Think you don’t need a reverse mortgage? Think again… Maybe you’ll WANT one.

Benefit from Reverse Mortgage for Financial and Long Term Care PlanningI sometimes have people say to me they don’t need a reverse mortgage.  Have you said or thought this?  Have you thought  a reverse mortgage should be a last resort or one should wait until they are older before doing one?   Let’s explore how a reverse mortgage can help you with your retirement planning and long term care planning needs.   And why doing a reverse mortgage now rather than later may be to your advantage.  You might then decide you want one.

A reverse mortgage is a mortgage like any other mortgage, using the equity in one’s home, but has special terms for homeowners 62 and over.  There are no income or credit score qualifications for the interest rate and no monthly mortgage payments required.  Homeowners maintain the title; the reverse mortgage lender does not own the home.  Borrowers are responsible for paying their property taxes and insurance as well as maintaining the home.  Reverse mortgage borrowers are highly protected – more so than with any other loan.

The Loan Amount, referred to as the Principal Limit, of the HUD insured Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) reverse mortgage is based on the age of the youngest borrower, the lesser of the home value or FHA Lending Limit, the program chosen and the Expected Interest Rate.  HUD allows certain types of properties to qualify: single family homes, duplexes or 1 to 4 unit properties as long as the home owner is living in one of the units, townhomes, FHA approved condos, and manufactured homes that meet HUD’s requirements.

Let’s compare doing a reverse mortgage now to waiting before doing your reverse mortgage.

TODAY

10 Years from Now

 

Barb wrote: “Having a Reverse Mortgage has given me monetary independence and I never realized how important having cash available would be until I fell in October 2013 and broke my right shoulder. Without the Reverse Mortgage money I would have been ‘up a creek without a paddle’.  Financial independence
saved the day.”

AGE

63

73

HOME VALUE

$200,000

$263,000
(based on Moody’s
Analytics Factors)

AVAILABLE (Approximate net after fees)

$92,729

$130,626*

  • Based on open-ended credit with current Expected Interest Rate of 5.21%; Closing costs of $5,871 plus FHA up-front Mortgage Insurance Premium of .5%; drawing 60% or less in 1st 12 months; annual FHA Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP) is 1.25%.
  • The Expected Rate is used to calculate the Principal Limit/Loan Amount and for estimated projections on the loan.
  • Growth Rate in this example based on assumption of Expected Interest Rate of 5.210%.  Actual Line of Credit Grows based on current interest rate plus 1.25%.  So if interest rate is higher, funds in the line of credit will grow faster.
  • These are estimates, the actual amounts are based on many factors. Different assumptions would result in different numbers.

* If the interest rate is higher, and it is likely that it will be in the future, less funds would be available.

While it may look like it’s to your advantage to wait until you are older, look at what happens if you do the revolving credit reverse mortgage now and leave the funds in a line of credit for your future use.

Funds in the reverse mortgage Line of Credit grow and this is the advantage of doing the reverse mortgage now.  Here’s an example of future funds available if at the age of 63 you draw less than 60% in the 1st 12 months and you have $92,729 in your line of credit initially:

Line of Credit Available*

No Draws

After Draw of $5,600 Each Year

 

Jerry stated, “The Reverse Mortgage enables us to live in our home without mortgage payments.  Line of credit will grow for our future needs.  The whole package is a win-win for my wife and me.”

 Age 68

$136,488

$92,557

 Age 73

$188,364

$101,624

Age 83

$358,756

$134,739

  • Based on open-ended credit with current Expected Interest Rate of 5.21%; Closing costs of $5,871 plus FHA up-front Mortgage Insurance Premium of .5%; drawing 60% or less in 1st 12 months; annual FHA Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP) is 1.25%.
  • The Expected Rate is used to calculate the Principal Limit/Loan Amount and for estimated projections on the loan.
  • Growth Rate in this example based on assumption of Expected Interest Rate of 5.210%.  Actual Line of Credit Grows based on current interest rate plus 1.25%.  So if interest rate is higher, funds in the line of credit will grow faster.
  • These are estimates, the actual amounts are based on many factors. Different assumptions would result in different numbers.

