Category: Housing

Renting vs Owning a Home is a Lifestyle Choice

Typically, when one hears the words “the American dream,” one of the images it conjures is of owning a home, maybe with a white picket fence on a tree-lined street. Conversely, the idea of renting a home may not fit in with that dream, especially if you’re used to owning in the past. But sometimes it makes sense to rent, depending on your circumstances.

Big Changes Coming to the HECM Market in October

If you have been thinking about establishing an expanding line of credit on your primary residence (aka Home Equity Conversion Mortgage), now is the time to do it! The rules will change on October 2nd resulting in a substantial increase in associated upfront costs.

Downsizing the HECM Way

There comes a time in most baby boomer couples’ lives, where your kids have flown the coop and start families of their own. Initially they come visit you while their children are young and not in school or organized activities. Then comes your grandchildren’s middle school, and typically at this point, they come to visit less due to life’s busyness.

Not Your Father’s Reverse Mortgage

Last year I was meeting with a baby boomer client couple in the suburbs of Chicago. They were in their early 60s, and we were discussing “What’s Next?” for them as they transition from vocation to avocation (aka semi-retirement yet engaged in life). They mentioned they might like to relocate to the Carolinas, where the cost of living is lower, the climate’s better, and to be closer to family. I advised them to establish a standby expanding line of credit which is a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM).  This could give them tax free cash on their home equity in the event they found a property in the Carolinas sooner than later and needed to act fast to seize the opportunity. 

Ignoring home equity in retirement could leave your loved ones with less

The Employee Benefits Research Institute (ERBI) reports that Social Security benefits provide about two-thirds of retirees with over half of their income during retirement. Defined contribution benefit plans typically make up the remainder of retirement income. According to ERBI projections, many Americans have not saved enough to last through retirement, suggesting that  44%, or more, of baby boomers and generation Xers will find themselves short of money at some point after age 62.

3 creative ways to stretch your retirement savings

About 4 million Americans will enter retirement in the next year. While most look forward to this new phase of life, retirees also struggle with fear. According to survey results released by CNNMoney in August 2016, retiring Americans’ single greatest fear is running out of money to fund their needs in retirement.

Your home equity could help you receive 7-8% more in social security benefits

One of the most significant financial decisions baby boomers will make involves deciding when to begin taking Social Security Agency (SSA) benefits. Making the wrong decision could end up costing an individual hundreds of thousands of dollars over his or her retirement lifetime. It’s essential that those approaching retirement study their benefit options and understand how each will impact their financial future. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer as to when to begin receiving SSA benefits. It all depends on each individual’s unique financial landscape and retirement goals.

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