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A reverse mortgage is a widely misunderstood financial tool.
For those of us who understand this new loan program we wonder, when will the tipping point of consumer education occur? When will more people choose to embrace this incredible loan program for seniors? For me a reverse mortgage is simple, I get my cake and to eat it too.
I get to keep my home 'until the day I and my spouse die' without any mortgage payments, and I get my money out and liquid for other investment, or use, for the rest of my life.
The main question to ask is: "what could I do with my home equity that would safely generate more income for my lifestyle?" Here's where another new real estate innovation comes in, the condo hotel.
Condo hotels are suite or condos within the luxury of 4-star or higher hotels that individuals can own, use, and rent as part of the hotel on a nightly basis - without any rental hassle.
The hotel rents your condo whenever you are not in residence.
The hotel management handles all the maintenance, and treats the owner-guest to luxuries that are beyond typical vacation condo ownership.
Here's how the math might work.
If a senior wants a second home/condo in a warm and sunny destination for 30-60 days a year, but always wants a home in the northern location, but doesn't want to drain their savings and certainly does not want to be payment strapped with 2 homes, expenses, utlitlies, decorating expense etc.
Let's say the "midwest home" is worth $300,000 and has a $50,000 mortgage with $700/mo in payments.
The senior can borrow $200,000 on a reverse mortgage (lump sum cash out option) and pay off their home mortgage - and never make another payment as long as they live in this home, never.
With the additional $150,000 cash out they can buy a condo hotel, possibly free and clear.
Use it luxuriously for 30-60 days when the winter winds blow.
The day the senior checks out of his condo, the hotel seamlessly rents the property and the owner shares in the rental income.
Conservative figures in many properties may produce $6,000+ a year in income above the condo dues, and tax expenses.
This is potentially $6,000+ in tax deferred income since property depreciation will help offset rental income.
Reverse mortgages and condo hotels are complex financial tools and should not be entered into without understanding all the details and how these loans may effect your unique personal financial situation.
Real estate speculation is risky and should be considered as such, this article is not meant to sell any specific property.
These figures are not in any way based on any actual property and are just an example of an idea which many baby boomers will wish to explore further as they search for the right retirement residence options.
Being creative and open-minded about new options will benefit the lifestyle of future retirees.
These and other creative retirement home strategies are explored in a new book called "Besting - Better Nesting" about new forms of retirement and vacation ownership like - condo hotel, fractional, private residence clubs and timeshare.

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