“I’m a happy consumer of reverse mortgages. I feel that it’s had an unjustly bad name in the past, at least I’ve heard under currents of ‘oh, you wouldn’t like that.’ Well let’s get at this logically. I’ve had a good experience with it and I like Beth’s approach. So I wanted to share my experience and what had changed in my life.
“Life was happy and good with a family and a career. I was all happy and good with the insurance that goes with a nice job. When retirement time came I had a fair pension and that with Social Security were going to see me through things.
“But that didn’t match my goals. I wanted to travel more when I was retired and visit my now expanded family and I was getting charges of $400 – $500 for tickets 2-3 times a year plus indebtedness for rewiring in the house, I wanted to remodel things and was running across some fascinating new hobbies. So I wanted to have new hobbies and travel. And do what was the healthiest thing I could think of on earth which was having a very right good time now and let the future take care of itself if I took care.
“So that led me to talk to some friends when I was running low on funds. Several people referred to the fact that Beth Paterson was quoted on reverse mortgages. To be quoted was quite a credential. I had a meeting with Beth. I was 73 at the time. I was undecided at the time so I waited. Time changed and I still had a lot of ambition and 75 came along and I wanted some improvements in my home and I was confidently that I could likely spend 10 or more years happily in my home if I had home health care. That is a big deal to know when you are 70 something to know that if you fall and need some months of assistance.
“When I talked with Beth the 2nd time it all came together. I was very happy with the amount of care she spent with me. My family was able to call her and get answers to our questions and they were pretty astute questions. Beth took the time to answer every one of them. I had shopped around and I stayed with Beth.
“My life changed from uncertainty on how I was going to pay my electrical bills, and whether I could even stay in this community or whether I needed to move to assisted living which meant moving. That wasn’t the preferred path. I was sure I could stay in my home. I was sure I could get the reverse mortgage loan. And now I was able to get a nice low rate.
“I immediately found that I could get relief from my old small mortgage. [The reverse mortgage needs to be in first lien position which means any current mortgages or liens need to be paid off. This eliminates mortgage payments because there are no payments required on the reverse mortgage. Borrowers are responsible for property taxes and hazard insurance.] The relief was so great that I could now stop worrying about how I could pay this within my income. So I left my Line Of Credit alone – didn’t use it – just the relief for paying off the old mortgage and the old debts and some ability to understand my budget and handle it better.
“Now I have my dignity back and my independence. And my children are heaving sighs of relief because they aren’t worried about me any more – I’ve answered some of their questions: where I do I want to be cared for as I age. They aren’t going to be blind-sided.
“I was very pleased with what happened.”
Edna, who took out her Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) in 2008, shared this story during a presentation where she joined me recently at a Minnesota senior resource fair workshop.
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