Is a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) right for you?

This Week on Sage Aging

<img src="janehammond.jpg" alt="Jane Hammond Compass Mortgage">The cost of Long Term Care tends to top the list of serious concerns for many families as these expenses can eat up a significant part of their monthly income, even for families who thought they had saved enough. This week we talk about Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM). Also referred to as a Reverse Mortgage, this type of loan can be a good option for some who find themselves falling short.

Who is this type of loan good for? Who should not consider a HECM? Who would qualify for a HECM? Join me and guest Jane Hammond of Compass Mortgage for answers to these questions and more in Episode 46. I promise you will learn something. I sure did! Listen to the full conversation here or you can find the transcript at the bottom of this page.

My Guest

My guest this week is Jane Hammond. Jane is a licensed Mortgage Loan Officer at Compass Mortgage in Lakeland, FL, but what makes Jane uniquely qualified for this conversation is her years spent serving older adults in the nonprofit world. She understands the needs of older adults and their families and she’s spent so much of her life advocating for them.

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Transcript

Is a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) right for you?

3/4/2021

SPEAKERS

Liz Craven, Jane Hammond

 

Liz Craven  00:00

The sage aging podcast is brought to you by Polk ElderCare guide your guide to all things senior care and resources. Find the 2021 guide in English and Spanish at Polkeldercare.com

 

Liz Craven  00:27

Welcome to the sage aging podcast. I’m your host Liz Craven Sage aging will connect you to information and resources that will empower you to master the aging and caregiving journey. Weekly, I’ll bring you education, inspiration, amazing industry guests, and caregiver spotlights to shed some light on topics of aging. There’ll even be some freebies and giveaways too. So grab a cup of coffee, sit back and relax as we chat. Are you ready? Hit subscribe now. And let’s get started.

 

Liz Craven  01:03

I hope today is a great day for you. I know it has been for me, honestly, podcast days are always my favorite days because I get to talk to really cool people and spend some fun time. So we all know that there are a lot of things that cause stress to older adults in their families. And the cost of care tends to top the list for most of these families because the expenses associated with caring for an older adult can really add up. And honestly, most of the time, it eats up a pretty significant part of the monthly income even for families who thought they were very well prepared. So what are the options for those who find themselves short on funds? That’s probably one of the biggest questions I hear how on earth do we pay for long-term care? Well, how people pay for long-term care really depends on their financial situation and the kinds of services that they use. Much of the time families rely on a variety of payment sources, including personal funds, maybe some government programs, and a lot of times private financing options. So today, we’re going to break down one of those private financing options and that’s a reverse mortgage. Chances are you’ve heard a lot of opinions about whether or not a reverse mortgage is a good idea. And while a reverse mortgage is not necessarily a good fit for every family, it’s the perfect fit for other families. So let’s talk about it. The goal today is to give you good access to great information that’s unbiased, and that’ll help you to have a greater level of understanding if you’re considering a reverse mortgage. My guest today is Jane Hammond. Jane is a loan officer at compass mortgage in Lakeland, Florida. But what makes Jane uniquely qualified for this conversation is her years spent serving older adults in the nonprofit world. She understands the needs of older adults and their families. And she’s spent so much of her life advocating for them. So I’m really happy to have her here today to have this specific conversation because I know it’s one that carries a lot of misunderstanding and myths and all kinds of ideas about what reverse mortgage is and what it isn’t. So we’re going to clear all that up for you today. And we’re gonna break it down. Welcome to the show, Jane. Thanks for joining me.

 

Jane Hammond  03:30

Thanks, Liz. Thanks for the opportunity and the great introduction.

 

Liz Craven  03:34

Oh, you’re welcome. And I’m so happy to have you. Gosh, we’ve known each other for a long time, Jane and I go way back, serving the older adults in our central Florida community. We’ve seen and heard a lot of things we’ve thrown so many ideas around. And so it’s kind of nice to see that come full circle, you’ve since moved on into a new career. And, you know, I think it’s a great marriage of your knowledge of the mortgage industry and your knowledge of how older adults and their families experience life in later years.

