How to Mentally Thrive During Retirement

How to Mentally Thrive During Retirement
How to Mentally Thrive During Retirement

While money and finances are important aspects to consider when retiring, there’s more to retirement than just having a lot of money in the bank. In fact, sometimes what makes or breaks your retirement isn’t your monthly income, but how you feel. For a lot of retirees, if you don’t find a new identity after leaving your career, then retirement can be far from the idyllic vision so many younger individuals imagine.

To ignore the fact that retirement is a major transition in life has the potential to produce a variety of negative repercussions, some of which can be quite dangerous, not to mention aggravating. When you retire, psychologically your entire life changes, which means that if you’re not as mentally prepared as you are financially prepared, you’ll be facing an uphill battle.

While retiring can reduce emotional stress, especially if you’re in a demanding career, it can added a new set of stressors, like not knowing who you are or what your new purpose in life is. To avoid feeling “lost at sea”, experts recommend spending time considering the psychological effects of your retirement before you make the transition.

To help ease the emotional stress some people feel when they retire, start creating a new identity for yourself, one that isn’t attached to your career, profession or title. Making sure that you have purpose in your life will keep you from struggling with negative emotions, including depression. Remember, the more you have identified with your career or title in the past, the more difficult it will be to let that go, which means that preparing emotionally for the transition is even more important.

Experts also recommend looking at your personality type to help better understand how you will feel once you enter retirement. In general, individuals with a more relaxed disposition and who are better able to adapt to changing environments will do better during retirement than those who are more goal-oriented or rigid with their schedules. While retirement has the potential to be enjoyed by every type of individual, knowing where you stand right now will help you prepare for the road ahead – and that really can make all of the difference.

Qualifying for a Reverse Mortgage Loan: What You Need to Know

Qualifying for a Reverse Mortgage Loan: What You Need to Know
Qualifying for a Reverse Mortgage Loan: What You Need to Know
Four generation family take time together for the mother’s day. In this photo the grandmother talk with her granddaughter in the living room with happiness. Photo was taken in Quebec Canada.

If you are retiring or nearing retirement, there’s a good chance that you’re taking a good look at your finances. While retirement brings about a lot of great changes, there are some aspects of it that can feel a bit intimidating, including how to pay for your monthly expenses and lifestyle. While many retirees look to their savings and retirement plans, there are other options that can be considered to help make sure retirement is as great as it sounds.

One of the best options for many retirees concerned about finances is a reverse mortgage loan. Not only does this type of loan leverage the equity you already have in your home, but you can access the money when you need and how you need it – whether in a lump sum or monthly installments.

Of course, one of the biggest questions retirees have about reverse mortgages is, “How do I get one?”

Thankfully, qualifying for a reverse mortgage loan really is pretty simple.

Here’s what you need to know…

First of all, in order to qualify for a reverse mortgage you have to be at least 62 years old. If you’re married, the youngest borrower on the title must meet this age requirement. Second, qualifying for a reverse mortgage loan requires that you live in the home you’ll be using on the loan as a primary residence. The more home equity you have in your primary residence, the more money you can access via a reverse mortgage. Additionally, borrowers interested in getting a reverse mortgage loan must meet the eligibility requirements established by HUD.

If you meet the requirements for a reverse mortgage, then the amount of money you can access from your loan is based on a calculation done by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). This calculation uses your home equity in addition to four other factors. Those four factors that will determine if you qualify and the amount of money you can access are:

  1. Current interest rates
  2. The balance on existing mortgage loans
  3. The age of the youngest homeowner
  4. Current property value

To learn more, contact a reverse mortgage professional today!

4 Tips for Staying Healthy During Retirement

4 Tips for Staying Healthy During Retirement
4 Tips for Staying Healthy During Retirement
senior athletes synchronous exercising on step platforms at gym

One of the biggest concerns about retirement is that health and well-being will start to decline simply because there is less to do – and less motivation for doing it! Of course, for some soon-to-be retirees, finally leaving that stressful job might just seem like the healthiest decision of all! Either way, making smart decisions at the beginning of your retirement can set the tone for the rest of your life, one that is hopefully happy and healthy!

