Author: janjordan

Inflation + Retirement = Serious Financial Concerns for Retirees: CNBC

Recently CNBC published an important article that highlights the growing financial concerns of retirees as the nation faces unprecedented inflation. Reverse mortgages can be a tool to help protect against these concerns.

From the article:

Rising inflation has startled many retirees, who now worry about outliving their savings.

The consumer price index for June, measuring the cost of food, gasoline, housing, utilities and other goods, increased by 0.9%, the largest one-month change since June 2008, the Labor Department reported Tuesday. Prices jumped by 5.4% from the previous year, the fastest surge in almost 13 years.  

Although Federal Reserve officials say these price hikes are transitory, many retirees are feeling the sting with higher costs at the grocery store and gas station and with other day-to-day living expenses.

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster colorado

“It’s top of mind with our clients,” said certified financial planner David Mullins, wealth advisor at David Mullins Wealth Management Group in Richlands, Virginia.

As older investors scramble to preserve buying power, some experts suggest making shifts to portfolios. Here’s what retirees need to know.

Shifting assets

While inflation hasn’t fueled dramatic portfolio changes, Mullins has been striving to add “more breadth and depth across asset classes” since the third quarter of 2020.

Historically, many retirees have relied on portfolios with 60% stocks and 40% in so-called fixed-income assets, offering steady earnings through bonds, money market funds, certificates of deposit and other investments.

However, over the past several months, Mullins has reexamined a portion of the 40% allocation, seeking to manage risk and receive higher returns through diversification. 

“I think it’s really important that clients consider nontraditional asset classes,” he said.

For example, he has added commodities, which may include metals, agricultural products like grains and pork, through a “broad basket index,” rather than picking sectors, in addition to allocations of gold.

“Commodities typically perform well in inflationary environments,” he added.

He has also included Treasury inflation-protected securities, along with exposure to real estate, which may offer hedges against inflation.

“When you think about the stakes inflation could have on outliving your money, that’s when you have to play some offense,” Mullins said.

Changing mindsets

As bond yields decline, retirees have also needed to shift their mindset about conservative portfolios, said Linda Erickson, CFP and founding partner at Erickson Advisors in Greensboro, North Carolina. 

While some retirees may have relied exclusively on bonds or certificates of deposits in the past, these options will no longer protect their long-term buying power, she said.

“We have to produce a portfolio that will actually grow more than inflation, and we have to look at this every year,” she said. “We are not in a set-it-and-forget-it environment.”

To beat inflation, retirees may need to lean more heavily on stocks, she said. For example, they may consider buying certain dividend-paying assets.

Some portfolios haven’t changed

While the loss of buying power has sparked concerns among many retirees, not all advisors have made immediate changes to clients’ portfolios.

“I haven’t shifted any portfolios this year because of the threat of inflation,” said Larry Luxenberg, CFP and founder of Lexington Avenue Capital Management in New City, New York.

Client allocations may change if inflation becomes, “more ingrained as it was in the 1970s,” he said. But typically, he saves adjustments for shifts in a client’s financial situation.

Moreover, advisors like Christopher Flis, CFP and founder of Resilient Asset Management in Memphis, Tennessee, say they have designed portfolios to protect clients’ long-term purchasing power. However, there haven’t been significant shifts due to the recent upticks in prices.

“You’ve got to give it some time before you start reacting to something that could be transitory,” he said. 

Read the full article on CNBC here

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.

Should You Refinance Your Reverse Mortgage?

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

Who might want to refinance: 

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

What you need to know: 

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

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

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.

Delaying Social Security With Reverse Mortgage

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.

Reverse Mortgage Line of Credit (HECM-LOC) Quick Facts

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoThe HECM Reverse Mortgage Line of Credit is still relatively new, and to this day many within the financial and retirement industries haven’t fully grasped how it works.  Well, they need to get on board because consumers are interested – and they should be.  Here’s why..

First, what is a line of credit?  Simply put, a line of credit are funds available to you through a financial institution that you can access as needed, or not at all if the need doesn’t arise.  Interest is not acquired if the funds are not used.  This makes line of credit options excellent safety nets, especially for the purpose of creative retirement strategy.

