The recession hit seniors hard, causing many to experience serious investment losses and perhaps job losses, too. Yet many seniors still focus more on providing an inheritance for their families or helping their adult children than on meeting their own needs.
Seniors Should Make Themselves a Priority
Financial expert Jonathan D. Pond recently wrote an article for the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) that suggests that seniors should worry less about providing for their adult children and more about their own financial needs. Titled, Whose Money Is It, Anyway?, the article provides a thought-provoking message about seniors and their money.
Avoid Enabling Adult Children
Pond says that while giving occasional financial assistance to adult offspring can be honorable, many seniors who can barely afford to maintain their own households still feel compelled to help their kids. If seniors cannot afford to help, they need to let their adult children know it.
Pond also warns against the danger of allowing temporary help to turn into a crutch that allows your adult children to avoid taking care of their own problems.
Seniors need to be open with their offspring about their own financial circumstances and their intentions about an inheritance. They should discuss even non-monetary issues like plans for valuables or mementos with heirs.
Consider a Reverse Mortgage to Reduce Financial Stress
One reason some seniors avoid applying for a reverse mortgage is they are concerned about losing their home and about reducing their children's inheritance. A common misconception about reverse mortgages is that the homeowners would have to move if the home equity is used. Not true. As long as a homeowner pays property taxes and maintains the home, he or she can always live there.
A second misconception is that the heirs need to pay for the reverse mortgage. Not true. Reverse mortgages are paid off from the equity in the home.
Comparing quotes and information from reverse mortgage lenders is the best way to find out if a reverse mortgage is right for you. After all, wouldn't it be better to give your offspring the peace of mind of knowing you have a home and steady income for the rest of your life rather than worry about how much they will inherit?
Michele Lerner is a freelance writer with twenty years of experience writing articles and web content for newspapers and magazines on topics related to real estate, personal finance and business. Her clients include The Washington Times, Urban Land Magazine, NAREIT's Real Estate Portfolio, and numerous Realtor association publications. Michele's first book, "HOMEBUYING: Tough Times, First Time, Any Time" is available now at Amazon.com or from www.MicheleLerner.com.