Beautiful New York City Parks!

New York is a state full of natural beauty. Even though many associate New York with a concrete jungle, New York is full of wonderful parks for all citizens and residents to enjoy.

One of these parks is the Brooklyn Bridge Park, an 85-acre park where visitors can enjoy various sporting activities, outdoor movies at sundown and even Jane’s Carousel, a 1920’s restored marry-go-round. The park is also home to various Piers, one of which hosts a basketball court and another who hosts a playground.

The other, of course, is Central Park, where visitors and residents can spread out a blanket at Sheep’s Meadow and enjoy the view, play frisbee or just hang out. For those who are more active, the park also has various walking trails and streams to enjoy.

Less known but still worth a visit is the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, which is New York City’s second largest park, and is home to the Unisphere, a steel globe that was created for the 1964 World’s Fair. For nature enthusiasts, the green fields of this park also include a zoo, a boating lake, a barbecue area, and a $66 million aquatic and hockey center.

The same visionaries who designed Central Park, Frederick Law Olmsted, and Calver Vaux, also helped designed Prospect Park. Home to the Long Meadow and Nethermead, which offer a spacious place to enjoy nature, the park was also the brain child of Robert Moses, a city planner who included some more child-friendly offerings such as a zoo and the Wollman Rink. Wollman Rink is currently known for throwing plenty of decade-themed skating parties throughout the summer months for visitors of all ages to enjoy.

One of the more exciting and modern parks currently in NYC is The High Line, which opened in 2009, and built on an elevated infrastructure in Manhattan’s West Side. A final expansion opened in 2014 and many visitors and residents can now enjoy a beautiful walkway, lined with the gardens and sculptures.

New York City is a city that appreciates the natural beauty of the world. If you are a resident of NYC, then many of these parks are a part of your everyday life. For your retirement, take advantage of these scenic views with a reverse mortgage. If you are looking for a new adventure during retirement, then a reverse purchase can help you achieve those goals.

Determining if a reverse mortgage loan is right for your retirement goals, or a loved one’s goals, is as easy or as hard as you would like it to be. Please let PS Financial Services walk you through the process and make easier for you and your family. Give us a call at (888) 845-6630 to speak to one of our brokers or email us at info@PSReverseMortgage.com.

Blind “Taste Test”; the Reverse Mortgage vs Traditional HELOC

The reverse mortgage continues to be one of the most misunderstood financial products in the market today. To prove this point, and demonstrate to many potential borrowers the benefits of a reverse mortgage, Reverse Mortgage Funding utilized a “Blind Taste Test.”

The “Blind Taste Test” was originally made popular by Pepsi, when it dared soda drinkers to see if they preferred their cola product to Coca-Colas by participating in a blind taste test. By drinking the two samples, but not knowing which was Pepsi or Coca-Cola, participants could choose the one they preferred, blindly.

For reverse mortgages, or the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage, doing a blind test seem like the perfect approach, as most borrowers are then introduced to the financial product, beforehand, and allowed to choose their favorite one before the “stigma” of the reverse mortgage is included.

The fact of the matter is, and despite many recent changes to the program, when a potential borrower hears “reverse mortgage,” most immediately shut down and refuse to hear the rest of the information. Even if they do hear it, all the negative reverse mortgage press is swirling around in their heads, preventing them from hearing the information with an unprejudiced mind.

In order to combat this stigma, RMF gathered a group of participants and presented all the facts of a reverse mortgage line of credit (LOC) and a traditional HELOC, without telling them which one was which. At the end of the presentation, participants could choose which product they preferred.

As noted in an article published by Reverse Mortgage Daily, when the participants were shown which product was a reverse mortgage LOC and which one was a traditional HELOC, many were surprised at, not only the similarities between both products, but how the reverse mortgage HELOC was better, in some ways.

One participant stated: “I wish I had known about this before I had taken out the home equity line of credit.” While another stated, “I haven’t heard yet any reason I shouldn’t pick this product.”

Most importantly, RMF aims to create more awareness about the benefits of the reverse mortgage so that future borrowers can make an informed decision.

Determining if a reverse mortgage is right for your retirement goals or a loved one’s goals is as easy or as hard as you would like it to be. Please let PS Financial Services walk you through the process and make easier for you and your family. Give us a call at (888) 845-6630 to speak to one of our brokers or email us at info@PSReverseMortgage.com.

Disclaimer: “PS Financial Services, LLC, uses RMF as their primary wholesale lender, so please contact PS Financial Services for more information and you will be able to use both companies at once.”

Phil Stevenson, CRMP, NMLS 365768
PS Financial Services, LLC, NMLS 968090
9480 SW 77 AVE Miami, FL 33156

Theresa Gonzalez

With over 25 years of experience as both a real estate agent and mortgage broker, Theresa has acquired the expertise to provide her clients with the most comprehensive mortgage and real estate solutions. Theresa has achieved multiple recognition for her work ethic as it represents integrity, energy, hard work and commitment in every detail of the mortgage transaction.

She has spent over three years specializing in reverse mortgages and assisting senior citizens in enhancing their retirement years. Theresa’s mission is to educate and advise the senior homeowner on how to achieve financial peace of mind. She offers trust and security as she listens to her client’s needs and works together with them during the entire loan process. Theresa makes sure that all of their questions and concerns are taken care of and find them the best mortgage option to suit their needs.

Reverse Mortgages, a Long-Term Retirement Tool for Some

Reverse mortgages are not for everyone. They are also not a loan of last resort.

What they are is a way for retirees or seniors to use the cash they have invested into their property to live comfortably during retirement.

