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How to Retire House-Happy
You may be familiar with the axiom, “In youth, we spend our health to make money; in our later years, we spend our money to regain our health.” While workaholism has certainly taken a financial toll on some aging Boomers, the larger monetary issues revolve around profligate spending. Many speak of losing a huge chunk of investments in the stock market crash, living off credit cards, taking early withdrawal from pension funds for living expenses — or simply never saving at all.
By far the most egregious error, however, involves real estate: in one case selling a dream home for a job relocation, in another purchasing a “fixer-upper” that proved to be a cash drain.
In none of these scenarios is there any mention of how a home itself can support Boomers in their later years. Even financial guru Stan Hinden, author of How to Retire Happy, doesn’t mention home equity conversion mortgage as a viable option for retirees to fund their silver years. So it appears education is still critical in order for today’s seniors and soon-to-be-seniors to enjoy a more secure retirement.
As a reverse mortgage professional, you’re ideally positioned to expand this awareness of senior options. You might:
- Offer to give a talk about the benefits of reverse mortgage at a local Senior Center, Rotary Club, Lions Club, or Commonwealth Club;
- Prepare a basic HECM fact sheet as a hand-out or leave-behind piece for seniors who attend a talk or visit your office;
- Keep alert to opportunities, such as when volunteering to help seniors, to suggest people explore how their house can help support them financially later in life.
Even people who’ve made a financial misstep or two along life’s road (which includes the majority of us) can look forward to greater financial security if they own a home that has significant accrued equity. They just need to discover how to retire house-happy.