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Retain Your Home and Age in Place in Uncertain Times

Homeownership offers many advantages, not the least of which is the opportunity for appreciation, an increase in your home’s equity over time. For example, a median-priced home in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area was about $164,000 in 2011. By July 2020, the median home price in the same Twin Cities metro region was $305,000, an increase […]

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Guide to Reverse Mortgages – What You Need to Know

A reverse mortgage loan is a financial tool capable of doing many things. Besides paying off your current mortgage, you can use it to pay bills, supplement retirement income, fix up your home, cover the cost of medical care, or simply reserve it as a powerful safety net for your retirement. Your options are virtually […]

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We Buy Houses – Too Good to Be True?

The letter arrived at just the right time. A week after her mother died in mid-2019, Suzanne was thinking about selling the family home her parents had owned since the early 1990s in the Sacramento foothills of California. A letter from a real estate investor offered close to $300,000 in cash to buy the home. […]

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Ways to Get Your House in Financial Order

“If you think nobody cares if you’re alive, try missing a couple of car payments.” – Earl Wilson Over the decades, you’ve probably uttered a variation of the statement, “I need to get my act together.” In your 20s, maybe you were trying to decide on a career path. In your 30s, maybe you wrestled […]

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How to Create an Emergency Fund

An “emergency fund” is essentially a cash reserve set aside for unplanned expenses or financial emergencies. It’s your defense against Murphy’s Law, the idea that anything that can go wrong will go wrong over time, which could negatively impact your home, health, or finances. While defining an emergency fund is relatively easy, determining how much […]

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CA Prop 19 Expands Homebuying Opportunities

With the Nov. 3, 2020 passage of California’s Proposition 19, homeowners age 55 and older can now transfer their home’s Proposition 13 tax savings to a replacement home, including a more expensive one, anywhere in California. The tax break, which can be used up to three times, also extends to California homeowners with severe disabilities […]

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Reverse Mortgage and Medicaid: What You Should Know

Medicare is Awesome, But It’s Not Free – The Medigap v. Advantage Decision Generally, if you have reached the age of 65 and you have paid Medicare taxes (these are the FICA deductions on your paycheck) for at least 10 years, you will likely be eligible to receive Medicare benefits. But Medicare (Part A, hospital […]

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Can a Family Member Be Added to a Reverse Mortgage?

Can a Family Member Be Added to a Reverse Mortgage? People seem to enjoy making additions of one sort or another. Homeowners might add an extra bedroom to accommodate visiting in-laws.  Golfers might add a solo player to complete a foursome. Or magicians might add a routine to improve their act. Unfortunately, however, you can’t […]

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How to Fund Your Retirement in a Down Market

As an older American adjusting to the post-pandemic “new normal,” you may not only be looking at half-empty restaurants, airplanes, stadiums and cruise ships, but also a retirement picture that is quite different from last year or even just a few months ago. If you have money invested in an IRA or 401(k), you probably […]

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What Are the Disadvantages of a Home Equity Line of Credit?

A home equity line of credit (HELOC) can be a convenient way to borrow money. It can be much be less expensive than a credit card installment plan or personal loan. Also, with a HELOC, you pay interest only the amount of the line you use. Nevertheless, a HELOC also has some drawbacks you need […]

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