Industry News

18
Apr

Five Things Australian Seniors Should Know About the Federal Budget 2019-20

Photo by Matthew Bennett on Unsplash

Australia’s federal budget for 2019-20 raised mixed reactions.

There are people praising the Coalition for coming up with the first budget surplus in 12 years (excessive of $7.1 billion) while some members of the society such as seniors advocates call the budget a failure to impress older Australians.

Leading independent advocacy group National Seniors Australia described the budget as “disappointing, especially for age pensioners.”

For retirees or those with parents or relatives who are nearing age pension, here are five things that you should know about the federal budget.

1. Softer Superannuation Rules for Australian Seniors

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

The Federal Budget will allow Australians over 65 years to make voluntary superannuation contributions without meeting the current work test.

This change will take effect from 2020 to 2021, and will potentially benefit around 55,000 Australian seniors.

The same group will also be allowed to make three years worth of non-concessional contributions, which are presently capped at $100,000 per year to their superannuation in one year. Only Australians under 65  are allowed to make these arrangements.

The government also plans to increase the age limit for the spousal contributions from 69 to 74. At present, Australians aged over 70 are not allowed to receive contributions from someone else.

2. Additional Drugs to Be Subsidised by the Government

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

New drugs for kidney, bladder, liver and skin cancer will be subsidised by the government through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

The government intends to spend $81.5 M to cut the cost of one drug from $155,000 a year to just $40 for every script.

Bavencio (avemulab) is an important medicine used for the treatment of rare and aggressive skin cancer metastatic merkel cell carcinoma. It will be included in the PBS starting May 1st.

Based on a report by Cancer Council, two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they are 70.

The breast cancer drug Ibrance (palbociclib) will also be subsidised by the government by cutting the $55,000 a year to just $40 each script.

In 2015, 16,852 women and 145 men were diagnosed with breast cancer in Australia. The risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer by age 85 is 1 in 8 for women and 1 in 651 for men.

The budget also includes $70.8 million over seven years for regional cancer diagnosis, treatment, and therapy centres.

3. Energy Assistance Supplement for Pensioners

Photo by Murilo Folgosi from Pexels

The government will provide one-off payments to around 4 million welfare recipients that will cost around $285 million to help cover electricity bills.

This includes power bill assistance to around 2.4 million Australian pensioners ($75 for singles and $125 for couples).

The assistance will be released this year provided the bill will be passed by July 1st.

4. More Investment for Research and Other Initiatives Related to Ageing and Dementia

Photo by Vlad Sargu on Unsplash

The 2019 Budget includes $185 million investment into research in aging and dementia.

It also includes $35.7 million over five years for increased dementia and veterans’ home care supplements.

Maree McCabe, CEO of Dementia Australia said this inclusion in the budget is a good start but does not speak to the heart of the problem for people living with dementia their families and carers.

“With 447,000 Australians living with dementia, 1.5 million people involved in the care of someone living with dementia and the prevalence projected to increase to 1.1 million people by 2058, the impact of dementia cannot be ignored,” McCabe added.

5. Additional Funding for Aged Care

Photo by Vlad Sargu on Unsplash

The government has allocated total funding of $21.6 billion for aged care, which is an increase of more than 50% since 2013-14.

This includes $282.4 million additional budget for 10,000 new home care packages to support older Australians who want to stay at home. This increases the number of new home care packages to 40,000 from last year.

An additional budget of $5.9 billion over two years from 2020-20 will be spent by the government to extend the Commonwealth Home Support Programme.

Furthermore, $320 million is now allocated to boost the 2019-20 for residential aged care and 13,500 new residential care places.

The added budget of $84.3 million over four years will be used to provide more support for young carers under the Integrated Carer Support Service.

Reverse Mortgage – Alternative Solution

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

While the Federal Budget 2019 has its merits, it cannot accommodate all the needs of Australian seniors.

For example, given the increased demand for home care packages and the aging population of Australia, long lead times (usually longer than one year) for getting such services is seen as a major issue.

