Guide For Older Homeowners Who Need Help Now

 
A Guide for Older Homeowners Who Need Help Now...
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Provided by the National Council On Aging

OVERVIEW
 
Like most Americans, you probably want to stay in your home as you grow older. However, as it gets harder to do things on your own, you may need a helping hand with every­day tasks. It can be costly to pay for help at home, along with home modifications and other health needs. For
many people, these extra costs are a real burden.

Older Americans often hold onto their home as a nest egg in case they need extra money. But when that “rainy day” arrives, how do you tap the equity in your home? Some peo­ple may tell you to sell the house and move to assisted living or a nursing home. There is another option. If you’ve owned your house for many years, it could be worth a lot more than you paid to buy it. Home equity is the difference between the appraised value of your home and what you owe on any mort­gages. A reverse mortgage can help you convert some of your home equity into cash and continue to live at home for as long as you want.

Using the equity in your home can seem like a good idea. But is it right for you? It is a decision you should consider carefully, because the house may be your most valuable finan­cial asset. This booklet will help you understand the benefits and challenges of this funding option. After reading this booklet, you should be better able to:

· Decide if staying at home is right for you.
 
· Understand the different ways you can pay for help at home.

·
Know where to go for more information.

People who need help at home face many challenges. An ongoing health problem can make it hard to know how much longer you can continue to live at home. You should also be aware of government benefits and community programs for seniors, and how a reverse mortgage may affect your eligibility for these programs.

This booklet will give you the tools you need to make wise choices. It will help you ask the right questions and plan ahead so that you can stay at home as long as possible. Talking with family and a knowledgeable financial advisor also can help.