Terry Savage, an investment advisor columnist for the Chicago Tribune, suggests that reverse mortgages may be perfect for some borrowers while imperfect for others, depending on their needs and current financial situation.

One of these perfect candidates was her own father, who obtained a reverse mortgage 15 years ago in his FHA-approved condominium. One of her father’s worries was the accruing interest on the amount borrowed, which grew steadily throughout the years as he pulled out more funds from his reverse mortgage line of credit to supplement his in-home care.

Savage also lists the various factors to consider when obtaining a reverse mortgage. Most importantly, a borrower must stay in the primary residence at least 5 years after the closing of the reverse mortgage for the loan, and the closing costs, to be worth it. For example, a borrower looking to sell their current home and buy a new property would be better suited for a reverse purchase than a regular reverse mortgage.

Most importantly, a borrower should take into consideration that property taxes, insurance, as well as any maintenance in the home are still they’re responsibility.

However, Savage reminds readers that reverse mortgages are also a non-recourse loan, meaning heirs are not responsible for repayment, and carry a mortgage insurance premium, which ensures that the borrower does not owe more than the home is currently worth.

One of the benefits for Savage was the fact that her father could live comfortably and decently in the home he knew, with all the comforts necessary, during retirement. After he passed, she was able to turn the home over to the lender and use it to repay the loan on the property.

Most importantly, Savage and her family discussed everything with her father and proceeded according to their mutual understanding of the benefits of the reverse mortgage as well as the potential pitfalls. Borrowers are also required to go through reverse mortgage counseling, by a third-party company, to ensure they understand all the information presented to them is correct and they understand their financial obligations.

Determining if a reverse mortgage is right for your retirement goals or a loved one’s goals is as easy or as hard as you would like it to be, please let PS Financial Services walk you through the process and make easier for you and your family. Give us a call at (888) 845-6630 to speak to one of our brokers or email us at info@PSReverseMortgage.com. A reverse mortgage calculator is great to get started but it’s the personal touch that matters.

Listen to Expert Panelist Phil Stevenson during Reverse Mortgage Education Week

2017—PS Financial Services, a leading Miami-based Company specialized in Reverse Mortgages Loans, recently had Owner and Principal, Phil Stevenson, a Certified Reverse Mortgage Professional (CRMP), participate as a guest panelist at a webinar held as part of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association’s Reverse Mortgage Education Week. The webinar was also created in partnership with Next Avenue, a PBS news service that covers baby-boomer issues.

The goal of the panel was to inform how these types of loans work and to try to eradicate common misconceptions related to the industry. Stevenson and his fellow industry professional panelists answered a variety of questions collected by Next Avenue, disclosing the challenges that specialists face when attempting to pitch the products to consumers.

“Whenever a borrower or a client asks me if they can outlive a reverse mortgage and be forced to move, I tell them, ‘yes… when you turn 150 years old,’” Stevenson said, humorously, before adding, “reverse mortgage does have a date on the legal document and you need a date when this mortgage will end, and it’s the youngest borrowers 150 th birthday. We know no one is going to reach 150, at least not at this point in history, maybe in the future. So, you can live there for the rest of your life as long as you comply with the rules.”

During his portion of the panel discussion, Stevenson focused on explaining why it’s important to comply with Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM) rules and provided specific examples of cases managed by PS Financial Services and how they have counseled several couples with their reverse mortgage. He also explained that, after August 2014, some rules changed for the non-borrowing spouse, ultimately providing them more protection.

Stevenson is one of only approximately 150 CRMPs nationwide and currently sits on the Ethics Committee of the NRMLA. He was also on the expert panel in 2016 assigned to rewrite the National Mortgage Licensing Test, which every person in the United States who wants to become a Licensed Mortgage Loan Originator must pass.

 

 

Reverse Mortgages Aren’t Just for Cash Strapped Seniors

Reverse Mortgages have a less than stellar reputation; in fact, many Americans, retired or not, continue to see the reverse mortgage as a “loan of last resort” or a loan to take out when there are no other options left. In fact, many Americans think taking out a reverse mortgage either means you are poor or uneducated because there is no way a financially savvy senior would even take out a reverse mortgage.

The truth about reverse mortgage, however, is something else entirely. The first hurdle is making sure a borrower understands the reverse mortgage and, most importantly, realize that the reverse mortgage is a way to use the untapped equity in the home they’ve paid for throughout their working years.

A recent article, published by CNBC, highlights how and why the reverse mortgage became a loan of last resort:

“The criticism of reverse mortgages is less with the product itself than with the way that people use them. ‘Free money’ has a tendency to encourage bad behavior — one reason the Federal Housing Administration requires borrowers to undergo a counseling session before entering a reverse mortgage contract. In other words, don’t use a lump sum payment from one of these to buy the Mercedes-Benz you’ve always wanted.”

A reverse mortgage should be a long-term retirement planning tool, and not just for cash strapped seniors, but for affluent seniors who have planned and saved for retirement. As with any financial product though, a borrower should know and understand their financial obligations, which include paying any and all maintenance on the property as well as keeping up with their property taxes and homeowner’s insurance payments.

Most importantly, a reverse mortgage is a flexible alternative to more traditional forms of retirement planning such as social security or 401ks or stocks and, with more Americans living a lot longer than ever before, flexibility is key.

For example, if the stock market has taken a downturn, it may be time to pull funds from the reverse mortgage line of credit in order to sustain retirement expenses while the market stabilizes. Another example may be to set up monthly reverse mortgage payments to help supplement social security payments and cover retirement expenses.

