Reverse Mortgages & Long Term Care Insurance

beach What does this picture of the beach have to do with reverse mortgages and long term care? Nothing, but I have to get out of this heat and to a beach soon, just so you know…..

Ok, onward. I recently wrote an article for The Union, our general circulation newspaper here in Grass Valley, California exploring the topic of seniors’ potential long term care needs, long term care insurance, and reverse mortgages, written from the prospective of how my client expressed to me her thoughts on taking out a reverse mortgage credit line for her “maybe” future need of in home care vs. taking out a long term care insurance policy:

Recently a client reinforced the trend I’m seeing for clients’ to use a reverse mortgage credit line as not only a source of income as needed, a standby source of emergency funds, but also as an alternative to long term care insurance premiums.

It is estimated that approximately 70% of people turning 65 will need long-term care at some point in their lives. It is an uncertain expense, no life crystal ball. There are various methods to fund the cost: long term care insurance, Medicaid, self funding through savings, liquidation of personal assets, and/or a reverse mortgage credit line.

Genworth Financial, a long term care insurer, estimates approximately $45,750 annually for in home health aide, $80,300 annually for shared nursing home rooms, while assisted living costs vary dependent on the level of care.

Long term care insurance did not appeal to her: paying premiums for an insurance she was not sure she would ever need, coupled with the risk of rising premiums.

Medicaid would require her to liquidate nearly all her assets to qualify, wanting assets for heirs, she ruled out this option.

She owns her home outright, has retirement income and IRA assets, yet she decided to obtain a RM credit line loan as a standby in the event she needs in home care. The growth feature of the RM credit line was an added bonus: on amortization charts she was able to see how her reverse mortgage credit line borrowing ability grew over time. What was also appealing to her: she did not have to use her reverse mortgage credit line unless in home care was required, and if it was, then she controls the decisions and spending for care, thus eliminating having to negotiate with an insurer, and that she will only accrue an interest charge on funds actually borrowed.

Should she not need in home care, her untapped RM credit line will revert to inheritable equity for her heirs upon the home’s sale. As with all reverse mortgage loans she retains ownership and control of her home.

Shawna McDonald, Loan Officer, has successfully completed hundreds of reverse mortgages and is approved with 9 reverse mortgage lenders, ensuring clients receive low fees and great rates. Her office, Sierra Foothills Reverse Mortgage, is located at 412 E. Main Street Suite N Grass Valley, (530) 497-3010. Her website is www.SierraFoothillsReverse.com.

The opinions expressed here are solely those of Shawna McDonald, Loan Officer/Real Estate Broker Associate. Copyright © 2016. Shawna McDonald NMLS #271335 CA-BRE # 00585530 DBA Sierra Foothills Reverse Mortgage, Borba Investments Inc, DBA MLS Reverse Mortgage Auburn, CA NMLS #76801 BRE #01456165 ~ Company MLS #76801

 

 

Wall Street Journal: Reverse Mortgages Can Help Buffer Against Market Swings

golf swingNo No I’m not writing about that kind of swing, (but wow, look at all that green grass, in our drought stricken dog days of August, this looks inviting.)

Seniors on a Swing  No, No, I’m not writing about THAT kind of Swing……

I’m writing about a trend I see with my reverse mortgage clients and that was echoed in the recent WSJ article below:          The reverse mortgage credit line being utilized as a valuable tool in an overall retirement plan strategy: to have it on standby when the stock market takes wild swings like it has the last few weeks, to supplant monthly income from the credit line and halt  portfolio draws when it makes sense to halt portfolio draws for a period of time while the market has time to stabilize and recover. This use of the RM credit line as a safety net buffer keeps clients’ retirement life style uninterrupted with a sudden reduction in stream of income.

