In a time when lifetime income sources such as pensions and Social Security benefits are declining, accessing home equity will become more important as people live longer and face increasing health care costs.
Reverse mortgages offer a mechanism for tapping home equity for retirees to address these needs and stay in their home. Because of key changes made to reverse mortgages by the Federal Housing Administration to the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage program, the safety and functionality of accessing home equity now goes beyond supplementing retirement income.
In addition, several large broker dealers have also recently removed their sanctions against discussing the mobilization of the housing asset to aid retirement resilience.
Shelley’s background in reverse mortgage lending is diverse and includes origination, sales management, and industry leadership. She read a very early article written by Barry Sacks, PhD, JD , in 2005, and since then has advocated for the protective power of housing wealth in the retirement distribution phase.
Shelley supports the conservative, proactive use of housing wealth. She also promotes responsible lending principles.
As head of Mutual of Omaha Mortgage’s Enterprise Integration and Founder of the Academy Home Equity Financial Planning University of Illinois, she strives for collaboration among thought leaders in academia, regulatory agencies and financial services firms that are investigating the proper role of housing wealth in retirement.
Shelley strives for the right of the American retiree to have access to accurate information on how reverse mortgage lending works, and how much it costs. Her years in the industry have proven that product innovation is not necessarily in the best long-term interests of the consumer or the taxpayer. Because the US Government is the ultimate backstop for the HECM, she does not support product innovation at the expense of the taxpayer. Most importantly, Shelley is devoted to helping retirees, especially Baby Boomers, understand that housing wealth may contribute to a financially secure retirement.
Moderator: Betty Meredith, CFA, CFP®, CRC®, Int’l Retirement Resource Center
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