These are just two of the ways reverse mortgages can adapt to a retiree’s situation, not just at 62, but also at 72 or 82. For example, a potential retiree may be saving at 62 for retirement but may need more cash flow at 72 as they adjust to their new needs and wants. At 82, fixed expenses may be set and monthly payments may be more attractive than they were at 72.

Point is, things change, and so do retirement needs and a reverse mortgage is a way to, not only sustain retirement but also ensure that it is secure and worthwhile.

Give us a call at (888) 845-6630 to speak to one of our brokers or email us at info@PSReverseMortgage.com. A reverse mortgage calculator is great to get started but it’s the personal touch that matters.

No Rational Reason to Avoid Reverse Mortgages

The reverse mortgage was a created to help retirees stay in their home without the need to keep up with monthly mortgage payments at a time when cash flow might not be optimal. In addition, borrowers who also owned their homes free and clear could tap into the home equity they accumulated throughout their working years and leverage it during retirement.

Something happened along the way that increasingly painted reverse mortgages in a negative light and, suddenly, a financial product that was created to help seniors became the “most misunderstood mortgage” there is. Even more confounding is the fact that many financial experts and academics find “no rational reason” why many older homeowners remain hesitant to tap into their home equity.

A recent article in Reverse Mortgage Daily interviewed Steven Sass, a research economist at Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research, about the familiar behavioral roadblocks many retirees have about the reverse mortgage and the financial industry in general.

At the top of the list is a fear of getting into debt late in life and the satisfaction that comes with owning a home free and clear. These are two things that are not inherently bad but can cause problems for future retirees.

For example, the article mentions the fact that Social Security may be non-existent in the future and newer generations are saving less and less so where do future seniors obtain cash flow for their retirement needs: the equity in their home. Equity is a funny thing, many people don’t think about it until they need it but it’s an important source of cash flow. More importantly, it’s an option to supplement income and diversify assets in an ever-changing environment.

In a perfect world, a homeowner takes out a reverse mortgage line of credit at 62 and lets it grow, untouched, as a “rainy day” fund for the future but, like equity, many homeowners don’t think about the reverse mortgage until it is necessary and, by then, it may be too late.

“If you have a sufficient income to cover your expenses, is there any great need to go out and secure this line of credit or get the money?” Sass asked rhetorically. “So I think people might need some impetus to use a reverse mortgage.”

Phil “Felipe” Stevenson, CRMP

Phil is 1 of approximately 150 Certified Reverse Mortgage Professionals (CRMP) in the United States, and currently sits on the Ethics Committee of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA).

Born and raised in Miami, Stevenson is always taking the lead and trying to find new ways to succeed. With over a decade of experience in mortgage processing, origination, recruiting, and managing other mortgage professionals, Stevenson has a broad understanding of the mortgage process from beginning to end. He began focusing solely on Reverse Mortgages in 2008. As a reverse mortgage originator in Miami, he has personally closed and funded hundreds reverse mortgages.  PS Financial Services has become one of the top Reverse Mortgage Companies in Florida, and was ranked #1 Reverse Mortgage Broker in Florida for 2015 & 2016 (based on Reverse Mortgage Insight’s “RMI Reports”).

Stevenson earned a bachelor’s degree in International Relations with minors in Economics and Geography from Florida International University. Studying interest rates, money supply, and amortization tables has given him in-depth knowledge of past, current, and projected issues in the industry. His economics degree gave him a phenomenal knowledge base that allowed for a seamless transition into the mortgage business from the military. As a veteran of the wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq, family values, honesty, and integrity are of utmost importance to him.

Seniors who are in desperate need for financial help, in danger of foreclosure, and/or seeking alternative ways for retirement planning have seen Stevenson as a shining beacon of hope. Strategically creating relationships with financial professionals, he is able to assist homeowners in the areas of estate tax savings, prolonging the use of or need for retirement funds, and taking advantage of a largely unused asset, your home. As a father of two, Stevenson is dedicated to improving his clients’ quality of life, when it matters most.

George Vrban, CRMP

Vrban became licensed in the insurance industry in 1992 and in the mortgage industry in 2003. With over 20 years of experience he is confident that he has the ability to help customers make educated and informed decisions regarding their financial future. He helped his first Reverse Mortgage (aka Home Equity Conversion Mortgage) client in 2007.

Working with one of the top reverse mortgage lenders in the country these past 4 years has given him the opportunity to work with and help active adults over 62 from all over the country. He has led a team of licensed reverse mortgage advisors who have been tops in the industry in production, while helping seniors achieve their financial freedom.

Vrban is heavily involved in fundraising events that assist children in achieving their goals through school sports. Born in Ohio, he moved to Orlando in 1976, and currently resides in St. Augustine, Florida with his wife Michele.

Graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Finance degree. Mr. Vrban now enjoys his oldest son, Kyle, being at his alma mater as a senior pursuing his marketing degree graduating this summer. His youngest son, Zachary, completed his freshman year at Florida Gulf Coast University.

Adrian Prieto

Adrian has worked exclusively in the Reverse Mortgage industry since 2003. He brings a proven amount of experience dedicated to helping the senior community understand the retirement benefits and solutions a Reverse Mortgage delivers. He believes in the safety, value and promise that Reverse Mortgage offer, not only to consumers, but to all types of professional advisors serving the senior community: financial planners, CPAs, elder law attorneys and home health care professionals.

As an experienced sales executive, Adrian has benefited from working at some of the largest Reverse Mortgage industry leaders in different capacities ranging from management, product development, wholesale, financial planner initiatives and retail distribution. He’s basically seen it all and applies that knowledge to help his clients. Each experience has provided him valuable customer service lessons, which allow him to best serve each individual situation uniquely and successfully.

