Friday, April 29, 2011

Long-Term Care Insurance: Only The Wealthy Need Apply?

No surprise here:  a new report released by the Urban Institute indicates that only 10.7 percent of all Americans over the age of 55 have purchased any type of long-term care insurance ("LTCI"), but that almost 20 percent of the 55-and-over set with incomes over $100,000 per year have purchased LTCI.  The vast middle class -- a group that suffers the greatest financial impact when facing the cost of long-term care (since the poor will qualify for Medicaid) -- find themselves frequently priced out of the LTCI market.

The full report can be read here.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Reverse Mortgages Become Dicier

Reverse mortgages can be effective tools that allow cash-strapped seniors to leverage the equity in their homes to maintain or enhance their standard of living.  Too often, however, the complexity and costs of these vehicles diminish the value that they might provide.

In an effort to help protect seniors who are evaluating a reverse mortgage, the Department of Housing and Urban Development has required lenders to provide counseling to every proposed borrower prior to consummating the loan.  Unfortunately, the budget deal just reached between Congress and President Obama has cut-out the funding for the counseling program.  Unless the money miraculously reappears, reverse mortgage counseling will end as of October 1, 2011.