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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.


Editor in Chief:
As a prominent commentator and Editor in Chief at, Shannon Hicks has played a pivotal role in reshaping the conversation around reverse mortgages. His unique perspectives and deep understanding of the industry have not only educated countless readers but has also contributed to introducing practical strategies utilizing housing wealth with a reverse mortgage.
Shannon’s journey into the world of reverse mortgages began in 2002 as an originator and his prior work in the financial services industry. Shannon has been covering reverse mortgage news stories since 2008 when he launched the podcast HECMWorld Weekly. Later, in 2010 he began producing the weekly video series The Industry Leader Update and Friday’s Food for Thought.
Readers wishing to submit stories or interview requests can reach our team at:

Leave a Comment


  1. Perfect input Amara, as your usual. Let the RM LOs recommit to helping seniors and the rest will follow. Take the step — lead with a right. This is a right. Thanks for kicking me in the butt, again (and I’ve been a senior for some years now — the message is always the same — give and you shall receive.)

  2. Warren,

    What a sweet message for a busy post-holiday morning! Thanks for taking the time to read and respond. We all need to be reminded on a regular basis of the essential steps to take, both in work and in life, to keep moving forward in the most positive, productive way 🙂

    If you missed Avoiding Ostrich Syndrome from last week, it’s a good companion piece to the above, for both seniors and LOs:

  3. Very good message it needs to be sent to all your senior clients who are fence sitters.
    As a 79 year old senior who got a reverse mortgage 10 years ago it was a big help in our retirement.

  4. Hello James ~

    Thanks so much for writing! It’s gratifying to see a senior who’s not a reverse mortgage professional reading this blog. We’re all delighted to know how the HECM has helped in your retirement!


  5. Simply put, another great piece of writing. I am in the process of doing some of those things your mentioned. All great ideas…and better yet, they WORK !!

  6. Hi Tommy ~

    Thank you so much! Your comment made my morning!

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