A transplanted New Yorker, he has resided in Newport Beach, CA with his wife, Alissa, and three children, Julian, Oliver and Tessa since 2013. He’s a past contributor to National Aging-in-Place, Big Brother, Big Sister and National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association.

Henry Tome’

Henry Tome’  was born in Chicago, IL and raised in Miami, FL. Being a determined and persistent individual, he always works his hardest to help every client reach their goals and live their dreams. Having a background in marketing and advertising he has always loved working with the public and teaching them about new products.

He has been working in the mortgage industry for nearly 10 years and has loved every minute of it.

Henry’s main goal is to change the lives of as many clients as he can with The New HECM product, known as The New Reverse Mortgage.

As a father to four children, his out of the box thinking is what has driven him to reach new heights in the reverse mortgage industry and succeed in all of his ventures.

New York’s Up and Coming Neighborhoods

As we all know it, New York real estate is quiet discouraging, but not impossible! When searching for starter apartments it is very possible to find something in your price range.

Riverdale
Median sales price: $289,000
It’s no secret that for most of us, the search for an affordable apartment is going to pull you deep into the outer boroughs. It’s best to start your search outside of Manhattan. Look deeper into south Brooklyn and the Bronx. The neighborhood with the largest inventory of apartments is Riverdale. The only down side is the Bronx neighborhood has limited transportation. There is a Metro-North stop and a 1 train stop outside of Van Cortlandt Park.

Spuyten Duyvil
Median sales price: $274,900
This small and often forgotten Bronx neighborhood has the second highest concentration of affordable one bedrooms in the city. Prices tend to be cheaper than Riverdale also. Spuyten Duyvil has many hills and lots of green, with views of the Hudson and Harlem Rivers. The most affordable co-ops are found in medium-sized post-war buildings. There are limited transportation options, with the 1 train to the east and a Metro-North stop at the southernmost point of the neighborhood.

Mid-Town East
Median sales price: $1.25 million
For buyers committed to staying in Manhattan, a couple of neighborhoods made the cut. If you’re willing to comprise on size, Midtown East isn’t a bad place to look. Don’t expect a one bedroom unit here, stick to studios.

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Lunch and Learn Events

PS Financial will be hosting two complimentary informational Lunch & Learn in Miami, FL

When: Tuesday, March 22nd at 10:45 AM (English) &

Thursday, March 24th at 10:45 AM (Spanish)

Where: La Carreta

8650 Bird Road, Miami, FL 33155

RSVP today at: (888) 845-6630 or (305) 791-4874

If you are 62 or older and you own a home, take a chance to learn about the

federally insured HECM program that may help you secure your financial situation. During the seminar you will learn about today’s Reverse Mortgage loans.

This loan can help you convert a portion of the equity in your home into tax-free cash with a reverse mortgage loan, pay your bills, and improve your quality of life during retirement.

Pay off your current mortgage (if you have one) while retaining ownership of your home.

See for yourself why more than 1 million U.S. homeowners have taken out a reverse mortgage loan.

Not located in South Florida?

Not a Problem!

PS Financial will also be hosting two additional Lunch & Learn seminars in Naples, FL.

When: Tuesday, April 12 at 11 AM &

Thursday, April 14 at 11 AM

Where: M Waterfront Grill

4300 Gulf Shore Blvd N, Naples, FL 34103

RSVP today at: (888) 845-6630 or (305) 791-4874

Please RSVP by 4/08/16

Can’t make lunch?

Call anyway for your complimentary in-home consultation!

Dining Capital of the United States

The Dining Capital of the United States

Having an office in Houston we though our clients might want a couple good tips and a little tad bit of history on the cuisine in this neck of the woods. Enjoy!

USA Today referred to Houston, Texas as the “dining capital of the U.S.” Houstonians eat out more often than residents of any other U.S. cities. Houston restaurants are also known to be inexpensive and convenient. A major role in Houston’s eccentric food scene is the city’s ethnic diversity.

Tex-Mex cuisine is very popular in Houston. Many Mexican restaurants are influenced by the Texas culture. Rob Walsh of the Houston Press says, “the immigrant flow is what keeps the ‘Mex’ is ‘Tex-Mex’.” The cooking methods in the city are highly influenced by the recent immigrants.

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Bill Donofrio

Bill entered the Reverse Mortgage industry after a 7 year career as a Real Estate Broker and quickly ascended to a Management position with one of the largest Reverse Mortgage lenders in the industry. While there, Bill led one of the most successful teams in the country,

Bill graduated from Baruch College with a degree in Finance and Economics. This skill set pays huge dividends to his clients as he is able to analyze their needs and wants from several standpoints to help them accomplish their goals.

With an emphasis on educating, not selling, potential borrowers and professionals alike, Bill has earned rave reviews and endorsements for his no-pressure, common-sense approach to HECM programs. Whether you are considering a refinance, or the purchase of a new home, you can be certain that you are in capable, caring hands if working with Bill.

Bill is a lifelong resident of Queens, NY. When not working, he enjoys cooking and loves spending time with his wife, two children and their dog.

Roberto Crespo, CRMP

Roberto Crespo was born and raised in Cuba where he became electrical engineer in 1985.

He arrived in the United States in 1992 and started his entrepreneurial career.  He’s been a top producer in several marketing companies.

In 2006, he became a Mortgage Loan Originator and has specialized in Reverse Mortgages serving 100’s of satisfied customers in the Miami community during these years.

Philip Dixon, CRMP

A native of Essex England, Philip Dixon attended Chelmer Institute of Higher Education.  He moved to the United States in 1984 eventually making his home in Stuart, Florida. Since moving to the States he has built a career in the mortgage industry, specializing in FHA Reverse Mortgages since 2003.

