While aging in place -- including home maintenance, medical costs and property taxes -- will be the primary reason for seniors' tapping into home equity for decades to come, there are many other underestimated needs and wants that will quickly race to the front burner once a greater number of consumers better understand reverse mortgages. In a recent column, we discussed the benefits of combining Social Security payments, securities portfolios and a reverse mortgage early into a retirement plan. By using the reverse mortgage to supplement the package during the life of the plan, researchers showed that a retiree's residual net worth (portfolio plus home equity) after 30 years is about twice as likely to be greater when an active reverse mortgage strategy is used than when the reverse mortgage is used as a last resort. A significant percentage of older homeowners, plus their children -- the 79 million baby boomers who are now asking financial and lifestyle questions for the...
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