Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Updated: Sep 19, 2018



I remember discussions with “mature” members of my family and family friends that centered on whether or not the mature person could (or should) stay in the family home or move. These discussions were never easy or, for that matter, pleasant. The thing I most often heard from my mature family member or friend was, “I’ll know when I’m ready!” Well, more often than not, they did not move. Unfortunatly, by the time they were “ready”, someone else had to make most of the decisions for them.


I always knew that I would do better. But, here I am in my 60’s, in a three-story town house with my husband who can no longer do the stairs. My husband is older than I and the malady that got him was not expected – but isn’t that life! We are dealing with things in our own unique way, as you will. My good fortune is that I am in the real estate business which provides a unique view of the things available to assist in making such decisions. Let me share a few things with you; I hope they are helpful.


COMMUNITY RESOURSES


The Village Chicago (https://www.thevillagechicago.org/) is a great resource from which you will find many others. As they say on their website: “The Village Chicago is a leader in the nationwide Village movement. An innovative, nonprofit organization leveraging the talents, wisdom and skills of its members to enhance the quality of life and the well-being of individuals as we live longer, so that we remain integral, vibrant and contributing members of our communities.”

Members ages range from 50 to over 100 and they are a very diverse community. I joined about 2 years ago and have specifically benefited from their recommendations on home repair people, home health caretakers and volunteers who helped me shop and lift things when I couldn’t. They have social events from small groups who go to movies and dinner to large events with interesting and timely public speakers. There are too many activities to write about here so, please go to their website and see how much they can impact your life. The best thing about the Village Chicago is the willingness of its people (employees, members and volunteers) to help us navigate the varieties of services that allow us to remain active, vital members of our community.


AARP (https://www.aarp.org/aarp-foundation/about-us/?intcmp=FOU-NAV-ABT) is chock full of information that will be of interest.


REVERSE MORTGAGES


The only reverse mortgage insured by the U.S. Federal Government is called a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), and is only available through an FHA-approved lender. If you are a homeowner age 62 or older and have paid off your mortgage or paid down a considerable amount, and are currently living in the home, you may participate in FHA's HECM program.


For more information, go to the following websites:

https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/housing/sfh/hecm/hecmhome

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0192-reverse-mortgages


Reverse mortgages are a sub-specialty of mortgage brokers and not all brokers know how to navigate the different considerations and rules surrounding them. Please call me if you would like to discuss finding a mortgage broker skilled in this area.

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Website Design and Chicago photos by Michelle von Mandel

Mary von Mandel