He describes his focus on Reverse Mortgages as both challenging and rewarding.  Challenging in that there are many misconceptions about Reverse Mortgages that need clear, credible explanation; rewarding in that once he is able to provide factual information and understanding, he has been able to help many seniors more fully enjoy life in retirement.  He describes his decision to specialize in Reverse Mortgages as the best choice of his working life.

Philip is active in recreational soccer when not pursuing his mortgage career.  He has one daughter, recently graduated from college.

New Financial Assessment Date Gives Industry Time to Breathe

New Financial Assessment Date Gives Industry Time to Breathe

When the first effective date for the financial assessment was first announced to be March 2015, there was a collective groan in the industry.

It was finally here, that which would determine the eligibility of a borrower based on income and credit, the one thing that set the reverse mortgage apart from all other loans, and the potential implications (good and bad) of this action have yet to determined.

This is why when HUD announced that there would be an extension to the financial assessment of possibly 30 to 60 days, the industry realized it had time to breath, gauge the situation and make sure everyone, from brokers to their computer systems, were correctly set up, trained and ready to go.

Officially, HUD has finally set the new effective date for the financial assessment: April 27, 2015.

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Warning Signs That Your Parents Need Financial Help

Warning Signs That Your Parents Need Financial Help

Talking about your finances is never easy. Talking to your parents about their finances before or during their retirement can be just as difficult.

This is the situation many loved ones and caregivers may find themselves in at some point as their parents get older and they need their help managing their finances.

Most importantly, parents should feel their children are there to help, no matter what, and feel safe talking about their finances openly. 

If children feel they would have a hard time talking to their parents about their retirement planning and the financial stability of their plans, here are a few warning signs to watch out for:

Ask Them About Their Health

Firstly, children should gauge their parent’s health for any signs that it may be deteriorating. If this is happening, it’s crucial to notice as soon as possible, in order to take the necessary steps to protect their parents should they fall ill in the future. 

Look For Irregularities In Their Spending

Most people are used to checking their bank statements once a month when the statement comes in the mail, but when it comes to retirees, their adult children should become more involved and track spending more often than it’s customary.

Notice if bank statements reflect excessive statements or buying the same things over and over as this could signal more troubling health issues in the future. If looking at bank statements is too uncomfortable, look in their pantry. See if they have something (like rice or ketchup) that is piling up; it could be an early warning sign that something is amiss.

Talk To A Financial Planner

In addition, children should seek help, along with their parents, in determining if their parents have enough cash flow to sustain them long into their retirement. As people live longer than ever before, retirement planning should reflect the changes in the times, predicting longer survival than just a decade after retirement.

If children of retired parents notice retirement funds are dwindling fast or there is a strong possibility their family members may outlive their funds during the length of their retirement, they should seek out guidance from financial professionals as well.

In addition to medical illnesses, children also need to consider unexpected financial hardships such as freak accidents. It’s hard to think of a time when parents or family members may be ill because of one reason or another, but being prepared is part of the solution. 

How Reverse Mortgages Can Help

Reverse mortgages can be part of the solution for long-term retirement planning as well, even when more traditional methods of retirement planning are in place. It can give retirees the necessary financial cushion for the unexpected expenses as well as paying off any remaining mortgage or HELOC debt so that those monthly payments can be put to use elsewhere such as a savings account. 

Financial stability is always important but even more so during a time when retirees should be relaxing or volunteering or working because they love what they do or are beginning a third career, not because they need to pay their monthly bills or are struggling to do so.

This blog was written with the help of Dennis Coral, vice president and financial advisor, at SunTrust Bank Wealth Management.

Interested in a reverse mortgage or simply want more information? Give PS Financial Services a call at  (888) 845-6630 or via email at info@PSReverseMortgage.

What to Do If You’re Denied a Reverse Mortgage

What to Do If You’re Denied a Reverse Mortgage

Occasionally, we get calls from borrowers who were in the process of obtaining a reverse mortgage and found out they were denied by their current lender.

When reverse mortgages were offered by big banks, such as Bank of America and Wells Fargo, borrowers would also find themselves denied for x,y,z reasons and unable to continue the process of getting a reverse mortgage. 

Back then, it was usually because of conservative appraisal guidelines by those lenders, and we would take those clients and find a lender who WOULD get them approved and closed.

Historically, qualifying for a reverse mortgage has been easy because it was simply based on your age (62 and over) and having enough equity in your home, while credit and income, for the most part, was not a factor.

Thirty days after March 2, 2015 begins a new era in reverse mortgage qualification:

Future borrowers are now subject to a credit and income approval like no other in mortgage history.  Regardless of the credit score being 800, they can still be denied or have money withheld in a “Lifetime Escrow Set Aside” or LESA.  This denial can be possible if the property taxes are behind, or other reasons even if the credit record is clean.

For those who were denied a reverse mortgage, they should consider the benefits of working with a broker like PS Financial Services, especially with the financial assessment looming.

For one, a brokerage works with more than one lender, building relationships with each of them and getting to know what a lender would accept and what it would not. If a borrower is working with only one representative of a big name lender, they are at the mercy of that one lender’s rules and regulations.

At the same time, there are brokers who specialize in regular (forward) mortgages. They might have 1 or 2 reverse mortgage lenders just in case they find that 1 client per year. In that case, they will have far less knowledge on how to close a reverse mortgage with a borrower who has Financial Assessment issues or less than enough lenders with whom to shop the mortgage.

