In 2018, AARP found that 76 percent of Americans over 50 preferred to remain in their current homes as long as possible. However, substantially fewer of them believed it was a realistic option. Fortunately, proper planning and an open mind can maximize your retirement options and make the goal of maintaining independence more attainable.  One of the best ways to create a viable aging-in-place plan is to allow for flexibility in location. While remaining in an established, long-owned home may be the most appealing approach, it’s often not the most practical. However, there are other alternatives worth exploring. New Home, Same Neighbors  Another finding from the 2018 AARP survey was that the interest in remaining within a community was just as high. For many homeowners, the features of a particular home could be the biggest obstacle to staying put. It might be too expensive or demanding to maintain. The floorplan may increase mobility challenges, or its proximity to specific amenities, like healthcare or social groups, could be lacking as their importance grows.  Addressing these types of issues can be expensive. While a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), or reverse mortgage, can offer homeowners over 62 a way to access equity and defer repayment, creating an additional funding source, renovations aren’t the only solution. Finding another home in the same area but that better meets your priorities can be a better route. And for those hoping to stretch their retirement funds, a HECM for Purchase offers the same advantages when purchasing a new property and using the equity from the sale of your previous home.  Transition over Time If a more significant relocation is something you’re willing to consider, it can expand your long-term options even further. Combining your interest in spending some of your retirement at a favorite destination with aging-in-place plans can result in a win-win.  Purchasing a second home near your loved ones or other travel passion, with the intent of making it your primary home down the road, can give you the comfort of a familiar home when age begins to place limitations on your abilities. Until then, you will have the flexibility few retirees can enjoy. And once again, a reverse mortgage is one financial tool that can unlock the cash needed to make it a reality.  Senior Communities Of course, senior living facilities have transformed a lot in the last decade and may offer a lifestyle that fits your plans better than you could have imagined. It’s in your interest not to rule out a community exclusively for seniors until you have all the facts.  Some offer single-family homes and complete independence, much like any other neighborhood, except all your neighbors are in the same age bracket. As your care requirements change, staff and additional facilities are available to accommodate you. While it’s not the traditional aging-in-place experience, it may offer more consistency than other options, as well as the peace of mind of knowing a plan for your future is in place.  To find out more about the lending options available to you before and after retirement, visit OpenMortgage.com. Our experienced professionals are ready to help you make the most of your future.
Things to know about Reverse Mortgages:
  • At the conclusion of a reverse mortgage, the borrower must repay the loan and may have to sell the home or repay the loan from other proceeds
  • Charges will be assessed with the loan, including an origination fee, closing costs, mortgage insurance premiums and servicing fees
  • The loan balance grows over time and interest is charged on the outstanding balance
  • The borrower remains responsible for property taxes, hazard insurance, and home maintenance, and failure to pay these amounts may result in the loss of the home
  • Interest on a reverse mortgage is not tax-deductible until the borrower makes partial or full re-payment
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