How Home Equity Can Help You Stay at Home

A reverse mortgage can offer access to the funds you need to “age in place.”

The AARP conducted a survey asking people age 45 and older about their homes and communities. An overwhelming 88% said that they wanted to remain in their current home for as long as possible.1 The reasons why should come as no surprise:

Independence. It may require a little help with some of the maintenance, or home-improvement upgrades to account for any limits in mobility, but people have a strong desire to keep control of their daily lives.

Community connections. Folks spend years building valuable relationships with friends, neighbors, and community organizations. In fact, friends and neighbors may provide just the help they need to remain at home and independent—and getting involved in their communities gives them a chance to help others, as well.

Routines and social interaction. People need both: studies show that daily tasks of self-care and home maintenance help with memory retention.2 And older adults who have frequent social contact exhibit 70% less cognitive decline than those who don’t.3

Family. Once people go into an assisted-living facility or nursing home, family visits may be restricted to certain hours—and traditional gatherings often have to be altered or eliminated. A stable family dynamic provides comfort and familiarity for older adults dealing with the inevitable changes that come with aging.

However, staying in place costs money. Probably not as much as the more than $75,000 a year that it costs for an average assisted-living facility4—but it can be significant. Home renovations, such as retrofitting a bathroom or improving accessibility, can cost thousands. Hiring a personal-care, housekeeping, or landscaping service is an ongoing expense. For seniors on a fixed income, where will the money come from? The answer could be right inside the home.

A Home Equity Conversion Mortgage, commonly known as a reverse mortgage, lets homeowners age 62 and older access a portion of their home equity for needed funds. You can take the tax-free5 proceeds as a lump sum, monthly payments, line of credit, or any combination—and use the money for any purpose you wish.

One advantage is that no monthly mortgage payments are required. The loan doesn’t come due until the last borrower leaves the home or doesn’t meet the terms of the loan like paying property taxes, insurance and maintaining the home. So, you may be able to use part of the proceeds to pay off your current loan and live mortgage payment-free—and use the rest of the money for living expenses, to make savings and investments last longer.

With a reverse mortgage, the title remains in your name. All you have to do is continue to pay property taxes, homeowners’ insurance, and maintenance. And it’s insured by the Federal Housing Administration, so you and your heirs can rest assured that you’ll never owe more than the house is worth when the loan comes due.

Questions about reverse mortgages? We’re here to help. To learn more, call (855) 523-4326 or visit longbridge-financial.com.

 

 

 

 

AARP. Home and Community Preferences of the 45+ Population https://assets.aarp.org/rgcenter/general/home-community-services-10.pdf
Care.com. Why a Daily Routine is Helpful for People with Dementia. https://www.agingcare.com/articles/daily-routine-for-people-with-dementia-156855.htm
3 Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley. How Societal Connections Keep Seniors Healthy https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_social_connections_keep_seniors_healthy
Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement. Medical Spending of the U.S. Elderly. http://arno.uvt.nl/show.cgi?fid=139768
5 Consult a financial advisor and appropriate government agencies for any effect on taxes or government benefits.