Page 27 - Senior Times South Central Michigan - March 2019- 26-03
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The steps to remain physically and mentally fit evolve over time, but people often don’t think about how to ensure their financial fitness evolves, too.
permanently leave their homes. They are responsible for upkeep, property taxes, and homeowners’ insurance, though.
Many retirees find themselves living in their own homes on a fixed income, typically Social Security. Our generation is the first to be retiring without widespread access to pen- sions. If they were able, these folks may have set a portion of their month- ly paychecks into a 401k or IRA when planning for retirement, and some might have been fortunate to have employers match portions of those savings. Unfortunately, others have not had that luxury, and thus might be worried about how they will survive retirement without anything more than Social Security.
Reverse mortgages are not for everyone, however. Some home- owners might be eligible for low-in- come federal or state assistance (like Medicaid), but a reverse mortgage might disqualify them. There are also other issues, like estate planning and inheritances. Many people dismiss reverse mortgages because they want their homes to go to their heirs – and it is true, such loans decrease home equity.
Those planning to move in the near term will not want to consider this option because loans come due when they vacate their homes.
Senior Times - March 2019
Page 27
Empowering Lives, Guiding Futures
Here to Help with life’s challenges
Guardian Finance and Advocacy Services (Guardian) has been a trusted service provider in Southwest Michigan since 1966. As a 501( c )3 nonpro t corporation, our professional and compassionate staff provides a complete network of public  duciary services to improve the lives of more than 1,200 clients each year.
Our core business has historically been in the court-appointed services of guardian- ship and conservatorship, though we also serve as representative payee, by appoint- ment of the Social Security Administration, andVA  duciary, by appointment of the Veterans Administration.
We are seeking to grow our services for the general public.These include trust management,  nancial power of attorney agreements, and money management programs, preventive offerings that can help people remain independent, avoid  nancial crisis, and prevent the need for court intervention.
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693 Capital Ave. SW, Unit #3 Battle Creek, MI 49015
Most people know what to do for physical fitness: eat healthier and engage in regular exercise regimens. They also know what helps improve emotional or mental fitness, like removing excessive stress, engaging
in hobbies, spending time with loved ones, getting outdoors, or doing puzzle games to keep their brains sharp.
or some combination.
• Reverse mortgages are tax-free and
Robert Copeland, CEO, Special to Senior Times
as a lump sum, annuity, credit line,
typically federally insured.
• Unlike a home equity loan, home-
owners’ homes cannot be taken from
them due to non-payment.
• There are no payments on reverse mortgage loans until homeowners
What they may not realize is that the homes they worked their prere- tirement years to own can be tapped into through a product called a reverse mortgage, thereby increasing their financial well-being and positively affecting their quality of life.
Sure, reverse mortgages are not a one-size-fits-all solution, but the good news is that several organizations and programs are available to help home- owners understand which options are right for them.
Many who have heard of reverse mortgages likely thought they were “loans of last resort,” something to
be avoided at all costs. Such loans
do have downsides, including high upfront fees, accumulating interest, and seemingly complicated terms. Experts shunned the product early on thinking it was bad for seniors, but have since embraced them as valuable financial planning tools.
At Guardian Finance and Advocacy Services, our Money Management program provides one-on-one assis- tance to help seniors assess their current financial situations, ensuring they have considered all available alternatives when planning for their retirement or golden years. This is
true for any senior, whether they’ve been saving since their 20s or life’s circumstances have left them wonder- ing how they will make ends meet. In fact, Calhoun County residents aged 60-plus and earning annual incomes below the 200 percent poverty line qualify to receive Money Management services for free, thanks to Senior Millage. The offering is otherwise available for a fee based on an indi- vidual’s ability to pay.
Publisher & Executive Editor: Sherii Sherban; Advertising Consultants: Pat Fosdick, Sally Goss; Marketing / Administrative Asst: Christyn McCleary; Staff Photographer / Artist: Keith Sherban; Artist: Frederick DeRuiter; Publisher Emeritus: Richard DeRuiter
Senior Times of South Central Michigan is published twelve times per year by W.W. Thayne Advertising Consultants, Inc. Senior Times is distributed free through our advertisers, area professional offices, and key points of interest throughout South Central Michigan. To be added to the distribution list contact Christyn McCleary at extension 301.
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The main advantage of a reverse mortgage is that homeowners can eliminate their mortgage payments and/or access their homes’ equity while still living in them.
Retirement planning is important, and there’s never been a better time to evaluate your current status. Will your funds take you through the rest of your life? Are there things you could be doing right now to make them stretch further? Is a reverse mortgage a good option for you?
Other advantages and benefits include:
• Homeowners get the flexibility to use loaned funds as they wish for travel, dental work, or long-term care insurance, among other needs.
• Payment options are also flexible, enabling them to receive loan money
Let’s get financially fit together.
Always remember!
It’s the little things that mean so much...
223 North Bedford Rd. • Battle Creek, MI 49037 269-965-5145 •

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