While some services are in place, there is still no certainty that you can access such services in time. This is why it is best to look for alternative solutions to make sure you can live a comfortable life when you stop working.

One viable solution is to unlock your home equity through a Reverse Mortgage loan.

If you are already 60 years old, you own your own home, and you are in need of cash for your retirement needs, you can choose to convert the equity of your own home and transform it into either income stream or lump sum.

A Reverse Mortgage loan is often recommended for retirees who have already paid off their mortgages and require money for their expenses such as home renovation, aged care accommodation, and debt consolidation.

If you want to learn more about how Reverse Mortgages work, you can download our FREE REVERSE MORTGAGE GUIDE.

You can also call Seniors First on 1300 745 745 or post your comments below.

 

Regards,

 

Darren

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

29
Oct

Commonwealth Bank Reverse Mortgage No Longer Available

The Commonwealth Bank Reverse Mortgage will be withdrawn from sale. CBA (and its subsidiary Bankwest) will no longer offer reverse mortgage loans to new borrowers from the beginning of next year. However, it will still continue lending for current borrowers.

CBA made the decision to discontinue “Equity Unlock for Seniors” and Bankwest reverse mortgage (Seniors Equity Release) as part of the bank’s streamlining of its products to lower costs, remove duplication and simplify lending.  It is the last of the major lenders to withdraw from the reverse mortgage sector amid rising costs and tougher regulation.

Macquarie Bank and Westpac dropped from the reverse mortgage sector late last year.

What is a Bankwest Reverse Mortgage Loan?

The reverse mortgage loan offered by CBA and Bankwest allows eligible elderly Australians to access the wealth of their home without the need to sell the property. The loan proceeds are generally used to improve the standards of living during retirement.

Relying on government Age Pension may not be enough to live a comfortable life when you stop working. Unfortunately, many pensioners don’t have the available cash for their daily needs, but they are living in homes that are valuable.

Rather than selling the property, seniors can unlock the home equity and convert it to cash that they can use for various needs such as debt consolidation, home renovation, aged care, and even buying a car or funding a holiday.

After the withdrawal of CBA and Bankwest from the sector, the remaining players will be P&N Bank, IMB Bank, and Heartlands Seniors’ Finance.

Meanwhile, the federal government will soon offer its own low-cost reverse mortgage scheme known as the Pension Loans Scheme starting July 2019.

Are Reverse Mortgage Loans Still Available from Seniors First?

Yes. If you are over 60 years old and you need to unlock your home equity, you can still avail of a reverse mortgage loan from Seniors First. Even without Commonwealth Bank Reverse Mortgage and a Bankwest reverse mortgage, we can still provide you with options for a reverse mortgage loan.

Moreover, the decision of CBA does not only affect reverse mortgage products. The bank is also reviewing its insurance and credit portfolio as the banking industry is adjusting to tougher regulations and changing market conditions.

CBA is discontinuing its reverse mortgage loan, but the need by elderly Australians for a comfortable retirement will remain and in fact growing. In fact, CBA is projecting a 20% increase in the number of Australians who will be over 65 years old in the next 12 years.

Australian seniors are usually cut off from mainstream lending because many of them are no longer earning regular income to service the loan.   

To help you learn more about reverse mortgages, you can download our FREE REVERSE MORTGAGE GUIDE.

You can also call Seniors First Finance on 1300 745 745 or post your comments below.

Regards,

Darren

28
Aug

ASIC Reverse Mortgage Loan Report 2018

ASIC Reverse Mortgage Loan Report 2018 – released

As foreshadowed in our last post, the much awaited ASIC Reverse Mortgage Report was released today. This is an important document for all key stakeholders who comprise the Australian Reverse Mortgage ecosystem:

  • Seniors / reverse mortgage borrowers
  • Reverse Mortgage Lenders
  • Reverse Mortgage Brokers
  • Regulators
  • Solicitors
  • Financial advisers
  • Family members of borrowers
  • Centrelink
  • Government

I am still reviewing the findings of the report in detail, but some of the early key findings of the report are:

1. The Reverse Mortgage credit market needs more supply.

ASIC has rightly identified that the reverse mortgage lending market is highly concentrated. More lenders are required to mitigate supply-side risk and offer more choice and product innovation to senior consumers. There is a perceived lack of alternatives to Reverse Mortgages available for seniors who want to release home equity.

