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The following is a podcast from a qualified senior care provider guest heard on the answers for elders radio show. Welcome back to answers for elders radio or everyone. I am here with Kirk Lau and he is with Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation. And so, Kirk, tell me a little bit overall before we get into our topic about reverse mortgage. Tell me a little bit about what your company does overall. So my company, Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation, is a national mortgage company. In we’re in all fifty states in the US and we have reverse mortgage planners in all fifty states. That’s except Alaska right now. Yeah, that’s the only one. We’re working on that one. Okay. So fairway is a is. It’s been around for twenty years. Fairway has been a forward mortgage company serving home buyers and home homeowners who need to refinance for forward, forward mortgages for twenty years. So you guys are busy this time of year with all the real estate going on. There’s there’s plenty of business out there. Yet we’re pretty busy. Yeah, so, Kirk, tell me. I know you’ve been involved. You’re in reverse mortgage for a little while and I am still thrilled to have you on there because one of the things that when I originally spoke to you, there’s so many misconceptions about reverse mortgage and nobody’s trying to force any senior into a reverse mortgage if that’s not the right thing for you. But I think I’ll there’s a lot of misconceptions out there in the market of what really isn’t reverse mortgage and, second of all, what is it give a senior, which I think is so critical for that type of senior that would qualify. So would you just kind of give me kind of what’s your your mission and what you do with with reverse markets? So, personally, my mission is to change the retirement landscape in America, one conversation at a time. Wow, that’s my thing and I love your your elevator speech. That really I’m I tell you what, it wasn’t long ago that I was introduced to the numbers and the facts that really break out what we’re dealing with as or in a the retirement landscape in America, and and then after that I was introduced to the reverse mortgage product, the new reverse mortgage product, and all of the benefits and uses and applications it could have for for so many seniors. So many. Sure, sure, and certainly with a lot of seniors out there. You know, they have lots of equity in their homes, but they may be cash poor, they may be on a fixed income and as the cost of inflation happens, there’s added expenses. Medications go up high. Even though there’s a lot of it’s covered by Medicare, there’s still that donut hole situation where they have, you know, sometimes, I know somebody has to paid eight hundred dollars for two months a month, yeah, on the meds that Medicare is not covering. So you know obviously what kind of senior I guess if you’re looking, what is the best scenario for reverse FOTAGE for a senior? That’s a really loaded question. For many years the perception was that the reverse mortgage was only for the homeowner that was in a desperate situation, and it was. It was perceived as the loan of last resort. And what what has happened over the past few years is some retirement income planning professionals and financial professionals have have assessed the product and its applications for borrowers who are not just desperate but who have equity in their house and want to be able to cause their lifetime worth of savings and work to be able to last longer. Because we’re living longer, right. That’s the other all living longer and that’s going to it cost. Living is expensive, but we keep doing it. Yeah, yeah, and it’s very you know, cost go up, cost of care goes up. A seniors are living longer. What our PNCH? A lot of us, you know, my husband has a Boeing retirement pension. Right, that doesn’t increase. No, he gets the same as what he would get. So obviously, you know, when you’re looking at different types of scenario, oreos and and figuring it out, it isn’t necessarily you know, as as assets. Maybe a senior may have other assets that you want to keep status are, you know, keep there because you’re getting living off the interest of those assets. Yep, that’s where a reverse mortgage can be amazing, amazing tool for that situation. Yes, absolutely, absolutely so. If I’m a a senior, I know there’s certain rules to qualify for a reverse mortgage. Would you share with me a little bit about what that what those what those are? Sure? So a senior needs to be sixty two years or older, has to live in the house all the time. It has to be their primary residence. Right. They can take a trip here and there, but it has to be their primary residence. The House has to pass an fach inspection because it is an fach insured loan. So it has to pass pass fach inspection and they also have to pay, be able to pay and pay their property taxes and homeowners insurance and hazard insurance does if there’s rangers, right and don’t. And they have to have a lot of equity. I’m I’m trying to remember. Isn’t it over seventy percent? It’s I think was what it was. That’s a good chuck, great question. And that number depends on how old they are, how old the oldest part of the youngest borrower is, and the interest rate that day. God. So a good rule of thumb is it’s anywhere from thirty five percent to seventy five percent equity that they need to have. Of God, it okay, okay. Yeah. So obviously if they’ve lived in a home for fifty plus years, chancers are they have a lot of equity in at home or they sawn the home out right in certain cases, which is really nice to to be able to have. But there’s still and of course the cost of property taxes here in Seattle are astronomical significant and they’re not going down. No, no, I’m hoping with Mare Dirkins proposal that that is free frozen for seniors, because she’s been talking about that. So I’m certainly an advocate for that piece, especially in the Greater Seattle area. It’s gone crazy, so so in in looking at a reverse mortgage. What do you I mean? I guess I’m going to throw some because I deal with families all the time and there’s all these kinds of concerns, I guess, from family members. Number one, you’re going to lose your house. That is absolutely not true, and this is something I guess I’m going to just say. Those are the things. And what would you say to a family if somebody says, well, I if I get a reverse mortgage, I’m going to lose my house? Sure, sure, and