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Hi Everybody, I’ve been reading all of your comments for a couple of years. I really wish I wasn’t part of your club but I am.


My 90 year old Mom has vascular dementia which is getting progressively worse. She lives alone with a caregiver that comes 4 hours a day. She owns a $220k home with $30k mortgage on it. The house is in her name.


Assisted Living is out because she needs more care and a nursing home is to depressing for us kids to put her in. She gets pension and social security at $2300 monthly.


I want to get a reverse mortgage and use that money for her care.


Has anyone here had luck w a reverse mortgage? I heard they charge $15-$20k in fees. Do you still own the house? Would they pay off her existing mortgage?


Sometimes I wish she would die in her sleep. It’s all very stressful and I’m across country. I go home for a month every 3 months .


Sorry for going on and on .

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My mother couldn't afford the monthly payments on her home so she did a reverse mortgage. She was able to live there for another 10 years until the house maintenance required more repairs than she could afford. I moved her into my apartment and she let the house go to the bank. No heirs can inherit the home and the home was in need of many repairs so she decided not to sell it. No profit would be made from a sale so now it has been sitting quite awhile empty until HUD decides what to do with it. I think it's best to not do this and sell the home. At least you can keep any money made from the sale. I guess it has both cons and pros.
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Reply to EssieMarie
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Decisions about residential care really need to be made based on the needs of the patient and NOT what their children find depressing.

If your mother is living by herself in a house with a four hour/day caregiver, and her condition requires “more care” than provided in AL, then SHE NEEDS the services of a nursing home.

Her ear needs are what matter as a dependent adult. The emotional responses of her children should NOT be part of the decision making process.

An OBJECTIVE ASSESSMENT of her condition by a trained geriatric professional may be helpful in determining the BEST ANSWER for your mother’s care.

If the goal goal of a reverse mortgage would be to provide the same level of care as she is receiving now, you already know that her needs are not being met by that.

Consider HER NEEDS then address them.
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Reply to AnnReid
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DollyMe Jul 19, 2019
You read this so many times here. "I would feel guilty" if I placed my XXXX. Somehow they don't recognize that this is not about them, it is about doing the right thing for your loved one. I am beginning to think that "Guilt" has become a buzz word. Guilt is a self imposed emotion, mainly driven by fear, possibly fear of being challenged by a third party for making this decision.
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One thing I didn’t see mentioned above is that the required fees you must pay like consultation, closing costs etc etc are all added to the loan and you therefore pay interest on the fees. More money in their pockets - less for you. That’s why they are gaining popularity. 

It is a desperation play for someone who has absolutely no alternative.
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Reply to qmnpxl
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I heard they charge $15-$20k in fees. They can.
Do you still own the house? Technically....NO. Because it's a loan that the company would cash in on once your mother dies. Whatever's leftover after they've collected their dues would then be given to your Mom's outstanding debts first, heirs second (if anything is in fact leftover).

Would they pay off her existing mortgage? I don't know but DON'T DO IT. Reverse mortgages are predatory lending on the elderly. There are other ways to get your Mom the care she needs.

A nursing home may have to be considered due to her fall risk alone. Do what is best for your Mom but DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT take out a reverse mortgage on her home. She's still responsible for the annual taxes and insurance on her home as well as the mortgage outstanding on it. What reverse mortgage companies don't tell you is that those two things are not things that they cover or pay for. You'd just be adding more debt onto the pile by taking out a reverse mortgage. Depressing as the prospect is in placing your Mom in a NH, it needs to be considered for her as it would selfish to keep her away from what she needs medically. There's always assisted living. Or the home health carer you've been using as well. See what you can do to pay off your Mom's mortgage without resorting to a reverse mortgage. She needs all the help she can get at this point.
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Reply to mmcmahon12000
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I have been studying Financial Planning for a couple years. Reverse Mortgages rarely are in the family's best interest.

I am concerned that a 90 year old has a $30,000 mortgage. Why is her house not paid off? My Dad is the same age and has a mortgage, his is due to pi$$ poor money management. He got a mortgage to pay off his credit cards, and has since maxed out a whole raft of new cards.

