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Reflections of a Reverse Mortgage 8 Years Later

July 15, 2016

There are days when I get an unexpected phone call and am reminded why I am in the reverse mortgage business. I remember the client on the other end of today’s phone call very well. I originated a reverse mortgage for Beverly back in 2008. After 8 years and many Christmas and birthday cards, it was good to hear her voice. Typically, when I hear from a past client, they are calling to ask about selling their home or if the death of a spouse effects their mortgage. This time I was being asked to refer a reputable roofing company. Imagine how good it feels to know that she respects me enough to seek my recommendation. And imagine how good it feels to be able to provide her with several.

 

19984085 - portrait of old woman with crossed hands on a white background

Avoiding the acceptance of a reverse mortgage as a solution to financial security.

This particular phone call really stands out, as I do remember Beverly, very well. I can recall our conversation at her dining room table so many years ago. Beverly had become a widow with very little in savings. She knew she needed to provide for her future and expenses she would incur while surviving on one social security. However she had depended on her husband to make financial decisions, the thought of having this responsibility now terrified her. She spent over two hours detailing all the avenues she had explored for resources, none of them panned out. She was embarrassed that she had even asked her son for help. Now here she was, considering a mortgage on her home to provide those funds, and a reverse mortgage at that! It scared her. She was hesitant, actually, she was determined to find any other solution. She sat at the table with her arms folded against her chest, steadfast in avoiding the reverse mortgage documents I was presenting. I reaffirmed that the other avenues she explored would not work. I recall vividly the moment she picked up the pen and started to put her signature on the application. She put the pen down after each page, hesitant to sign another, it was painful to watch. I imagine she perceived each signature to be nails in her coffin. Never had anyone been so skeptical, never had anyone been so cautious, never had anyone been as unshakable. She continued to question her decision throughout the approval process. Almost every day I was involved in lengthy conversations with Beverly as she vacillated on actually closing the loan. However, she eventually finalized the reverse mortgage and received a very nice equity line of credit that would be a resource to her in the future.

Fast forward to today’s call. Beverly stated she has over $80,000 in her reverse mortgage equity line of credit. She has used it to help pay for a car after an auto accident resulted in her previous vehicle being totaled. She has used it for other necessities including a new a/c unit and other minor home repairs. Now she needs a new roof and was not only calling to ask for a recommendation because I had been a trustworthy resource in the past but also because she wanted me to know how good it felt to be able to have the money needed to keep her home comfortable and well maintained.

senior writing checks

A reverse mortgage can provide the funds for unexpected expenses.

It was great to hear how happy she has been to have the funds easily available. No regrets, absolutely NONE! She declared how fortunate she had been to get the reverse mortgage and that she never worries about how she is going to handle unexpected expenses. Beverly has not only been one of my most skeptical clients, but she has also been one of the most conservative. She continues to be diligent in managing the reverse mortgage funds. She really has come a long way from “the lady who had no experience with finances.” It was great to hear the happiness in her voice. It was great to know that I have been an instrument in her security. And it is great to be a highly respected resource many years later. I gave Beverly the names and phone numbers of three trusted, professional roofers. She promised to call again once she had the quotes and let me know who she decided to use. I know she will be cautious as she makes her decision, just as she was with the reverse mortgage. And I think she will be as happy with her decision as she is with the one she made eight years ago. It was life changing, it was extremely beneficial and it was the right resolution for Beverly, then and 8 years later.

 

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