Achieving the Independence in Retirement that you envisioned often comes with both welcomed and unwelcomed changes. Independence is a word we hear a lot this time of year. When we think independence associated with the Fourth of July, we think fireworks, back yards BBQ’s with friends and summer vacations.
Merriam Webster has defined independence as “freedom from outside control or support”. Isn’t this what most of us strive for in our lives especially as we approach our senior years? We want to be able to call our own shots, act upon our individual whims and not have to ask for assistance or help to do so.
How do we individually achieve independence in retirement? By making smart choices and embracing change. All too often, we get stuck living a life that no longer suits our needs. We must be mindful of our life’s circumstances and notice how our needs and desires are evolving.
If traveling is your hot button start planning how you are going to make traveling happen. Think in yearly increments, what excursion can you plan for this year? Where will next year’s trip take you? Pick your destinations and plan your journeys!
Traveling in retirement will require you spending more time away from your home. Do you believe you’ll have both the time and money needed to travel and sufficiently maintain your existing home? Maybe a 2-bedroom condo, closer to the airport, is calling your name? As we think about our options, we begin to set ourselves up to achieve the independent life that we have envisioned.
One of the biggest challenges we face in retirement is setting ourselves up to financially succeed. Going from income producing to living off of our assets can be scary. For most, retirement means spending down our savings. If you are not sure if you will be able to afford the lifestyle you have envisioned in retirement, consider the ways in which you can make changes in what you are currently doing. It is always wise to consult with a professional financial advisor about your options.
Often our largest savings account / asset is our home. Over the years we have been good stewards of our money, paid off our mortgage entirely and now we are sitting with a lot of equity in our home. Why are we not utilizing that equity?
If you own your home outright or have accumulated a lot of equity in that home, speak to one of United Northern Mortgage Bankers Limited (UNMB), Senior Security Advisors about your Reverse Mortgage options. As a FHA-approved lender, UNMB will answer your questions regarding how Reverse Mortgage products can assist you in accessing your equity and utilizing that equity to meet your financial needs. A Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) or a HECM for purchase, (H4P) were designed to meet the specific needs of seniors over 62!
The most common type of Reverse Mortgage is a HECM with a Line of Credit (LOC). How would this product translate to meet your needs? A 68-year-old who outright owns their home valued at $679,000, would be eligible to receive 44.6% of their home value or just over $302,000 in proceeds from their HECM LOC. Of course there are closing costs and you may opt to do minor repairs on your home right away. However, for most, having accessibility to their home equity provides confidence and peace of mind.
Proceeds from a Reverse Mortgage may be used to convert that first floor den and half bath into a master suite with a full bath to meet the needs of our aging knees. Or, the proceeds may be used to pay ordinary monthly expenses enhancing life experiences providing a better, more relaxed quality of life as we age in place. And, remember, the unused funds of your HECM LOC, have a growth rate factor where those funds work for you, earning money, adding another layer of value.
If your home just too big to fit your current lifestyle? Consider rightsizing. The majority of us over 62 would ideally like to live in a newly constructed, ranch style home, where we don’t have the worry of constant home repairs. Let’s face it, we’ve worked hard and quite frankly, now we want to enjoy ourselves and have some fun! Investigate how you can purchase a new primary residence utilizing the H4P.
Think about where you are living. Does the home you currently live in, support your needs? Is it too big? Is it in the right geographical location? Do you want a home with no stairs and a master bedroom on the first floor?
Across the board, seniors wish to maintain their independence and live alone whether in their current home or in a new home. Our loved ones often have fears about us living alone / aging in place. We can mitigate their fears by utilizing technology. We’ve all heard the advertisements for the button we can press in the event that we have fallen, and can’t get up. Purchase one of these buttons and wear it. This is one way to ensure that in the event of an accident, we receive help quickly!
There are home security systems on the market where we can remotely see who is ringing our doorbell even while we are out traveling the world! And, if an intruder enters our home uninvited, authorities will be notified immediately. We possess the ability to video communicate with loved ones via Skype, Facetime, or with lesser known platforms like WeChat, Google Voice / Hangouts and Appear.in. Staying in touch with our loved ones has never been easier!
This is our time. Take this opportunity to determine if you are properly set up to live the independent life you want to live. Investigate all of your options so you make an informed decision on the best way to achieve your goals.
We must be proactive and the catalyst for building the independent life we have envisioned for ourselves. It is a big, fun-filled world out there. It’s our time to live our dreams!