Enjoying the Years He Didn’t Plan For: Financial Planning for Retirement

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When the time came to retire, Jack Simmons was ready. After years of operating a successful construction business, he was certainly looking forward to relaxing, and he had carefully prepared for his retirement. He had seen his five children through school and helped them get established-even building each of them a home. Mr. Simmons felt certain that the nest egg he had prepared would allow him and his wife to live comfortably for the rest of their lives.

Unfortunately, he miscalculated. After his wife passed away several years ago, he began to review the planning he had done and realized that he would soon deplete his retirement funds. Mr. Simmons consulted with the financial advisor at his bank, who, after reviewing his situation, recommended that he meet with a reverse mortgage counselor. The advisor specifically suggested Michael Arntz, a Certified Senior Advisor and a Reverse Mortgage Consultant with Wells Fargo.

Mr. Simmons met with Michael Arntz a few days later. He explained his financial situation, admitting that his home, which he owned free and clear, was his last remaining asset. He also pointed out that while he was still making ends meet, the meager income that Social Security provided would not allow him to continue to live as he was accustomed. Michael recalls Mr. Simmon’s succinct explanation of his problem, “He said, ‘I planned ahead, and I saved to be able to live comfortably until I was 80; the problem is that I didn’t die.'”

As Mr. Simmons explained his situation, he also told Michael that after years of being in love with his now deceased wife, he had recently met a new girlfriend. “He was distraught by the fact that he could not afford to take her out to dinner. In this sense, he had lost his dignity,” says Michael.

Initially, Mr. Simmons was not sure that a reverse mortgage was for him. He was not in foreclosure or financially devastated; he simply wanted to improve his lifestyle. However, reverse mortgages are increasingly being used to meet the needs of individuals like Mr. Simmons, who simply want to maintain their current lifestyle. Reverse Mortgages are even being used by seniors to improve their lifestyles-with exotic vacations or luxury purchases. Because there are no restrictions on how the funds from a reverse mortgage are used, this unique financing option can meet the needs of a wide variety of borrowers.

After taking an upfront payment of $25,000 in order to pay off outstanding debts and buy new appliances, Mr. Simmon’s reverse mortgage of his $200,000 home still provides him with monthly payments of $1,000. Treating his girlfriend to special dinners and going out are again options for him. With his financial worries put to rest, Mr. Simmons can now truly enjoy the years he did not plan for.

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