that’s that’s a valid concern. When you get a reverse mortgage, you get your getting a loan on your house, M and because you’re getting alone. It’s just like a forward loan. You’re still the owner, you’re still on title when and if, one day that you die and your your spouse dies, your your airs still get to inherit the house, hmm. And so it’s still you’re not going to lose it. Sure, sure, and that’s the thing that I think is really important. Second thing I always say is those things are a ripoff. Yeah, yeah, that some some people say, and it’s true. The closing costs are more when you do a reverse mortgage then when you do a forward mortgage, which is absolutely true. There is mortgage insurance that’s involved, that you’re going to that’s going to come out every single month. And what what I say to folks when when they talk about the expense, is, yes, absolutely, that’s true. There is more expense and you only do a reverse mortgage if those expenses are worth it. Right. I mean we need to sit down and talk about your specific financial landscape right now and what’s going to happen in the next ten or twenty years, what your plans are and what what might happen that’s not your part of your plan, and then see if the reverse mortgage is going to be an asset for you going to be a tool that those those expenses are you’re going to be happy about because of the benefit. So we are talking to Kirk Lou and he is with Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation. Kirk, where do you? What areas do you serve? So I live, I live in in Pierce County and and I like to stay inside of the Thurston County, Pierce County and King County. kind of that that window. But that’s a pretty big area. Yeah, that’s a pretty big area. And and so in looking at what you do with reverse mortgage, what what a senior expect if you sat down and met with them? Well, the first conversation is going to eat a lot of questions because I need to find out specifically what their situation is, what their concerns are. Usually the first conversation is are my kids going to still get my house, and which is fantastic. That’s a great conversation and that’s that’s where it starts. And then we talked about their financial situation, their plans, their assets, what their goals are and that and their health, and then we talk about after that. The next conversation is here is what a reverse mortgage, what the options are and how it would apply to your specific and there’s some new developments, I think, as reverse mortgages is ELV are, you know, is evolved, I guess you’s I should say, there’s now some real key things that are that are there for consumer protection, I believe, and and I you know. Could you share with me some of the new developments about that? Sure, one of the first ones is that was put in place was the financial assessment. And what happened was folks that got reverse mortgages may have gotten a reverse mortgage when they didn’t have the income to pay their property taxes. Right. So now we have to do a financial assessment to make sure that this borrower is not going to there. It’s both a benefit and they’re going to be able to still maintain their expenses. Sure, yeah. And then also, is there like some third party intervention or counseling type of thing? Yes, exactly, there’s. There’s a Hud. Counseling is required. It’s an it’s an organization that isn’t they’re not owned to anybody. They know they don’t answer to mortgage company’s order, the government. Their standalone and went before someone can get a reverse mortgage, they have to have a hud counseling session, as that is perfect. Yeah, because when you think about you know, people will say there’s Charlatan’s out there. I mean, I laughing because it’s true, but the sad part is there’s a charlatan and every single profession in the world, unfortunately, but unfortunately. You know, the Nice thing about having that Hud counseling session it is making sure that everything is in place and that you’re qualified from an outside source, and I think that’s really important. Ye and then, obviously that the big one now is the spouse can also continue to live in the home, where before that wasn’t the case. Is that correct? Yes, Yep, that’s absolutely true. So if the borrowers, say is sixty five and and his his wife is sixty, they he can get a reverse mortgage, but she is on she’s not a borrower, she’s a non borrowing spouse and if, say, three or four or five or ten years down the road, he he dies, she is technically not a borrower if unless they refinance, but she can stay in the house and as long as she keeps paying the property taxes and maintains Linder face of homeowners. Does there? No one’s going to come take her home from her. That is so key and such a wonderful thing. Yeah, so you know, Kirk. How do we reach you? Well, you can call me any time. Yeah, can I get my phone number? Yes, you can. So my phone number is two, five, three, three, seven, six, five, four, seven, five. And you do you have a website? I do have a website. It is a newreversemortgage.com Kirk, I’m so glad you were on the program today. Your service is so needed by so many seniors here in greater pages sound. Thank you. I’m glad to be on answers for elders radio show with Susan Newman. Hopes you found this podcast useful in your journey of navigating senior care. Check out more podcasts like this to help you find qualified senior care experts in areas of financial, Lego, health and wellness and living options. 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Suzanne Newman, host of the Answers for Elders radio show and podcast, proclaims often, “Caring for my mom was the hardest thing I ever have done, but it was also my greatest privilege.” Following a career of over 25 years in sales, media, and marketing management, Suzanne embarked on a 6-year-journey caring for her mother. Her trials and tribulations as a family caregiver inspired an impassioned life mission outside of the corporate world to revolutionize the journey that so many other American families also find themselves on. Answers for Elders provides education, help, and support to families, caregivers, and seniors across the country who are experiencing their own unique journey within the complicated world of Eldercare. Each week, Suzanne is joined by vetted professional experts in over 65 categories including health & wellness, life changes, living options, money, law, and more. Suzanne lives in Edmonds, Washington with her husband, Keith, and their two doodle dogs, Whidbey and Skagit.