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How Do Reverse Mortgages Work? *

*This is a collaborative post.

There is no way to avoid the financial hassle that comes with retiring entirely. No matter how prepared you are, it is a shock to no longer be receiving paychecks from working. That is why the mortgage industry has created a helpful option for retirees or people of that age group (62 or older). It is known as a reverse mortgage. Since reverse mortgages are commonly advertised, you may think you know how they work, but they can be complicated. Here are some clarifications on the various aspects of the reverse mortgage process.

A Traditional Mortgage Can Stress You Out

To know how a reverse mortgage is beneficial in retirement, you must first understand why a traditional home loan may not be. A traditional mortgage often causes more stress than it is financially worth because it requires you to meet the demands of mortgage payments. A reverse mortgage allows you to spend the borrowed money more freely for many years because no payments must be made by particular dates.

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Reverse Mortgage Closing Cost and Other Fee Considerations

Despite sounding simple, there are some issues you need to be aware of with a reverse mortgage. One is that it comes with associated fees. For example, the closing costs of a reverse mortgage do exist. Those costs just may be deducted from what you are paid, rather than owed by you after the fact. Therefore, they be hard to identify unless you pay close attention.

Reverse mortgages also have other expenses and fees associated with them. One example is you have to use reverse mortgage funds gained to repay a traditional loan balance as soon as your agreement is finalized. If you do not have a traditional loan in place at that time, those fees are not a worry for you. However, in either case, you also have to contend with the accumulated interest on a reverse mortgage eventually. Since the mortgage can last many years, finding a low-interest rate is important.

Spending Your Reverse Mortgage Money

How you spend your remain reverse mortgage money after initial fees and traditional loan repayment (if applicable) is your own choice. However, that choice may be influenced a bit by how you choose to receive the funds. For example, if you select monthly payments from the lender you might be more likely to put your reverse mortgage funds toward expenses like paying your electric or telephone bills. However, if you get the reverse mortgage to obtain a large sum quickly, it is probably for a specific purpose, such as paying a medical bill or replacing a broken down vehicle. A third option is to prepare for emergencies by using your available reverse mortgage funds as a credit line.

When to Repay a Reverse Mortgage

You can technically repay a reverse mortgage whenever you want. However, doing so too soon can cause you to need to pay extra fees. When repaying the loan on the long-term basis for which it is intended, the payments you make and when you make them are your choice. That is, unless the loan is called in. When it is called in, such as when you move to a new house, you are given a set short time to pay back what you owe.

Deciding to Get a Reverse Mortgage or Not

Deciding to get a reverse mortgage or not requires you to examine your own personal needs. Your future plans also come into play because the agreement can be so long-lasting. When you are talking about, in most cases, well over a decade of commitment, it requires a lot of thought. The biggest decision is whether you want to stay in that same house for that length of time. If so, a reverse mortgage might provide you with exactly the amount of financial comfort you want.

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