Retirement Planning: Understanding Reverse Mortgage Basics
Retirement planning doesn’t have to be difficult. Understanding the reverse mortgage basics will help you get a grasp on your options as you approach retirement. A reverse mortgage loans allow homeowners who are 62 to tap the equity in their home. No payments are required until the borrower sells the home, moves out for 12 months or longer, or dies.
According to Forbes, reverse mortgages don’t deserve their bad reputation, “Especially since 2013, the federal government has been refining regulations for its HECM program in order to improve the sustainability of the underlying mortgage insurance fund, to better protect eligible non-borrowing spouses, and to ensure borrowers have sufficient financial resources to meet their homeowner obligations.”
Reverse mortgages are not simply a last resort. It is a retirement income tool that can help your retirement income plan. Reverse mortgages can help avoid risk by providing an alternative source of retirement spending. If this money is used for well structured investments, you could put the money back into the house and pay off the mortgage.
Reverse mortgages are generally used by homeowners who have a lot of home equity but are still struggling to pay their monthly payments. A reverse mortgage pays the homeowner the equity which can be used to pay off the mortgage. Another way to use a reverse mortgage is to give your retirement funds a boost. By receiving some of the loan as a lump-sum will allow homeowners to invest the money, make a profit, then use the money to pay off the mortgage.
Another benefit of reverse mortgage is that the principal limit that you can borrow from will only continue to grow throughout retirement. The growth of the principal limit over the course of your retirement will allow for greater access to funders later on down the road.
You don’t have to worry about leaving your heirs in debt with reverse mortgages. When the loan becomes due, the borrower’s heirs/estate can either choose to repay the reverse mortgage loan and keep the home or simply sell the home. If the money made from the home is more than the balance of the reverse mortgage loan, the remaining equity is kept by the heirs. If the home sells for less than the balance, the heirs are not required to pay more than the value of the home at the time the loan is repaid.
The primary benefit of a reverse mortgage is that it provides you with money to help you cover your retirement expenses without giving up the title to your home or sell it. With a reverse mortgage, you can continue to live in your home and even use the proceeds of your loan to help cover your monthly mortgage payments.