When it’s time for an expert

Our Mother’s Keeper


We’ve discussed it before, but it bears repeating, especially because seniors themselves are often loath to admit they’re growing older: there are certain situations where it’s wise to get expert guidance before a reverse mortgage client or prospect may actually “need” it.

Here are four areas where seniors (or the person with Power of Attorney) should consider reaching out for advice in advance. 

  1. Aging in place. We’ve focused on various aspects of caregiving but not its potentially astronomical cost. Even a healthy senior needs to plan for in-home assistance in the event they live to a ripe old age — or experience an event, such as a fall, that necessitates temporary assistance. According to Genworth Financial, the average annual cost of a home health aide is $45,760. A certified financial planner (CFP) could be an excellent guide for both seniors and the family members who are helping them plan ahead.
  2. Retirement planning. A vast majority of the 76 million Boomer retirees and soon-to-be retirees (which includes a healthy number of reverse mortgage professionals) are planning for an active lifestyle once work no longer takes center stage, as we focused on in this retirement resource guide. It’s also critical to make sure the numbers in your bank accounts and other financial resources can support the lifestyle and years a senior has left to enjoy. A CFP and accountant/CPA are both worth consulting as seniors or those in midlife look toward the future. One financial planner urges people to sit down with a retirement planning expert no later than age 40.
  3. End-of-life care. Does a senior want palliative and hospice care, a DNR (do-not-resuscitate) order, or every possible medical intervention when they’re seriously ill or close to death? These are issues many people refuse to face; yet having such information on record can prove vital if the patient is not able to make their wishes known. The Office of Chronic Care Advocacy recommends consulting with an Elder Law and Special Needs Law attorney to ensure someone’s long-term care and end-of-life care planning are accurate, complete, and up-to-date.
  4. Estate planning and asset protection. We looked briefly at estate planning and the importance of proper beneficiary forms in order to avoid financial snafus. This is especially important for high net worth individuals. An Elder Law and Special Needs Law attorney should be able to draft an estate plan that analyzes the effect on a loved one’s public benefits eligibility or tax status, says the Office of Chronic Care Advocacy. They will also network with professionals in allied fields, such as a financial advisor/certified financial planner to assist with investment strategies, or a geriatric care manager to provide a care assessment and help source and select appropriate caregivers if needed.

Looking for more reverse mortgage news, commentary and technology? Visit ReverseFocus.com today.

1 comment

Rachel A Hemmingson February 20, 2019 at 5:13 pm

Amara I really enjoy your articles. I’m a housing advocate at heart — meaning I’m always encouraging my prospects to look at their lives and themselves holistically when thinking about staying home or moving. AND I encourage them to see if they can use funds to modify their homes for live-ability and share-ability, if the want to stay.

One odd issue with the HECM is that when clients use it to fund the building of an ADU, (Accessory Dwelling Unit) the regs prevent them from living in it. They can rent it out, but not move in. For some, this is the death sentence of being able to stay in their beloved neighborhood. The house is beyond modifying — stairs everywhere, lack of any aging-in-place features. The homeowner cannot afford anything else in the area, and there may not be any suitable houses for their needs. The ADU can be Universal Design. I understand why lenders have this stipulation, but it’s easily handled. There is a fear that if the homeowner is not in the main house, it will not be maintained. The lender could simply require a brief inspection every year or two. This issue is becoming noteworthy in Portland Metro area. It’s a small issue on the whole — but impactful none-the-less

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