We, seniors, face all kinds of changes but who do we trust for guidance? Whether medical, financial needs, or to right-sizing for a more manageable lifestyle and what about all of the stuff in the house? Getting with a trusted professional who understands what we are going thru is vital, one who has years of experience and the professional designations to prove they are the best resource for us is the first big step. Also, by all means check references. When it comes to making a change to your housing needs you will want a Realtor with the Seniors Real Estate Specialist Designation or SRES by your side. As professionals, we have a wealth of excellent information and contacts who can address your specific needs and empower you to make the best decisions for your future. Any questions email me at BillBlack@NPDodge.com
Editor’s Note: This article was Submitted by Bill Black, SRES, CRS is a Broker Associate with NP Dodge and may be reached at 402-680-2500 or by email at BillBlack@NPDodge.com
Nobody enjoys getting older, but its inevitable. Everyday things may seem like theyre becoming increasingly difficult if not impossible. Your family and friends may be there for you, but you dont want to become a burden. Should you move to a senior living community? Is it right for you? You shouldnt worry about the stereotype of being put in a home, todays assisted living homes allow you to be yourself and live as independently as you want to. In fact, privacy and independence is encouraged.5 Signs You Need Assisted LivingThere are numerous things for you to do, you can enjoy dinner with people your own age, play games, watch movies, even dance and get exercise. If youre still not sure if assisted living is the right move for you, ask yourself the following five questions:1. Do your family and friends have difficulty providing you with care? No matter how much they care and want to help family and friends are not professional caregivers. If youre becoming overwhelmed by the activities of daily living and your family is not able to be there for frequently enough assisted living may be the right choice.2. Are you no longer able to drive? As people get older, they find that theyre not able to do the things that they were once able to do. Unfortunately, for many seniors driving is one of those things. If public transportation or other alternative isnt available, you may feel like youve lost a large part of your independence. Something as simple as picking up groceries now becomes a major task. Assisted living facilities provide transportation to appointments and events, so you wont have to rely on friends or family that may not always be available.3. Is maintaining a home becoming too much for you? The daily chores that come with living in your own home can become cumbersome. If you feel like you can no longer keep up with the work of cleaning, cooking, laundry and shopping for groceries an assisted living center can do these tasks for you while you live in cozy surroundings that resemble home.4. At home, do you feel lonely? Living alone, especially if youre a recent widow or widower, can quickly become depressing and make you feel isolated. Its important to have an active social life maintain your happiness and health. A major benefit of a quality assisted living community is a wide selection of social events and recreational activities.5. Are you worried about safety? There are a lot of potential dangers of living all by yourself. You may feel vulnerable at your age especially if your mobility is limited. If youre afraid of what could happen if you fell and were stranded in your own home for hours or even days an assisted living facility could be right for you. Many communities have safety systems in place so residents can alert caregivers and staff in case of an emergency.Moving is always a stressful event in ones life no matter what the situation is. This is especially true if youre thinking of leaving your home for an assisted living facility. While it is ultimately up to you and your family to decide, these five things should help you consider if assisted living is the best next step for you.www.asssitedlivingcenter.com
The Fear of Home Downsizing Home Downsizing. Just the words tend to conjure up images and feelings of overwhelm to the point that a home owner freezes and does nothing. After more than 25 years of working with home owners (or their family members) that want or need to sell and move to a smaller home, apartment, or other senior living arrangement, I have witnessed numerous specific and personal needs a person has with the transition to senior living. Some of the items that need to be considered are timing, locating the right new home, apartment, or other senior facility, a move manager and/or moving company, selling the house youre currently in, including what to do with all the stuff in the house, and making this all happen with minimal stress. One of the first primary issues is timing. If a person is just looking to sell a house and move to a smaller house or independent living community, this may be a one to three (or more) year process. Many home owners think about repairs and updates a house needs or should have done to get the house ready to put on the market, as well as taking care of all the stuff that may have accumulated in the house. Finding the right new home, apartment, or apartment community may also take some time, especially if a person wants a ground level apartment, or one that takes pets, and in a particular part of town. If someone has a health emergency, then this timeline to find the right place to move to is pushed rapidly forward. Finding the right apartment or senior living community is also very important. Sometimes the best communities or facilities are not always the closest or most convenient to family members, doctors, or other services that a person would like. It may be much more important to find a community or facility that provides the best care and services for your needs, instead of focusing solely on how close it is to family or friends. One issue I hear from sellers moving to senior living probably more than anything else, is what do I do with all this stuff. If a person has lived in a house for 20, 30, 40 years or more, its understandable that a lot of stuff has accumulated. It most likely took a lot of years to accumulate the stuff you have, so dont feel you need to complete a project like this all at one time. Taking small steps like starting with one room and labeling items that you know you want to keep or know you can part with is a start. Moving from where you are now to a smaller home or apartment is a big change, but if youve done some pre-move planning, it doesnt have to be stressful. Creating a floor plan of where you are moving to, so that you know what can be moved and where it will go, can help. Knowing what you can and want to take with you can then help with parting with items that you know you dont want or cant take with you. Moving resources available range from those that just pick up and move furniture and items already boxed up, to companies that will do everything to move you, so that the only thing you need to do is literally get yourself to your new dwelling. Lastly, what to do with your house? There are options. Do you keep the house as an investment property? Do you sell the house and use the proceeds to buy a smaller home or buy into a community? Do you use the sale proceeds to invest as part of a retirement plan? Do you sell the house and turn your equity into a monthly income stream? What you do with your house and how you sell will be determined by your specific situation and how best your house can help you achieve your goals. For all of the above items, the key to getting repairs and updates completed, getting the stuff taken care of, finding the right new home, apartment, or other senior living arrangement, and getting moved from point A to point B, is having the right team to assist you. Just know that there are local resources for each step of the process to help make the transition to a smaller home or apartment as stress free as possible. If youd like additional information about downsizing or downsizing resources, just call my office at (402) 450-0199. **************Ben Souchek is an author of the book Home Downsizing Secrets as well as the owner and founder of Home Downsizing Solutions by The Sierra Group, LLC, a company that specializes in helping seniors and their families transition to senior living by buying houses direct from sellers.