According to experts, these 4 simple tips are some of the best ways to make sure your retirement is as healthy as possible…

  1. Stay Physically Active. Being retired should in no way mean that you’re living a sedentary lifestyle. In fact, now that you have more time on your hands, you should be finding ways to be even more active. Some of the healthiest activities for retirees include yoga, dancing, hiking, swimming, walking, pilates and gardening.
  • Stay Mentally Active. If you can keep your brain as active as your body during retirement, then you’re off to a great start! The more active your brain is, the lower your risks are for developing things like dementia or Alzheimer’s down the road. How do you keep your brain active? Of course, you can learn something new, whether a language or a skill. But you can also stay mentally active by being social. Going out with your friends and just talking is very stimulating for your brain!
  • Stay Involved. A big part of staying healthy during retirement is making sure that you continue to be involved in your community. For a lot of retirees, volunteering is a great way to do this. If you have grandchildren, that’s another way to stay involved – volunteer to babysit or watch them for a weekend!
  • Eat Healthy. And, no surprise here, eating healthy is just as essential to your health when you’re retired as it was before you entered retirement. Watch your diet and make smart decisions each day so that you feel your best!

Retirement really can be the best years of your life if you take an active role in maintaining your health!

The Pros and Cons of Reverse Mortgages You Should Know About

The Pros and Cons of Reverse Mortgages You Should Know About
The Pros and Cons of Reverse Mortgages You Should Know About
Home loan / reverse mortgage or transforming assets into cash concept : House model, US dollar notes on a simple balance scale, depicts a homeowner or a borrower turns properties / residence into cash

When considering a reverse mortgage for your retirement planning, it’s important to see both sides of the argument. By understanding both the pros and the cons of choosing a reverse mortgage, you can better understand if it’s the right choice for you and your family.

Reverse Mortgage Pros

  • If you’re over the age of 62, a reverse mortgage is a smart loan option that affords you a more comfortable retirement lifestyle.
  • A reverse mortgage doesn’t impact your ability to live in your home or keep its title. As long as you maintain all of your loan obligations, then a reverse mortgage won’t change the way you live in or own your home.
  • Reverse mortgages are flexible, which means there are options when it comes to receiving your money. Some of the most popular form of reverse mortgage payments are lump sums, regular monthly advances, and a line of credit.
  • In most cases, the money you receive from your reverse mortgage is not considered to be taxable income. (Always talk with your tax professional to be sure.)
  • In most cases, a reverse mortgage won’t change your ability to qualify for benefits from Social Security or Medicare.
  • A reverse mortgage doesn’t make you or your heirs personally liable for any amount of the mortgage if it ends up exceeding the value of your home after the loan has been repaid. Once the loan is repaid, all of the equity that remains is yours (or your heirs’) to keep.
  • As your home’s value increases, so does your reverse mortgage loan’s potential. You can refinance your reverse mortgage to receive more money if your home’s value increases.

Reverse Mortgage Cons

  • The balance of your loan does increase with time because of the accumulation of interest and loan fees.
  • Each time you use the equity of your home, you are leaving your estate and heirs less money and fewer assets. While the home can still be left in your will, the loan balance will have to be repaid. This is typically done by selling the home, but it can also be done with other funds or by having your home refinanced with a traditional mortgage.
  • Depending on where you get your reverse mortgage from, the fees can be higher than they would be with a traditional mortgage.

To decide if a reverse mortgage is right for you, talk to one of our loan professionals today!

How to Retire Happy: 3 Tips for Living the “Good Life”

How to Retire Happy: 3 Tips for Living the “Good Life”
How to Retire Happy: 3 Tips for Living the “Good Life”
Closeup side view of a senior couple riding a jet ski on a sunny summer day at open sea. The man is driving quickly through the waves, and the lady is hardly holding on. Caught in the moment of max speed.

For a lot of people, retirement is the ultimate reward after years and years of hard work. Of course, that perspective is usually held by people who are still a decade or more away from actually retiring. As retirement gets closer, a lot of people start to feel nervous and even anxious about this next period in their life.

What will it actually be like?

The goal, of course, is to be happy, to enjoy every moment of your newly found free time. If you’re looking for tips on how to actually live the “good life” once you hit retirement, try one (or all) of the suggestions below!

