July 4th we celebrate Independence Day in America honoring the day our country signed the Declaration of Independence. Signing the reverse mortgage documents is a way for seniors 62 and older to sign their own declaration of independence.
Independence is defined as “freedom from the control, influence, support, aid, or the like, of others.” This fits senior’s attitudes, they want to maintain control of their life, make their own decisions and not depend on others for assistance.
Having one’s own funds for home repairs, going out to lunch with friends, traveling, visiting family across the country, purchasing a new car, paying medical bills or for medications; paying for help with housework, meal preparation, yard work or transportation, whatever is desired can give that feeling of independence.
Being able to pay off a mortgage to improve cash flow gives one relief and freedoms. Planning and have funds for the future and long-term care needs as well as protecting other assets and/or delaying taking out Social Security are other ways to have independence.
A new one-level home making it easier to age in place, moving closer to children yet remaining independent are made possible using a reverse mortgage HECM for Purchase.
Some assistance may be needed for seniors to remain in their home such as home care or medical equipment. However, not relying on children or the government for help and being able to choose a home care agency of their choice will give them the sense of independence. Using the equity in one’s one with a reverse mortgage can provide seniors the funds for their independence.
“Now I have my dignity back and my independence” was what Edna exclaimed after her reverse mortgage was closed.
Another Minnesota reverse mortgage borrower, Bea, said, “With a reverse mortgage you begin to have independence anew and you begin to feel more secure. Being free from monetary anxiety, you have better control over spending your equity.” The reverse mortgage allowed Bea to pay off a mortgage, then to travel to family weddings and reunions. Several years after she initially did her reverse mortgage Bea used her reverse mortgage funds to pay for home care that was needed to keep her independent and at home.
Ted, age 91 and Anna age 87, Minnesota homeowners, were proud and didn’t want to discuss their financial situation. However, their son-in-law finally talked to them about obtaining a reverse mortgage. When I met them and we started the reverse mortgage process, the children and I were told they were doing the reverse mortgage so they could put new linoleum on their kitchen floor. Once the loan was closed, I was informed by their children that they had indeed put in the new linoleum along with new windows and they bought some new furniture. The kids were going to Ted and Anna’s and were told, “Don’t pull in the drive way, we just had it blacktopped.” When Ted and Anna went out to eat with their kids, they could pay for their kid’s meals too making them feel good that they could treat their children to a meal.
While Ted and Anna were too proud to let their children know their financial situation initially and they didn’t want to depend on them to assist with their living expenses, once they signed the reverse mortgage documents they kept their independence and had funds for their needs and desires. This also improved their dignity.
Dorothy closed on her HECM reverse mortgage as a tool to strategically manage her assets. The benefits she received from her reverse mortgage include independence and security. She’s used the funds for home repairs & travel, & hasn’t had to use her investments.
A reverse mortgage insured by FHA, an agency within HUD, is known as a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage or HECM. As one of the most protected financial options available for seniors, it allows them to use the equity in their home for whatever they need or want.
Offering the most flexibility of payment options or no payment, with no monthly principal mortgage and interest payments required, cash flow can be improved by receiving money in monthly payments, a line of credit, lump sum or a combination of these. With the growth rate, the line of credit is a wonderful tool for retirement and long term care planing.
The title remains in the borrower’s name and the loan is generally not due until the home is no longer the primary residence of the borrower(s), when they die, sell or move or on their 150th birthday. Repaid from the sale of the property, as a non-recourse loan if the loan balance is higher than what the home can be sold at fair market value the borrower or their heirs are not responsible for the difference. If the home is sold for more than the amount due then the borrower or their heirs keep the difference.
Working with an estate planner, a reverse mortgage helped Mary plan her retirement so she has funds for emergencies, medical expenses, traveling, leaving something for her heirs, and enjoying life with independence and not be dependent on her children.
As you bring out the red, white and blue, hang your flags and gather with family to celebrate the independence of this great country of ours, discuss what independence means to your loved ones. What is needed to help seniors remain independent and in their home, not relying on the government or on their children? Then explore a reverse mortgage, get the facts about them, and see if it might be an option for your situation to maintain their independence.
You just might find, as over a million others have, obtaining a reverse mortgage may be just like signing your own Declaration of Independence – then celebrate your independence.
Happy Independence Day!
If you’d like to explore creating your own declaration of independence, contact us if you are in Minnesota. As your local broker, we work with several lenders and provide free information and facts with no obligation, meeting in person whenever possible.
For other states, contact your local reverse mortgage specialist who is a broker, one who works with several lenders, has their Broker License/NMLS and preferably holds the Certified Reverse Mortgage Professional (CRMP) designation.
© 2018 Beth Paterson, CRMP, Beth’s Reverse Mortgage Blog, 651-762-9648
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