Category: Reverse Mortgage Info

Changes to Social Security in 2022 for Coloradans

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoAs society and the economy continues to shift in the wake of the pandemic, seniors in Colorado and beyond continue to be one of the most impacted demographics between health and finances. Good news is the Social Security Administration is keeping up. Next year, those receiving Social Security will see the largest cost of living increase in 40 years. There are various changes to social security that will be affecting seniors in 2022.

Most notably these are:

• The Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will be 5.9%. This is the largest Social Security COLA in nearly 40 years. Your current and future Social Security benefits may be increased each year, partially depending on inflation numbers.

• For Americans who are still a few years away from entering retirement, those born in 1960 or later, the full retirement age for Social Security has increased to 67. Seniors will still be able to start taking Social Security retirement benefits at age 62, but with reduced monthly payments.

• For workers near the top of the Social Security income scale, $147,000 or more for 2022, your maximum Social Security payout will likely increase slightly in 2022. No individual at full retirement age can take home more than $3,345 per month, regardless of their pre-retirement income. This number can be increased by delaying Social Security until the age of 70.

• The amount that is hit with taxes will depend on household income levels. Just 50% of your benefits will be taxed if your income is between $25,000 and $34,000 as an individual. That goes up to $32,000 to $44,000 for a married couple. As you get more Social Security income, more of your benefits will be taxed.

Reverse mortgages can help to use social security strategically. For example, there are perks to delaying taking benefits. Social Security stands 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.  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.

If I Get A Reverse Mortgage, What Happens When I Die?

Reverse Mortgage Colorado Fort Collins LovelandA 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.

Reverse Mortgages As A Financial Strategy In Retirement

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.

Married? Yes, You Can Still 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.

Visiting Aging Parents? Here’s What Adult Children Need To Discuss

reverse mortgage colorado fort collins loveland greeleyWith the holidays ahead of 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.

As Senior Housing Wealth Reaches New High, Is It Time To Consider A Reverse Mortgage?

Older homeowners continue to break home equity records as home values appreciate across the nation. In the first quarter of 2021 homeowners 62 and older saw their housing wealth grow by 3.4 percent or $305 billion from Q4 2020. 

That brought senior housing wealth to a record-breaking $9.23 trillion in the first quarter of the year, according to a quarterly index published by National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association and RiskSpan.

Reverse mortgages have become a critical component to helping fund retirement alongside other tools such as 401(k)s, IRAs, savings, investments, and Social Security. 

Because the amount available for the borrower through a reverse mortgage is based on the current appraised value of the home, today’s senior housing wealth numbers indicate this is a great time to explore the reverse mortgage option. The FHA insured reverse mortgage means even if the housing market were to become volatile in the future, the borrower will never owe more than the appraised value of the home at any given time.

Homeowners 62 and over, with significant equity in their home, may be eligible for a reverse mortgage.  These loans are typically insured by the FHA and provide non-taxable income to the borrowers based on the available equity in the home.  The more equity and the older the borrower, the more funds available.  The funds can be accessed via a line of credit, monthly installments, a lump sum, and even can be wrapped into the purchase of a new home.  The borrower can always use the funds for whatever they deem fit.

The homeowner will live mortgage payment free for as long as they remain in the home, although they will have a few financial obligations related to the house such as homeowners insurance, property taxes, utilities, and HOA fees.  As long as the borrowers keeps current on these few obligations, they cannot be evicted from the home or made to repay the loan.  The loan comes due once the last borrower has left the home for 12 consecutive months or passes away.  At this time the loan will be due and payable with time allotted to allow for transitions.  

This is where the FHA insurance comes in.

In the case of a death, the home with pass onto the heirs.  At this time they have two options – 1) Pay off the loan and keep the home (often through life insurance or sale of another asset), or 2) Sell the home.

In the scenario of loan repayment the heirs will never have to repay any more than the home is appraised for.  They will only be required to pay 95% of the appraised home value or the full amount of the loan, whichever is less.  Any amount due on the loan above the appraised amount will be covered by the FHA insurance and no one will be held liable.

In the case of a home sale, the heirs will never be required to pay more on the loan than the home sells for as long as the sale price is at least 95% of the appraised value.  Any remaining balance will be covered by the FHA insurance.  On the other hand, if the home sells for more than the loan balance, the heirs will keep any remaining funds.   This is especially important as over the years the housing market shifts.