However, because a brokerage works with more than one lender, especially if they are specialized in the reverse mortgage, as soon as they know a borrower’s specific situation, they can ascertain which lender would be most comfortable with the borrower’s file and which would not. Not all lenders are created equal and not all have the same hurdles to overcome, so the more in-depth knowledge the broker has regarding the reverse mortgage AND the financial assessment the smoother the process will be.

Additionally, if a borrower’s file has a setback and the underwriting department of a big lender has already formed an opinion, a big lender only has one way to go. A broker, on the other hand, can work with additional lenders to find the right fit for the client. While not every person will qualify for a Reverse Mortgage Loan, working with a broker can make the process easier. In many cases setbacks are issues brokers have dealt with before, so they can quickly determine the best course of action moving forward.

In some cases, the borrower can share their preoccupation or setback with the broker beforehand, which can send the details to more than one lender and see how each responds according to their own rules and regulations.

The fluidity of a brokerage versus a big lender is something that borrowers should be privy too and use to their advantage. While a representative of big lender carries the reputation of the company they work for, it’s important to note that a brokerage works with the same lenders as well, except without as much constriction as a representative.

Most importantly, a representative of any big lender is usually working for the retail side, as opposed to brokers who only work for the wholesale side.

I’ve used this example before, but it illustrates the difference perfectly:

Simply put, a broker has more options than a representative of a big lender and a brokerage specialized in the reverse mortgage has enough knowledge and experience to know how to proceed with any file.

If you’re denied a reverse mortgage, contact PS Financial Services at (888) 845-6630 or info@PSReverseMortgage.com and start working with, not only a brokerage but a brokerage experienced in reverse mortgages. 

An Alternative to Nursing Homes With the Reverse Mortgage

An Alternative to Nursing Homes With the Reverse Mortgage

When I recommend and go over the in’s and out’s of reverse mortgages with clients, one of the fears they have is that that the reverse mortgage will become due and payable if their health fails and they need to move into a nursing home.

However, a reverse mortgage is one of the retirement planning strategies that can be used to secure long-term, in home care without having to move from the comfort of your home. 

According to data collected by Genworth Financial, Inc., a private room in a nursing home in Florida is more than double the cost of receiving long-term, in-home care. On average, homemaker services and home health aide cost around $40,000 per year while a private room costs, on average, $90,000.

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How to Protect Your Spouse Even if They’re Under 62

How to Protect Your Spouse Even if They’re Under 62

There were many reasons why non-borrowing spouses were removed from title and were not included on the loan when their spouses first obtained a reverse mortgage.

Over the years, there have been many reasons as to why a borrower has removed their spouse from title: whether it be because they were underage at the time the reverse mortgage loan was originated or because they were considerably younger than their spouse, thus making the amount of funds received from the program lower than expected, the non-borrowing has always been a point of concern for many in the industry.

Sometimes, to fully pay off the existing mortgage on the subject property, a borrower had no choice but to leave their spouse off the loan or not be able to pay off their mortgage fully, if at all.

Thankfully, spouses, both over and under the age of 62, are now under the protection of the reverse mortgage loan since August 4, 2014.

**It’s important to remember that the non-borrowing spouse protection rules applies only to loans originated on or after August 4, 2014**

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I Went to the Podiatrist for Brain Surgery…

I Went to the Podiatrist for Brain Surgery…

If you needed brain surgery, would you go to the Doctor who happens to be a podiatrist just because you know someone who works there?

A Medical Doctor after all is a Medical Doctor and they can all help people with any ailment, right? ABSOLUTELY NOT!

Now that’s just silly and we all know that to not be the case. Yet people think a mortgage company is a mortgage company and can offer all kinds of mortgages, and this couldn’t be farther from the truth. This is the story about a client who experienced this contrast first hand, but first let’s learn about the differences between the types of mortgages.

Reverse Mortgages and Forward Mortgages (conventional, FHA, VA, etc. that all require payments) are, simply, polar opposites. When a Mortgage Loan Originator takes their 24 hour course to get licensed, the portion of the course and test that comprise the Reverse Mortgage is approximately 1%, simply addressing what a reverse mortgage is and not the details surrounding it.

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Why I Started PS Financial Services

Why I Started PS Financial Services

I was in training at one of the country’s largest reverse mortgage companies when the CEO said, “We don’t want every loan.” What he meant by this was, “We will deny the less than perfect borrower and/or property.”

I had difficulty with this concept because I was a front line mortgage loan originator (MLO) who put food on the table by closing every loan possible. I was working hard to bring in that business and help those families in less than ideal situations.

I’ve also helped change people’s lives: people who ran into some type of hardship in retirement whether it be physical, financial or both. Helping these people get out of their situation was incredibly fulfilling and I would fight with all my might to help them get their reverse mortgage.

Now this CEO was telling me I would have to look these retirees in the eye and tell them we can’t help them.

I wasn’t having it.

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An Innovative Way to Pay Off Your Mortgage (and Plan For Retirement)

An Innovative Way to Pay Off Your Mortgage (and Plan For Retirement)

When I speak to clients for the first time, they often tell me one of the reasons they never considered a reverse mortgage is because they do not currently have a mortgage.

I let them know, off the bat, that while the reverse mortgage was created as a way to help seniors pay off their mortgage, that facet of the program is only the tip of the iceberg. The reverse mortgage, while not well known for its flexibility, is one of the most flexible mortgage programs around. 

If a borrower has a need or simply wants to pay off their mortgage, then they can, and any left-over funds can be stored in a line of credit or can be received via monthly payments for a set amount of years or for life (as long as the borrower lives in their primary residence).

However, the reverse mortgage can also be used as an innovative long-term retirement planning tool. This is the part where many borrowers and their heirs find themselves at a loss because many continue too look into the reverse mortgage (MAINLY) as a loan of last resort when it is, in fact, an innovative way to plan for your retirement and/or pay off your mortgage.

