Is a reverse mortgage right for you?
What is a CHIP reverse mortgage?
A CHIP reverse mortgage allows Canadians 55 and older to unlock up to 55% of the value of their home to assist with any financial need. The money received from a reverse mortgage is tax-free, there are no health checks to qualify for and no payments are required interest or principal for as long as at least one borrower lives in the home. The homeowner(s) maintains title ownership of the home at all times. The home must be your principal residence and the property can be a house, townhouse, or condo, as long as there is enough equity to qualify.
Reverse mortgage loans can be used to:
● Pay off or consolidate debt;
● Supplement income;
● Finance home renovations or repairs;
● Pay for unexpected medical or emergency expenses;
● Financially aid a family member(s) or,
● Improve your standard of living by paying for a vacation getaway or making a special purchase.
The truth is, debt in retirement used to be a faux-pas, but today, more and more Canadians are entering retirement with growing debt. The average life expectancy is higher than ever and the cost of living is often greater than pension incomes.
Since 2005, HSBC has surveyed more than 140,000 people in 15 countries about retirement. The following are keys findings for Canada:
● Retirees 23% saw their standard of living deteriorate after retiring. 31% feel they did not adequately prepare for retirement.
● Working Age 81% had a major life event hamper their ability to save. 18% had their ability to save hurt by the economy. 37% are not saving for retirement.
● Pre-Retirees 61% worry about having enough money to live day-to-day. 40% are not confident they can maintain a comfortable retirement. 68% worry they will run out of money. 44% are not preparing adequately and 52% cite their mortgage or debts as the reason.
● Non-Traditional Sources of Income 65% point to a domestic second property. 32% consider a foreign second property as a source of funds.
A reverse mortgage is a smart way for seniors to access the equity theyve accumulated in their home as tax-free cash. Despite the fact that reverse mortgages have been in Canada since 1986, there are still a lot of misunderstanding. Much of the media and misinformation about reverse mortgages is rooted in the U.S. In the U.S., there are numerous reverse mortgage providers, each offering different features. HomEquity Bank, the only provider of reverse mortgages in Canada, is a federally regulated Schedule 1 Canadian Bank, which ensures that you have a trusted and secure bank providing you with your reverse mortgage. Over the years, HomEquity Bank has been improving the reverse mortgage program, making interest rates more competitive, adding term options and increasing the amount of home equity a client can access. It is also mandatory for clients to seek independent legal advice before being approved for a reverse mortgage.
After first learning about CHIP from her mortgage broker, Karen used her money to pay off debt that had built up after her husbands stroke. Creditors are no longer calling and she is now free to spend quality time with her husband.
Bill and Linda learned about the CHIP benefits and used the money for much needed home renovations and repairs which they werent able to previously pay for.
Miriam was able to take a trip she always promised herself with extended family and friends without having to take money from her precious retirement savings.
Contact me today if you would like more information on a reverse mortgage and find out if it is the right product for you.
Diane Sainsbury, Certified Reverse Mortgage Specialist
(Simcoe County) 705-445-2584 (Toronto) 416-820-8471
OSFI tightens mortgage rules Edit
The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Canada (OSFI) published the final version of Guideline B-20 Residential Mortgage Underwriting Practices and Procedures. The revised Guideline, which comes into effect on January 1, 2018, applies to all federally regulated financial institutions.
The changes to Guideline B-20 reinforce OSFIs expectation that federally regulated mortgage lenders remain vigilant in their mortgage underwriting practices. The final Guideline focuses on the minimum qualifying rate for uninsured mortgages, expectations around loan-to-value (LTV) frameworks and limits, and restrictions to transactions designed to circumvent those LTV limits.
OSFI is setting a new minimum qualifying rate, or stress test, for uninsured mortgages.
Guideline B-20 now requires the minimum qualifying rate for uninsured mortgages to be the greater of the five-year benchmark rate published by the Bank of Canada or the contractual mortgage rate +2%.
OSFI is requiring lenders to enhance their loan-to-value (LTV) measurement and limits so they will be dynamic and responsive to risk.
Under the final Guideline, federally regulated financial institutions must establish and adhere to appropriate LTV ratio limits that are reflective of risk and are updated as housing markets and the economic environment evolve.
OSFI is placing restrictions on certain lending arrangements that are designed, or appear designed to circumvent LTV limits.
A federally regulated financial institution is prohibited from arranging with another lender a mortgage, or a combination of a mortgage and other lending products, in any form that circumvents the institutions maximum LTV ratio or other limits in its residential mortgage underwriting policy, or any requirements established by law.
To find out how this will affect you, please contact me at anytime.
Easy ways to keep more money in your pocket
It goes without saying that most of us would appreciate a little more money in our pockets. Believe it or not, its actually an achievable goal. In fact, a few simple tips can help you uncover meaningful savings each and every month. Need some ideas? Heres a little inspiration to get you started:
1. Pack food from home for lunches and snacks. Skip sandwich bags and opt for reusable containers, cutlery and drink bottle.
2. Switch light bulbs to CFLs. On average, it costs $250 a year in energy costs to light your home with incandescents. Save $150 by going with CFLs. Theyre more expensive initially, but will last 10 times longer.
3. Review and negotiate your service plansphone, internet, cable and television content.
4. Invest in topping up your insulation. Attic insulation can settle and compact over time, diminishing its original R-value and increasing heating/cooling costs. Topping it up with a quality batt insulation, like Roxul Comfortbatt, will immediately help improve the comfort of your home and reduce your monthly energy bills.
5. Pay off credit card debt and swap cards for lower interest rate options.
6. Install low-flow water fixtures to cut down on excess water consumption.
7. Lower your thermostat by two degrees in cold weather and increase it by two degrees in warmer weather.
8. Launder your clothes in cold water and at off-peak times.
9. Avoid impulse shopping. Stick to your list and avoid window shopping, which tends to draw buyers in.
10. Save money on entertainment by looking for free activities. For options in your area, try a simple internet search. You might be pleasantly surprised at the wide variety of activities and entertainment available for no or low cost.
Collectively employing the tips above could potentially add up to thousands in annual savings, proving that sometimes change can be a good thing.