Why do you feel a nursing home is a depressing option?
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Reply to Tothill
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Shellroc2977 Jul 14, 2019
Hi, Her House was paid off at one point and she needed cash for a car and property taxes for a few years in advance . Sounds crazy but she did it without my knowing . She’s pretty fragile and forcing her into a convalescent home would really depress her and I don’t think I could live with the guilt . It’s all about guilt for me . Everything is based on that and making sure if and when she dies I don’t feel it ! Thanks for responding
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They will usually payoff a smaller mortgage so that they are the only ones to have a lien against the home. Most of them charge 5000 to 10000 upfront plus fees that are part if the mortgage. By doing this interest begins to accrue and compound from day one. You (she) is REQUIRED to pay taxes, house insurance, keep the house in good repair AND reside in the home. If she needs to go to AL, ir any other stipulations or breach occur, they can demand payment in full immediately or they will take the home in foreclosure. Even a lapse of home insurance or a late tax payment can put her in jeopardy of losing her home. New rules and regulations also exist for accessing funds. AARP has quite a bit of information about how it works. When the borrower passes, the mortgage is due in full or the bank will take ownership of the property. Dont forget that all that interest has been compounding and building up until this time. They don't offer this to help out, they do it to make money in the guise of assisting the senior in a time of need. How bad is mom's dementia? Is she cognizant or does she have a financial poa that has been activated? She may not be able to get one if she is not able to make a conscious decision about this situation. Would relocating her to a condo,duplex,or townhome be in her best interests? No maintenance, smaller property,if current home is sold,enough to pay for new residence, current mortgage, and still pay home care? Just an idea. Any way to move in with a child while renting out her home (at a profit to help pay in home care, mortgage, taxes,insurance covered, small excess for basic repairs)?
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Reply to Takincare
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Shellroc2977 Jul 14, 2019
Hi , I had no idea if the high fees . Her dementia is not the state wheee she can’t sign documents. She still has some of her wits about her and has many options on everything. After 3:00 pm she gets very confused and can’t complete sentences. Plus she asks the same thing over and over . I think the best thing might be to sell home and get her an apartment. That way no high property taxes and house maintenance. I know she’ll freak out on me but I can’t manage her from across the country . Then we would have that money to pay for companions 24/7.
thanks for your input.
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Also Bogleheads.org
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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It’s been a few years since I researched this option & things very well might have changed. The financial advisor did tell us to use that option as a last resort. In the end, it wasn’t even a reasonable option as mom’s home was “lower end”.

They do NOT loan you the entire value of the home. Thus, in our situation it would’nt have paid for mom’s care hardly any time at all. That was the deal breaker for us. Her home was already paid for, so we didn’t have to worry about a preexisting mortgage.

You must do some kind of counseling/information meeting with them so you understand what you’re getting into.

There are appraisal fees & the like that are charged. Since we didn’t go any further in the process, I have no idea what they are.

Best of luck to you in trying to figure all this stuff out & deciding how to best proceed.
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Reply to mollymoose
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To get a reverse mortgage you must first apply for a consultation with an independent advisory firm that informs you of the positives and negatives of a reverse mortgage. I think it costs about $150.00 this is a prerequisite
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Reply to mikkimball0664
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I would sell the home, a reverse mortgage would not resolve the issue. She can be placed in Memory Care, there are some very nice homes where she can live out the rest of her life, there is no reason for you and your siblings to be depressed. This is about what is best for her. Don't assume, do your homework.
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Reply to DollyMe
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The reverse mortgage can be used to pay off her existing mortgage. And she has to pay the fees and closing costs on the RM Upfront which will exceed $10,000. I don’t think a RM is the way to go. Because she can’t sigh the papers like FF said. And because Her house is almost paid off. The money from the RM won’t pay for the care she needs for very long. If she needs 3 shifts, round the clock care, the RM would probably pay for a little over 2 years of care. And when she dies, the house would go to the reverse mortgage company. So for someone who owes so little on their house, I’d try to sell it and get her in to long term care. It doesn’t have to be a nursing home. Look in to small care homes with 4-6 residents.
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Reply to worriedinCali
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Shellroc2977, sounds like your Mom may eventually need 24 hour care, thus she would need 3-shifts of caregivers to come to her home. My dad had this arrangement because he was a fall risk, but it was very expensive. In my area having 3-shifts per day was costing Dad $20k per month, yes per month.

What my Dad did was sell his house, and use [after closing costs] the equity toward Assisted Living/Memory Care which was about $7k per month.

At this point in time, your Mom wouldn't be able to obtain a reverse mortgage, as she would need to be able to understand the paperwork.

Reverse Mortgages are more geared for those who have money, and wish to take out equity to use in the stock market or other investments knowing they will gain more than what the cost would be to repay the reverse mortgage.

Look into Assisted Living/Memory Care facilities. The ones in my area are built more like hotels than institutions.
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Reply to freqflyer
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I have no knowledge. You may get some here, but meanwhile, go to www.aarp.org  and above in search put 'reverse mortgages'.  They have info.
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Reply to GrannieAnnie
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i would check with a CPA or elder law attorney before getting tied up in a reverse mortgage. Their advice would be better than what the reverse mortgage brokers would tell you.
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Reply to Becky04473
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