Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Consider your home an asset if you plan to keep it

(From the Chicago Tribune)

You can't take it with you. But, if you're a homeowner, you might be planning to leave a sizable chunk -- namely your home -- behind.

Live long enough to deplete your assets and require nursing care, however, and it's likely that your heirs will inherit only memories.

Many people are aware that the federal Medicaid program will pay for their nursing home expenses if they can't afford the costs themselves, but they may not realize their home may be considered an asset that must be tapped before Medicaid picks up the tab, says Barbara Stucki, a consultant to the National Council on Aging. If they were aware of the role their homes could play, they might handle their personal financial planning differently, Stucki says.

Stucki is project manager for an effort to encourage senior homeowners to take a reverse mortgage and then use the money for purposes that will help them avoid or postpone going to a nursing home, like hiring help or making improvements that enhance home safety. The effort is spearheaded by the council on aging and funded by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.


Reverse Mortgages are going to be more and more popular as the Baby Boomers Age. They are well worth checking out, but certainly not for everyone.