My Comments: The inspiration for this post came from a recent email to me from Don Graves. He’s a published thought leader on the idea behind this post. What follows is essentially my efforts to paraphrase his comments and to present to you an idea that has significant merit.
As a retirement planner for longer than I choose to remember, it was only recently that I realized too many people are overlooking an important asset. It’s my opinion that no asset should be overlooked as you journey through life and continue to pay your bills in retirement.
It starts with a question: When planning for retirement, is it important to use All Your Available Assets? Should anything be excluded?
Typically, your assets fall into one of four asset classes as follows:
- Your income/employment, social security, pension etc.
- Your investments / IRAs, 401k accounts, brokerage accounts…
- Your insurances / Fixed and variable annuities, whole and term life, Long Term Care insurance
- Your housing wealth / 30-year mortgages, reverse mortgages, home equity lines of credit, downsizing etc.
Should anything be excluded as you seek to develop a comprehensive plan?
Most people will say “absolutely not, nothing should be excluded”.
If you haven’t noticed, the one thing that might be new to you is Housing Wealth.
Yes, this is about using housing wealth and how it can sustain your bill paying ability, both early in retirement when you have lots of time on your hands and lots of things to do every day, and later in retirement when life gets more difficult. For many people, that difficulty arises because they discover too late they don’t have enough money to sustain themselves.
Here’s a chart provided by Don Graves to help you visualize what I’ve just told you. Notice the three buckets each has a spigot. That’s represents a source of income to help pay your bills. We’re talking here about adding a spigot to the item on the right.
I’m now a fully qualified reverse mortgage broker in the State of Florida, working closely with Kathy and Bob Muni, longtime former residents of Gainesville. They are moving back here in the spring of this year with plans to open a fully operational reverse mortgage office.
My effort here has been to make you aware of a critical asset that many of us have excluded from our lives for no valid reason. Be sure to reach out to me if you have questions.