Category: Reverse Mortgage Info

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 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.

Reverse Mortgages Are Good Financial Strategy

Reverse mortgages are available to seniors 62 and over who either have their home paid off or have substantial equity.  Certain criteria applies to the home in order to meet HUD’s rules, and although anyone on the loan must be 62 and over, they are available to married couples the same as individuals.  The funds available from these FHA insured loans are available in various ways including monthly installments, a lump sum, a line of credit, and as a purchase option.  Even with all these funding choices, reverse mortgages are not right for everyone but they are a perfect match for many.

When is Reverse Mortgage a good financial strategy?

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoThink of reverse mortgage as a financial tool that turns home equity into cash WITHOUT incurring a loan payment, unlike a traditional mortgage or home equity loan.  No repayment is due as long as the borrower is living in the home.  This also goes for married couples, in which case no repayment would be due until the last borrower permanently leaves the home.  The borrower will still be responsible for some things related to the home, such as property taxes and homeowners insurance.

Reverse mortgages are increasing in popularity as more retirement and financial planners are recommending their use as a potential tool.  Typically retirement planners have used a three legged stool as an example for their clients – saving, social security, and pensions make up this visual structure.  But with changes in the economy and uncertain futures, pensions are disappearing.  In this scenario, those who are “house rich, but cash poor” may find using home equity to balance out the stool is a saving grace.  In addition, for those secure in all three areas, adding home equity can be used as a safety net or to delay, thus enhance, certain areas.

The reverse mortgage industry underwent some changes last year as legislation was passed making these loans a safer option for both borrowers and lenders.  As a result, the reputation that once surrounded the industry has drastically improved and their use is being studied by some of the most prominent retirement experts.

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.

Can A Reverse Mortgage Provide Financial Security?

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

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

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

Jan Jordan is a Reverse Mortgage Specialist serving the Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Longmont, Boulder and other Front Range areas of Colorado, as well as the Cheyenne and Laramie communities of Wyoming.  Contact Jan and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.

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.

Reverse Mortgage For Purchase Explained

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, condos, and even homes that are 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 Find A Reputable Reverse Mortgage Lender

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoFor many retirees, a reverse mortgage is a feasible option to living the golden years they always dreamed of, or for others it may be a path 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.  In general, the older the borrower (or the youngest borrower in the case of married couples) and the more valuable the home, the more reverse mortgage funds will be 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 Senior Centers.   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.  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.

Accreditation 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 Collins, Loveland, Greeley, and Front Range areas of Colorado.  Click here to contact Jan and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.

What Retirees Want In Housing

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoIf 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.

How Rising Interest Rates Affect Reverse Mortgages

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoInterest rates have been at historic lows for years.  This has afforded thousands of Americans to the ability to secure home loans for their dream house.  It’s also worked in favor for those who have made the decision to tap in their home equity using a reverse mortgage.  But interest rates affect a conventional loan differently than a reverse mortgage.

HECM reverse mortgage are insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), and are available to homeowners 62 and over.  These tax-free loans convert a portion of home equity into cash without incurring a loan payment.  Borrowers can access the funds via monthly installments, line of credit, a lump sum, and even to purchase a home. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which regulates the reverse mortgage industry, sets a “floor” rate of about 5%.  As interest rates rise and fall above this floor rate, borrowers will receive less or more in proceeds.  In fact, even a small rise of 1% above the floor rate can decrease available funds by as much as 20%.

Fortunately, once a homeowner has tapped into a reverse mortgage they lock in the interest rate and proceeds will never decrease, no matter what the market does, and the funds available will increase over time when using the line of credit option.  In addition, even if the home decreases in value below the amount of their loan proceeds, they will never be responsible for more than the home is worth.

Bottom line: with interest rates on the rise, now is the time to act if you’re considering a reverse mortgage.

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