By the time we reach retirement, many of us have experienced a number of stressful events in our lives such as changing careers, buying or selling a home, moving to another city, and raising a family. Fortunately, much of our daily stress is temporary and finding a solution to the problem quickly eases all worry and concern for the issue. Other types of stress are chronic, such as financial stress. Financial stress can have serious effects on the mind and body during any stage of life, but for seniors who may be battling age-related health concerns, the physical and mental stress of constantly worrying about their financial situation can take a significant toll on their health.
The American Institute of Stress, a non-profit organization dedicated to sharing information on the detrimental effects of stress, the benefits of useful coping strategies and how stress can cause and increase the severity of a number of serious physical and mental disorders from which people suffer. “Stress can have effects on other hormones, brain neurotransmitters, additional small chemical messengers elsewhere, prostaglandins, as well as crucial enzyme systems, and metabolic activities that are still unknown. Research in these areas may help explain how stress can contribute to depression, anxiety and its diverse effects on the gastrointestinal tract, skin and other organs.” Chronic stress can have significant, long lasting effects on your entire well-being if not controlled properly.
Those with a substantial amount of stress might suffer from chronic headaches, grinding teeth, hand tremors, frequent colds and infections, insomnia and many other symptoms. More serious consequences of stress may include heart rate and blood pressure increases, blood sugar increases and muscle spasms, which may lead to strokes, heart attacks, general aches and pains and ulcers.
AIS recommends deep breathing exercises, yoga or tai chi, acupuncture, journaling, volunteer work and taking short breaks throughout the day as potential stress relievers. However, when the stress is due to financial worries, like being unable to afford basic living expenses or medical bills, many seniors are seeking out other options.
For qualified homeowners, one such option may be the use of a reverse mortgage loan to supplement their retirement income. Reverse mortgage loans allow seniors to access a portion of the equity in their homes. The borrower retains title to the home. Borrowers can receive the loan proceeds in a lump sum, monthly payments, line of credit or a combination of these options. The amount that may be available to the borrower depends on the age of the borrower, current interest rates and the lesser of the appraised value of the home, sale price or the maximum lending limit. The funds available to the borrower may be restricted for the first 12 months after loan closing, due to HECM requirements. Many seniors use the funds to pay for medical expenses, travel, make home improvements or modifications or to have extra cash available for a rainy day. The loan becomes due when the borrower no longer lives in the home as their primary residence, the last borrower on title passes away or the borrower fails to meet the obligations of the loan. Most borrowers, or their heirs, repay the loan by selling home.
All potential borrowers are encouraged to seek counsel from a trusted financial professional who can determine if a reverse mortgage loan will fit their financial needs. Additionally, all reverse mortgage loan borrowers must meet with a Department of Housing and Urban Development approved reverse mortgage counselor before obtaining a reverse mortgage. During this counseling session, the counselor will discuss the requirements of the loan and will answer any questions the borrowers may have. The borrowers may also bring a close friend or family member to the session for support.
Living with financial stress can cause irreversible damage to your health if not managed properly. For many seniors, a reverse mortgage loan can alleviate financial worry by accessing the equity in their home. For more information about reverse mortgage loans or to see if you may qualify, please call 866-751-6105.