New Partnership Seeks to Expand Reverse Mortgage Retirement Planning Knowledge

A partnership between The American College of Financial Services and the Funding Longevity Task Force seeks to expand knowledge on issues related to reverse mortgages and the use of home equity in retirement planning.

Since its inception in 2012, the Funding Longevity Task Force has been focused on building relationships between the financial planning community and the reverse mortgage industry. A main focus of these efforts has been research demonstrating the strategic use of home equity as part of a retirement income plan.

Now aligned with The American College, from which several distinguished staff members have publicly supported and published research on reverse mortgages in recent years, the goal is to further develop and advance an objective of understanding of the role that housing wealth can play in retirement income planning today.

“Our Task Force took as its mission an exploration of a rational and objective understanding of the role that housing wealth can play in prudent planning for retirement income,” said Shelley Giordano, co-founder and chair of the Task Force, in a press release. “We have been pleased that our efforts have permanently changed the conversation about reverse mortgages. We look forward to expanding our reach by joining forces with this respected and energetic institution.”

Spearheading the collaboration between the The College and the Task Force is Jamie Hopkins, associate professor of retirement income and co-director of The American College New York Life Center for Retirement Income.

“We will utilize this group of bright and talented individuals to promote, discuss, and conduct research that can help improve the retirement income security of Americans by increasing the effective use of home equity in a retirement plan,” Hopkins said in a press release.

The new relationship between the two entities is made possible through the help of four strategic partner organizations, including Retirement Funding Solutions, One Reverse Mortgage, Longbridge Financial and TMAC.

With seven-members, the Task Force is comprised of prominent though leaders and researchers in the financial planning profession, including Giordano; Marguerita Cheng, CFP; Thomas C.B. Davison, MA, Ph.D., CFP; Wade D. Pfau, Ph.D., CFA; Barry H. Sacks, Ph.D., JD; John Salter, Ph.D, CFP, AIFA; and Sandra Timmermann, Ed.D.

The Task Force was designed to bring together a group of thought leaders to evaluate senior housing wealth and how it could positively impact retirement, said Torrey Larsen, CEO of Retirement Funding Solutions and co-founder of the Task Force.

“The work done by this team has been remarkable and has been instrumental in better understanding longevity risk and how housing wealth can serve as a tool,” Larsen said in a release. “There is no better time than now and no better partner than The American College for the transition of this initiative that will broaden and increase the group’s impact.”

There are many financial options for retiring Americans, but misinformation and misunderstandings about reverse mortgages

There are many financial options for retiring Americans, but misinformation surrounding reverse mortgages is prevalent and feeds into misunderstandings of how these loan products can be a useful source of retirement income.

“We’ve offered our support to help The American College and the Funding Longevity Task Force take an objective look at how home equity can be responsibly accessed as part of a retirement plan,” said Gregg Smith, president of One Reverse Mortgage. “An academic perspective is essential to educating both seniors and financial advisors on all retirement options and we look forward to the partnership’s findings.”

For its first meeting in October in Cambridge, Mass., the newly constituted Task Force will be hosted by Deborah Lucas, Sloan Distinguished Professor of Finance at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and director of the MIT Golub Center for Finance and Policy.

“While many older Americans own a home that might help them afford a more comfortable retirement, they are justifiably nervous about getting the best possible advice,” said Chris Mayer, CEO of Longbridge Financial. “The American College and members of the Longevity Task Force have strong records of pursuing new and independent research and disseminating the findings to a broad audience of consumers and financial advisors. We are very proud to support this new initiative.”

Written by Jason Oliva

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