On a recent Sunday morning, I made it a point to read a few issues of The Reverse Review and NRMLA’s Reverse Mortgage magazine. There has been so much going on that I haven’t had time to enjoy a good read about the industry to which I’m devoted.
Although I skim over daily news about happenings in the reverse mortgage field, it is so easy to be absorbed in what I like to call “the thick of thin things.” That’s not to say that the recent changes to the industry are by any means thin, but it’s easy to focus on the minutiae rather than assess the situation from a high-level perspective.
As I considered this idea, I decided to force myself to think outside of the daily grind, to assume a 10,000-foot view of the HECM program. I thought about the totality of the changes and how they might change the product and the experience for potential consumers in years to come.
While assuming this mental stance, I read an article about how the HECM for Purchase program helped a couple retire 10 years earlier than they had originally planned. Other stories covered new rules promising relief for non-borrowing spouses and strategic ways seniors can utilize home equity to protect their portfolios. These articles helped me appreciate the evolutionary road this product has taken. It highlighted the fact that as an industry, we are working together with our partners in government to shape the program so that it can be the most beneficial to the consumers we serve, so we can help the most people find financial security in their retirement years.
I am reminded that nothing good comes easily. As Scottish author Samuel Smiles said, “The very greatest things—great thought, discoveries, inventions—have usually been nurtured in hardship, often pondered over in sorrow, and at length established with difficulty.” This seems to be a poignant statement for our industry. While the road has been tumultuous at times, and recent policy change will be tough to endure, we will manage, just as we have before. The result will make us better and stronger. After all is said and done, I am confident that we are heading in the right direction.