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Reverse mortgages help seniors lower energy costs

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Everybody these days is trying to cut their monthly expenses wherever possible. This is especially true for retirees on a fixed income who are getting squeezed more than most in this difficult economy.

Older adults can increase their energy efficiency and reduce their monthly expenses by replacing older, less efficient appliances and making other improvements to their home.

Many retirees put off making home repairs or replacing appliances for as long as they can. The costs for home improvement can run into the thousands of dollars and rarely is there enough money left over each month to afford them.

Usually these repairs are only addressed when they become an emergency and, as a result, they end up costing more than they otherwise would.

A reverse mortgage can provide the money needed to make upgrades to the home such as more efficient kitchen appliances, thermal windows, new furnace/water heater, or improved insulation.

Not only do these improvements reduce monthly utility expenses but they will make the home more comfortable to live in for the senior and increase the value of the home when it is ultimately sold.

The beauty of using a reverse mortgage to do this is that there are no monthly payments required on a reverse mortgage loan. The interest is simply added to the loan balance and, when the borrower no longer lives in the home (either because they decided to move or have passed away), the amount borrowed plus interest is paid back in one lump sum – usually from the sale of the house.

Now is the time of year to get ready for the frigid winter months and make some of these winterizing changes. Seniors should explore the option of a reverse mortgage to see if it can unlock some home equity to invest back into the home that they love.

Mark Schmidt has been a reverse mortgage specialist since 2004. In that time, he has guided hundreds of seniors through the reverse mortgage process. He is a veteran in the industry at a time when many others are “jumping on the bandwagon” of reverse mortgages.

A graduate of the University of Illinois, Mark also has an MBA from Loyola University and twelve years as a financial analyst with Merrill Lynch and Bank of America. To understand the needs of his clientele better, he was designated a Certified Senior Advisor in 2007 by completing additional studies of the social, physical, and financial aspects of aging.

Mark is the reverse mortgage expert for www.caregiverlist.com and is the author of “Reverse Mortgages: Facts and FAQs” which was in Amazon.com’s top five list for reverse mortgage books before selling out.

Mark can be reached at 773-504-9633 or at mark.schmidt@bankofamerica.com

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