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Will a Reverse Mortgage Work For You?
As a reverse mortgage loan officer, I see many heartbreaking stories every day. The sad truth is that most of us have not properly planned for retirement, I myself am 64 years old and fall into this category. Most of my friends are already retired and have fat 401k or pensions to fall back on. Almost all of them worked for large companies.
I took a different route. I have been self employed for most of my life. It gave me a lot of freedom and the ability to control my own destiny. I was somewhat successful, being able to maintain a comfortable lifestyle, buy fancy cars and clothes, and take expensive vacations. I didn’t put money away for my retirement and will have to retire on the fixed income that the Social Security Agency provides. If I had paid off my house, I would be much better off and could almost afford the $1,850 in Social Security that would pay me if I retired now. If I wait until I’m 66 and 6 months that skyrockets to $2,200 and if I keep working until I’m 70, I’ll get $2,600 a month. The only problem is that I haven’t paid off my house.
At this point, I would be much better off in a reverse mortgage. A reverse mortgage would eliminate my home payment for the rest of my life and allow me to stay in my home forever. They can never claim the right loan unless I die, move out of the house or sell the house.
I would be responsible for taxes and insurance which comes to about $300 a month. I would also have to pay my Home Owners Association dues which are currently about $325 a month. So of my $1,850 a month from SSA, I would have to live on $1,200 a month. It is possible, but not very comfortable. Not what I worked for 40 years to achieve
A reverse mortgage will also give me a line of credit that I can use at any time. If you don’t touch it, it will increase by approximately 3% per month. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but keep in mind it’s more than the interest I would get at a bank. Once my value is determined, they can never cut my line or loan amount or qualify for the loan even if my home goes down in value.
If you had a HELOC, a home equity line of credit, the HELOC amount can and has been reduced in the past due to prevailing real estate values. This happened to almost everyone in 2008 when the subprime bubble burst. People found that when they needed money the most, it wasn’t available to them. This caused many people to declare bankruptcy because they were no longer able to pay their bills after being laid off.
The reverse mortgage prevents this from ever happening. They put an insurance policy on the loan called Mortgage Insurance that protects the bank in case values fall again. It also protects the borrower from the negative effects of their bank going out of business.
A reverse mortgage was designed for seniors who were cash poor but had built up a lot of equity in their homes. It’s not unusual for me to find seniors trying to get by on less than $2,000 a month, but have several hundred thousand dollars in their homes sitting there.
If you find yourself in this situation, look into a reverse mortgage. It will help you with your finances, give you a little more spending money each month and give you the security of being able to stay in your home for as long as you want.
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