This week, guest blogger, Bob O’Toole, President, Informed Eldercare Decisions, LLC, writes that,
Older adults looking for answers on how to make the most of their biggest financial asset—their home—now have a new educational tool at their disposal: www.HomeEquityAdvisor.org.
This user-friendly website is designed to help older middle-and low-income homeowners make sound decisions when using their home equity to achieve a wide-range of financial goals. It also helps when considering an immediate financial challenge or when planning ahead for the future.
HomeEquityAdvisor.org offers resources for people who want to:
- Use their home equity to take out loans
- Sell their home
- Avoid selling their home and preserve home equity
- Find respected and unbiased information on the topic
Homeowners who visit the site can take a "Quick Check" to define exactly what help they might need or want. They can specify their current situation, such as "at risk of foreclosure" or "preparing for unplanned expenses," to view a range of possible solutions. Based on their answers, they receive an individualized report offering information, tools, and consumer advice designed to help protect the value of their home.
The Quick Check also helps seniors determine the consequences of using their home equity in their retirement, assess timing and retirement issues, explore options such as renting a room to earn extra income, learn how to avoid home equity scams, and take family, health, and financial considerations into account in their decision.
Gerri Walsh, President of the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, said that, "The Home Equity Advisor offers timely and unbiased information to older homeowners so they can use one of their most valuable financial assets, while avoiding financial pitfalls."
According to Barbara Stucki, Vice President for Home Equity at NCOA, "It used to be that the only way to access your home equity was to sell your house. Now there are many more options for older adults, and it's best to pick a strategy that makes financial sense for you. Remember that the decisions you make today about this valuable asset could have a big impact on your financial well-being in the future."
Bob O'Toole, MSW
President, Informed EldercareDecisions, LLC