As the oldest son in a large family, John Hansen is responsible for his parents’ finances. He takes this role very seriously. When his mother passed away unexpectedly, it became very clear his elderly father didn’t have the financial resources to continue living unassisted in his home. However, the family wanted him to be able to live out his life in a familiar setting – one that he had worked very hard to acquire. Fortunately, John’s dad had paid off his mortgage in full, and thus had full equity in his home, so a reverse mortgage looked like it might be the solution to their problem. About this time, John heard about Guidewell Financial Solutions’ reverse mortgage counseling program. He and his sister decided to set up an appointment for themselves and their father, to see if a reverse mortgage was worth pursuing.
How Guidewell Financial Helped
“Our counselor was extremely professional,” John says. “She helped us review Dad’s finances and get a better idea of how much extra income he would need to stay in his home. She recommended resources to get the most out of his budget. She helped us review several finance options – not just reverse mortgages.” The counselor also took the time to discuss how different reverse mortgages work, the pros and cons of using them, and how much it might cost for John’s father to obtain one. “I was very impressed by the amount of information she provided and how clearly she explained everything. I also appreciated the respect and patience she showed my dad. It definitely encouraged him to become an active participant in the discussion.”
Having reviewed all the options, John’s father ultimately decided against taking out a reverse mortgage. Based on the counselor’s advice, he instead applied for and obtained Veteran’s benefits to help defray his living costs.
“Without counseling, we could have spent a great deal of unnecessary time and money only to realize a HECM loan wasn’t the best option for Dad. The counselor gave us the information we needed to make a wise choice.”