Friday, 11 January 2019

Getting to Know the Finer Points of Reverse Mortgages

Reverse mortgages are home loans specifically available to you when you are 62 years of age or older. Although you have probably seen advertisements telling you how beneficial they are to retirees, you may not understand the intricacies of how they work. You may also be unsure of exactly what benefits you can get from them. That is why it is important to explore the finer points of reverse mortgages and what they have to offer.

How to Qualify for a Reverse Mortgage

Qualifying for a reverse mortgage is fairly easy, as long as you meet the age requirement and own a home with a high enough amount of equity to borrow against. Your reverse mortgage lender may also require you to undergo a credit check and make sure you have enough financial stability to perform maintenance on your home and pay the taxes and other expenses you must pay as a homeowner. For the most part, the only disqualified homes are homes that are not your primary residence, are not worth enough or are large apartment complexes, but there may be some exceptions.

Types of Reverse Mortgages to Pick From
There are two types of reverse mortgages. For example, you can get such a loan from a private reverse mortgage lender. You can also get one from a government source. Government agencies market reverse mortgages as “home equity conversion mortgages,” or “HECMs.” That is because the loans allow you to spend part of your home  equity to make your retirement financially easier.

Both types of mortgages are established in similar ways. For example, a reverse mortgage calculator is used for either type to figure out how much can be borrowed. It is difficult to calculate that amount because of government regulations and the influences of market values, as well as other factors. In addition to both taking advantage of reverse mortgage calculators, both loans are long-term mortgages with no immediate payback requirements on your part. However, they do differ in the fact HECMs are more closely government monitored and insured. Nevertheless, even private reverse mortgages are subject to some government regulations.

The Terms of Reverse Mortgage Agreements

The exact terms of reverse mortgage agreements may vary, but in general your agreement will allow you to receive an amount of money equal to a percentage of your home equity. You will then be given an unlimited amount of time to pay the money back, as long as you remain in the home and continue maintaining it properly by paying taxes and other expenses. Over the duration of the loan, which may be many years, interest will accumulate. However, in the short-term you can spend the extra retirement funds without repayment worries.

Another variation in loan terms is how you choose to borrow the money. There is a lot of flexibility in how you can be paid. If you have an existing mortgage, funds from the reverse loan must be used to pay the balance right away. Fees and closing costs of the reverse mortgage will also be taken out of the amount you can borrow ahead of time. After those expenses are paid, you can receive the remainder in installments or as one payment. You can also opt for a line of credit, which will allow you to tap into your home equity as needed by extracting varying amounts. The choice you make will depend on your current retirement living expenses.


Friday, 4 January 2019

My 2019 Reading challenge

If you read yesterday's goals for 2019 post you will know that one of my goals for 2019 is to read 60 books which works out at 5 books a month. I've set my goal up on goodreads and I've now decided that I want to challenge myself with some prompts to get me reading a more diverse range.

There are so many reading challenges and I've actually found the choice quite overwhelming so instead of joining in with a particular one or few I've taken some ideas from a range of challenges and made my own prompt list up.

So here is my little challenge:

  • A vintage classic 
  • A book published in 2019
  • A fantasy 
  • A historical fiction
  • A book I wouldn't usually read
  • A book about books
  • A book about friendship
  • A fairytail retelling 
  • A self help book
  • A book by a new to me author 
  • A young adult fiction
  • A book that's been turned into A film
  • A book from a favourite author I've not yet read
  • A series 
  • A book based in another country
  • A Horror

I thought I’d also share my current TBR pile, i.e. the books that I’ve bought or been given as gifts recently and haven’t had a chance to read yet. There are currently approxamtly just under 20 unread books sitting on my bookshelves, including the following:

  • In the Dark by Cara Hunter
  • True places by Sonja yoerg
  • Everything I never told you by Celeste Ng 
  • One thousand stars and you by Isabelle Broom
  • Nine perfect strangers by Liane Moriarty
  • A spark of light by Jodi Picoult
  • The Great alone by Kirstin Hannah

Thursday, 3 January 2019

Goals for 2019

When I looked back at my goals that I set for 2018  I realised that even though the goals I set were achievable there were just too many of them. So when setting my goals for 2019 I decided that I'm not going to do too many and make my goals SMART.

If you are wondering what I mean SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achieveable, Relivant and Timebased. Take for example one of my goals is to Read more and here is how I make it a SMART goal. The specific goal is to read 60 books in total in 2019, its measurable as I can work out that its around 5 books a month, Achieveable as 5 books a month was my average for 2018, relevant as I love doing it and time based I  want to achieve my goal by December 31st. 

The goals I am setting aren't life changing but goals that will bring a bit more joy to my year and focus on the positives and important things in life. Of course if I achieve them then 2019 will be a fun and exciting year.

1) Read 60 books 
This year I signed up to the goodreads challenge and have set myself a goal of reading 60 books by December 31st. With that in mind I've never set myself a reading challenge befor however I worked out on average I read 5 books a month during 2018 although some months were more others less. I've got a good stack of books to get myself started on and even though its only the 3rd of January I'm on my second book already.

2. Indulge in more creative activities
Aside from writing this blog and filling in journals this year I'm aiming to do more creative hobbies such as adult colouring for mindfullnes which I've found relaxing and Stuart got me an art kit for Christmas so I'm wanting to do more sketches, painting etc. By the end of 2019 I want to have a complete book of art work.

3. Make time for meditation
I have the calm app on my phone and i want to start using it more often in 2019 to help me relax especially to help me with my anxiety struggles. Eventually by the end of 2019 I want to make it a habit to do daily.

4. Visit new places
We plan to move to Lincolnshire this year and so I want to make it my goal to explore not just the little town we move to but to explore other parts of Lincolnshire as well. My aim is to once we moved there and are settled to find somewhere new to go out once a month as a family.

So there you are 4 simple goals for 2019 that will bring me joy this year.