Why Your Retirement Will Be Different Than Your Parents

Northridge, Reseda, Encino, Granada Hills, Sylmar, San Fernando, Sun Valley Reverse Mortgage HECM Janice Cohen CaliforniaDecades ago, when our parents were working and raising a family, they looked at retirement as the true golden years.  It would be a time when they stopped working and lived off the fruits of their savings and investments.  Retirement planners used a three-legged-stool strategy back then.  The make up of this stool was Social Security, employer-sponsored retirement plans, and personal savings.  But somewhere between their retirement and now this stool became unbalanced – and now today’s retirees are needing to compensate for it.  But how?

First, it’s important to remember that these three components of retirement are still an integral part of retirement success, which is why it should be considered how they can be best utilized as well as protected.  But it’s also important to consider what else has changed – things like life expectancy, a more active retirement, and a move toward non-traditional and even extravagant retirement goals.   Why not have it all?  And what are the options to achieve it?

Part-Time Work: It’s not uncommon for retirees to utilize a phased retirement strategy, where they can work and begin receiving benefits.  In addition to the obvious point of this – additional income – working can help to delay Social Security benefits, as well as keep older people engaged in the community.  

Reverse Mortgage: For those with substantial equity in their homes, a reverse mortgage can be an excellent way to balance out that stool analogy with a fourth leg, or simply get the boost retirees need to live that extravagant retirement life they’ve been dreaming of.  Funds are available via a line of credit, monthly installments, a lump sum, and even to purchase home (or a combination).  Because the income is not taxed, it can be used strategically with investments, or used to delay Social Security benefits.  Another common function is a stand-by strategy that taps the line of credit now, but only uses it during bear markets to protect investments.  These FHA backed reverse mortgages do not incur any mortgage or loan payments, although borrowers must keep up with homeowner’s insurance, property taxes, and other associated costs.  In addition to living mortgage payment free, they can actually eliminate any existing mortgage or HELOC payments, and the loan is not payable until the last borrower passes away or permanently leaves the home.  

Downsizing and HELOC’s:  When considering how to make ends meet during retirement, downsizing is often part of the conversation.  Selling the home and moving to smaller one, then using any additional equity as a retirement funding source.  For anyone considering this, I’d suggest looking at the details of a Reverse Mortgage for Purchase prior to making a final decision.  A Reverse Mortgage for Purchase option can allow buyers to get more house for their money, while still having cash to stash away for retirement. 

A Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) is another common solution.  When going this route versus a reverse mortgage, ensure the new monthly payment will not cause damage down the road if other needs arise, like medical care.  

Reverse mortgages certainly won’t be right for everyone, but for many they can be used creatively to aid in funding today’s retirement that is so different than what we are used to.  

Janice Cohen is a HECM Reverse Mortgage Specialist serving the North Hollywood, Sunland, Tujunga, Burbank, Glendale, La Crescenta, Montrose and many more areas of southern California.  Click here to contact Janice and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.

How Adult Children Can Help Their Parents With A Reverse Mortgage

Northridge, Reseda, Encino, Granada Hills, Sylmar, San Fernando, Sun Valley Reverse Mortgage HECM Janice Cohen CaliforniaPerhaps your parents raised you in the home they are now ambling about. As you see them begin to slow, or have to jump on a plane every time they wish to see you, thoughts of helping them to have an easier time come across your mind. After all they deserve at this time of their life to relax, do what they wish to do, and be able to manage their health and their finances with comfort.

Considering a reverse mortgage is one good option. It gives more wiggle room to work with when balancing the growing needs of health, home, and retirement.

As you discuss the future and it’s possibilities, there are a few questions to ask yourself and everyone else involved.

First, do you or other siblings have concerns about inheritance and/or equity?  Your parents probably care that all of you feel you have received from them as they pass. While this discussion is not always easy, it is undeniably beneficial. Talking will give clarity, which in turn provides direction. It also gives everyone a chance to be heard.

Second, do you have financial resources to help your parents?  Health needs as we age are difficult to determine but it is important to build in a buffer for the unexpected.  The stress of aging is enough in and of itself, being able to take care of the costs should not have to be an additional worry for those that raised you.

Another good question that only your parents can answer is, ‘What are my parent’s wishes about staying in their home, especially if their medical needs grow?’ For some they are ready to let go of the home of their youth and family, wanting to change and simplify their lifestyle. For some being closer to you is the most important desire. And for some staying in their home as long as possible is the most important wish that could be fulfilled. Since the decision about reverse mortgage as a way to fulfill desires is a big one, looking toward the future and developing a plan will only benefit everyone – and ultimately make your parents’ happy.

Reverse mortgage is an individualized, specialized loan for those 62 and older that allows seniors to tap into the equity of their home while living mortgage and loan payment free.  The funds can be accessed via a lump sum, line of credit, monthly installments, or even to purchase a home. If you are planning ahead let your specialist guide you creatively to suit your needs and desires.

Janice Cohen is a HECM Reverse Mortgage Specialist serving the North Hollywood, Sunland, Tujunga, Burbank, Glendale, La Crescenta, Montrose and many more areas of southern California.  Click here to contact Janice and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.

Is In-Home Senior Care Right For You?

In today’s fast-paced society, seniors are more independent than ever before.  Many develop strong community ties, visit with nearby family frequently and even open their homes to out-of-state family, embrace a close circle of friends, and through options such as reverse mortgage, are able to stay in their homes comfortably for far longer than ever before.

But what happens when living at home alone becomes a concern for these seniors and/or their adult children?  In the past, it typically meant one of two things: move-in with family or move to a senior care facility.  Often times though, a move like this can be detrimental in itself.  In-Home Senior Care may be all that is needed to alleviate concerns and keep everyone happy.

What is In-Home Senior Care?

In-Home Senior Care is an option where a caregiver visits the home during scheduled days/hours in order to attend to specific needs.  This offers peace of mind to both the family and the senior.  It also helps seniors continue to lead an independent lifestyle while still receiving the assistance needed, without burdening busy family members.  The care providers receive specialized training to ensure they are adequately equipped to care for seniors with varying needs.

What Types of Assistance Will In-Home Caregivers Offer?

The types of assistance that is offered by an in-home caregiver will vary based on both the needs and the care company, but most often include:

  • Safety supervision
  • Socialization
  • Transportation
  • Light housekeeping
  • Helping care for pets
  • Grocery shopping
  • Cooking
  • Running errands
  • Medication reminders
  • Walking assistance
  • Helping get dressed
  • Stand-by bathing/showering assistance
  • Grooming
  • Reading aloud from books, newspapers and magazines
  • Range of motion exercises
  • and lots more

Serving as a family caregiver for an aging loved one often is rewarding, yet involves sacrifice and stress.  It also frequently takes a financial toll on the caregiver with an estimated $5,500/year spent on out of pockets expenses, not to mention lost wages due to missed work.  Considering working with an in-home caregiver may be a better option all around.

Janice Cohen is a HECM Reverse Mortgage Specialist serving the North Hollywood, Sunland, Tujunga, Burbank, Glendale, La Crescenta, Montrose and many more areas of southern California.  Click here to contact Janice and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.