Here is the second installment of LifeHealthPro.com’s talk with Marion Somers, Ph.D., a geriatric care manager and author of the book, “Elder Care Made Easier: Doctor Marion’s 10 Steps to Help You Care for an Aging Loved One.”
Her mission is to get more people seniors, their families and even financial planners on the LTCI bandwagon. This summer, she crisscrossed the country in 1960s-era converted Greyhound bus on behalf of the 3in4 Need More Campaign to raise awareness of long-term care insurance, speaking to local media and even stopping by the GOP Straw Poll in Iowa to question Republican candidates for president about elder care issues.
In this part, she talks about reverse mortgages and the funding crisis in Washington.
SMA: You also mention reverse mortgages as a way to pay for LTC. Is that a good option for many people?
Somers: You have to do your homework. Not all reverse mortgage companies have been around for a long time and you want somebody with a track record, that has been around 10, 20 years. So understand what you are getting involved with. Some people think the bank owns my home or the mortgage company now owns the home. That’s not the case. You retain the title of that property until the day you die. The money you have withdrawn in the reverse mortgage is your equity in your home. That money is not taxed, which is a very important factor. It doesn’t interfere with your Social Security or Medicare.
Many people have built up substantial equity in their home and it can carry them through until the end of their lives. Again, they just don’t understand the product. It’s very simple and straightforward. And the government has an agency that before you get involved with the reverse mortgage will re-explain everything to you so you know what you are getting involved with. It’s impartial, so it has nothing to do with the reverse mortgage people. It’s a guarantee that people understand what they are getting involved with.
SMA: Social Security and Medicare are under siege in Washington while at the same time, the senior population is growing. What’s the impact?