  1. Set Up a “Paycheck” You Can Count On. Money and finances top the list of why people nearing or entering retirement start to get nervous. To counter these fears, find ways to give yourself a paycheck during retirement – one that is predictable and big enough for you to enjoy those small things that make you happy. Whether this paycheck comes from passive income (like rental properties) or a reverse mortgage, studies have shown that the happiest people in retirement are living off of more than just their 401(k) or IRA.
  • Don’t Feel Like Everything Has to Change. While retirement does offer an opportunity for you to change what you don’t like about your lifestyle (like that long commute to the office), it doesn’t mean that you should change everything about your life. If you enjoy spending time with your friends from work, for example, make sure you stay in touch with them and plan time so that you can keep that friendship alive. And, if you love your work but are ready to retire, find a way to keep your toe in what you do, whether through mentorships, volunteer work, or even part-time opportunities.
  • Discover New Hobbies. Retirement gives you the wonderful opportunity of having more time to enjoy those things you’ve always wanted to do – like learn a language, join a club, or honing a skill. Take advantage! Don’t be afraid to commit to something new. In fact, the more immersed you are in a new hobby, according to researchers, the happier you’ll be throughout your retirement!

How You Can Use the Money You Get from Your Reverse Mortgage

How You Can Use the Money You Get from Your Reverse Mortgage
How You Can Use the Money You Get from Your Reverse Mortgage

If you’re considering a Reverse Mortgage to help you better enjoy your retirement, you may be wondering if there are any restrictions on how you use the money.  Well, we are happy to tell you that you can use the money from your Reverse Mortgage anyway you want!

The money you receive from your Reverse Mortgage really is yours, which means, like any other money you earn or receive, your Reverse Mortgage proceeds gives you the ability to do more of what you want – or to pay bills you need to pay!

For most people, Reverse Mortgage proceeds are used to:

  • Pay off any debt, including the debt from an existing mortgage
  • Make improvements to your home, like remodels and updates (which can increase the property value of your home and help you earn your money back!)
  • Help pay for health care expenses, including in-home care
  • Help family members in need, like children looking to invest in their first home
  • Supplement income to afford the lifestyle they want – from traveling to country club memberships!

Just like every retirement looks different, so does how every Reverse Mortgage is used. There is no wrong way to make the most of the money you have in your home!

To learn more about the benefits of a Reverse Mortgage, contact us today!

3 Tips for Successfully Transitioning into Retirement

3 Tips for Successfully Transitioning into Retirement
3 Tips for Successfully Transitioning into Retirement
Happy senior woman enjoying walk in nature and embracing pet dog in forest park

Most adults look forward to the day they retire with great anticipation (some almost as soon as they start their career). But, when the day actually comes to officially enter the next stage of life, there can a lot of apprehension. From nerves to just wondering about the unknowns, retirement can pose a problem for many adults, especially at the very beginning.

In order to calm your nerves and help you make the transition successfully, here are three smart tips you can consider, whether retirement is on the immediate horizon or just sometime in the near future.

1. Tiptoe, Don’t Just Jump. Still on the fence about when’s the right time to retire? Rather than guessing and jumping all in, try doing a bit of tiptoeing first. The benefit of “testing the waters” before you make a final decision is that it can give you a taste of retirement without the commitment. A couple of ways you can do this are:

  • After retiring from your career, take on a part-time “retirement job” so that you still maintain a work schedule of sorts.
  • Get time off so that you can take a long vacation (or even a sabbatical) while you consider retirement. This can give you a taste of the freedom and help you decide if you’re ready for it full-time.

Consider Passive Income. A lot of the nerves around retirement stem from the question, “Will there be enough money”. Passive income eases this concern by making sure you have another source of income (one you don’t have to really work for) to help support your lifestyle. One of the most popular forms of passive income for retirees is real estate investment, although, thanks to the internet, there are lots of other options now, too.

Start a Club. It may sound a little cheesy at first, but surrounding yourself with other people who are retired or close to retiring can help you feel less isolated, especially when you do decide to retire. Whether it’s an official “retirement club” or just a good reason to get retired friends together, this type of social support is as helpful at this time of your life as it was during others (like graduating college, moving into a new neighborhood, having a baby, watching children leave your home, etc.)

If you’re considering retiring, what’s the biggest reason why you haven’t made it official yet? Share in the comments below!

Successful Retirement Comes in All Shapes and Sizes

Successful Retirement Comes in All Shapes and Sizes
Successful Retirement Comes in All Shapes and Sizes
Fashionable mature friends having fun and celebrating by blowing colorful confetti in city street

We will get right to the point. If you think the only way to have a successful retirement is to have a hefty 401k and a pension, you’re wrong.  Today, retirement comes in all shapes and sizes to provide for a variety of different lifestyles and to meet all sorts of needs.  Here are a few of the most popular ways people choose to retire:

One way you can retire and still have a great life is to retire with a job. That’s right, being a retiree doesn’t mean you have to give up working altogether. You can retire and still work. In fact, according to recent polls, nearly 74% of Americans plan to continue to work after they retire from their traditional jobs.  Most of them, however, don’t plan to work full time.  Instead, they will get part-time jobs to supplement their retirement savings and Social Security benefits. 

