Independence is a wonderful condition.  

We learned in school that the true American dream; the one which supersedes the dream to own a home, is beautifully elaborated in the Declaration of Independence.   All of us savor the human rights provided in that document that allow us life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. These rights provide us with a shot at independence.

Our life journey touches upon these three precepts.  In our youth, we see our future as a broad panorama, full of opportunity and almost unlimited choices.  The old saying, “Youth is wasted on the young,” comes to mind. Young folks tend to think that those opportunities and choices will be readily available till their death.

Unfortunately, this is just not true.  As we propel into about our sixth decade, stuff happens!  Our bodies begin to slow down. It has been my observation, that whether you are self-employed or an employee, energy, focus and passion diminish.  Every decade thereafter compounds the disappearance of these precious things.

Since I choose to spend my latter years strategizing with seniors, I am acutely aware of this trend that affects all of us.  I am now in my seventh decade and I witness this in my own life, daily.

Independence is an amalgam of many factors.  

Let’s explore how seniors envision their future.  

Firstly, they are fearful of losing their driver’s license.  The stimulant for this fear is failing eyesight. This condition is measurable and certain.  Secondly, seniors are fearful they will live longer than their money. This is calculable, somewhat.  Financial planners can make forecasts based upon some meaningful estimates. But these are only estimates.  Thirdly, seniors fear the loss of their freedom to make choices; in how and where they live.

Ironically, finances play a major role in all three scenarios.  To a degree, stress and worry over finances can have serious health consequences.  Unless, a person is healthy, particularly their eyesight, driving a car may not be possible.  Without “wheels” each of us suffers from lack of mobility-freedom.

I prepared a questionnaire years ago that I circulated among my friends in my database.  To my surprise, I got back more than one hundred responses. The answers to my questions were very informative.  I learned a great deal about what is on the minds of our senior citizens. They too have a zest for life, liberty and desire to continue their pursuit of happiness.  

The whole thing boils down to one thing – MONEY!

The money problem can be broken down into two categories: cash flow to provide a decent lifestyle, and, how can I move to another home which is closer to the grandchildren, closer to medical facilities or a home that is in a better climate zone?

Up until retirement, it may be possible to deal with these issues by various means, including getting a second job. After retirement, the choices dwindle.  In many cases, there would appear to be no alternatives. Obtaining a “forward mortgage” and other types of loans evaporate when the income stream from business or employment terminates.  THIS MAY BE THE RUDEST OF RUDE AWAKENINGS!!!

I may have a very viable solution to these money problems.  It is a Reverse Mortgage. The qualifications for a Reverse Mortgage are somewhat different than a “forward mortgage”.


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