Category: Retirement

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

5 Things You Need To Know About Reverse Mortgages In Colorado

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoReverse mortgages have made a serious comeback in the past couple years.  After regulation changes were enacted in 2015, the reverse mortgage loan once considered a desperate lifeline is now being used as a retirement tool for even the wealthy.  The loans are still only available to seniors 62 and older (including married couples) with the amount of funds available increasing depending on age and appraised value of the home, but now those funds are often being accessed in ways not available before – such as a line of credit or to purchase a home.  This really is not your mother’s reverse mortgage, it’s something much more versatile than it was years ago.

Here are some lesser known facts about today’s reverse mortgage:

1.)  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the borrower will always remain the homeowner as long as basic responsibilities such as property taxes are paid, homeowners insurance is kept current, and utilities and HOA fees are paid.  One of reverse mortgage’s scariest myths has always been that a bank will own the home.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.  Not only will the borrower remain the homeowner, they will also retain the title.

2.) There are NO mortgage or loan payments.  That’s correct.  Regardless of how the borrower decides to utilize the reverse mortgage funds, they will not pay a loan or mortgage payment while they remain in the home.

3.) With a Reverse Mortgage for Purchase, borrowers can wrap both the home purchase and the reverse mortgage into the same transaction allowing them to buy their dream home – AND the reverse mortgage will substantially supplement purchasing power allowing a home to be purchased that may have once been out of their price range.  When using a Reverse Mortgage for Purchase, the borrower is required to provide some down payment and the reverse mortgage funds will make up the rest of the purchase price.

4.) Married couples can both be on the loan regardless of how the funds are utilized.  Another all too common myth is that in the case of a married couple, if one spouse passes away the other spouse will be evicted.  When working with a reputable reverse mortgage lender this should never happen.  As long as both spouses are 62 or over, they can both be on the loan allowing either borrower to stay in the home until the last spouses passes away or permanently leaves the home.

5.) Heirs are not “saddled” with the debt of a reverse mortgage.  After the borrower(s) pass away, there are several options as to what the heirs can do with the home.  And in today’s hot housing market, the home may gain equity that can be available to the heirs.  Most all reverse mortgages are FHA insured meaning the loan will never exceed the amount of the home sale – even if more is owed, and it also means it will only ever require the amount of the loan even if the home is worth much more when it comes due.

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.

Your Retirement Is Different Than Your Parents – Here’s Why

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoDecades ago, when our parents were working and raising a family, they looked at retirement as the true golden years.  It would be a time when they stopped working and lived off the fruits of their savings and investments.  Retirement planners used a three-legged-stool strategy back then.  The make up of this stool was Social Security, employer-sponsored retirement plans, and personal savings.  But somewhere between their retirement and now this stool became unbalanced – and now today’s retirees are needing to compensate for it.  But how?

First, it’s important to remember that these three components of retirement are still an integral part of retirement success, which is why it should be considered how they can be best utilized as well as protected.  But it’s also important to consider what else has changed – things like life expectancy, a more active retirement, and a move toward non-traditional and even extravagant retirement goals.   Why not have it all?  And what are the options to achieve it?

Part-Time Work: It’s not uncommon for retirees to utilize a phased retirement strategy, where they can work and begin receiving benefits.  In addition to the obvious point of this – additional income – working can help to delay Social Security benefits, as well as keep older people engaged in the community.  

Reverse Mortgage: For those with substantial equity in their homes, a reverse mortgage can be an excellent way to balance out that stool analogy with a fourth leg, or simply get the boost retirees need to live that extravagant retirement life they’ve been dreaming of.  Funds are available via a line of credit, monthly installments, a lump sum, and even to purchase home (or a combination).  Because the income is not taxed, it can be used strategically with investments, or used to delay Social Security benefits.  Another common function is a stand-by strategy that taps the line of credit now, but only uses it during bear markets to protect investments.  These FHA backed reverse mortgages do not incur any mortgage or loan payments, although borrowers must keep up with homeowner’s insurance, property taxes, and other associated costs.  In addition to living mortgage payment free, they can actually eliminate any existing mortgage or HELOC payments, and the loan is not payable until the last borrower passes away or permanently leaves the home.  

Downsizing and HELOC’s:  When considering how to make ends meet during retirement, downsizing is often part of the conversation.  Selling the home and moving to smaller one, then using any additional equity as a retirement funding source.  For anyone considering this, I’d suggest looking at the details of a Reverse Mortgage for Purchase prior to making a final decision.  A Reverse Mortgage for Purchase option can allow buyers to get more house for their money, while still having cash to stash away for retirement. 

A Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) is another common solution.  When going this route versus a reverse mortgage, ensure the new monthly payment will not cause damage down the road if other needs arise, like medical care.  

Reverse mortgages certainly won’t be right for everyone, but for many they can be used creatively to aid in funding today’s retirement that is so different than what we are used 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.