Reverse mortgages helping seniors age in place

October 30, 2008 // Franchising.com // Given a choice, most people would prefer to age at home, as opposed to transitioning to an assisted living facility or nursing home. But in today's transient society, seniors often don't have family members living nearby who can help out on a daily basis. And sometimes, family members are just too busy to provide the level of care necessary for an aging relative to remain both safe and independent. In those cases, an in-home caregiver is an option to consider. Unfortunately, the current economic crisis our nation now faces is making it harder and harder for seniors to afford quality in-home care.

"For some seniors, reverse mortgages may be a good option for securing the funds necessary for in-home care," explained Emma Dickison, President of Home Helpers.

According to Dickison, reverse mortgages are a tax-free way for those age 62 and older to tap into their home's equity. Seniors can borrow against their home's value without having to repay the loan during their lifetime. However, the amount borrowed, including accrued interest, can't exceed the value of a person's home and the borrower must continue to pay property taxes and homeowner's insurance.

Dickison cautions that reverse mortgages are not for everyone and encourages seniors to consult with their financial advisor before making any decisions. It's also important to have a full understanding of your health situation.

"Home Helpers is committed to maximizing the quality of life for seniors who want to age at home," said Dickison. "Our in-home, non-medical care helps clients maintain greater independence and dignity in the place they call home. Each individual client receives services tailored to meet their specific needs, by caregivers who become an extension of their family."

Advantages of reverse mortgages include:

  • They are not based on income or credit scores, so there is no need to qualify. This is especially helpful for those with a history of bad credit.
  • Lenders include life expectancy in calculating loan payments, so older borrowers are eligible to receive more money.
  • Borrowers can choose to stop making monthly mortgage payments, receive a flat monthly payout or receive a lump sum.

Disadvantages of reverse mortgages include:

  • Closing costs are higher than traditional mortgages.
  • Borrower's house must be appraised and home values are currently depressed.
  • Borrower may use a large part of his/her home's equity, thus reducing inheritance to family as well as decreasing money that may be needed for future care.

Home Helpers is committed to making life easier for their clients by providing an unsurpassed level of non-medical and personal care. Established in 1997, Home Helpers was ranked the #1 Senior Care Franchise in 2006, 2007 and 2008, as well as named "Best of the Best" by Entrepreneur magazine and ranked "Top 10 Franchise" by Inc. magazine based on information including size, growth and franchisee support. Home Helpers franchises are independently owned and operated in more than 500 markets across North America.

Home Helpers is affiliated with Direct Link® In-home Emergency Monitoring. Home Helpers was founded and is headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. For more information, visit Home Helpers online at www.HomeHelpers.CC.

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