2. Reverse Mortgages meet the ‘immediate objectives’ of borrowers effectively

ASIC interviewed 30 reverse mortgage borrowers as part of its consumer research. It found that the reverse mortgage enabled borrowers to:

(a) maintain their current living arrangements without continuing to
experience financial stress;
(b) afford a better quality of life;
(c) obtain short-term finance; or
(d) have a general safety net for living expenses:

3. Elder abuse is an area to watch.

Although reported incidents of elder abuse connected with Reverse Mortgage loans appears low, ASIC are nevertheless right to be vigilant for potential future issues. They are proposing some further safeguards in this area.

4. Reverse Mortgage Lenders can do more to educate borrowers on long-term risks.

More work needs to be done by reverse mortgage lenders and brokers to ensure that that borrowers are fully cognisant of possible long-term risks. Some terms in Reverse Mortgage loan contracts were also fund to be potentially “unfair”. Here is the ASIC infographic:

asic reverse mortgage 2018

 

For the full report go HERE.

I will come back with some commentary on the report soon. If you have any questions about this, or what it means for you, please leave a comment below.

Regards, Darren

2
Aug

Reverse Mortgage Loans in 2018 Australia

Although it is just a bit more than halfway through 2018, we can already say that this year is a big one for the Reverse Mortgage industry. With tighter government regulation, expansion of Pension Loan Scheme (PLS), and the growing market demand, the Reverse Mortgage niche is still a vibrant and stable industry.

Government Reverse Mortgage Review

In late 2017, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has conducted a surveillance exercise on Reverse Mortgages to test the compliance with responsible lending obligations, measure consumer understanding of the products, borrowing experiences and outcomes.

Aside from scrutinizing Reverse Mortgages, ASIC is also monitoring the provision of financial advice to the elderly.

This only proves that Reverse Mortgages are one of the most heavily regulated financial product in Australia, which is crucial to protect the interest of our customers.

Government Reverse Mortgage Expansion

While the Australian government tightens the regulation on private Reverse Mortgage providers it is now expanding its own equity product for Australian seniors with full age pension entitlements.

As part of the 2018 Federal Budget, eligible seniors can access the government funded Pension Loans Scheme at a max of $17,800 annually starting 1 July 2019 if legislation passes.

The Australian Government has been offering the Pension Loans Scheme through the Centrelink as a voluntary reverse equity mortgage for older Australians who need to supplement their retirement income.

[ Related Post: Pension Loans Scheme Extension Benefits Age Pensioners But Still Limited ]

At Seniors First, we see this government program as a validation of our efforts to promote Reverse Mortgage as a way for senior Australians to live a better retirement. The recent expansion further attests to the benefits of unlocking home equity to fund needs during retirement age.

Current Private Reverse Mortgage Lenders

As of press time, the following companies are offering Reverse Mortgage products in Australia:

  • Bankwest (Seniors Equity Release)
  • Commonwealth Bank (Equity Unlock Loan)
  • Heartland Seniors Finance (Reverse Mortgage)
  • P&N Bank (Easy Living Access Loan)
  • IMB Bank (Reverse Mortgage)

As a leading Reverse Mortgage broker, Seniors First works with many of the providers mentioned above.

Some Banks Withdrew Their Reverse Mortgage Products

Despite the growing demand for Reverse Mortgage loans in Australia, some lenders decided to drop their home equity products.

Macquarie and St. George both withdrew their Reverse Mortgage loan product in 2017.

St. George announced last year that Westpac (owner of St. George bank) reviewed their suite of home loans to simplify their systems and increase productivity in operations.

[ Related Post: St. George Reverse Mortgage No Longer Available ]

Aside from the withdrawal of Reverse Mortgage and equity release loan products, St. George also discontinued its equity access low documentation loans and some fixed rate low documentation home loans. 

