Reverse mortgages–buyer beware

reverse mortgages

Feds fine reverse mortgage lenders for false advertising

“In past columns I have written that reverse mortgages have become more advantageous for consumers aged 62 and older. That’s because of recent HUD regulatory changes and because some lenders have reduced the initial costs of obtaining these mortgages.

Still, consumers must beware. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has identified three lenders who have engaged in deceptive and illegal advertising practices: American Advisors Group, Reverse Mortgage Solutions and Aegean Financial.

Together, these companies have incurred civil penalties totaling $790,000 and will have to modify their advertising policies so that consumers will not be deceived.

Some of the illegal advertisements in question stated that borrowers could not lose their homes, cannot be forced to leave and/or that always retain ownership. In reality, reverse mortgage contracts specify that borrowers must pay homeowner insurance and real estate taxes, maintain the property and comply with other requirements. If the borrower does not do all of these things, the lender can foreclose on the home. If the borrower faces foreclosure, he will lose his home, will be forced to leave and will no longer retain ownership.

In the future, the lenders will have to modify their advertising so that borrowers know that unless they continue to pay all related homeowner insurance and real estate taxes and maintain their property, they can lose their property through foreclosure.”

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Check Beneficiaries–One resolution you can keep

beneficiariesLiz Weston, from NerdWallet, reminds us to check our beneficiaries as part of our new year’s resolutions.  She says, “You typically have to name beneficiaries when you open retirement accounts and buy life insurance, but you also may have named them for bank or other financial accounts.  Some states allow you to designate ‘transfer on death’ beneficiaries for vehicles and even real estate.  The people you name in most cases will get the money, even if you’ve since divorced or named somebody else in your will or living trust.  You can check and change many financial beneficiary designations online.  Self-help legal site Nolo has information about naming, changing and revoking beneficiaries for cars and homes.”

Liz Weston is a NerdWallet Columnist whose goal is to help you get smarter about money so you can get on with your life. She’s the author of five books about money, including the best-selling Your Credit Score.

We are what we eat right?

5 Tricks for Getting Enough Fruit and Veggies:  Fruit and vegetables are particularly important for older adults, but incorporating them into your diet can be difficult.

eat right

“Seniors are better than younger people at making their servings of fruits and vegetables part of their diet, but that’s still not saying much. According to a review published in August 2013 in the journal Maturitas, only 21 to 37 percent of men and 29 to 45 percent of women ages 65 and older eat five or more daily servings of fruits and vegetables, which is the minimum amount recommended for good nutrition.

Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is especially important as you get older, because the nutrients and fiber in these foods can help reduce high blood pressure, lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers, stave off eye and digestive problems — and simply satisfy your hunger.

How Big Is One Serving of Fruit or Vegetables?

Before you try to eat an entire bunch of bananas or a bushel of apples, know this: One serving of fruit or vegetables equals half a cup, or about the amount you could hold in a cupped hand. Nutrition experts used to recommend five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, but that’s probably not enough, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Individual needs are different, so depending on age, gender, and level of physical activity, you’ll require between 5 and 13 servings of fruit and vegetables each day.”

Get simple tips for increasing the amount of fruit and vegetables you eat each day

Start off the new year by requesting copies of your credit reports

credit reports

If you haven’t checked your credit reports for a while or ever, you may want to do so this month.  It’s easy and it’s free.  By reviewing your reports you might even detect identity theft early and stop it.

Equifax, Experian and TransUnion are the three major credit report firms and you can go to to receive free copies of your credit reports.  You can choose to get a copy of all three reports now or stagger them throughout the year to monitor your credit.

“A credit report is an organized list of the information related to your credit activity. Credit reports may include:

  • A list of businesses that have given you credit or loans
  • The total amount for each loan or credit limit for each credit card
  • How often you paid your credit or loans on time, and the amount you paid
  • Any missed or late payments as well as bad debts
 Credit reports may also include:
  • A list of businesses that have obtained your credit report within a certain time period
  • Your current and former names, address(es) and/or employers
  • Any bankruptcies or other public record information
Under Federal law, you are entitled to receive one free copy of your credit report from each credit reporting company every 12 months.
Make sure you recognize the information on your credit report including your personally identifiable information, such as names, addresses, Social Security Number, accounts and loans. Then check that the other information on your credit report is accurate and complete. If you find information you believe does not belong to you or is not correct, contact the business that issued the account or the credit reporting company that issued the report.”

“Unlikely late life hobby”

appalachian trail
Sue Hollinger and Elrose Couriac

I love hiking but these two fabulous young ladies know how to do it right!  They had more than a little adventure while hiking the Appalachian Trail.

80-Year old twins complete Appalachian Trail

by Karen Chavez, Citizen-Times

December 28, 2016

“Hiking the entire 2,190-mile Appalachian Trail, one of the longest footpaths in the world, is an exercise in the outer limits of human will and strength. And usually, left to the youth of the world.

But 80-year-old identical twin sisters Elrose Couric and Sue Hollinger completed the trail this summer, finding the secret to completing the brutal journey – setting a goal and having a glass of red wine every night on the trail.

Having wine with cold pizza, even better.

‘We’re very goal-oriented. We always need a goal,’ said Hollinger of the massive hike. ‘We wished we were daring enough or young enough to do a thru-hike. It would have saved lots of time, but we couldn’t.’

It took the twins 14 years to hike the entire Appalachian Trail, which they completed July 7. They hiked it in sections, rather than in one shot, which takes the average hiker about six months.

According to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the nonprofit that manages the footpath, some 3 million people hike the trail each year. About 3,000 attempt a thru-hike and 1 in 4 complete it.

The section-hiked journey was no less difficult. Besides sore muscles, bruises and broken bones, the sisters had bear encounters, a near-drowning experience, yellow jacket attacks and a near brush with a murderer.

But overall, they said in unison, ‘It was such a fun time.'”

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Have you made any new year’s resolutions?

I try to make goals every year which typically include getting more exercise and learning something new.  Below is an article I came across about leading a “purposeful life after retirement.”  I think we could look at the list below as a list of possible resolutions.  Which one could you add to your list this year to lead a more “purposeful life?”

new year's resolutionsHow to Live a Purposeful Life After Retirement

Look at retirement as a time to do what you love and to try new things.

“Having a sense of purpose could add years to your life, according to a study published in 2014 in Psychological Science. Researchers from Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, and the University of Rochester in New York, tracked the physical and mental health of more than 7,000 American adults ages 20 to 75 for 14 years, and found that those who felt they had a purpose or direction in life outlived those who did not.

Once you retire and your children have left home, it’s easy to feel as though you have nothing left to accomplish. But older adults can still have career goals and direction, just in a different way, says E. Christine Moll, PhD, a professor in the department of counseling and human services at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, and member of the American Counseling Association.

The key, she says with a nod to Jimmy Buffett, is having an attitude of gratitude: Be grateful for what you’ve done and where you’ve been, and look forward to more of the same. ‘Keep doing,’ Dr. Moll advises, perhaps by following one of these 10 ways to live a more purposeful life:

  1. Join a gym
  2. Continue your hobbies
  3. Become politically active
  4. Try something new
  5. Go back to school
  6. Volunteer
  7. Immerse yourself in culture
  8. Get into games
  9. Become an emeritus
  10. Babysit”

Read more details and suggestions on how to live a more purposeful life

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