As Americans grow older, many (some say most) want to stay in their homes for as long as possible. Living the good life, here in our Lowcountry paradise, you might never want to leave.
However, as life goes on, it might become harder to do all the house chores on your own, or the costs to obtain help might become too expensive.
Older Americans often think of their home as the safest and most comfortable place to be. They also might see their home as a nest egg if needed and decide to use their home equity to get some extra money.
Home equity is the difference between the appraised value of your home and what you owe on any mortgages.
Did you know that a reverse mortgage is one way that you can convert a portion of your home equity into cash? It can allow you to continue to live in your home for as long as you want, with no monthly payments required.
For more information, talk to your attorney, accountant, or meet with a local reverse mortgage expert.
However, is that the best way to use the equity in your home?
It might be, but it is a decision that you should consider carefully. Maybe it's better to "right-size" - sell your home and buy a home that is better suited to your specific needs - or think about an assisted living type of arrangement.
If you are planning to remain in your home, as abilities diminish as part of the aging process, assistance or changes might be needed to maintain your independence and safety at home.
You might want to consider consulting with an occupational therapist to obtain recommendations that are specific to your needs, skills, environment and budget.
On the other hand, if you are thinking about right-sizing, there are a number of local real estate agents who are very familiar with all the home ownership options that are available here in our Lowcountry paradise.
Some of these agents might have special designations and valuable experience in working with seniors.
Visit these sites for additional resources: www.ncoa.org (National Council on Aging), www.eldercare.gov, www.benefitscheckup.org, www.homemods.org, www.caregiver.org, www.reversemortgage.org.
Larry Stoller is a broker-owner and Realtor with Real Estate Five of the Lowcountry. Larry@RealEstateFive.com or www.RealEstateFive.com