Once thought of as a “loan of last resort”, increasing numbers of savvy financial planners are encouraging seniors to establish a standby reverse mortgage line of credit as a hedge against the market swings such as we saw last week. Reverse Mortgage Daily expanded upon the WSJ article and I’ve included it here for your review:

(If you would like to skip the article and go directly to information on my Grass Valley, CA reverse mortgage office, and services I offer here locally to Nevada County please click on this link: http://www.SierraFoothillsReverse.com. As Nevada County’s ONLY office specializing exclusively in reverse mortgages, I bring to the table 7 years of RM experience and over 400 successfully navigated and closed reverse mortgage loans)

WSJ: Reverse Mortgages Can Help Buffer Against Market Swings

Reverse mortgages have a place in the conversation about retirement and market swings, prompted by the recent global selloff resulting from Chinese currency pressures. At least, that’s the message presented by Prof. Wade Pfau, of American College of Financial Services in Bryn Mawr, Pa., who was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal this week.

Buying into market dips may be prudent for young investors, WSJ’s Money Beat blog notes, but for those approaching—or already in—retirement, the same rules do not apply.

“That’s not merely because stocks can take years to recover from losses and you have fewer years left as you age,” columnist Jason Zweig writes. “The problem is what retirement researchers call ‘sequence risk.’ The order in which stocks earn good or bad returns can matter—a lot.”

If they rely solely on stock withdrawals, retirees can be forced to sell their investments during market downturns, which can take a toll on the value of their assets.

That’s where a reverse mortgage could come in for some, Pfau tells the WSJ.

“Another possibility, [he says], is to consider taking out a line of credit under the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage program guaranteed by the federal government, using it only during periods when the value of your stock portfolio is declining,” the article writes.

The strategy is one that some financial planners have recommended as a “standby” strategy to weather market swings.

“This way, you reserve the right to borrow against your home at reasonably competitive rates,” WSJ writes. “But you would draw on the money only at times when you would otherwise have to lock in losses on your stock portfolio.”

Written by Elizabeth Ecker http://www.reversemortgagedaily.com

Comments by Shawna McDonald, Loan Officer, NMLS 271335 Sierra Foothills Reverse Mortgage of Beautiful downtown Grass Valley: 412 E. Main Street, Grass Valley, 530-497-3010

Reverse Mortgage Mid-Year Round Up ~ 2015

Seniors at the fair 1 It’s been a great week, the Nevada County Fair rocks !

seniors at the fair 2  Ok, back to business:

If you’d like more information about my local bricks and mortar reverse mortgage loan office serving Nevada County, Grass Valley, Nevada City and Penn Valley, click on this link: http://www.SierraFoothillsReverse.com.

      I’m always available with a same day return phone call: (530) 497-3010.

Here’s my newest blog post which will appear shortly in the local Union newspaper:

Reverse Mortgage Mid-Year Round Up ~ 2015

It’s true, today marks more than “mid-year”, but time flies so fast. I thought it a good time to discuss what the reverse mortgage landscape looks like after the new financial assessment requirement had been in place for a few months and discuss a recurring question I hear from clients:

The new Financial Assessment Requirement: Prior to April of this year a senior’s continuing ability to pay property taxes, insurance and (HOA dues if applicable) post completion of a reverse mortgage was not in question with the lender or HUD. (Housing and Urban Development sets the rules for reverse mortgages, FHA insures the loan). Starting in late April of this year all loan officers beginning a reverse mortgage loan application, be it for purposes of establishing a credit line, paying off an existing loan, or a purchase reverse, are required to document income and on-going household debt obligations to determine if the borrower(s) have sufficient monthly residual funds to budget for payment of property taxes and insurance. If not, we would, as part of the loan, need to set up a lifetime set aside for taxes and insurance, an “escrow” type of account.

I’m happy to report that none of my borrowers coming in to initiate a reverse mortgage and falling under the “new rule” have been required to set up such an account, I was able to document that they had were sufficient retirement income and history of on time payment for taxes and insurance. The new rule requires more work on my part, a bit of financial records digging for borrowers, but all in all, not a big deal.

Living Trusts, Revocable or Non-Revocable: Having just lugged a large trust binder into my office for me to scan, my borrowers were curious as to why a reverse mortgage lender needs to review a complete copy of their trust. The lender needs to determine if the trust is revocable, as in, can a change be made to the trust? If the trust is revocable the borrower(s) will sign a document at loan closing that states their trust recognizes the reverse mortgage obligation to be paid off upon the passing of the borrower(s). If the trust is non-revocable a reverse mortgage cannot be done, most trusts however are revocable.