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

 

Is Paying Off A Traditional Mortgage With A Reverse Mortgage A Good Idea?

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoA recently released university report by the Michigan Retirement Research Center and funded by the Social Security Administration showed that 55% of those utilizing a reverse mortgage are using some of the proceeds to pay off a traditional mortgage.

So, when is this a good strategy?

1.) They’re living in a house they can’t afford

When many older adults reach retirement, they have to figure out out how to live on a fixed income and how to make their other retirement assets last for what is often decades.  Tapping into a reverse mortgage will both eliminate the weight of the mortgage payment, and often even allow extra funds to use throughout the remainder of their lives.

2.) They want to purchase a different home

It’s not uncommon for retirees to purchase a home in retirement.  But few know they can do this with a reverse mortgage instead of a conventional one. This allows buyers to either preserve assets and income, or purchase a home that would typically be out of their price range.  Click here to learn more about the Reverse Mortgage for Purchase program.

3.)  They don’t want to interrupt performing assets

For those with retirement investments that are doing well, drawing from these to make mortgage payments could be a bad move.  Using a reverse mortgage to eliminate mortgage payments can be a win-win in the long run.

Reverse mortgages use the equity in your home to allow access to cash through monthly payments, a lump sum, or a line of credit while living mortgage payment free.  The borrower and the home must meet certain qualifications, such as age (62 or older), and HUD’s  home eligibility requirements, and they must also continue to pay and maintain certain responsibilities such as property taxes and homeowners insurance.

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.

Reverse Mortgages Can Fund In-Home Senior Care

According to statistics, there’s a 70% chance seniors over 65 will need some sort of long term care such as in-home care, skilled nursing, or assisted living at some point during their lives.  Although there are various ways to pay for such care, like Medicare, Medicaid, or health insurance, these options often come with limits and additional costs.

For homeowners 62 and over reverse mortgage should be another option considered to fund long-term care.  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 reverse mortgage line of credit is a great option when facing the future needs of long term care.  This option allows homeowners to secure this FHA insured loan at the current interest rate, then only use the funds when needed – and the line of credit grows as the borrower ages.

Unlike a traditional loan or a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC), there are no loan or mortgage payments as long as the borrower lives in the home.   The line of credit comes due either when the last borrower permanently moves out or passes away, in which case the heirs or the estate could pay the loan back either through sale of the home or other means. Depending on how much of the line of credit has been tapped, this could result in significant equity left to heirs. If you never used the line of credit, the equity would still be in place and would pass to heirs along with the 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.

Selling A Home With A Reverse Mortgage? Here’s What You Need To Know

Typically when a senior takes out a reverse mortgage loan on a home, they intend to age there.  But on occasion and reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradofor various reasons, the homeowners wants to or needs to sell the home before the loan comes due and payable.  So, what now?

Although this is an important factor, it’s not nearly as daunting as it sounds.  Here’s where to start:

Step 1.) Locate your reverse mortgage loan documents and find any pertinent information regarding the sale of the home.  It will vary from lender to lender.  Most (but not all) reverse mortgage loans are FHA insured.  This means even if you owe more on the loan than the home is worth, you will never owe more than the home sells for.

Consult with a real estate or elder law attorney if you have questions or concerns.

Step 2.)  Contact the reverse mortgage lender to get a payoff quote.  This combined with a home appraisal will give you a good idea of what the sale will look like and what amount of funds you could potentially walk away with.

Step 3.)  Find a real estate agent.  When seeking out an agent, be sure to provide your reverse mortgage loan information up front and look for someone who has experience with such a sale.

Step 4.)  Prepare the home for sale.  From here, everything is similar to any home sale.  You want to prep the home, keep it clean for showings, update anything you may need, etc.

Step 5.)  Sell the home, pay off the reverse mortgage loan (consult with a real estate or elder law attorney if you have questions when paying off the loan), then reap the rewards.  Congrats!
Reverse mortgages are available to seniors 62 and over all over Colorado.  To learn more, contact a reputable reverse mortgage 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.

Watch Out For Reverse Mortgage Scams

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

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

What do reverse mortgage scams look like?

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

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

Tips for Avoiding Reverse Mortgage Scams:

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

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