Do you ever do something, and even while you’re doing it you’re thinking, “This is stupid”?
I do this thing that drives me crazy, but I just can’t seem to stop myself…and it’s always when I’m already doing something that makes me look stupid. It’s like, “This is bad. Quick! Make it worse!”
Here’s an example: I’m in the parking lot of the grocery store, and I walk up to the wrong car. I have keyless entry – you know, one of these cars where the door opens if you have the key fob in your pocket, or, ladies, you have the fob in your purse. Only, if you have enough stuff in your purse, the car door doesn’t always open the first time you pull the handle.
But here’s the thing: if you’re trying to get into the wrong car, the door doesn’t open, either – so you try again. And by the time you realize it’s the wrong car, you’ve been tugging at the handle four or five times.
So here I am the other day, tugging at the door of the wrong car, I realize it’s the wrong car, and what do I do? I turn around – and here’s the part that drives me crazy – I feel compelled to explain myself to everyone in that parking lot….because we all know what everyone’s thinking:
“Hmmmm, middle-aged lady, end of business day, business suit, heels, grocery bags over her arm…I know! She’s trying to steal that Camry Hybrid. Is that the worst car thief ever, or what?”
No one’s thinking that – it kind of goes without saying that I have the wrong car – but I just can’t seem to help myself. I just have to explain.
Explaining our circumstances seems to be human nature, doesn’t it?
In my career as a reverse mortgage specialist I see the same thing nearly every day: retired, successful professionals come into my office and spend the first 15 minutes explaining how they’ve gotten to the place where they need to know more about reverse mortgage.
So what is going on here? Why do seniors seem to feel guilty when asking about a reverse mortgage?
And, what is going on in the bigger picture that so many seniors are realizing they need an extra retirement bucket?
The second question is the easier of the two: why so many seniors are asking about reverse mortgage. And here’s the deal: most people saved for retirement – not everyone, by any stretch, but most people saved what they could between raising and educating kids, buying a home, taking care of parents, and all the other things woven into the tapestry of life.
So seniors saved for retirement as best they could. But now they’re having to fund longevity…and that’s a whole other proposition.
Think of it this way: back when most people dropped dead five years into retirement, the numbers worked. You can save enough for a five-year life expectancy. But someone retiring today can reasonably expect to live another quarter century after retiring. The numbers don’t work – they simply don’t work. Most people simply cannot save enough during a 40-year career to fully fund their IRA, their 401-k, their annuity, and all the rest. The numbers just don’t work.
But the available data are prolific: if you can add just one more bucket, it makes the difference between making it and not making it financially in retirement.
Which leads me to the first question: why seniors seem to feel so guilty when asking about a reverse mortgage. I find this such a pity.
Many seniors simply have lived longer than they possibly could have known they would – longer than anyone could have known they would. There is no sin in this, there is no shame.
And yet – and yet, with every new slam piece published on reverse mortgage, with every misinformed, outdated, or just plain factually-incorrect article the sense of guilt and shame seniors feel when asking about reverse mortgage increases noticeably.
No one judges a senior when his IRA is depleted. No one judges a senior when her Social Security check does not cover monthly expenses. And yet, I read again and again in the news that it’s possible to deplete a reverse mortgage line of credit. Well, yes, it is. But it’s also possible to outlive one’s 401-k or IRA.
I have said many, many times: reverse mortgage was never meant to be the full financial solution to retirement needs. For most of us, there is not going to be one all-inclusive solution that meets evolving needs in retirement. However, when combined as part of a comprehensive plan, reverse mortgage funds will combine to fund our ever-increasing longevity, and make aging in place possible for many.
Give me a call and let’s talk. I always love hearing from you.
Laurie MacNaughton [NMLS# 506562] is a freelance writer and Reverse Mortgage Consultant with Middleburg Mortgage · 8190 Stonewall Shops Square · Gainesville, Virginia 20155 · 703-477-1183 Direct · Laurie@MiddleburgReverse.com
Licensed in: Maryland (MD), Washington, DC, Virginia (VA), Pennsylvania (PA), Delaware (DE), North Carolina (NC), South Carolina (SC), Georgia (GA), Tennessee (TN).
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