(It is important to take note that this move from Westpac does not only affect Reverse Mortgage products. The bank also discontinued or repackaged other financial products such as insurance and home loans as the bank tries to adjust its lending criteria to changing market conditions).

Growing Market Demand

While some lenders have dropped their Reverse Mortgage offerings, the need by seniors Australians for home equity release products still persists and is in fact growing.

Australians are becoming more aware of Reverse Mortgage, and they usually turn online to learn more about this financial product.

According to Google Australia search traffic, the keyword “Reverse Mortgage” has around 2900 monthly search volume.

Meanwhile, the keywords “Reverse Mortgage loan” and “Reverse Mortgage calculator” has 590 and 390 monthly search volumes respectively.

Popular keywords also include ANZ Reverse Mortgage, NAB Reverse Mortgage, and Reverse Mortgage westpac.

People also search for Bendigo bank Reverse Mortgage but in fact, this refers to the Homesafe equity release product that is typically available in Sydney and Melbourne.

Ask Me About Reverse Mortgages

Just like other financial industry in Australia – banking, insurance, property loans – Reverse Mortgage is undergoing some change. Most of these changes are positive, and given that Reverse Mortgages have been offered since 1992, the market is now quite mature.

If you are interested to learn more about Reverse Mortgages, you can reach me at 1300 745 745 or you can post your comments below.

Regards,

Darren

16
May

Pension Loans Scheme Extension Benefits Age Pensioners But Still Limited

I was recently quoted in an opinion piece written by Bina Brown and published by the Australian Financial Review. Entitled “How to use the budget pension loan scheme for aged care help”, the article explores the idea of unlocking the family home as the “fourth pillar” of the retirement income system.

The decision of the government to extend the Pension Loans Scheme (PLS) to include all eligible retirees can be perceived as a validation of our efforts in the private sector to promote reverse mortgage as a sound way for Australian seniors to live a better retirement.

[ Related Post: Pension Loans Scheme: Government Reverse Mortgage to be Expanded ]

Through a reverse mortgage, also known as a home equity loan, eligible seniors can unlock the wealth of their home without the need to sell the property. The loan proceeds can be used to improve the standard of living during retirement.

Despite Extension, the Pension Loans Scheme Is Still Limited

In the article, I expressed my belief that the PLS extension will be of greatest benefit to full pensioners with no other options to increase their income. However, it is also a fact that the scope of this “government reverse mortgage” is limited because it doesn’t offer a lump-sum option.

The PLS can only be taken as an income stream that is added to the borrower’s pension. In comparison, a reverse mortgage loan from Seniors First can be accessed in three ways:

  • a lump sum
  • a regular income stream
  • cash reserve
  • or a combination of all

With my experience in helping senior borrowers unlock home equity through reverse mortgages, most people want only a small to a medium lump sum, often with further access to a standby fund to mitigate longevity risk. At Seniors First, the average loan we originate is around $85,000, and the loan proceeds are often used for debt consolidation, home improvements, and aged care financing.

[Related Post: Changes in Pension to Boost Interest in Reverse Mortgages ]

PLS is fairly limited because it will not help Australian seniors who need a sizeable lump sum needed for residential aged care in form of the Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD). The RAD is an upfront lump sum payment to the aged care home, which may average between $300,000 to $400,000. However, the income stream for PLS can be used to settle the Daily Accommodation Payment (DAP) that is another option to move into aged care.

While the extension of the PLS is commendable, it is not for everyone. If you need a lump sum amount to pay for aged care and other needs during retirement, a reverse mortgage is another option available.

It is important to take note that the changes in the PLS will start on 1 July 2019, if legislation passes.

To help you learn more about reverse mortgages, you can download our FREE REVERSE MORTGAGE GUIDE. You can also call Seniors First Finance at 1300 745 745 or post your comments below.

Regards,

Darren

10
May

Pension Loans Scheme: Government Reverse Mortgage to be Expanded

Australian seniors with full age pension entitlements can now access the government-funded Pension Loans Scheme at a max of $17,800 annually as part of the key changes introduced in the 2018 Federal Budget.

The Australian Government has been offering the Pension Loans Scheme through the Centrelink as a voluntary reverse equity mortgage for older Australians who need to supplement their retirement income. 

It is important to take note that the changes in the PLS will start on 1 July 2019, if legislation passes.

In the private sector, we see this government program as a validation of our efforts to promote reverse mortgage as a way for seniors Australians to live a better retirement. The recent expansion further attests to the benefits of tapping home equity to fund needs during retirement age.

What is a Reverse Mortgage?

If you are still not aware, a reverse mortgage will allow you to access the wealth of your home without the need to sell it. Basically, the loan proceeds can be used to improve the standard of living when you stop working.

Relying on Age Pension may not be enough to live a comfortable retirement. Many pensioners don’t have the ready cash for their everyday expenses, but they are living in homes that are valued at hundreds of thousands. Instead of selling it, you can instead convert a percentage of the property to cash that you can use for various needs such as aged care, home renovation, debt consolidation, and even buying a car.

[ Related Post: Reverse Mortgages in Australia, Seniors First Video ]

Expanded Pension Loans Scheme

The Pension Loans Scheme is quite similar to the reverse mortgage offered by Seniors First because it also uses the home equity in providing a loan for seniors.

With the current expansion, Australian seniors, including self-funded retirees and full-rate pensioners can access the loan up to $17,800 for couples without affecting their age pension entitlements. The loan should be repaid if the pensioner decides to sell the property, move into an aged care facility, or passes away.

Aside from the expansion of the Pension Loans Scheme, Australian seniors may now avail of the additional 14,000 home care packages, and the improved Pension Work Bonus.

These recent changes are commendable because they could help age pensioners improve their lives. As one of the leading providers of reverse mortgages, Seniors First is dedicated to helping Australian seniors enjoy financial freedom in retirement.

If you want to know more about reverse mortgage, you can call Seniors First on  1300 745 745 or visit www.seniorsfirst.com.au

25
Jul

ASIC Mortgage Broker Review [Infographic]

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) recently released an infographic to explain the regulator’s review of the mortgage broking market and understand the effect of current remuneration structures on the quality of consumer outcomes.

The review reveals that mortgage brokers are paid an average of 0.54% or $2,700 for a $500K home loan.

It also claims that when taking out a loan, customers who use mortgage brokers tend to borrow more, have lower property values, have higher loan to valuation ratios, spend more of their wage on the mortgage, take out more interest only loans, and get the same rate as direct customers.

It is interesting to take note that this review is based on home loans and not reverse mortgages. And at Seniors First, we believe that you can take advantage of great benefits when you choose to work with a reverse mortgage broker.

In fact, we have specified below the top four reasons why you should work with a broker when you are looking around for a reverse mortgage.

1. More Options to Choose From

A reverse mortgage broker like Seniors First works with the top providers of home equity loans, and our specialisation in providing this specific financial product allows us to offer you with more choices. Working with a reverse mortgage broker will allow you to explore more choices from various lenders.

2. Professional Advice

A simple online search will provide you with the top providers of reverse mortgage near your area. But with a professional broker to guide you, it will be easier to choose and apply for a loan package you need without going through the usual hassle. Reverse mortgage brokers have already established a good working relationship with home equity lenders, so they know the complexities of the process so you can be sure of a favourable result.

3. Save Valuable Time

 

A reverse mortgage loan is different than the usual home loan. Hence, you might need to spend some time studying its unique rules and terms before you finally decide to avail of an offer. You can save a lot of time if you work with a reverse mortgage broker who will explain to you the intricacies of the available products. On top of that, your broker will also take charge of filing your application and will regularly update you on the status of the loan.

4. Save Money

The ASIC review also noted that those who took home loans through brokers made 16% less additional payments. This is possible because brokers will always try to find you the lowest rates and fees so you can save more dollars.

For more information on how a reverse mortgage broker can help you with your home equity loan, you can call Seniors First on 1300 745 745 or send as an inquiry to info@seniorsfirst.com.au.

 

20
Jul

St. George Reverse Mortgage No Longer Available

St George has announced it is dropping mortgage and equity-release products after Westpac made a high-level review of their product range and underwriting standards. The review is set to reexamine loans and lending packages under current market conditions. Consequently the St George Reverse Mortgage product has been removed from sale.

The review came at a time when the other four major banks continue to increase the required deposit for home loans and apply strict requirements for interest-only loans and other credit-related products.

In a confidential memo sent to mortgage brokers, St George said that Westpac (owner of St George bank) reviewed their suite of home loans to simplify their systems and increase productivity in operations.

Aside from withdrawal of equity release products such as their reverse mortgage product, the Senior’s Access Loan, St George is also dumping equity access low documentation loans and some fixed rate low documentation home loans.

Equity access low documentation loan is a revolving line of credit secured against the borrower’s property. A low documentation loan is perfect for those who are self-employed who cannot provide usual loan requirements such as tax returns and other financial statements.

Lenders in general face new challenges as new record levels of household debt arise versus static income. An independent analysis suggests lenders to review their underwriting standards in order to deal with changing market conditions.

Are Reverse Mortgage Loans Still Available from Seniors First?

Yes. There is no need to worry about this news. If you are over 60 years and you need to release home equity, a reverse mortgage loan from Seniors First is still a great option. As a leading reverse mortgage broker, we work with some of the biggest names in home finance such as IMB Bank, Bankwest, and Heartland so we can provide you with enough options to find the equity release solution you need.

You should also note that this recent move from Westpac does not only isolate reverse mortgage products for cancellation. The bank is also reassessing other lending packages such as insurance and credit products, as the bank tries to adjust its lending criteria to changing market conditions.

Westpac might ditch their reverse mortgage loan packages, but the need by senior Australians for great equity products still persists and in fact growing.

Many of our reverse mortgage borrowers use their equity fund retirement living, refinance their debt, renovate their homes, buy a more practical vehicle, or take a holiday after years of hard work.

To help you learn more about reverse mortgages, you can download our FREE REVERSE MORTGAGE GUIDE.

You can also call Seniors First Finance at 1300 745 745 or post your comments below.

 

 

20
Jun

Reminder: Age Pension will Change on July 1

When the Commonwealth government introduced the age pension in 1909, the average male life expectancy was 55. Not many Australians reached the age eligibility of 65 for the entitlement.

With significant strides in healthcare, men and women today are expected to live well into their 80s, which has cost the government around $ 41 billion in 2016.

Effect of Living Longer on our Age Pension

As a response, the Australian government will change the pension starting a few days from now. On July 1, the qualifying age for pension will begin to increase progressively by six months every two years until the qualifying age hits 67 in 2023.

[Related Post: Age Pension qualification age changes next year]

As people live longer and healthier lives, the government believes that people can work longer and increase superannuation balances to have a comfortable retirement.

The following pointers will help you identify your age pension:

  • If you were born between 1 July 1952 and 31 December 1953, you qualify for age pension at age 65 years and six months.
  • If you were born between 1 January 1954 and 30 June 1955, you qualify for age pension at age 66 years old.
  • If you were born between 1 July 1955 and 31 December 1956, you qualify for age pension 66 years and six months.
  • If you were born from 1 January 1957 onwards, you will receive age pension by age 67 years.

Take note that if this change affects you and you don’t have a job or you have a short term medical condition, you can claim Newstart Allowance from the government. On the other hand, you are eligible for Disability Support Pension if you have a long-term medical condition.

Alternative Ways to Live a Comfortable Retirement

It might be impossible to live a comfortable retirement if you depend on pension alone. According to the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia’s Retirement Standard, to have a ‘comfortable’ retirement, couples need $ 640,000 in retirement savings, while single people will need around $ 545,000. And with the rising cost of living in Australia and the cost involved in aged care, living beyond 67 can be a challenge.