When looking at a HECM Reverse Mortgage Line of Credit, the two are obviously intertwined, meaning the qualification requirements for any reverse mortgage still apply.  These are: age 62 and over, using your primary residence for the loan, this home must meet HUD’s guidelines and needs to be either paid off or have substantial equity, and the borrower must have the financial capability to continue to pay homeowners insurance, property taxes, and the like. Because there are various options to receive the payout from a reverse mortgage, the line of credit is only one of them.

When you have a reverse mortgage line of credit, you have money that is available to you — but you only accrue interest on the money you withdraw.  This means the reverse mortgage line of credit can act as an excellent back up source of funds or can be used for retirement fun, whether it be vacation, spoiling grandchildren, or knowing you have the funds available when you’re ready to take on new ventures.

There are other benefits though.  This line of credit is pretty astounding beyond just being a safety net.

Growth: Not only are you not paying interest, but your untouched reverse mortgage line of credit can grow in value. Money in a reverse mortgage line of credit grows at the same rate as the interest rate on the loan PLUS 1.25% monthly.  So, if the interest rate on your reverse mortgage is 2.50%, then your line of credit will grow at 3.75% (2.50% + 1.25%).

Unique: This growth is unique to reverse mortgage lines of credit — a HELOC for example does not grow.

Hedge Against Falling House Prices: The growth in a reverse mortgage line of credit is guaranteed — without withdrawals, your line of credit is guaranteed to grow.  This means you lock in the current value of your home without taking out an interest acruing loan.

Pretty great, isn’t it?

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.

CNBC: Fighting Inflation With A Reverse Mortgage

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoRecently CNBC published an article about how reverse mortgages can help protect retirees from the unknowns of inflation. 

From the article:

“Reverse mortgages — also known as home equity conversion mortgages, or HECMs — offer seniors aged 62 or older the chance to borrow money from their home’s equity.

These fixed- or variable-rate loans are designed for older Americans who plan to stay in their single-family home. 

The variable-rate option offers a line of credit, with no obligation to withdraw money, and the unused balance may continue to grow over time. (The fixed-rate version doesn’t offer the same benefit, making it less useful in fighting inflation.)
 
Typically, older retirees may borrow a higher amount of equity.   

For example, with a 3% expected rate, a 62-year-old homeowner may borrow about 52% of their home’s value. The percentage rises to nearly 61% at age 75, Pfau said.

Variable rates may range from 2.5% to 4% right now, depending on short-term variable interest, often tied to Treasurys, he said. 

For the line of credit, heirs may pay off the loan once the borrower dies, allowing them to keep or sell the property.

Typically, retirees spend down their investment portfolios while preserving home equity. 

But research suggests making a reverse mortgage part of a retirement plan may offer an unexpected benefit, Pfau said. 

“The bigger impact is you’re reducing pressure on the portfolio in retirement,” he said.

Research shows that a reverse mortgage may offer some retirees more money to spend while giving their portfolio more of a chance to grow.
 
The perk of opening a reverse mortgage line of credit early, especially when interest rates are low, is that the retiree may borrow more now. This move may offer more time for the untapped balance to grow. 

Moreover, higher inflation will speed into faster growth for the line of credit, he said.

“For anyone who’s thinking about a reverse mortgage, opening it before interest rates are higher, can be quite valuable if you’re in the home you’re thinking you’ll stay in,” he added.

Click here to read the entire article.

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

Considering A Reverse Mortgage? Know Who You Are Working With

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont 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.

Is A Reverse Mortgage For Purchase Right For You?

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoWe’re all familiar with the two most common options to purchase a home – take out a mortgage loan or pay cash.  But for seniors 62 and over, there’s another option – the Reverse Mortgage for Purchase program (aka HECM for Purchase).

Looking for a home in Fort Collins, Loveland or Longmont, Colorado but finding it’s a bit out of your price range?  Because the borrower is responsible for only the down payment on the home and will have NO mortgage payments, a Reverse Mortgage for Purchase can help with this too.

What is needed to qualify for a Reverse Mortgage for Purchase loan?

  • you must be age 62 or older (each borrower on title must meet this criteria, although others residing in home do not)
  • the home you are purchasing must be your new primary residence
  • must meet the FHA’s new reverse mortgage credit and income guidelines
  • you must have your “required investment” (down payment) from a HUD allowable source. The funds cannot be borrowed. The required investment can come from the sale of a currently owned home or asset, a gift or inheritance, or money you have had for at least 90 days.