Consider the amount you will have in the line of credit available for your retirement needs or long term care needs when doing the reverse mortgage now.

You can pull all or some of the line of credit funds out as you desire or the payment plan can be changed during the life of the loan, for example, you may change from having some or all of your funds in the line of credit to receiving monthly payments.(1)

Even when you use some of the funds each year you will be taking advantage of having the additional money you need annually plus still having funds in your line of credit for future use.

The Principal Limit or Loan Amount is based on age with the older one is receiving more funds.  At the current Principal Limit Factors the increase is approximately 1% for each year.  This is lower than the line of credit growth rate.  With this taken into consideration, in just 5 years the funds in the line of credit with no draws will likely be higher than if you wait the 5 or 10 years to do a reverse mortgage.

Lucy* stated, “Having done the reverse mortgage has given me a new sense of security.”

Have No Monthly Mortgage Payments, Lower Interest Expense, Funds for Needs or Wants for Retirement Planning or Long Term Care Planning or Needs

In addition to a lower interest rate(2) with a reverse mortgage, eliminating your monthly payment will improve your cash flow because you don’t have to pay out that monthly payment each month.  While the loan balance will rise because you are not making payments, the reverse mortgage is non-recourse which means there is no personal liability to you or your estate if the loan balance is higher than what the home can be sold at fair market value in the future.  When the loan is being repaid, if the loan balance is lower than what the home can be sold for, the borrower or the estate receive the difference.

You have the funds to use during the term of the loan for whatever you need or want.  By doing the reverse mortgage earlier you have use of funds that otherwise would go toward your monthly mortgage payments.  Why not improve your cash flow sooner than later?

You do have the option of making payments with your reverse mortgage – it’s just not required.  You can choose when, how often and how much you want to pay.

If you make the payment(s) on the reverse mortgage, the payments will reduce the loan balance.  And with the adjustable rate, open-end reverse mortgage the payment will increase the Line of Credit meaning the funds are available in the future.  And over time the funds available are likely to exceed the home value at the time the reverse mortgage was initiated.  Additionally, using Moody’s Analytics, the line of credit is likely to grow faster than the home is appreciating.

Consider if you do the reverse mortgage now, let the line of credit grow and in 8 years you have a medical situation.  If you have a conventional mortgage you’ll have to balance paying mortgage payments with paying medical bills.  With the conventional mortgage if you don’t pay your mortgage in a few short months you are likely to be facing foreclosure.

If you are choosing to make monthly mortgage payments on the reverse mortgage, you could stop the payment being they are not required and therefore eliminating the risk of foreclosure from not making the monthly mortgage payments.  You have the option of resuming making payments if you choose.  You still need to pay your property taxes, keep hazard insurance on your home and pay home owner association dues if applicable.

Take advantage of doing the reverse mortgage now while the interest rate is low.  And then when the interest rate does increase, the line of credit will grow even faster (the growth rate is determined by the interest on the loan plus 1.25%).  The line of credit will grow regardless of the home values increasing or decreasing.

In waiting to do a reverse mortgage until you feel you have a need, you are taking risks.  For example:

Reduced Loan Amount or Principal Limit

Over the last few years HUD has reduced the calculation of the Loan Amount (Principal Limit).  We don’t know if HUD may find it necessary to decrease this again and/or increase the FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums.  Waiting may mean less funds are available if HUD reduces the Loan Amount or Principal Limit.

Higher Expected Interest Rates Equals Less Funds Available

With FHA Reverse Mortgages the Expected Interest Rate is calculated weekly and is used to determine initial funds available.  The Expected Interest Rate is considered a long term projection of future interest rates.  As the Expected Interest Rate changes to a higher rate, in the future less initial funds could be available to borrowers.  It is unknown as to the timing of when the rates may rise but at some point they will likely go up.

Properties that qualify

HUD already has restrictions on condos that are not FHA approved making it difficult to do a reverse mortgage on condos.  (The spot condo approval was removed in 2010.)  We are seeing lenders add manufactured homes, log homes, berm, and rural homes to their list of ineligible homes.  While there are still some lenders who continue to lend on these properties based on HUD’s requirements, this may change in the future and they are likely to tighten the underwriting requirements for these types of properties.  If you are in one of these properties you should look at doing a reverse mortgage now while it’s still an option.

