Cash Flow Solution for Seniors

Cash Flow Solution for Seniors

The annual inflation rate in the U.S. accelerated to 7.5% in January of 2022, the highest since February of 1982, hitting those on fixed retirement income, namely seniors, the hardest.

On top of escalating living expenses due to inflation, some retirees are faced with a significant amount of debt and inadequate income. Some seniors that have a mortgage on their home have retirement income too low to cover the mortgage payments and have enough left over to be able to enjoy their golden years. Are there any remedies for this situation?

One possibility for those who have built up equity in their primary (main) home is to obtain a “reverse mortgage,” as this type of mortgage considers the homeowner’s equity. The loan is not due until the homeowner passes away or moves out of the home. If the homeowner dies, the heirs can pay off the debt by selling the house, and any remaining equity goes to them. If at that time the loan balance is equal to or more than the value of the home, the repayment amount is limited to the home’s worth.

If the borrower is married and dies before their spouse, the surviving spouse must begin or continue to occupy the home as their primary residence to keep the reverse mortgage, and the surviving spouse will need to establish proof of their legal right to stay in the home. If the spouse isn’t named as a borrower on the reverse mortgage, the loan may be due upon the borrower’s death, even if the spouse continues to live in the home.

Only borrowers aged 62 years and over with equity in the home can qualify for a Federal Housing Administration-backed loan of this type. Some private lenders have a different age requirement. Since the reverse mortgage must be a first trust deed, any existing loans on the home must be paid off with separate funds or with the proceeds from the reverse mortgage. The amount that can be borrowed is based upon age – the older the borrower, the larger the reverse mortgage can be and the lower the interest rate. The loan amount will also depend on the value of the home, interest rates, and the amount of equity built up. Over time, the amount of the loan will increase as the deferred interest payments, loan fees not paid up-front, and servicing fees are added to the original loan amount.

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