Independent Living: Making a Decision for Two

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When Mr. Jones, a retired federal employee of 30 plus years, met with an attorney to discuss a reverse mortgage, he was the only one present. His wife was in a rehabilitation center recovering from a stroke. While she was mentally competent, physically the stroke had left her unable to do most of life’s daily necessities. Mr. Jones was struggling to figure out how he would pay for all of the things needed to make his wife’s return as comfortable as possible.

Robert Ready, a reverse mortgage specialist, walked him through the process. The first step in this process is finding out what the goals for utilizing a reverse mortgage are. Offsetting expenses encountered when one spouse has a catastrophic illness is a very common situation. It is also very stressful due to the fact that the healthy spouse is facing many difficult decisions.

Once Mr. Jones had all of his questions answered about the reverse mortgage and how it would impact both himself and his wife, the decision was made to move forward. The Jones live in Montgomery County Maryland. The FHA Home Equity Reverse Mortgage (HECM) lent the Jones approximately $242,000.

Mr. Jones used the funds available to pay for the remaining three months of rehabilitation his wife required. He used $60,000 to make modifications to the home including widening doorways, installing ramps, a chairlift and lowering counters. He is also using some of the proceeds to pay for In Home Health Care to help with the continuing care of his wife. The remaining funds not being used are in a line of credit, growing for them and available for their use as needed.

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