What is a reverse mortgage?
A reverse mortgage is a loan option available to homeowners 62 and older, that utilizes the equity in their home in exchange for regular payments. The homeowners can use the payments for monthly expenses, including long-term care costs, but must remain living in the house. They are required to undergo pre-loan counseling and a financial assessment, as well as remaining current on property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, and any HOA dues. Residents must also maintain their property and pay back the loan when the home is sold or vacated.
“One of the best ways to avoid financial devastation and bad lending options in your later years is to purchase long-term care insurance in your fifties when you are getting ready to retire.”
Why reverse mortgage is a bad idea
This all sounds like a pretty good deal, get paid back the money you invested in your own home. However, one out of every ten reverse mortgages are in default and could face foreclosure. Senior citizens fall behind on taxes and insurance and can end up losing their homes. A standard federally insured loan in the traditional market has a 3% failure rate. That’s more than three times the failure rate of a traditional loan. Money-management expert Dave Ramsey thinks this program is a terrible idea due to high interest rates, low payouts, and a high failure rate.
Alternatives to a reverse mortgage
So what are some options for cash-strapped homeowners in need of long-term care insurance services? First of all re-evaluate your budget, cut unnecessary expenses and cut back on items where you notice excess. Downsize to a smaller home with smaller utilities, less taxes, and less general upkeep. Or investigate refinancing, taking out a home-equity loan, or taking out a home equity line of credit.
One of the best ways to avoid financial devastation and bad lending options in your later years is to purchase long-term care insurance in your fifties when you are getting ready to retire. This insurance gives you the option to stay in your home and be able to pay for the services you require. Just because you know someone who took out a reverse mortgage, or you hear about it in the news, does not mean it’s a good idea. Speak to a specialist today, and find out if long-term care insurance is the right option for you and your loved ones.