In a blind “taste test” recently, a large sampling of seniors were told the pros and cons of obtaining two financial products without revealing the names of those products. The overwhelming majority chose the product that offered Reliability – it could not be cancelled, reduced or frozen; Accessibility – qualifying was easy on a fixed income; Expandability – it had a built in “cost of living adjustment”; Flexibility – no requirement to make payments, but payments accepted if desired; Insurability – a non-recourse loan by which neither the heir, nor the estate would ever be burdened.
When the names of the products were revealed, the seniors were surprised to learn that the financial product that would eliminate their mortgage payment, and provide tax-free funds for any purpose was the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage, often called a reverse mortgage. Of course, they would remain responsible for property taxes and insurance, but that is the case with both products.
Without the name, which unreasonably prejudiced some seniors, the reverse mortgage itself was much more appealing than having a HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit) which can be frozen, reduced or cancelled; is more difficult to obtain; does not increase over time to help with the cost of living; and requires a monthly payment.
Seniors on a fixed income that want to accomplish some goal such as to pay off debt, have better cash flow without a mortgage payment, or just obtain a financial safety net – access to cash in case of an emergency, were overwhelmingly impressed with the facts surrounding a reverse mortgage. By allowing the house to pay them in retirement by tapping into some of the equity stored there, greater security and independence was afforded.
You owe it to yourself to talk with your local reverse mortgage expert. Don’t waste time with the folks who do only a few of these amazing loans a year. You need a team working for you that specializes in reverse mortgages.
This article first appeared in My Primetime News, January 1, 2018.