How to re­main in your own home

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“There’s no place like home.” Sound fa­mil­iar? A line from TheWizard of Oz, or the sen­ti­ment of many se­nior cit­i­zens who be­lieve there is no bet­ter place to be than their own homes. Santa Fe has many op­tions for com­pa­nies that of­fer in­de­pen­dent and as­sisted-liv­ing res­i­dences. The Mon­tecito, Brook­dale Santa Fe, Kingston, and Paci­fica have been in Santa Fe for many years. New­com­ers Legacy at Santa Fe and Morn­ingstar of­fer even higher lev­els of lux­ury liv­ing for se­niors. In the ini­tial plan­ning stages is a new res­i­dence fromEl Castillo, which of­fers the clos­est res­i­dence to down­town Santa Fe. The new fa­cil­ity will be at Paseo De Per­alta and Old Taos High­way. Some have “mem­ory care” units, but Sierra Vista is ded­i­cated to peo­ple with de­men­tia.

But, if it safe to do so, most peo­ple pre­fer to stay in their own homes as long as pos­si­ble. There are ways to make that pos­si­ble for a longer pe­riod of time. In-home health-care agen­cies can of­fer as­sis­tance to those for­whomthe tasks of daily liv­ing have be­come more dif­fi­cult. EGIS, Com­fort­keep­ers, HomeIn­stead Se­nior Care, Right At Home, and Nurses with Heart Health­care are a few of the com­pa­nies that of­fer dif­fer­ent lev­els of as­sis­tance to peo­ple in their own homes, and even af­ter they tran­si­tion to as­sisted liv­ing.

An­other con­sid­er­a­tion is safety in the home. Lawrence Her­man with Af­ford­able Hous­ing So­lu­tions can do an anal­y­sis of a home and make rec­om­men­da­tions that will make a home much safer. It isn’t just ad­ding grab bars in the bath­room, but that’s an im­por­tant one.

Where does a re­verse mort­gage come in? Many of the com­pa­nies that pro­vide help in your home re­quire you to pay for the cost your­self. Un­less you have in­sur­ance for long-term care that cov­ers in-home care, the fi­nan­cial bur­den falls on the se­nior or the fam­ily. Tap­ping into the eq­uity of the home with a re­verse mort­gage can pro­vide monthly cash flow or a line of credit that can be used to pay for in-home care. Also, pro­ceeds from a re­verse mort­gage can be used to do home mod­i­fi­ca­tions that can help pre­vent falls, a key cause to es­ca­late the amount of as­sis­tance needed by a se­nior or even their abil­ity to stay at home.

My first rec­om­men­da­tion is to in­ves­ti­gate op­tions, as early as pos­si­ble. Don’t wait for a cri­sis to oc­cur and then be forced into hasty de­ci­sions.

My se­cond rec­om­men­da­tion is to meet with a pro­fes­sional in re­verse mort­gages and learn the facts. Many peo­ple don’t want to con­sider a re­verse mort­gage, be­cause they be­lieve some of the mis­con­cep­tions that can stop the con­ver­sa­tion be­fore it even starts. The num­ber one mis­con­cep­tion is that the bank gets your home when you die. This isn’t true, but peo­ple hear the­word “re­verse” and

John Ruy­balid is a re­verse-mort­gage pro­fes­sional with Amer­i­can Ad­vi­sors Group. He can be reached at (505) 690-1029 and is lo­cated here in Santa Fe.

JOHN RUY­BALID

for­get that is still just a mort­gage or lien on the prop­erty. If there is still eq­uity, the fam­ily can sell the home, pay off the re­verse mort­gage and keep what re­mains. You and your fam­ily can see if a re­verse mort­gagemight be a tool to help you stay in your home as long as pos­si­ble.

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