Looking To Relieve Caregiver Stress? A Reverse Mortgage May Be The Answer!

Are you a caregiver, one who is taking care of a loved one?  And as a caregiver are you also balancing your career, family, home and life activities?  Are you stressed from all of this?  Are you overwhelmed at trying to handle everything and find options to help your loved one?

When taking care of your loved one are you wishing you could focus on being the child or spouse instead of paying the bills, managing the budget, preparing the meals, ensuring their needs are met, medicines are taken, managing the household or being the nurse?  Are you trying to finance their needs along with your own?  Are you wishing you could just sit and visit, read to them, go for a walk, go out for a relaxing lunch, or go shopping instead of dealing with everything else?

A reverse mortgage may be the answer to help you.  With a reverse mortgage you can reduce your stress and hire the assistance from a care manager, companion service, home care agency, daily money manager and/or find services to help with the yard and household chores.  With the services you can return to your role of child or spouse and do the things you enjoy doing with your loved one.

A reverse mortgage is a mortgage with special terms for senior homeowners 62 and older that allows seniors to remain in their home with security, independence, dignity and control.  The advantage for seniors is that there are no income or credit score qualifications and there are no monthly payment requirements.  The borrowers keep the title to the home and are responsible for taxes, insurance, and maintaining the home.  Unlike a conventional loan the low-interest accrues, increasing the balance with no payments due until the home is no longer the primary residence of the borrowers.  In addition, the reverse mortgage is a non-recourse loan which means there is no personal liability to the borrowers or their heirs for repayment if they our their heirs are not retaining ownership.  When there is remaining equity at the time of sale the funds go  to the borrowers or their heirs.

The funds can be used for any purpose, whatever the needs or wants of the seniors.  The advantage to you, the caregiver, is that funds would be available to get the services to help your loved one so they can remain in their home and not depend on you and you can enjoy your time with them rather than being the nurse, the money manger, the cook, the yard worker, etc..

Some of the resources available to assist you include:

  • A care manager who is a professional such as a social worker or health care professional who can assist you or your family to manage the medical, psychological, and social affairs, through assessments, identifying needs, and then planning, coordinating, and monitoring services and resources to assist you in financial, legal, and housing needs.
  • Daily Money Managers can assist with day-to-day finances such as paying bills, balancing they checkbook, sorting the mail.
  • Companion and home care services are services provided in one’s home ranging form companion and basic home chores to medical care such as nursing, occupational, speech, or physical therapy and other medical therapies.  Home Health Care providers may hold licences and provide skilled cares which are done by licensed professionals such as a social worker, nurse, or home care aide and can provide personal care and assistance such as activities of daily living like bathing, dressing, grooming, transferring, toileting.  Companion oar personal care assistants provide companionship and supervision but cannot provide personal or nursing care.  Their services are available from minimal hours to 24 hours and live ins.

So stop being so stressed, look into a reveres mortgage to see if it is right for your loved ones to have the funds for their security, independence, dignity and control.  It could be a wonderful present to yourself.

Other Blog articles you may find helpful:

© 2009 Beth Paterson, Beth’s Reverse Mortgage Blog, 651-762-9648

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3 thoughts on “Looking To Relieve Caregiver Stress? A Reverse Mortgage May Be The Answer!

  1. What you have written sounds good. But coming from a realtors point of view, reverse mortgages are not as easy as you make them out. We had a woman die who had a reverse mortgage and used every penny she could get out of it.In a down market the house lost alot of value. The margins were tight and the bank was goin to get their money no matter what. It didn’t sell for a year and we lowered the price as much as we could and someone finally bought it. One thing when you are selling the house you have third party involed and the bank has to sign off on eveything i believe. I would recomend you really read the fine print before getting into a reverse mortgage.

    • Michael,
      To clarify your misconception of reverse mortgages: A reverse mortgage is a mortgage/loan just like any other mortgage where the borrower owns the home, keeps the title, is responsible for paying the taxes, insurance and maintaining the home as well as abiding by the terms of the loan. However the reverse mortgage has special terms for seniors in the fact that there are no income or credit score qualifications and no monthly payments required.

      An advantage of the reverse mortgage for seniors is they can use the equity in their home for their needs, whatever those may be up to the maximum allowed by the loan. In your example the woman evidently took advantage of this fact and the reverse mortgage probably helped her stay in her home until she died as she desired.

      The reverse mortgage loan becomes due and payable when the home is no longer the primary residence of the borrower(s). The borrower or the estate communicating with the Servicing company is crucial when the home is no longer the primary residence of the borrower. HUD insures most reverse mortgage loans so their terms must be followed by the borrowers and the servicing companies. If it was a private lender their terms must be followed, just like with a conventional mortgage or any other loan agreement.

      Yes, in a down market the home values have dropped. The advantage of the reverse mortgage for the seniors who took one out when the market had higher home values is the seniors could access more funds that were/are guaranteed to be there for them. It sounds like this was the situation of the woman you reference. AS A NON-RECOURSE LOAN, THE REVERSE MORTGAGE IS REPAID ONLY FROM THE PROPERTY, THERE IS NO PERSONAL LIABILITY TO THE BORROWER OR THEIR ESTATE WHEN THEY ARE NOT RETAINING OWNERSHIP. And the third-party real estate fees are also taken into consideration. A HUGE advantage for seniors and sounds like it was for the borrower you reference – she probably died knowing she did not leave a debt to her heirs.

      As with any mortgage, reverse or conventional, the lender has terms of when they are to be paid back and has a say of what they will accept for payback or in your words “sign off on everything.” With a conventional mortgage the borrower or their estate could still be responsible for paying back the full value of the loan whereas with the reverse mortgage the lender is only paid back from the sale the home. Consider when a home is in foreclosure and the payoff amount is higher than what the home can be sold for, the lender has a say in what they will accept or it will go to a sheriff sale.

      Through the years of specializing in reverse mortgages I have worked with families when the borrowers have passed away and have never heard a real estate agent, even with the downturn in the market, say they have had an issue abiding by HUD’s requirements for the sale of the home or the value or complain about it as you are doing.

      One should always read the “fine print” on any contract, a reverse mortgage, a conventional mortgage, or the agreement with their real estate agent, attorney, etc. An additional advantage for seniors is that with the reverse mortgage it is a requirement that borrowers receive copies of the closing documents at the time of the application giving them time to review all the terms of the loans through the processing. Additionally, they receive them at closing and have a 3 day recission period. In other words the reverse mortgage borrowers have a lot more opportunity to learn the terms of the loan.

      I’m guessing that the woman you referenced was aware of the terms of the reverse mortgage and they were favorable for her, it sounds like you as the real estate agent is the one who didn’t know the terms.

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