Reverse Mortgages

What are Reverse Mortgages?
Reverse Mortgages are a type of loan whereby you can release the equity in your home to convert to cash or income. They can be suitable for some retirees who need extra money for living expenses or lifestyle choices.

The lending institution lends you a portion of the house value but the interest and repayments are generally not paid until you leave the residence, sell the home, or pass away.

The borrower must be over age 60 and will be able to access between 10-45% of the value of the home and take the loan as a lump sum or in regular installments. Reverse Mortgages are sometimes referred to as Equity Release loans.

Does a Reverse Mortgage suit my situation?
Reverse Mortgages are generally only available to those over 60 years of age and are particularly useful for retirees who are ‘asset rich and income poor’. This type of loan allows them to tap into their biggest asset to supplement living expenses.

Alternatively, a Reverse Mortgage can provide funding for lifestyle choices such as a much-needed car, holiday, a home renovation, or to fund an investment.

I receive the Age Pension – can I take out a Reverse Mortgage?
If you receive the Age Pension or Centrelink benefits, you are still able to access this kind of loan, however, caution is needed. Whether you take a Reverse Mortgage as a lump sum or as instalments and whether the money is spent straight away or put into other ‘deemed’ assets could have a significant impact on your Centrelink benefits. Your Count Adviser can help you determine whether a reverse mortgage is appropriate for you and if so can help you decide whether you should draw amounts as a lump sum or instalments.

Other Considerations
Could I end up owing more than the value of my home if interest rates rise?

In a worst case scenario, if the value of the home dropped and interest rates rose, there may not be enough equity to cover the loan plus the repayments when the borrower dies, or decides to sell.

How do you feel about using some of the equity in your home that would otherwise be left to your beneficiaries?

A Reverse Mortgage may not be the only option available to assist your retirement.

Will it limit further options of how the family home could be used?

This is particularly relevant to those on Centrelink benefits who are planning to enter Aged Care facilities.

If you think this type of loan is suitable for you speak to your Count Adviser. They can assess your suitability and recommend an appropriate strategy to help you achieve your retirement goals.