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How Much Can a Borrower Receive With a Reverse Mortgage?

How Much Can a Borrower Receive With a Reverse Mortgage?

That is the question a lot of clients seeking information about the reverse mortgage first ask.

In truth, while how much a borrower can receive is an important question, there are many other things that should be considered before giving numbers to potential clients.

This is the difference between speaking with a flesh and blood broker and punching information on a website calculator and hoping to get an exact amount. 

One of the misconceptions consumers have about website calculators is that they will give you accurate numbers. In addition, many think that the reverse mortgage is not for them after looking over numbers in a website calculator.

I can’t stress this enough: a calculator is not an accurate representation of the variety of options available using a Reverse Mortgage Loan. A calculator typically only offers one blank program (that may be a more or less accurate representation of the typical reverse mortgage borrower) but it does not, by any means, mold to every borrower’s specific situation who may be looking into getting a reverse mortgage.

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Mortgage Brokers Can Ease the Strain of Getting a Home Loan

Mortgage Brokers Can Ease the Strain of Getting a Home Loan

There was a time when reverse mortgages could be taken out at the local branch of the bank you’ve trusted with your money for years. However, after the boom and bust, more and more banks bowed out of originating reverse mortgages. And while many lenders have also closed their reverse mortgage departments, there have been many changes to the reverse mortgage loan as well as the landscape for homeowners.

Presently, according to an article published by The Guardian, a little over 60% of all home loans are taken out through a broker.

This information is not surprising, given the amount of changes to various mortgage loans, including reverse mortgages, have gone through the years. It’s no longer enough to fill out a form, hand it to an “order taker” and wait for the “yes,” “no,” or “we need more information.”

In the last year alone, the reverse mortgage industry has gone through at least four major changes. While these changes have made the loan safer for both borrowers and the FHA, it also requires extra education and preparation so that borrowers who are thinking about getting a reverse mortgage, have the most up-to-date information.

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History of the REVERSE MORTGAGE

History of the REVERSE MORTGAGE

  • The Reverse Mortgage (RM) first started in Great Britain.
  • 1961: The first reverse mortgage in the U.S. was done by Nelson Haynes of Deering Savings and Loan for Nellie Young of Portland, Maine because she wanted to stay in her home despite the loss of her husband’s income. This reverse mortgage, however, was not insured.
  • 1983: The first congressional hearing regarding reverse mortgages takes place. The Senate approves a proposal to insure reverse mortgages through the Federal Housing Administration.
  • 1988: The program was re-introduced by President Ronald Reagan with FHA insurance.
  • 1989: The first FHA-insured HECM loan was done for Marjorie Mason of Fairway, Kansas.

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Planning for Retirement the Smart Way…With a Reverse Mortgage Loan

Planning for Retirement the Smart Way…With a Reverse Mortgage Loan

The recent announcement of the financial assessment, which is to be implemented on March 2015, has sprung a slew of news stories describing the potential benefits and risks of the reverse mortgage loan.

Despite the fact that positive press was up in the months of June and July, there is still a negative stigma associated with the reverse mortgage, and I am not talking about the fear of losing your home this time. In fact, what called my attention in the article, Reverse Mortgage Loans: Are they worth the risk?, was something else: closing costs.

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Reverse Mortgage Financial Assessment Will Take Effect on March 2015

Reverse Mortgage Financial Assessment Will Take Effect on March 2015

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has finally announced that the financial assessment will come into effect on MARCH 2015.

While the financial assessment was previously announced as an upcoming change last October, it was not implemented in the past year. Next March, however, the financial assessment is poised to be one of the biggest changes in the reverse mortgage industry while adding another safeguard for future borrowers.

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Judd Brown, MSW, CRMP

Judd Brown, MSW, CRMP Mortgage Loan Originator; Reverse Mortgage Specialist 

Judd offers creative, personally tailored mortgages. Judd was established around the concept of “value-driven” client relationships. Judd is aware that his success depends on you, and his business model is as simple as that.

Judd believes that his client’s liabilities need to be managed in the context of their individualized capital liquidity needs, in addition to their long-and-short term financial goals. Judd offers his clients the best possible rates and unparalleled service in the business. He maintains utmost integrity in all transactions and makes no compromise in representing his client’s best interests at all times.

Judd is not only a Mortgage Loan Originator, but has been in Law Enforcement since 1992. Judd felt the need to be able to not only connect with people that he encounters throughput his day but have a deeper understanding of their needs. For this reason, Judd recently graduated with his Masters in Clinical Psychotherapy/Social Work. Having the tenacity to complete a degree such as this one takes discipline and effective time management. This shows in the dealings Judd has with his clients.

Former State of Florida Mortgage Broker Instructor 

Knowledge, experience, and his constant commitment to meet and exceed the clients’ expectations have allowed unmatched growth and performance in our industry. Judd was a former Professor for the largest Real Estate school in Florida teaching the State of Florida approved Mortgage course.

Judd taught the 24-hour State required Mortgage Broker class, Mortgage Broker cram, Foreclosure class, and Now That I Have My Mortgage Broker License, What Do I Do With It?

All that expertise is not, however, what makes Judd different from all of the other mortgage companies out there. Judd is what makes PS Financial different. His approach to anything he does is to exceed all apparent possible expectations. Every customer is treated with this in mind: “How would I like to see this loan handled if it were my own transaction?” The answer to this question defines the caliber of service he and his staff delivers. No matter how large or how small your transaction, you can count on Judd to provide you with the type of service Judd would demand if it were his own. To this end, Judd will provide direct answers to your specific requests, as well as insights Judd may gain during the analysis process. No question is left unanswered. Bottom line; Judd will evaluate your loan situation, review your loan options, and help you understand the entire process from pre-qualifying to closing. You will never be left alone.