Higher Valued Home Owners Should Do A Reverse Mortgage Before The Lending Limit Is Reduced

Currently the FHA HECM (Home Equity Conversion Mortgage) Lending Limit is $625,500.  At some point this rate could be reduced to a lower national limit or be based on a lending limit in the county where one lives (as is currently with a Forward FHA).  What this means is that if your home is valued more than the Lending Limit amount you can receive is based on the Lending Limit rather than the home value.  For example if your home is appraised at $700,000, currently we would use $625,500 to determine the reverse mortgage Principal Limit.  A lower Lending Limit would make a big difference on the amount one can receive.  If you have a higher valued home look at doing your reverse mortgage now instead of waiting.

Reverse Mortgage Financing Retirement

What would it be like for you to have security knowing you readily have funds available in your Line of Credit during your retirement years and the benefit of improved financial health?

You may not need a reverse mortgage now but it may benefit your retirement and long term care planning if you do one now.


(1)Consult with an Elder Law Attorney or financial consultant regarding the impact of pulling all your funds from a line of credit will impact Medicaid.
(2)Historically the HECM open-end credit reverse mortgage interest rate has been lower than what one can generally qualify for with a conventional mortgage.

Some information used in this article obtained from nu62(sm)

*Name changed to protect privacy

*As of April 27, 2015 income and credit are used for the Financial Assessment to determine borrower’s ability and willingness to pay property taxes and insurance into the future

Topic first published 2009; Updated 2014
© 2009-2014 Beth Paterson, Beth’s Reverse Mortgage Blog, 651-762-9648

This material may be re-posted provided it is re-posted in its entirety without modifications and includes the contact information, copyright information and the following link:  http://wp.me/pxPEm-FD

Related articles:

Blog posts’ information is current as of date post published, program is subject to change in in the future. Contact us for current information, 651-762-9648.

This site or the information provided is not from, or approved by, HUD, FHA, or any US Government or Agency.

14 thoughts on “Think you don’t need a reverse mortgage? Think again… Maybe you’ll WANT one.

  1. The numbers make sense. However, many people would go through the money. I would run the numbers with 3% not the expected rate.

    • Steve, as with any financial planning tool people should use their money wisely. The use of the Expected Rate is more realistic of potential rates in the future and that’s why we use it on our Amortization Schedules and why it was used in this example.

  2. Pingback: A Reverse Mortgage Should Be A Last Resort… To What? | Beth's Reverse Mortgage Blog

  3. Pingback: Know a Senior Who Wants Security, Independence, Dignity, and Control? A Reverse Mortgage May Be The Answer! | Beth's Reverse Mortgage Blog

  4. Pingback: Reverse Mortgages Provide Security, Independence, Dignity And Control | Beth's Reverse Mortgage Blog

  5. Pingback: A Reverse Mortgage Or A Conventional Mortgage For Senior Homeowners? That Is The Question. | Beth's Reverse Mortgage Blog

  6. Pingback: Using A Reverse Mortgage for Freedom, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness | Minnesota Reverse Mortgages SIDAC

  7. Pingback: We Were Able To Use A Reverse Mortgage To Purchase Our Beautiful New Home | Minnesota Reverse Mortgages SIDAC

  8. Pingback: Seniors Find Independence With Reverse Mortgages | Minnesota Reverse Mortgages SIDAC

  9. Pingback: TV Show Discusses Facts & Uses of Reverse Mortgages | Minnesota Reverse Mortgages SIDAC

  10. I love your blog, it has helped my family and I get all the information we need before making the leap into getting Reverse Mortgage.

    -Scott

  11. Pingback: Reverse Mortgages Offer New Products for Better Options for Borrowers | Minnesota Reverse Mortgages SIDAC

  12. Pingback: Do you wonder if reverse mortgages are so good, why more people aren’t doing them? | Minnesota Reverse Mortgages SIDAC

  13. Pingback: cheap domain

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *