August Newsletter

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September 3, 2013

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August Newsletter
Greetings!

I want to thank you for your understanding and patience regarding the tardiness of this newsletter. We didn’t want you to miss any of the big announcements while traveling for Labor Day weekend. The month of September marks the beginning of the political season and, of course, National Grandparents Day is on Sunday, September 8th. American Seniors Advocates is hard at work fighting for responsible, conservative policies for seniors like you. One of the key issues affecting seniors is the potential changes to the Medicare Part D plan. This part of the Medicare plan was implemented in 2003 and has nearly a 90% approval among seniors. Changing it to more Medicaid-style price controls would adversely impact most seniors.

American Seniors is proud to announce the recent partnership with WCS Lending, LLC, one of the premier and largest mortgage lenders in the USA. WCS and ASA will host a number of online webinars over the next few months. These webinars will educate and inform members on the many choices available when considering mortgage financing alternatives. Check out the educational piece on Myth vs. Reality of Reverse Mortgages below.

Don’t forget!
Medicare Annual Enrollment Period is right around the corner. Medicare Annual Enrollment starts in six short weeks on October 15th. ASA will continue to keep you informed and make sure that our members have the best resources to make enrollment less stressful. Keep an eye out for an email from our Medicare specialists later this week with more information regarding 2014 enrollment. In this regard, we would ask those members who have not renewed their membership yet to please do so prior to the Medicare open enrollment period.

Sincerely,

James P. Ryan

President and CEO
American Seniors Association

Green is Good
Isothiocyanates – a bacteria-inhibiting compound found in wasabi, broccoli, and other plants in the cruciferous family – can actually fight and prevent tooth decay, cancer, asthma, and even blood clotting!

Consume a bit of wasabi a few days a week to help protect your health. Add it to seafood, pork, sushi and vegetable dips, or try it in this delicious wasabi-based salad dressing recipe.

Time to visit the dentist?

ASA offers leading dental insurance plans from less than $30 per month. Enroll today, and you can visit your dentist immediately after your effective date the following month.

To learn more, click here

or call 877-473-6031.

Reverse Mortgages
With the changes in the financial market many members are questioning the best place to invest their savings as well as the best structure for borrowing money. Mortgage rates continue to be low relative to past years and refinancing an existing mortgage may be a good option. However recently reverse mortgage have emerged as a strategic alternative to traditional "forward" mortgages. You have probably seen and heard the numerous ads on television and radio promoting them which has raised more questions than answers. Recognizing the concern among our members, our newest partner WCS Lending has provided us with a short list of the myths vs. reality:

Myth vs. Reality

Myth 1: If I take out a reverse mortgage, the lender will own my home.

Reality: You retain title and ownership to your home, and you can choose to sell your home at any time you wish. The lender cannot force you from your home as long as you pay your property taxes and homeowner’s insurance and keep your home in good repair. The lender only has a security interest in your home in the form of a first mortgage or trust deed, just the same as in a regular forward mortgage.

Myth 2: My children or heirs will be responsible for the repayment of the loan.

Reality: This is another common myth. This is a non-recourse loan. At the time the last borrower permanently leaves the home the loan must be repaid. At that time, you or your heirs can either pay the balance due on the reverse mortgage, through a traditional refinance or from other assets and keep the home, or sell the home and use the proceeds to pay off the reverse mortgage.

Myth 3: I must own my home free and clear to qualify for a reverse mortgage.

Reality: If you have a balance on your mortgage or home equity loan, and you have enough equity, a portion of the proceeds from the reverse mortgage would be used to pay off your existing loan, thereby eliminating your current house payment. You are then free to do whatever you wish with any remaining funds available to you from the reverse mortgage.

Myth 4: I must have good credit to qualify for a reverse mortgage.

Reality: Your credit is not even a consideration when applying for a reverse mortgage, nor is income. The lender does run a credit report, but it’s only to see if you have any outstanding bankruptcies or government debt, like back taxes. If you do, then those debts must be repaid from proceeds of the reverse mortgage at the time you close the loan.

Myth 5: Only the "cash poor" or needy seniors who failed to plan for retirement get a reverse mortgage.

Reality: Although some seniors may have a greater need than others for the cash or monthly income, a reverse mortgage has become a popular financial planning tool. Long-term health care insurance and in-home health care are popular uses for reverse mortgage proceeds. A growing number of people who have no immediate need are taking out these loans so they have a financial cushion for future expenses.

Myth 6: By getting a reverse mortgage I would be living off borrowed money.

Reality: The money from a reverse mortgage is already your money. It’s just that it’s trapped in your home and not accessible to you unless you take out some type of mortgage. All other mortgages, except a reverse mortgage, require you to make payments back to the lender, but with a reverse mortgage, you make no payments because no payments are required: You do not repay the loan for as long as you choose to live in your home. You are simply accessing money that is already yours through a government insured program, and best of all, it is a not considered a taxable event: Reverse mortgage loan advances are principal. Accessing principal is not taxable.

Myth 7: If I outlive my life expectancy the lender will evict me.

Reality: No matter how much money the lender pays out to you over your life time you will never be forced from your home. You could live to be 120 years and receive far more in payments from the lender than your home is worth, but you will never be evicted or forced to sell your home to pay off the debt as a result of your age. As an FHA-Insured program, the mortgage insurance premium that is included in the cost to obtain the loan is what covers the lender in case of any lender shortfall when the home is sold and the loan is repaid.

Myth 8: I will have tax consequences if I take out a reverse mortgage.

Reality: Proceeds from a reverse mortgage are considered a return of equity from your home therefore it is not considered taxable income. This is an asset-your principal-which you have accumulated through years of paying your mortgage with earnings that were already taxed before you made the payments to the lender. With respect to other tax considerations relevant to reverse mortgages, always consult your tax advisor. Additionally, a reverse mortgage generally does not affect your Federal benefits such social security or Medicare benefits.

Myth 9: There are large out-of-pocket expenses associated with a Reverse Mortgage

Reality: Typically the only out-of-pocket expense is the cost of the counseling and cost the home appraisal fee.

ASA is proud to have formed a strategic alliance with WCS Lending, LLC one of the premier and largest mortgage lenders in the nation. Our aim is to educate and inform our members on the variety of options available in mortgage financing in order to have choices when selecting benefits that help you live a healthier and wealthier life. Over the next few months ASA and WCS will host a number of on line "webinars" that will educate and inform members on the many choices available to them. As an ASA member, you gain access to exclusive savings and benefits from WCS Lending’s dedicated and experienced mortgage team. Benefits for ASA members include no underwriting or appraisal fees on all closed reverse mortgages resulting in up to $800 in savings! ASA members also gain benefit of a exceptional portfolio of mortgage options including reverse mortgages and refinancing, with a no cost, no obligation prequalification. Call the WCS Lending’s mortgage team today and learn how ASA members can benefit from WCS Lending’s decades of experience and competitive benefits.

Call 866.772.8382 for reverse mortgage information or 866.772.8384 or all other home financing options. You can also click the link to get additional information.

Best Roadside Service
Labor Day Savings
Don’t miss out on Labor Day Savings!

Sign up for Roadside Assistance through Best Roadside Service and receive $5 off when you sign up online!

Just type in $fiveoff when it asks for the coupon code. *Offer only valid from September 1, 2013 through September 30, 2013.*

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In This Issue
Jim’s Letter
Green is Good
Reverse Mortgages Myth vs. Reality
Best Roadside Service Labor Day Savings
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