Truth About Reverse Mortgages

If you watch TV at all, you have probably seen a commercial featuring Magnum P.I actor talking about reverse mortgages.  No matter what he is saying, there is something about his voice and direct gaze that really does pull you in. In one spot, he is in a city loft.  The ad starts with ominous music and the actor sounds stern. He then spins around and offers a friendly explanation of reverse mortgages and how people use them.  So, how accurate is the advertisement?Is he really telling the truth about reverse mortgages?  Let’s take a look and see:

Reverse Mortgages Are Not a Way for the Bank to Get Your House

This is true.  You are not selling your home.  You are the only person on the title.  You retain all ownership.

When you get a reverse mortgage, you are getting a loan.  The bank is loaning you money in much the same way as it loans you money when you take a home equity loan. And when you die, the home is still yours to pass on to your heirs.

Reverse Mortgages Are Not Too Good to Be True

There are pros and cons to all financial decisions.  However, research indicates that reverse mortgage borrowers are really happy that they secured the loan.

Hundreds of thousands of people have gotten reverse mortgages and an AARP survey  found that:

  • 94% of borrowers feel that a reverse mortgage has given them peace of mind
  • 89% say that they have a more comfortable lifestyle with the loan
  • 87% feel that it improved their quality of life

So, one could argue that these borrowers might say that reverse mortgages are not too good to be true.  They really are good.

Learn more about the pros and cons of reverse mortgages.

A Reverse Mortgage Loan is a Simple Idea Really

On this point, some people might disagree.  A reverse mortgage loan is like a mortgage — but in reverse.  The details — like the fact that the loan amount grows because you are accumulating interest — can be tricky to understand.

Another point of confusion is that you have choices for how you take your loan amount and you don’t always have full access to that money.

Other details, like the fact that you will never owe more than the value of your home at the time the loan becomes due — no matter how much you have borrowed —  can be confusing.

However, the benefits of the loan really do merit a careful understanding and walk through of your options.  And, this is one of the reasons why  one of the requirements of the loan is a session with a reverse mortgage counselor.

After you have chosen a lender, you will meet with a counselor. This session is designed to make sure that borrowers understand all of the details of reverse mortgages and their own financial situation.

So, reverse mortgages may not be a simple idea, but one worth investigating.

The Loans Are Used to Pay Off Mortgages, Pay Bills, Pay Medical Bills and Make Updates to Your Home

These are indeed the most popular ways people use money from reverse mortgages.

If you have an existing mortgage, using a reverse mortgage to pay off that loan can have an incredibly positive impact on your monthly budget, even if you can not access additional money.

A Reverse Mortgage Can Give You Retirement Stability

The reverse mortgage industry is heavily regulated.  These loans really are designed to give seniors retirement stability.

You must undergo a counseling session to secure a reverse mortgage as well as a financial assessment to determine whether or not the loan is a good fit for your future.

So, How Truthful is he on the Topic of Reverse Mortgages?

Pretty truthful indeed.

These commercials do a good job of introducing the reverse mortgage product.

However, the decision to secure the loan can be complicated and confusing.  NewRetirement offers a Reverse Mortgage Suitability Calculator that assesses whether or not the loan is a good fit for you. So far over 300,000 people have used this tool.

For these people, the strongest reasons to secure a reverse mortgage are:

  • The desire for financial independence
  • The wish to remain in their own home for the rest of their lives

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