You can also have a financial fulfilling retirement by using non-traditional retirement funds.  These are funds outside of the typical 401k or pension and include, but are not limited to, annuities, Reverse Mortgages and investment options. 

Retirees find that if they strategically look at their retirement savings and all of the available options, there is more than one way they can manage their finances to meet their needs. The key to success is choosing the option that is best for them. 

If you want to find a way YOU can be successful in retirement without taking the typical route, talk to the people at Reverse Mortgage Answers today.  They will be able to give you valuable information on your Reverse Mortgage options, or refer you to a financial advisor who can create a plan specifically geared towards your needs.

Reverse Mortgages Aren’t a Last Resort

Reverse Mortgages Aren’t a Last Resort

For years now, reverse mortgages have been viewed by retirees as a last resort. The stigma around reverse mortgages indicates that they should only be taken out if ALL financial options are exhausted and you are in a state of desperation as a retiree.  The truth, however, is that reverse mortgages are an ideal source of retirement income for many individuals and at the very least, a solid back-up plan.

Here are a few reasons why reverse mortgages ARE NOT a last resort for retirement finances.

  1. You’ve worked hard for the equity in your home.

The truth is, you’ve been working for your home since you bought it (and even before). You worked hard for your down payment, your monthly payments, for all of the upgrades and additions you’ve incorporated over the years.  If you plan on staying in your home as long as possible, a reverse mortgage is the best way to reap the benefits of your hard work because you are able to access the equity you have earned.

  1. Reverse mortgages are a financial resource that cannot be taken away.

Once you apply for and are given a reverse mortgage, nothing can take your reverse mortgage away.  You can go through hardships, dips in credit, and even the loss of a spouse and not lose the access you have to your reverse mortgage funds.  

  1. Funds from reverse mortgages are flexible.

Funds from a reverse mortgage are yours to spend as you see fit.  Popular options for utilizing reverse mortgage funds include starting a business, traveling the world, purchasing a vacation home, and helping to pay for unexpected medical expenses.

Of course, many financial advisors will educate you to use funds from a 401k or other investments before applying for a reverse mortgage to use as your primary source of retirement funds.  However, if they don’t mention reverse mortgage as an additional option for funding some of your dreams, don’t be afraid to ask! Remember, you have worked hard for the equity you have earned – so use it!

Find Purpose in Your Retirement with Careful Planning

Find Purpose in Your Retirement with Careful Planning
Find Purpose in Your Retirement with Careful Planning

After years and years of getting up in the morning, putting on business casual attire, and heading out the door to work retirement can be hard to get used to.  In fact, many retirees claim they feel lost during retirement because they have difficulty finding their sense of purpose. But, for those retirees who might feel lost or worried about how they will live out their post-career years, there is hope! With careful planning and a little bit of ambition, there are many ways to find purpose during retirement.  Here are a few.

START A BUSINESS

Many retirees get to the days where they don’t have to set an alarm clock and realize they crave the routine a job created in their life. As much as they desire the routine, however, they do not want to be a slave to a time clock.  For these retirees, starting their own business is the perfect option. Starting a business as a retiree doesn’t have to mean building a brick and mortar store. It can mean becoming a consultant or taking on a few clients part-time with freelance work.

LEARN A NEW SKILL

Retirees who crave knowledge love to use their free time to learn new skills and knowledge.  There are many courses offered by local colleges and universities as well as local organizations retirees can participate in. For some, taking a class is a way to gain social interaction, and for others, it is a means by which they can catapult themselves into a new career.

INVEST IN A HOBBY

Individuals in retirement who already have an activity they love use their newly found free time to immerse themselves in it. A few examples of investing in a hobby include joining a local gardening club or taking a trip to practice photography.  There is no limit what a hobby is or how much time can be invested in it during retirement.

All of these ideas provide excellent examples of how you can spend retirement. But, if you want to be able to do them, you have to plan accordingly.  Start by creating a retirement budget to get your finances in place. If you find you need supplemental assistance to make your dreams come true consider the possibility of applying for a reverse mortgage.