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#125 Using a reverse mortgage to improve healthy living



In the process of setting in motion plans for your retirement two years from now (at age 67), you’ve made several important decisions concerning your home. First, you’ve decided not to move. As a single homeowner with no children, you appreciate having supportive neighbors (mostly younger than you but past the age of having small children), folks who take care of their own property and respect each other’s privacy.

While your mortgage will be retired by your retirement date, you have no new substantial source of funds available for extensive remodeling. What you do have is a staged plan for making your home easier to navigate as you age, including reconfiguring the ground floor, converting one “wing” into a bedroom with attached bath. Meanwhile, two developments have forced you to pay close attention to the need to maintain indoor air quality: First, while you never required hospitalization, you have been down with COVID-19 three times in the past two years, inspiring you to learn more about home air quality. In addition, last winter a roof leak created dampness behind one of the walls; treatment was needed to prevent mold. You’ve had no problems since then, but you plan to have a study done on the entire structure and yard, as one step in preparing the house for healthy living for the remainder of your life.

Tapping the equity you’ve built up in your home through a reverse mortgage might be the best way to finance both the remodel and the healthful reconditioning of the air and water flow. . A reverse mortgage set up as a line of credit will allow flexibility, so that you’re using the equity on an “as needed” basis through the different stages of interior “health checkups” and internal external home improvements.

Your decision to create a healthful physical environment for yourself is an important step in preparing for retirement. It is only in a healthy home environment that one can enjoy aging in place to the fullest.