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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 16, 2007 / 28 Nissan, 5767

Reverse mortgage one solution for financial woes

By Jan L. Warner & Jan Collins


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | To our readers: Last week, we replied to an adult child of a retired couple in their late 60s. He was concerned that his parents — on fixed incomes — were having problems making ends meet, owing not only to rising costs of living but also to large homeowner's insurance payments, property taxes, life-insurance premiums and the like.


They had gone more than $40,000 into debt on high-interest credit cards and were able to make only minimum payments. Their home, purchased years ago, has been reassessed by local government to be valued at more than $750,000, thus increasing their property taxes substantially. They were concerned not only about current debt but also about what would happen if one of them became seriously ill.


We pointed out last week the significant increases in the cost of long-term care based upon the "2007 Cost of Care Survey" by Genworth Financial. This week, we offer options on how seniors can handle the onslaught of increased costs without affecting their monthly cash flow.


There was a time when a person's home was his castle, and the equity was sacrosanct. Not today. But it's not only rising costs of eating and driving that are affecting those on fixed incomes. Property taxes are also being increased without mercy by city and county governments, not to mention school districts. The inability of local and county governments to stay within budgets rivals both Congress and state legislatures. And the less money that flows from Washington down to states and from states to cities and counties, the more property taxes will increase.


What to do? High-interest credit cards are certainly not the answer. Nor, for most seniors on fixed incomes, are first mortgages and home-equity loans with attendant monthly payments.


But the FHA-insured reverse mortgage, available to homeowners age 62 and over who live at home, allows seniors to transform home equity into monthly income streams and/or credit lines, depending on family needs. The mortgage is repaid when the senior no longer occupies the residence.


While tapping home equity to meet current needs and quality of life may not be the option of choice for many seniors — because that is not how they were raised — for folks like our reader's parents, a reverse mortgage may be the best solution. Prior to receiving these loans, homeowners must receive counseling by Housing and Urban Development-approved counselors who educate not only about eligibility but also about financial implications and alternatives. This prerequisite allows seniors to make informed determinations of whether a reverse mortgage will meet their needs.


The percentage available is determined based on a formula that includes such factors as the age of the youngest owner (if jointly titled), the current interest rate and the value of the residence. The older the owner, the higher the percentage of equity, up to the maximum that is governed by where you live.


Should the residence require repairs, sufficient funds to make those repairs will be taken from the loan amount. There are no credit qualifications, and closing costs can be financed as part of the transaction. The residence may include everything from single-family homes to approved condominiums to manufactured homes on leased land. There are a number of payout options that can be changed for a small fee.


At the time the residence is no longer occupied, the loan principal and interest is paid from the sales price with the remaining equity being paid to the owner's will beneficiaries or legal heirs. If a residence goes down in value, there is no way the mortgage will ever be more than the sale price of the home.


Taking the NextStep: If our reader's parents secured a reverse mortgage, they could establish a line of credit and use it to pay off credit cards and pay annual taxes, automobile and homeowner's coverage and property taxes, not to mention long-term-care insurance, without impacting their fixed-income budget.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JAN L. WARNER received his A.B. and J.D. degrees from the University of South Carolina and earned a Master of Legal Letters (L.L.M.) in Taxation from the Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a frequent lecturer at legal education and public information programs throughout the United States. His articles have been published in national and state legal publications. Jan Collins began co-authoring Flying SoloŽ in 1989. She has more than 27 years of experience as a journalist, writer, and editor. To comment or ask a question, please click here.

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