More and more people are discussing the unprecedented number of baby boomers expected to enter retirement in the coming years. This so-called “Silver Tsunami” is frequently mentioned on television, in the newspapers and on the airwaves. As a reverse mortgage professional, what are you going to do to capitalize on these favorable demographics?
Let’s analyze this situation from a statistical prospective. Each day 10,000 individuals are reaching 65 years of age, adding to the population of 42 million American seniors, and this trend is expected to continue for the next 17 years another as the boomer generation ages.
People are living longer than they did 100 years ago, when the average life expectancy was just 49. But living longer doesn’t necessarily mean living better. More than 25 percent of this population is inflected with a physical impairment that requires some form of remodeling to make their living experience more palatable. For many American seniors who wish to remain in their homes, this requires construction to their homes in order to accommodate limited mobility as they age in place. To address these needs, the public sector has created task forces under federal, state and local municipality commissions to study and implement new programs and initiatives that provide services for the aging population. At the same time, the private sector has implemented initiatives to assist this demographic, giving rise to a new designation in the construction industry: a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS).
As reverse mortgage professionals, it would be extremely beneficial to connect with members of the construction business who specialize in assisting seniors with the remodeling of their homes. When it comes down to it, HECM originators and contractors with the CAPS designation both aim to help seniors age in place.
Now that we have identified this new CAPS group, we need to find a way to approach them to discuss a potential collaboration. First, I recommend finding the construction industry association in your community and introducing yourself as a person who helps seniors access the financial tools they need to support their desire to age in place. This may require you to build a rapport and perhaps become a member of the organization. Once you have ingratiated yourself, ask to host a member presentation about how seniors can utilize reverse mortgages to pay for home renovations and repairs. Prepare a newsletter article announcing the event and follow up with another article after the presentation to maintain your visibility. As business people with a common goal to assist seniors looking to remain in their homes, you may find that these designated contractors are open to establishing a referral network that can benefit you both.