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    How to Get the Most Out of Your Retirement

    Retiring from the workforce provides opportunities you may have been unable to take advantage of during your working years, including discovering new passions and devoting more time to the people you love.

    Even though your income might be lower than when you were working full-time, being free of financial burdens like credit card debt or a mortgage may provide extra disposable income that allows you to explore hobbies, develop new skills or focus on spending time living life to the fullest.

    In fact, if you’re over the age of 62, own a home and have equity in it, you can extend your retirement runway by borrowing against that equity. A home equity conversion mortgage, like those available from Guaranteed Rate, a leader in mortgage lending and digital financial services with more than 850 branches across the United States, can flip the roles of lender and borrower. Homeowners can remain on their property and generate income, provided they own at least 60% of their home’s equity and it is FHA eligible.

    “These mortgages fit a very specialized segment of the marketplace, but for those seeking financial flexibility, they can be a game-changer,” said Jim Hettinger, executive vice president of operations, Guaranteed Rate. “Equity build-up over time is one of the most compelling reasons to purchase a home. These loans give long-time homeowners a way to enjoy the benefits of that equity in their retirement years – all while retaining ownership and continuing to live in the house they call home.”

    While this type of loan shares many similarities with home equity loans, the requirements generally allow for more flexible terms for homeowners, who remain responsible for property taxes, home insurance and home maintenance. Over time, the loan balance increases with the understanding the mortgage will one day be paid off, usually by selling the home, providing the homeowner more flexibility and comfort during retirement. Meanwhile, homeowners receive money from their homes in the form of a lump sum payment or line of credit without making monthly mortgage payments.

    Consider these ways to take advantage of a home equity conversion mortgage and get the most out of your retirement.


    With minimal limitations on vacation time in retirement, it’s possible to get out and explore both domestically and internationally. With the flexibility to take extended leave, retirees can even enjoy trips dedicated to a specific hobby or pastime, such as golfing, shopping, biking, attending sporting events, appreciating the arts and more. You could also consider purchasing a boat or motorhome to take your exploration to the next level.

    Pick Up a New Hobby

    With more time now available, it’s possible to expand on hobbies you enjoyed while working or pick up an entirely new pursuit altogether. The possibilities are nearly endless, but some options to consider include gardening, dancing, reading, baking, hiking, collecting antiques, restoring furniture, golfing, bird watching, sculpting or wine or beer making, among others.

    Learn a New Skill

    Devoting time to pick up a new skill can help keep your mind and body sharp. Whether through formal classes or watching videos online to learn, speaking a new language, playing a musical instrument or cooking a new cuisine are popular options for enhancing your skills later in life.

    To find more ideas to live better in retirement, or access the free education guide, visit

    Benefits of a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM)

    HECMs can provide peace of mind during retirement if you’re worried about making ends meet. Using the equity you’ve already put into your home opens up new sources of income while letting you stay in your own home. Consider these additional benefits:

    ●       Offers flexibility in drawing and repaying borrowed funds

    ●       No pressure to make a payment, even if interest rates increase

    ●       Untouched funds in your line of credit grow tax-free over time

    ●       Any remaining equity at maturity can be released to borrower or heirs

    ●       The line of credit stays the same, even if the home’s market value drops

    ●       Money spent on conventional mortgage payments can go to other needs


    Photos courtesy of Getty Images

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