Of course there is the superannuation, which can help you supplement your retirement income and have some money for investment. However, a report from ASFA reveals that fewer than one in 10 Australians is taking their superannuation seriously. Very few Australians are paying extra money into their superannuation, which may not be enough to fund a comfortable retirement.

There are still alternative ways to make sure that your retirement will not be a struggle. One solution is taking out a reverse mortgage, which is also known as home equity loan.

[Related Post: Changes in Pension to Boost Interest in Reverse Mortgages ]

Reverse mortgages will allow you to unlock the equity in your home without the need to worry about regular repayments. You can receive the proceeds in either a lump sum, a monthly income, a line of credit, or a combination. This is usually a recommended product for retirees who have already paid off their mortgages and need cash for their expenses such as aged care, debt consolidation, home renovation, and more.

To help you learn more about reverse mortgages, you can download our FREE REVERSE MORTGAGE GUIDE.

You can also call Seniors First Finance at 1300 745 745 or post your comments below.

 

Regards,

Darren

30
Apr

How Reverse Mortgages Help the Australian Economy

How Reverse Mortgages Help the Australian Economy

The Australian government is now implementing long-term precautionary measures to respond to the rising cost of aged care. Based on the Intergenerational Report released by the Commonwealth of Australia in 2015, the $42 billion that the government pays for pensions is projected to grow to $160 billion by 2055. This will surely put a lot of strain on our economy because about 80% of seniors today are still expected to receive pensions four decades from now.

KPMG also noted that this situation may place a significant pressure on the Australian workforce as the number of working taxpayers for every elderly person will decrease from 4.5 to 2.73. And by 2055, our expenditure for aged care will increase from 0.9% to 1.7% of GDP. With such scenario, there is a high chance that we will see increased taxes and pension cuts in the future.

Australian Aged Pension May Not Be Enough

It is clear that the aged care system in Australia is not sustainable, and it will continue to do so if our retirees will completely depend on our pension system. In fact, the average pension received by seniors may never be enough to fund a comfortable retirement. A report released by OECD reveals that one-third of Australian pensioners are living below the poverty line.

[ Related Post: Top Five Reasons Why You Should Get Reverse Mortgage Loan this 2016 ]

With insufficient pension, limited income, and increased expenses, retirees may need resort to selling their properties such as family homes to cover the cost of aged care. Some retirees may need to face debt, and families may have to shoulder some of the expenses, which may put significant strain on their finances.

Home Reverse Mortgage Can Help You and the Economy

Many seniors wish to stay and received aged care at home, where they can spend their retirement with their loved ones. Hence, the prospect of selling the home and move into an aged care facility is usually not an option for many. This is among the many reasons why reverse mortgages, also known as home equity loans, are becoming popular options.

A reverse mortgage is a type of loan designed for retirees and pensioners and quite beneficial for those who are assets rich but income poor. Seniors First offers this financial product that will allow people from age 60 to unlock the equity of their homes to fund their needs such as aged care, debt consolidation, home renovation, and many more. Just like any other type of loan, interest will be charged, but you are not required to make regular repayments.

[ Related Post: Reverse Mortgages in Australia, Seniors First Video ]

Reverse Mortgage can help the economy because:

  • It will provide much-needed cash for retirees to finance their needs
  • It will serve as a supplemental fund for insufficient pension
  • It will mobilise the idle assets estimated to be worth around $625 billion

As a matter of fact, the government also offers its own version of reverse mortgage known as the Pension Loans Scheme or PLS, which grants 45% of home equity. In 2014, the PLS released loans amounting to $31.9 million, which is just a blip in the ocean when you compare it to the $625 billion worth of properties that can be unlocked by senior homeowners.

 

However, not all Australian pensioners can take advantage of the PLS, as it is only available as an income stream. Hence, if you need lump sum cash, you can try reverse mortgage loans offered by private lenders.

If you want to learn about reverse mortgage in detail, you can download our guide, Reverse Mortgage Secrets. This FREE special consumer report will help you learn more about reverse mortgage and how you can enjoy your home equity safely and save thousands.

You can also call Seniors First Finance at 1300 745 745 or post your comments below.

Regards,

Darren