Date of Award:

12-2010

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Family, Consumer, and Human Development

Advisor/Chair:

Lucy M. Delgadillo

Abstract

The purposes of this study were to describe and categorize the types of clients seeking reverse mortgage counseling, and to document the growth in demand for reverse mortgage counseling from one counseling center: The USU Family Life Center - Housing and Financial Counseling Services (FLC HFC). A second purpose was to gain a better understanding of the reasons why more senior Americans are seeking reverse mortgages. A third purpose was to gain a better understanding of the retirement preparedness of current seniors seeking reverse mortgages, which could lead to improved counseling services, early retirement intervention awareness, and encourage increased pre-retirement preparation.

Information was collected from 361 inactive reverse mortgage counseling files at the FLC HFC. A subset of 117 more recent and complete files was used to describe, categorize, and gain greater understanding of the clients seeking reverse mortgage counseling, their reasons for considering a reverse mortgage, and their retirement preparation. Descriptive statistics, crosstabs, ANOVAS, and frequency tables were used.

Clientele were mostly Caucasian, married, and retired, and their mean age was 74 for males and 72 for females. Average annual income per client household was $29,483, ranging from $7,860 to $92,400. Most clients were mortgagors compared to homeowners with the most common reason for seeking a reverse mortgage to pay off an existing mortgage followed by increasing income. Slightly more than half (51.4%) did not obtain a reverse mortgage; of those who did, 85.7% received all or some of their funds as a lump sum.

This study was unique in that it analyzed clients seeking counseling for a reverse mortgage rather than just the borrowers who originated a reverse mortgage. It also looked at their reasons for seeking the reverse mortgage. Younger clients were more likely to desire to pay off an existing forward mortgage; older clients were more likely to need increased income. The practical significance of the study's findings can be used to encourage the preparation of near-retirement adults and to encourage senior mortgagors to carefully plan the use of funds received from a reverse mortgage leading to an increase in the financial well-being of seniors.

Comments

This work made publicly available electronically on November 29, 2010.

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