Customer Testimonial: Integrating a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage Into a Strategic Retirement Plan
Tod is a retired financial advisor who built wealth in multiple income streams throughout his career.
He sees the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM or reverse mortgage) loan as a great option for people whose income may fall short of expenses. But he personally uses it as a financial buffer and appreciates that he can put his home equity to use as he sees fit.
Tod believes that today’s HECM is a very useful financial tool and feels that working with Fairway on his two HECMs has been “nothing short of tremendous.”
HECMs and reverse mortgages in their early days had some negative publicity. So I studied it up very well and then I got involved with some training and education through the American College.
I actually got to meet Wade Pfau and some of the experts behind the scenes that really brought these [HECMs and reverse mortgages] to light as being for strategic use. It’s a great way to have another line or stream of income for someone that maybe is gonna be short.
We’re on the other end of that spectrum, always have been around building multiple buckets of incomes.
So the HECM became more or less an under underlaying cushion of safety and security for what we don’t know what the future’s gonna be, right? We do have long-term care, but do we ever have enough? We don’t know. Also, you know, the importance of what happens when we have a down market and we’re taking income out of our down market assets. I want to be able to shut that off and go to some other resource. And a HECM is one of those tools that allows us to use what we call buffer strategy.
A lot of what I learned, you know, was handed down from my parents, which were a World War II generation, right? Everything was conservative and I have a lot of that that I carry too, I’m very conservative with how we do what we do, but also understanding that some of the new ideas in and around mortgage and managing mortgages.
A home that’s free and clear you still don’t own, cause you still have your taxes, you still have your insurance, you still have maintenance and upkeep. It’s still not an expense free asset, right? All the equity that’s in that home really belongs to the bank until you, what? Until you borrow against it or you sell it.
I always wanted to have as much out of it as I could have. I didn’t want equity sitting there that had no rate or return. But if I could convert that into cash or I could convert that into something else with always the ability to pay it back anytime, then that was a better use of the asset.
So when we got ready to retire, we had a pretty sizable mortgage, it wasn’t paid off. But the HECM gave us the opportunity to be able to do that, to reverse that flow. Instead of going out, it became an income stream.
We’ve worked with Fairway on several first mortgages over the years and we’ve now done two HECM’s with them. Working with Fairway has been nothing short of tremendous.
And over the years, because technology has gotten to be so proficient, getting documents back and forth, it’s been not only a pleasure, but easy.
Is a Reverse Mortgage Right for You?
At Fairway, we understand that each of our customers has unique needs, and sometimes a reverse mortgage loan is the best fit — and sometimes it is not. If you’re interested in learning more about reverse mortgages and whether one might be a good fit for your situation (or a loved one’s situation), Fairway can help.