Shawna McDonald Loan Officer, has successfully completed 100’s of reverse mortgages and is approved with 8 reverse mortgage lenders, ensuring clients receive low fees and great rates. Her full service office, Sierra Foothills Reverse Mortgage, is located at 412 E. Main Street Suite N, Grass Valley, (530) 497-3010. Her website is www.SierraFoothillsReverse.com.

The opinions expressed here are solely those of Shawna McDonald, Loan Officer/Real Estate Broker. Copyright © 2015. NMLS #271335 BRE # 00585530 DBA Sierra Foothills Reverse Mortgage and Borba Investments Inc, DBA MLS Reverse Mortgage Auburn, CA NMLS #76801 BRE #01456165 ~ HUD approved lender.

Things to Consider About Aging In Place

Seniors in home remodeling

Retrofit my Existing Home or Move?

Reprint from Article Written for The Union Grass Valley Newspaper on April 28, 2015

A recent survey by Genworth Financial, a long term care insurer, noted that while overall long term care costs continue to rise, paying for care services in home is still the cheapest option*. Being close allies here in Grass Valley with local and may I say, beautiful assisted living communities, aging in place in one’s home is not for everyone, the thought of having meals prepared by gourmet chefs and lots of activities to choose from is enticing indeed. However, some of my clients complete a reverse mortgage credit line to tap into their home equity for funds to retrofit their homes for the next stage of life’s journey.

What is the typical cost of a retrofit? The MetLife Report on Aging in Place 2.0** recently reported the cost for design and structural modifications for a one story home will cost an average of $9,000 to $12,000.

What are smaller projects to consider? Replacement hardware, sturdy handrails, grab bars, single handled faucets, higher sitting toilets, rollout shelving in kitchens, and lighting in hard to see spots are all relatively easy and cost conservative.

If I funds are available, larger projects for electric scooter or wheelchair access; widening doorways, corridors, and ramps are bigger picture retrofits.

In home health costs are reportedly rising at a slower pace than facility-based care. According to the Genworth study, in-home health aide costs rose approximately 1.27% over a one year period compared to assisted living and semi-private nursing home care rising an average of 2.86% and 3.77% respectively.

Seniors in home with in home care provider

There’s no pre-determined correct path in this next stage in a senior’s life, it’s all about hopefully having the financial ability to exercise a conscious choice. In addition to a reverse mortgage credit line being used to retrofit a senior’s existing home, a reverse mortgage can fund assisted living/dementia care for one owner on title, as long the other owner on title to the home remains in the home as their principle residence. Also, an existing home can be sold to buy, via reverse mortgage for purchase, an already senior retrofit home.

One of my clients commented recently that they felt I conducted my business more like a consultant, not only a loan officer: someone who would listen to concerns and offer options, this after we spent time going over their future living and financial considerations; preparing for big picture changes for them as they entered their mid-70’s. Aging is not for the faint of heart, we all are moving forward in the journey of maturing and entering into new life stages. If you’d like to sort through some of your options with me, call for a personal appointment or attend one of my monthly Reverse Mortgage Workshops held in my local Grass Valley Office, lunch is catered and the last comment from several of the April workshop group: ” Shawna, that was fun!”

A closing thought: the recent HUD reverse mortgage program change requiring me to do a borrower financial assessment at the time of loan application is no reason to allow any lender to panic or pressure you, give me a call, I’ve got you covered for explaining this change!

Shawna McDonald has successfully completed hundreds of reverse mortgages and is approved with 8 reverse mortgage lenders. Her office, Sierra Foothills Reverse Mortgage, is located at 412 E. Main Street Suite N, Grass Valley, (530) 497-3010. Her website is www.SierraFoothillsReverse.com.

The opinions expressed here are solely those of Shawna McDonald, Loan Officer/Real Estate Broker. Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved, duplication and distribution prohibited. Shawna McDonald NMLS #271335 CA-BRE # 00585530 DBA Sierra Foothills Reverse Mortgage and Borba Investments Inc, DBA MLS Reverse Mortgage Auburn, CA NMLS #76801 BRE #01456165 ~ HUD approved lender. * 2015 Genworth Financial annual Cost of Care Survey     ** MetLife Report on Aging in Place 2.0, 2013