I often hear that people think the reverse mortgage is only for those with an immediate need on their current home. While this is one reason one obtains a reverse mortgage, there are five general reasons to obtain a reverse mortgage. Let’s explore all of these.
- Needs based or improving cash flow: Need funds immediately for covering living expenses or wants to eliminate the current mortgage payments.
Lisa and George had a small mortgage remaining on their home. It was difficult to make the monthly payments so they obtained a reverse mortgage to eliminate the payments. There were remaining proceeds that they left in a Line of credit for future use. And they are still paying their property taxes and insurance.
Joe needed a hearing aide but couldn’t afford it with his Social Security benefits. Rather than taking money from his savings, he obtained a reverse mortgage. He also used some of the money to put new siding on his home.
- Maintaining lifestyle: Having funds for travel, buying a car, purchasing vacation home; fulfilling dreams or meeting goals.
Helen was struggling to meet her living expenses with just her Social Security Benefits. She also had always dreamed of traveling. The reverse mortgage provided the extra cash she needed and she was able to fulfill her dreams of traveling
Bob’s wife passed away so her Social Security was no longer received. To replace the 2nd Social Security check his financial advisor suggested a reverse mortgage so he could stay in his home and maintain his lifestyle. The reverse mortgage paid off his current conventional mortgage and eliminated his mortgage payments – this improved his cash flow. Then Monthly Draws were set up to add the extra money he needed each month to maintain his lifestyle. Additionally funds were left in the line of credit for future needs.
- Protecting or delaying draws from other investments: Using the reverse mortgage to tap home equity rather than accessing other investments or retirement funds that may have penalties or are taxable; let the investments or retirement funds grow so more retirement funds are available later in one’s life; use the home equity so other investments can be left as the inheritance.
Dorothy closed on her Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) reverse mortgage as a tool to strategically manage her assets and the benefits she has received from her reverse mortgage. She’s used the funds for home repairs and travel, and hasn’t had to use her investments.
In their mid-70’s, Pat and Mary planned for their retirement. But as their life changed they found there wasn’t enough money to last through the end of the month. With the reverse mortgage in place providing monthly cash flow and a line of credit for other needs, Pat and Mary’s retirement funds may be protected for their future. They are living their retirement years with a good plan along with funds for their current needs. Now they have more money at the end of the month – what a way to live in retirement!
Ray used a reverse mortgage on his primary residence to build a new lake home. Using the reverse mortgage for this purpose meant he didn’t have to tap into other retirement investments, yet created a new investment. His plan is in 10 years to start using his other retirement funds.
- Planning for financial or long-term care needs (Standby reverse mortgage): Taking the reverse mortgage at a younger age then leaving in the line of credit, which grows to have funds to draw from in the future when “life happens.”
Charles and Sharon both in their early 60’s used the reverse mortgage to pay off their conventional mortgage. Since they were still working, they continued to make payments on their reverse mortgage. Their plan is to pay down the reverse mortgage loan balance and increase their line of credit so it grows for their future long-term care needs.
- Purchasing a new home: Whether downsizing, moving closer to family or buying a dream home or investment property, the reverse mortgage can be used for the financing.
Richard and Lou needed a one-level home to eliminate stairs that were getting hard to navigate. Instead of using conventional financing or paying cash, they used the HECM for Purchase (H4P) Adjustable Rate. Using cash from the sale and the H4P, they were able to purchase their dream home at a higher value than paying cash would have allowed, have funds for moving expenses and still have funds in a line of credit.
Mike and Carol decided they needed a one-level home to fit their changing health needs, they used the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage HECM for Purchase to purchase their new home instead of using conventional financing. This benefitted their cash flow and meant they didn’t have to tap other retirement funds.
Jim and Paula used the fixed rate reverse mortgage to purchase a new home closer to their children.
Would you like to explore a reverse mortgage for your situation? 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.