Category: Information for Financial Planners

Yes, Married Couple CAN Get A Reverse Mortgage

reverse mortgage colorado loveland fort collins longmont greeleyIt’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.

The Reverse Mortgage Solution To Divorce Disputes

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont coloradoIt’s becoming more and more common for seniors to divorce after retirement.  This is happening for various reasons, but a big one is that retirement now last for decades versus only years, and many people are looking to make those golden years the best yet.

But senior divorces can get messy, as there are often many assets to sort out.  During divorce negotiations, a home is often one of these assets.  This home is possibly owned free and clear, or with a lot of equity.  For divorcees age 62 and over, a reverse mortgage can be used as a tool to help with settling this asset during divorce.  The great thing about reverse mortgage is it allows someone to stay in the home and live mortgage payment free, AND access funds from the equity.  Here are a couple scenarios in which reverse mortgage would be of benefit.

Scenario 1: When splitting the home asset, instead of selling the home, one party could be allowed to stay in the home and obtain a reverse mortgage, of which the other party receives the funds from.  This can be a win-win.  In cases like this, the financial settlement can even be wrapped into the loan if the divorce is final before the closing.  This would mean a reverse mortgage would be part of the divorce settlement discussion.  It is important to understand that the party that remains in the home will be responsible for certain obligations pertaining to the home, such as property taxes and homeowners insurance.

Scenario 2: Possibly you’re used to living off two incomes – whether it be from work, or social security and pensions.  Suddenly dropping down to one income can be devastating.  In cases like this getting the home in divorce proceedings can be a huge benefit, as once the divorce is final, a reverse mortgage could be obtained on the home.  The funds could come in monthly installments, a line of credit (that grows), or a lump sum.  In addition, if you wanted to sell the home and move, a reverse mortgage could be used to purchase the new home– and can even allow you seek homes that would otherwise not be in your price range.  The best part?  You will always live mortgage payment free.

If you are considering a divorce, or sifting through the process, don’t hesitate to contact me to further understand how reverse mortgage can help, and whether or not you qualify.

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 You Need To Know About Reverse Mortgage Appraisals in Colorado

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, Dacono, Erie, Boulder and other Front Range areas of Colorado.  Click here to contact Jan and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.

Breaking Down The Costs Of A Reverse Mortgage In Colorado

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoOver the years reverse mortgages have shifted from being a choice of last resort to a creative and effective retirement planning tool. But still many who do not fully understand how reverse mortgages function will immediately bring up the perceived high cost of originating the loan. 

When all costs and variable options are considered, the opposite is true. Reverse mortgages actually cost considerably less when used as a source of income when compared to a portfolio or continuing to make payments from a portfolio after the age of 62. They also allow for financial freedom during some of the most important and valuable times in life.

Let’s start by looking at the actual costs. People are generally familiar with the costs that come with a traditional forward mortgage.  They do vary by state but consist of lender fees, third party fees like appraisals and title costs, origination fees, PMI and other miscellaneous costs. 

All of those are similar to a reverse mortgage with the exception of one difference: Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP). This is a 2% fee based on the home value which goes to the FHA to insure the loan.

So, what does that insurance fee get you?  Why is it required? 

In the case of a traditional forward mortgage, insurance encourages the lender to lend to a borrower with a lower credit score or a small down payment so they are insured by the mortgage insurance company if there is a default.  Reverse MIP is much more powerful than forward PMI.  It not only insures the lender, but also the borrower AND the borrower’s heirs.  The reverse mortgage is a non-recourse loan that requires no payments until the borrower passes away or moves out of the home permanently.  That’s a solid guarantee.

As we’ve seen the past few years here in Colorado, home values continue to rise.  And just as we’ve seen before, that’s not guaranteed to continue forever. No one really knows what the home value will be next year or a decade from now. With this MIP, the borrower can live a very long life, and even if the home value plummets, if the balance on the loan is more than the value of the house, the MIP fund pays out the loss to the lender. The borrower, or the borrowers’ heirs, will never be responsible for any negative gap between loan balance and home value or any tax liability. 

Additionally, it’s very common that there is equity left over to pass on to the children because the home value has increased faster than the loan balance. In this case, even with the FHA insured loan, the heirs will always receive any equity in the home. 

Now how do you calculate these additional costs into a financial portfolio? Let’s look at some ways a reverse mortgage can be used.

The first factor is often also the biggest benefit – eliminating a mortgage payment so that cash flow is freed up to invest or use for other purposes.  Currently 44% of seniors reaching the age of 62 are still making a mortgage payment.  Most can afford it, but it needs to be asked if this is the best use for the money.

The second factor to consider is for those who are wealthy and have what one would consider “plenty of money” with homes that are already paid off. These people still have a cost of living, and often it is high.  The funds to maintain their lifestyles has to come from somewhere, whether passive or active income.  A reverse mortgage just acts as another source of income, and it is often the most efficient and cheapest income available to someone past 62.  Advisors can keep their senior clients fully invested in longer term portfolios while maintaining a cash reserve in the reverse mortgage line of credit. And that line of credit is guaranteed never to be cancelled or closed as long as the borrower meets their basic responsibilities such as paying homeowners insurance, taxes, and other basic fees such as HOA. It also requires no payments and is guaranteed to increase every year that goes by even if the house value does not.

