I stood waving my hands in front of the paper towel dispenser like some feeble magician trying to conjure paper towels, when the thought occurred to me: I frankly can’t remember the last time I heard someone complain about the rigors of pulling a paper towel from its dispenser. Electric paper towel dispensers solve a problem that never was a problem.
This got me to thinking: how many other fixes fix problems that aren’t problems? And if you can believe it, I actually came up with several – but that’s a different commentary altogether. It’s the corollary that hit home.
Remember functions? Those funky f(x) equations in math class? Basically, a function says if I do this, I get that – one solution for each problem.
Fortunately, most day-to-day issues have many solutions. But here’s the thing: the farther one travels into retirement, the more limited options become.
Most of us are going to need additional options if we’re going to enjoy what experts call “financial survival in retirement.” Not a cool term…but a very real problem.
Larger solution sets
In what I consider one of the most encouraging transformations in the history of the reverse mortgage product, I am seeing a regular stream of clients referred from the financial planning community. Seniors seeking informed input are turning to an informed source, namely their financial professional. Of course, I’ll never know how many financial professionals steer their senior clients away from reverse mortgage – but I do know an increasing number tell me they view reverse mortgage as a legitimate financial tool when used in concert with a comprehensive financial plan.
Financial professionals refer clients to me well before catastrophe strikes, before clients’ means have dwindled, before financial limits are reached – before the financial boat plunges over the cliff of desperation.
Planners understand that more financial buckets equal a better outcome – and they understand that a reverse mortgage is simply an additional bucket.
Real solutions for real life
I hear the same stories everyone else in the financial industry hears: seniors unable to return to full-time employment. A spouse lost, and the resulting 50% drop in income. A catastrophic event – or a chronic condition that became financially catastrophic. Or, simply, too much life left at the end of the money.
A real problem meets a real solution
Unlike the motion-detecting paper towel dispenser, reverse mortgage is a real solution to a real problem. When put in place preemptively, before it’s just a crisis management tool, reverse mortgage can be part of a sound retirement plan.
No one is going to get by on just their Social Security. No one is going to make it on their 401-K. Few are going to survive on their pension, their annuity, their IRA, their bank account – or their reverse mortgage. But when added together, all these combine to create a long-term means of maintaining dignity and independence in retirement.
If you would like to explore how an FHA reverse mortgage might help with your retirement plans, give me a call. I always love hearing from you.
Laurie MacNaughton [NMLS 506562] is a freelance writer and Reverse Mortgage Consultant at Middleburg Mortgage. She can be reached at: 703-477-1183 or Laurie@MiddleburgReverse.com.