Who owns the home that I am purchasing?

 As the borrower and homeowner, you will always retain the title to the home, just like any other type of home loan.

What will my personal ongoing obligations be after purchasing a home?

It’s very similar to if you owned your home free and clear – you will NOT have a monthly mortgage payment.  But as the homeowner, you will be responsible for paying property taxes, home owner’s insurance, HOA fees when applicable, and basic upkeep including home maintenance and utility payments.

When will the loan become due and payable?

With a Reverse Mortgage for Purchase the loan does not reach “maturity” until:

  • the last remaining borrower passes away
  • the homeowner sells the home
  • the last remaining borrower leaves the home for 12 consecutive months due to illness
  • the homeowner defaults on property taxes or insurance

Will I need to sell my current home residence to qualify?

Simply put, no. As long as the loan on your current residence is not an FHA loan and your required investment comes from a HUD allowable source, you can keep your current residence – but the new home will need to be your primary residence. Your lender will ensure you are financially stable enough to support the ongoing obligations on all properties you own. If you decide to keep your current residence as an investment, rental, or vacation property – or you are awaiting the sale of home, it is rarely a problem.

What types of properties can I purchase?

Single family homes, town homes, and FHA approved condos are all eligible properties. The home being purchased will need to be the buyer’s primary residence.

Can I use the loan to build a new home?

Previously these loans could not be used as construction loans and homes needed a Certificate of Occupancy before the loan application could be started.  This changed in 2017, and now homes in construction are eligible.  Read here to learn specifically about obtaining a Reverse Mortgage for Purchase on new construction. 

How is the “Required Investment” amount determined?

The “required investment” or down payment 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
  • The current expected interest rate

What may disqualify me from a Reverse Mortgage for Purchase loan?

  • Foreclosures within the past 3 years.
  • Unresolved bankruptcy
  • Unpaid Federal obligations – i.e. federal taxes, defaults on prior government backed loans (such as student loans or government backed mortgages)
  • Income too low to support multiple properties
  • Unpaid judgments or tax liens

What is the HUD required “Reverse Mortgage Counseling”?

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 third party, 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 Erie, Dacono, 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.

Applying For A Reverse Mortgage? Here’s What To Expect

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Do Retirees REALLY Want In Regard To Housing?

If you find yourself yearning for a retirement of comfort in your own home in a community you love, you are definitely not alone.  Here are some pretty telling facts and statistics surrounding the desires of older adults in the U.S..

According to research by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP):

  • Nearly 90 percent of seniors want to stay in their own homes as they age.
  • Even if they begin to need day-to-day assistance or ongoing health care during retirement, 82% would prefer to stay in their homes.
  • Most pre-retirees expect they will be able to live independently during retirement; only 14% expect they will need day-to-day assistance or ongoing health care at any point during their retirement.
  • Thinking about parents’ getting older is on the minds of 88% of adult children.
  •  75% of adult children and 69 % of parents think about the parents’ ability to live independently as they get older
  •  AARP identified housing features that seniors find are especially important in the later years: – Safety features such as non-slip floor surfaces (80 percent)

    – Bathroom aides such as grab bars (79 percent)

    – A personal alert system that allows people to call for help in emergencies (79 percent)

    – Entrance without steps (77 percent)

    – Wider doorways (65 percent)

    – Lever-handled doorknobs (54 percent)

    – Higher electrical outlets (46 percent)

    – Lower electrical switches (38 percent)

From the National Assocation of Home Builders:

  • 75% of remodelers report an increase in inquiries related to aging in place.
  • The NAHB predicts that aging in place remodeling market to be $20-$25 billion.  That’s about 10 percent of the $214 billion home improvement industry.

According to the MetLife Mature Marketing Institute:

  • 91% of pre-retirees age 50 to 65 responded that they want to live in their own homes in retirement.  Of that group, 49% want to stay in their current homes, and 38% want to move to new homes

Whether it’s the desire to simply stay put through retirement, or to make modifications to the home, or even to purchase a new home, a reverse mortgage is a flexible tool to help finance any of these.  

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.