And the third factor is quality of life.  As these individuals plan for the rest of their lives in a way only retirees do, the answer isn’t always calculated in dollars and cents, it’s calculated in time spent vacationing with grandchildren and creating memories with friends and spouses. This particular return on investment should never be overlooked.

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.

Social Security Is On Track To See The Highest Increase In 40 Years

The Social Security Administration is responding to the highest inflation rates in 40 years with what’s expected to be the biggest cost-of-living raise in decades.

According to Fortune:

Social Security checks increased by 5.9% this year relative to last, one of the biggest boosts retirees had seen in some time. And with inflation still sky-high — the consumer price index jumped 8.5% in March — they may get an even bigger increase next year.

The 2023 cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, could be as high as 8.9%, according to a preliminary analysis released Tuesday from the Senior Citizens League, a nonpartisan seniors’ advocacy group. It’s possible it could climb even higher than that, depending on what happens with inflation in the next few months, says Mary Johnson, Social Security and Medicare policy analyst at the Senior Citizens League.

The official Social Security COLA will be announced in October, which means there is still six months’ worth of economic data to be taken into consideration before it is finalized.

“I have never witnessed inflation this high,” Johnson says. The Social Security COLA is calculated based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, or CPI-W, a more general inflation measure than the headline Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers, or CPI-U. The CPI-W weights clothing, food, and transportation costs more heavily than the CPI-U.

The COLA was just 1.3% in 2021, and raised Social Security Income by an average of about $20 per month. This year, the average retiree’s checks are $92 bigger each month, says Johnson.

Though inflation is hard on all consumers, it is particularly painful for retirees who live on a fixed monthly income. Johnson points out that though 2022 and 2023 are likely to see record increases, they won’t be able to make up for years of increases that averaged around just 1.4%.

Social Security used to make up just one part of the typical senior’s retirement income, in addition to pensions and workplace savings. Pensions are rare these days, Johnson notes, and many people are not saving enough for retirement on their own, many because they cannot afford to do so.

“Because they’re not working, they have to have a good savings plan and emergency savings” to fall back on, she says. “But our brains are not wired to think long-term like that.”

Reverse mortgages are an excellent tool to help balance the uncertainty of retirement funding, whether by cushioning investments in a volatile market or delaying Social Security benefits

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.

How A Reverse Mortgage Can Help With Divorce

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont coloradoIt’s becoming more and more common for seniors to divorce after retirement.  This is happening for various reasons, but a big one is that retirement now last for decades versus only years, and many people are looking to make those golden years the best yet.

But senior divorces can get messy, as there are often many assets to sort out.  During divorce negotiations, a home is often one of these assets.  This home is possibly owned free and clear, or with a lot of equity.  For divorcees age 62 and over, a reverse mortgage can be used as a tool to help with settling this asset during divorce.  The great thing about reverse mortgage is it allows someone to stay in the home and live mortgage payment free, AND access funds from the equity.  Here are a couple scenarios in which reverse mortgage would be of benefit.

Scenario 1: When splitting the home asset, instead of selling the home, one party could be allowed to stay in the home and obtain a reverse mortgage, of which the other party receives the funds from.  This can be a win-win.  In cases like this, the financial settlement can even be wrapped into the loan if the divorce is final before the closing.  This would mean a reverse mortgage would be part of the divorce settlement discussion.  It is important to understand that the party that remains in the home will be responsible for certain obligations pertaining to the home, such as property taxes and homeowners insurance.

Scenario 2: Possibly you’re used to living off two incomes – whether it be from work, or social security and pensions.  Suddenly dropping down to one income can be devastating.  In cases like this getting the home in divorce proceedings can be a huge benefit, as once the divorce is final, a reverse mortgage could be obtained on the home.  The funds could come in monthly installments, a line of credit (that grows), or a lump sum.  In addition, if you wanted to sell the home and move, a reverse mortgage could be used to purchase the new home– and can even allow you seek homes that would otherwise not be in your price range.  The best part?  You will always live mortgage payment free.

If you are considering a divorce, or sifting through the process, don’t hesitate to contact me to further understand how reverse mortgage can help, and whether or not you qualify.

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.

The Reverse Mortgage Line Of Credit HECM-LOC Is Highly Unique And Here’s Why

Reverse Mortgage for Purchase Loveland Fort Collins Greeley Longmont Westminster Colorado Cheyenne Laramie WyomingThe 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 Erie, Firestone, Fort Lupton, 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.

Here’s How To Find A Reputable Reverse Mortgage Lender In Colorado

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoFor 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.

Find A Reputable Reverse Mortgage Lender In Colorado

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoFor 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.

The Reverse Mortgage Appraisal Explained

Getting 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.