Having been in the reverse mortgage industry for over 12 years, I have had the privilege of assisting hundreds of senior homeowners obtaining the peace-of-mind they desire in retirement. However I never would have thought I’d help one senior in particular that is dear to my heart, my mother. Here is her reverse mortgage story.
Unfortunately my father passed away about 3 years ago at age 70. He had been retired from Boeing since he was 55. It was truly great man and was actually not supposed to live passed 35 but he proved the doctors wrong. I know how lucky I was to have him see me get married and spend time with my wife and I before he passed.
One of things my father always made sure he did was to save. Not knowing what may happen, he wanted to leave as much money as possible to my mother to ensure her stability. His savings and retirement portfolio was left to my mother however we did not realize the financial impact of losing his monthly social security benefits. My mother unfortunately had to alter her retirement distributions to make up some of the loss in this income.
Earlier this year, her financial planner estimated that her portfolio would only last another 9 years! Alarmed, they discussed her options; either increase her part-time work hours, lower her distribution and lose her independence, or sell her home, move, & invest the monies. The last option that she brought up, to my mother’s surprise, was a reverse mortgage.
Her financial planner knew I was a reverse mortgage advisor so she suggested we all get together to go over how she could use a reverse mortgage comprehensively with her other retirement instruments. By the end of our discussion, we had put a plan in place that would lower her distribution and extend the life-expectancy of her retirement portfolio. We would make up difference of the lower distribution through a monthly withdraw from the reverse mortgage proceeds. In addition, we could set up a line-of-credit that she would utilize for emergencies or future needs.
She noted she was a little nervous when she decided to obtain her reverse mortgage but became more comfortable as she realized the positive change it would be making in her life. She has now had her reverse mortgage for few months and is happier than she has been for a long time.
She stated to me the other day that she doesn’t worry as much she used too. She was very stressed about the long-term financial issues she was going to face. However with the reverse mortgage, she knows that she can stay in the home and use her equity to her advantage. She no longer allows her finances to dictate what she can and cannot do and enjoys herself and lives her life more freely.
Since she’s obtained her reverse mortgage, she has more peace-of-mind and is the happiest I’ve seen her since my father passed. She’s been able to visit her brother in Eastern Washington more, make her annual trip to the Quilting Fair in Sisters, OR with her sister, and has just finished updating her bathroom and now has plans to change her kitchen countertops and paint. She can go to JoAnne’s Fabrics and pick out whatever she wants. And most of all, she’s enjoying her time with her new baby boy, Cooper.
The power of the reverse mortgage for her is more than the financial impact. It’s allowing her to live comfortably without as many worries. She has the peace-of-mind that my father wanted and saved for all those years. She and my father paid for their home. Now their home will be paying her. ~Written by Brian Cook