Available for certain homeowners over 62 years old, a reverse mortgage from the Federal Housing Administration can be used to meet the needs of seniors in a variety of financial situations. Some people may be reluctant to apply for this kind of equity conversion program, thinking that it sounds like borrowing against a home or some other financial decision that could incur debt. Instead, funds gained with a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) are only making use of the equity accumulated in a home. Rather than a last resort for dire circumstances, a reverse mortgage can be appropriate for meeting many common financial concerns.
Pensions and retirement funds provide resources for those who have prepared for retirement over the course of their careers. Because of life circumstances, not everyone can live on these resources and the fruits of other investments. A reverse mortgage is a common way to supplement other sources of income. Seniors don’t need to take a job as a greeter or cashier when they have an accumulation of wealth in the form of home equity. It’s important to be able to live comfortably after decades of putting up with the rat race.
Even those who feel well prepared for retirement can be caught off guard by the rising costs of healthcare, especially when unforeseen medical issues arise. Diagnosis, treatment, and lengthy hospital stays are only one side of the potential expense. Chronic conditions may mean years worth of expensive prescriptions and some level of ongoing medical treatment. Dialysis treatment, diabetic testing supplies, and other major medical expenses are more than just one-time costs. Rather, a single diagnosis can completely alter a couple’s outlook for retirement.
Paying Off Debt
While credit cards are convenient and sometimes necessary, the interest rates can be especially problematic for those who no longer work full time. Whether they’ve spent money on grandkids, family reunions, or practical expenses like utility bills, many seniors find themselves with debt that needs to be resolved in a timely fashion. Arranging financial affairs is one way of minimizing the mess that will be left behind after death, but it also has the practical benefit of helping to make sure that creditors don’t seize family heirlooms and other valuables.
Every homeowner knows that some maintenance projects are investments and save money in the long run. Similarly, renovations like ramps for improved accessibility may be necessary as the residents of the home get older. Ultimately, retirement means more time at home for many seniors, and there’s no point in procrastinating on the projects that have already been delayed for years. An HECM can be used to cover the costs of renovations without draining other accounts or skimping on living expenses.
Homeowners should know about the many potential uses for a reverse mortgage. Rather than depending on a pension or trickles of funds from investment returns, an HECM allows homeowners to live more comfortably and resolve financial issues by tapping into the accumulated equity.