Senior Superhero – Helping seniors with reverse mortgages, a real life story

I sat at my desk in my home office and compared 2 great job offers. My wife Katie and our two young daughters had settled in South Florida and I was looking for a new job to continue supporting my family in our new home.

Just then the phone rang and it was my Aunt Eileen calling from Massachusetts. “I hear you’re job hunting,” she said, “don’t sign any job offers until I get down to Florida and spend some time showing you the incredible career I’ve found for myself — I think it.” is right your alley”

I knew Eileen was in the mortgage industry at Wells Fargo, but I had very little interest in getting into real estate or mortgage business. “I appreciate your wanting to help, but I can’t see myself getting involved in the mortgage business right now.” The housing bubble was pretty big at this point in January 2005, and we all know what happened in the years that followed. I was pretty sure a career in the mortgage industry wasn’t a good bet at the time.

“I understand what you’re saying, but I promise you this is different, you owe it to yourself to meet me, I can assure you it will be worth your while!”

So I did what every good nephew does and organized a long lunch with Aunt Eileen at my mother-in-law’s house here in Florida. This has since become a pivotal moment in my life – one I look back on and wonder how the timing, circumstances and luck shaped such a large part of who I am today.

We sat down and for the first time in my life she explained to me exactly what a reverse mortgage is, how it works and why the elderly population needs such a product. She also shared how she had personally witnessed many instances of helping seniors in need and even saving their homes in some cases.

After an hour she had me hook line and sinker. A product that allows seniors to stay in their home no matter what, access to tax-free cash to do everything from pay off their existing loan to receive monthly payments forever, with the security of an FHA guarantee , was unlike anything I had ever heard of! And no matter, even 30 years later, if they owe more than the property is worth if they no longer live in the house, are their heirs on the safe side because of the non-recourse clause? And on top of that, no payments! That was unbelievable for me at first, I can totally understand why seniors sometimes have doubts at first, it can “sound too good to be true!”

The thing I remember most since I was first taught about reverse mortgages is my aunt’s quote that rings true every day – “You’re going to be a high-level superhero”. I never thought I would have such a rewarding career, but my initial decision to join Wells Fargo’s reverse mortgage team and become an expert on this particular product has become just that, a true blessing.

Fast forward three years as I walk my dog ​​and I see my neighbor outside with his pooch as usual. Jim is one of those guys that everyone in the neighborhood knows and is friends with. After many friendly interactions with Jim over time, the subject of what I do for a living comes up. That day, I proudly let him know that I help seniors every day by educating them about the FHA-backed reverse mortgage products available as a Certified Reverse Mortgage Advisor. By that time I had moved to a local independent reverse mortgage company and had built a reputation as a local expert dealing exclusively with reverse mortgages and seniors.

Like most seniors, Jim and his wife, Patti, have been bombarded with mail and seminar invitations lately, and indeed they planned to learn more by attending an upcoming seminar in town. Jim let me know that he and Patti would be leaving as planned and would then welcome me to their home to learn more and see what I could offer them in terms of a “good, fair and honest deal”.

A week passed and I found myself in her beautiful, fully modern and updated home, learning all about her and her situation. The bottom line was simple, they had reached a point in their retirement years where they needed more income.

Turns out, like many senior couples, Jim and Patti got it right. Retiring with what appeared to be more than enough money to live in their home for the rest of their lives, they had plans to enjoy each other’s company and take advantage of everything South Florida has to offer. Their love for each other was evident from the start – having been married for 50 years, the bond they have is very special. When dating as many older couples as I have, there is a remarkable special spark that exists between people who have been together for so many years, and Jim and Patti certainly share it.

They never planned what happened next as Patti was diagnosed with cancer that needed immediate treatment. Watching them explain to me what they had been through was heartbreaking to say the least. Patti is a strong woman who has since beaten the disease, but her treatments had wiped out nearly $200,000.00 in savings. That was the money they wanted to use for their retirement. It was gone within a few months and they were now trying to figure out how to raise their income for the future. Their stress resulted from the monthly balance making them tight and needing more income to live in the house they are in love with. They informed me that their house was paid for, so they had no mortgage payments, but that at age 70, Jim was forced to take a job doing on-site inventories just to make ends meet. They considered moving and downsizing, and then decided to see if the reverse mortgage was actually an option.

We discussed all of their options and within a month they had completed the reverse mortgage application process and we successfully completed their loan. They decided to set up a line of credit to access their money when needed and have been pretty happy ever since.

I now share a special bond that is unspoken with Jim and Patti every time I see them dog walking or driving by their house three doors down – a bond that I am so proud and happy of. Hugs at Christmas parties are real and special. For that I owe a special thanks to my Aunt Eileen and the chance encounter over four years ago that not only changed my life forever but continues to have a positive impact on the seniors I help every day. Nothing beats being an “elderly superhero”!