Dollars & Sense: A Reverse Way of Thinking

Steve Kaye, CrossCountry Mortgage

Aging. It’s a part of life in our communities, so let’s talk about it.

Currently, most seniors who are at or nearing retirement age look forward to collecting what to help them financially get by in their senior years? You know this answer … it is ______ ______.

Yes! You got it! It’s Social Security, an assumed financial benefit that seniors collect and, in many cases rely on, once they become eligible to collect. It is something that they talk about, discuss, debate, and even strategize about when it comes to the timing as to when to begin to collect it. Not only is there no shame in collecting this money, but it is also considered a right—and why not?! It’s something they have paid into most of their adult lives and now it’s time to finally collect.

Did you know…

The bill that became Social Security was signed on Aug. 14, 1935.

The first Social Security payment was made in January 1937, a lump sum payment to Ernest Ackerman. The amount? $0.17.

The first monthly installment payment was made to Ida Mae Fuller in January 1939.

The age one could start collecting social security was 65, while the average life expectancy age in 1940 was 62.

Thus, in 1940, you were just as likely, or more, to pass away than collect Social Security. Today, however, with a life expectancy age of 79, you could be collecting it for at least 17 years, with that number expected to rise over the next 20 years.

There’s something else most retirement-aged adults have paid into for most, if not all, of their entire adult lives: their home. Month after month, year after year, hundreds of thousands of dollars paid in interest, not to mention principal, with the goal of not having to worry about making a mortgage payment later in life. At least, that’s the goal, right?

Social Security, alone, might be enough for some to get by on, but for those with debt—such as housing debt—it could become impossible. Consider the following 2021 statistics (2022 not yet available): Around 40% of all retirees rely on Social Security to live. And nearly one out of two single retirees rely almost solely on Social Security to live on.

We’re probably all aware of this unfortunate scenario, when a spouse passes away and the widower is no longer able to rely on their spouse’s Social Security income to help with the bills. It can often be financially devastating and life altering at a time he or she can least afford it to be. For many, the solution has been to sell their most valuable and secure asset—their home—to relocate to an apartment or move in with children or other family.

Thankfully, for many senior homeowners, regardless of their situation, a reverse mortgage can be one of the most valuable financial tools available, whether it be to enhance their lifestyle or save them from having to move out of their home.

A reverse mortgage can provide a monthly income disbursement, a lump sum distribution, or a line of credit with guaranteed balance growth—or a combination of any or all of these, depending on the situation, while still maintaining full and complete ownership—with no requirement of a monthly payment for as long as you retain the home as your primary residence and make your normal property tax and insurance payment. More than 1 million senior homeowners have taken advantage of this great program, and there is absolutely no shame in utilizing some of the equity in your home that you paid for years to obtain.

Did you know you can even buy a reverse mortgage? For more details and open and honest answers to your questions, with absolutely no pressure to make any type of a decision, please reach out to me. I take great pride in being able to help others find new options or solutions that can make a huge impact in their lives.

My name is Steve Kaye, with CrossCountry Mortgage in Oro Valley, and I have been providing mortgage solutions for my clients for the past 26 years. I can be reached at 949-350-4992 (cell) or at [email protected] (email). NMLS #234765