Certified Reverse Mortgage Professional “CRMP” Designation:  

Being one of only 120 or so people nationwide to have achieved this milestone is a testament to my commitment to reverse mortgages.  The process involved to receive this professional designation was long and arduous and adds to the level of expertise maintained by the firm and myself.

Reverse Mortgage Loans Can Help Seniors Retire Comfortably

Reverse Mortgages Loans Can Help Seniors Retire Comfortably

The most difficult part of educating seniors and their caregivers about the reverse mortgage is the fact that they have heard and/or read so many negative news that they cannot fathom any positive news about the reverse mortgage loans.

In a sense, it seems impossible to them that any positive can ever come out of the reverse mortgage. Thankfully, the tide of change is coming swiftly for the NEW reverse mortgage program, where, not only is the reverse mortgage industry poised to benefit from, but seniors, their caregivers, their heirs, their financial planners, etc. as well.

For example, let’s say a couple did everything right in order to make it a comfortable retirement, however, their mortgage payment is higher than they ever imagined and burning a hole in their pocket every month.

A reverse mortgage is a potential avenue for seniors whose monthly mortgage payment has been unmanageable and would rather put their monthly income to better use than their mortgage payments, especially if they have already retired (probably later than expected).

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Age is an Increasingly Important Factor in Retirement Planning

Age is an Increasingly Important Factor in Retirement Planning

More than ever, age is quickly becoming an important factor in long term retirement planning. Baby boomers are living longer currently than any other generation that came before (and that’s without getting into generations that plan to retire 30+ years from now.

The ideal retirement age is no longer 62 but 65 and is poised to become 70 in the next decade. By 2050, the number of Americans that will be 65 years of age and older is projected to be 88.5million, more than double the 2010 population of 40.2 million.

According to an article in Reverse Mortgage Daily, Raymond James Financial launched a new retirement planning initiative that will give advisors the tools to help them respond appropriately and effectively to older clients if and when they need help down the line.
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Changes to the Reverse Mortgage Program Has Positive Effect

Changes to the Reverse Mortgage Loan Has Positive Effect

Amid the news that the positive press for the reverse mortgage loans have surged in the past months and FINRA’s declaration that the reverse mortgage is no longer a loan of last resort, individual financial planners are beginning to see the advantage of the reverse mortgage loan as a long term retirement planning tool as well as an alternative way of paying off one’s mortgage and using those funds for other uses.

In the past, misuse of reverse mortgages lead to borrower defaults when they were unable to pay their property taxes and insurance. In addition, because most borrowers received their funds in a lump sum, there were instances where little was left over for unexpected expenses.

In an effort to make the program safer for borrowers, changes were made to the program to make it a more advantageous, long-term retirement planning tool and NOT a loan of last resort.

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Positive Press Surges for Reverse Mortgages During June

Positive Press Surges for Reverse Mortgages During June

The recent changes to the reverse mortgage cam swiftly last September 30 and changed the landscape of the reverse mortgage program for future borrowers.

One of the biggest hurdles since the changes, however, has been combating the established reputation of the reverse mortgage program as a “loan of last resort,” that should only be used if (and only if) you have no other options.

Slowly, but surely, the reputation of the reverse mortgage is on the up and up and, NRMLA reports, the press results for the month of June 2014 are the most positive since August of 2013.

Nationally, states the article, there were 195 positive stories last month and just 14 negative, a 13:1 ratio or 93% of a favorable result.

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NRMLA Reissues Ethics Guidance for HECM-to-HECM Refinance After Recent Changes

NRMLA Reissues Ethics Guidance for HECM-to-HECM Refinance After Recent Changes

The reverse mortgage program continues to change for the better, this time making more proceeds for older borrowers.

According to an article published by Reverse Mortgage Daily, at an interest rate of 6% borrowers who are 78 and older will potentially have access to greater principal limits than before.

This change means more money for older borrowers and a greater chance of a HECM-to-HECM Refinance for borrowers who obtained a reverse mortgage before the changes were announced.

While borrower(s) must wait at least 6 months from the closing date of their reverse mortgage in order to be eligible for a refinance, NRMLA once again stresses the importance of maintaining ethical values while speaking with potential clients about the possibility of a HECM-to-HECM Refinance.

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Using a Reverse Mortgage for Changing Retirement Plans

Using a Reverse Mortgage for Changing Retirement Plans

The reverse mortgage is still a viable option for seniors hoping to pay off their mortgage and continue to live debt free during retirement, but very few take advantage of it.

In fact, according to a nationwide survey, presented at the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association by Dan Gorin, only 2% of seniors 62 years of age and older actually get a reverse mortgage.

This means less than half of those who consider a reverse mortgage in the first place are actually getting one.

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HECM For Purchase: Downsizing With a Reverse Mortgage

HECM For Purchase: Downsizing With a Reverse Mortgage

Back in 2008, Congress authorized a HECM for Purchase loan, allowing seniors, for the first time, the ability to buy a house and take out a reverse mortgage at the same time. This option still continues to be the best option for older Americans looking to downsize after they retire without breaking the bank.

Under this new program, homeowners only incur one set of closing costs, making buying a home (and getting a reverse mortgage) all the more cost-effective. As a matter of fact, the fees, terms, conditions and interest rates are identical to those in a traditional reverse mortgage.

One benefit of the HECM For Purchase Loan is the lack of monthly mortgage payments even though a homeowner has just bought a new home.

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