Having been in the mortgage business since 2004, I can say with certainty there are no perfect people and therefore no perfect borrowers. Even though we are bombarded with what we should do, save 10-15% of our gross income, pay everyone on time, dont get over extended, etc. Life happens. For example, there have been 7 recessions in my lifetime. In the last 60 years, one third of the time the Dow Jones Industrial Average has been down overall for the year. We had Black Monday in 1987, the Great Recession of 2008-9, the economic impact of Covid 19, the dot com bust in the late 1990s, etc. The point is, even those of us who are financially prepared suffer under the same circumstances. Life and its ups and downs affects all of us. Some recover faster than others based on their profession, education, experience or economic cycle.Why choose a Retirement Mortgage?Then there are the constant pressures of rising costs, inflation, job uncertainty, will Social Security be there for me when I retire, will I be able to afford medical care or long-term care should I need it? What if I outlive my money? Have I saved enough money for retirement? The list is overwhelming.Even if youve followed Dave Ramseys baby steps or tried to, or whichever financial guru you follow, few people live with financial security as they get older. A recent article I read said that 46% of people entering retirement do so with a mortgage, the highest percentage in history.Homeowners all have the same buckets of money that we draw from: wages, investments and home equity. Once we stop working, we are down to investments and home equity. Most seniors I speak with dont want to touch their investments, and more and more people are open to tapping their home equity.How a Retirement Mortgage Works A senior homeowner with 50% or more equity can: 1. Eliminate their monthly PI mortgage payment, that right there gives them some breathing room in their budget. If they have more than 50% home equity, they can 2. Access their equity tax free 3 ways: a) lump sum; b) monthly payments; c) line of credit that earns compound interest. When they draw on the proceeds, they are paid directly to the homeowner and the homeowner can use the proceeds however they wish, except purchase an annuity.So, why are people reluctant to tap their home equity? There are a few reasons. 1. They want to leave the house to their heirs (1% of children want their parents' home); 2. They were taught to pay off your home and not to have any debt, however in recent years fewer people own their homes outright; 3. Seniors have heard that reverse mortgages arent safe, are expensive, they can lose their homes, etc.The truth is, a retirement mortgage also known as a reverse mortgage is the safest mortgage a senior can get. Why is that? They have to complete a 1-hour mandatory in person or phone counseling appointment with an independent 3rd party. When the reverse mortgage funds, about 50% of their home equity is protected from a market correction like we experienced in 2008-9. With a FHA backed reverse mortgage (aka HECM), the fees are set and capped by HUD. There is never a PI mortgage payment required. These are non-recourse loans, which means the only recourse the lender has is against the home, not against the borrower, their heirs or estate. There is no pre-payment penalty. And they retain ownership on title until they permanently move out. The loan term is age 150 of the youngest borrower!Mortgage Options for RetireesWhen surveyed, 91% of senior homeowners said they want to remain at home and maintain their independence. Also, we know the number one fear a senior has is outliving their money. So, heres what we have.-senior homeowners who want to stay at home-they fear running out of money-many lived a reduced lifestyle while living on a fixed income-they have investments they dont want to liquidate-and home equity that is frozen and not accessible-they are making decisions about reverse mortgages from outdated and inaccurate internet info or uninformed neighbors or well-meaning familyWhen a senior homeowner takes the time to learn about how a reverse mortgage can help them. Their reactions are these: 1. Whats the catch? This sounds too good to be true and 2. How come everyone isnt getting a reverse mortgage?The best thing to do is to explore all options to see if a reverse mortgage makes sense for you. The qualifications are senior friendly, and we can usually close in 30-45 days. Explore your options and see how a reverse mortgage can change your life.Get to Know Kevin A. Guttman Reverse Mortgage SpecialistA retirement mortgage doesnt have to be complicated when you have a professional help you along the way. Contact our team today to get the wheels in motion a (877) 251-9709