan and monthly payments will need to be made to the lender.  Any health or future financial concerns should be thoroughly thought through prior to taking out a home equity loan.  Loading up the home with debt during retirement can be risky and could result in loss of the home if the borrowers are unable to make their monthly payments.

Downsize

Another option would be to downsize all together by selling the existing home and moving into a more modest situation.  Depending on the amount of equity in the home, a homeowner may be able to sell the home for enough money to comfortably be able to make rent or mortgage payments for 10 to 20  years.  Just as with a home equity loan, this option could be risky for a person with health concerns as the funds set aside for housing could be needed elsewhere.  For homeowners looking to downsize, a Reverse Mortgage for Purchase is also a very good option.  This will allow the borrower to move into the home they desire AND eliminate mortgage payments.

Before making any major decisions regarding how to effectively use the equity in your home, it is best to consult with a financial adviser and 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 and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.

Everything You Need To Know About The Reverse Mortgage Appraisal

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoGetting assessments on just about anything can seem laborious or tedious, who wants to have something close to them looked at with a magnifying glass? But appraisals for reverse mortgage loans are not only very helpful for everyone involved, they’re required by the lender.  Part of what determines the amount of funding available from a reverse mortgage is the appraised value of the home.  Luckily the process is very simple.

First, after talking with a reputable reverse mortgage specialist, you will submit your application. The specialist or lender will be the one to contact an appraiser who will in turn contact you to set up a time for them to look at your home.

The procedure is standard and involves three steps, the inspection, the research, and the report.

Inspection:

The appraiser will walk through your home with you, he or she might take photographs. It will document features that add value to your home. If the appraiser takes a picture of something in need of repair it lets you know that it matters and gives you a chance to fix it.

Research:

Once the walk through is done, the appraiser’s work continues as they research factors that influence the value they place on your home. Home sales in your area are one area of research. Others include multiple listing services, tax assessor’s records and public records come into play. Anything that will help to give the present value will be taken into account.

The Official Report:

This is the synthesis of the appraiser’s home visit and all the research. The report is used with your loan request. If photographs were taken, they will be included as well.

The appraiser gives this report to the lender who will give you a copy and an updated reverse mortgage figures taking into account the new information.

There are simple things you can do before the appraiser gets to your home to help your loan request. Read my article about preparing your home for an appraisal by clicking here.

Reverse mortgage is an individualized, specialized loan for those 62 and older that allows seniors to tap into the equity of their home while living mortgage and loan payment free.  The funds can be accessed via a lump sum, line of credit, monthly installments, or even to purchase a home. If you are planning ahead 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.