I am a member of a group of professionals that work with Seniors, called Focus on Seniors and we meet every other month to share lunch and hear a guest speaker on a topic that usually concerns aging. We met yesterday at Cypress Gardens, a Senior community in Ventura, CA and our speaker was George Compton, Col. USA (Ret.).
He’s a decorated Viet Nam Veteran and has many accomplishments, which he would be too embarrassed to mention, but in spite of his humbleness, he’s an amazing man. At this time, he is the Veterans Service Officer for the County of Ventura and he is totally engaged in reaching out to the Veterans and their families, helping them with problems and questions about their benefits.
He spoke about many of the benefits yesterday and it’s really surprising how many Veterans and their families don’t understand how much is available to them. I”m not sure where the disconnect happens but it’s vital that Veterans know about all of the programs that they qualify for because they are missing out on some wonderful benefits that they deserve and they should be using them.
George has made it his mission to reach them and make sure that they are taking advantage of their benefits that they are entitled to. Not only are many of them spending money on medical bills that could be covered under some of the programs offered for Veterans, but there’s even college tuition funds for their children, depending on certain criteria.
The variety of benefits is quite large and far too much for me to go into here, but If you are a Veteran or a family member of a Veteran, I’m going to encourage you to contact your local counties Veterans Service Officer. You are quite possibly spending unnecessary money for medical services and you may also be able to take advantage of other benefits that could save you money and you need to know about this.
On another note, the figures for the origination of Reverse Loans are up for this fiscal year that ended in Sept. Per NRMLA, the figures stand at $112,100 HECM’s that have closed and funded. Most of the growth in the industry has occurred in the last 18 months or so and when you look back into the early years of Reverse loans, the figures were very, very small (43,131 in 2005).
The HECM (Home Equity Conversion Mortgage, offered by FHA) has surpassed the figures for the previous fiscal year and I’m sure that, that’s due to the current economic conditions which is particularly hard on the Senor community. Gradually, Seniors are over coming their fears about the loan and starting to be a bit more open to it’s use and this is represented in these latest figures as well.
With the higher lending limits set by HUD and more people becoming educated about Reverse loans and their benefits, plus the Boomers coming up through the ranks, it’s just a matter of time when it will be routine to have a Reverse mortgage as part of a retirement plan.
Seniors who have done a Reverse loan in the past, can now take advantage of not only being older (The one time it’s advantageous to be “old”) since they did their loan, but with the higher lending limits and lower interest rates, they are in the position to refinance their original loan and receive more money.
If they refinance, they will still have the same closing costs as they did before, but the MIP (Mortgage Ins. Premium) will be prorated from the original amount. This means, that they won’t be paying the full amount for the insurance once again.