 

Jane Hammond  04:08

It is I’m really excited to find a new way to serve the senior adult community. I have changed careers a lot over my years. So from poultry science, where I started in biochemistry and doing application development in the biotech sector. I have a really strange background. But this is one way that I think that all of my strengths and skills come together. I’m very numbers-oriented and analytical, innovative, and I can use all of those tools in this way to help seniors find a new way to improve their quality of life.

 

Liz Craven  04:47

Well, you know what, I always love to start a conversation with a quote. And you know, I was searching high and low to find one that really spoke to me as it relates to this conversation, but I’ll be the first to raise my hand and say, I’m pretty ignorant about this topic. So I wasn’t finding anything that moved me and went to an oldie, but goodie, that is a failsafe that I use often just in everyday life for myself. And that is a quote by Benjamin Franklin. And we’ve all heard it before, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” And I think that that, quote, fits in almost any situation, because, honestly, we have to educate ourselves, we have to get out there and find the information before we need it. If we want to experience success in anything in our lives, and that includes planning for our financial future, you know, what’s going to happen down the road? What if I need extra income because of a situation that was unforeseen? You know, what if my retirement funds take a hit because the economy was doing something strange, and I can no longer afford to fund my care in later years, all those what-ifs, we have to prepare for those. So this conversation is a great way to help people start to do that a little bit.

 

Jane Hammond  06:11

It is and I find that people are usually very hesitant or, or reserved about answering these questions of financial questions of how do I overcome these challenges? But if we just give it a little bit of time, I think we’ll see by the end of the conversation, it’s not that scary. It just takes preparation.

 

Liz Craven  06:32

Well, let’s just start at the beginning. What is a reverse mortgage?

 

Jane Hammond  06:37

All right, well, a better name for a reverse mortgage is a heck of a high Equity Conversion Mortgage. And so I’m going to use that term for the term may be a little on the technical side, but it really describes what we’re talking about much better. Simply put, it uses the equity in your home to either multiply your buying power in a purchase, or to provide you income that you can use for any purpose, the borrower must be 62 years or older, and this must be their primary residence. You don’t need to own your home outright, you just need that first part high equity, it can provide a lump sum payment at the beginning of the loan, it can create an equity line available to the homeowner, or it can provide a set amount of income each month, the loan is structured to fit the needs of the homeowner. And instead of receiving money from a lender, then paying them back each month, the reverse component of the loan doesn’t require monthly payments, the loan does not need to be satisfied until the homeowner no longer lives in the home as their primary residence. And the only expenses you’ll have on the home are the normal taxes, insurance, and maintenance that you would have because you own that home. So there are fees involved like every loan, when you take a HECM one upfront fee in this case is mortgage insurance. And because this is actually an FHA product. So in the case of a heck of law, the upfront mortgage insurance ensures two things. One, your loan will be backed by the government should anything happen to your lender, and to the balance of the loan will never exceed the value of the home. The goal for anyone aging in places that your quality of life is extended in a healthy and safe way. A HECM over time, can provide long-term financial stability, which lessens worry allows fixed incomes to go farther and allows for other retirement savings or investments to remain in interest bearing accounts.

 

Liz Craven  08:59

That’s a lot of information. One of the things that stood out was that the loan value will never exceed the value of the home. Let’s just put it out there on the table. Let’s talk about the elephant sitting in the room. There have been a lot of really bad things out there about this type of mortgage. So maybe we can address some of those points and talk about, you know the truth versus the myth.

 

Jane Hammond  09:30

Absolutely. So I have the first the big three. The Big Three myths are the homeowner no longer owns the home. The Heirs no longer have a home to inherit, and there will be no money left in the home for the heirs to inherit. that none of those three are true. a hacker works just like a conventional mortgage in that the owner retains full ownership of the home It can be passed on to their heirs. And any unused portion of the equity remains available to the heirs when the mortgage is satisfied. When you inherit a home, it may have a conventional mortgage on it, you would have to satisfy that mortgage to take possession of the home. Same situation here, these loans are meant to be used for a purpose. Maybe mom and dad don’t have enough income to cover their monthly expenses or in-home health care is needed, or they need to move closer to family. But the cost of housing in the new area is higher than where they left, or they don’t have the income to support a conventional mortgage payment. These are serious circumstances that the family would likely have to supplement with their income to help the older family members. And these types of situations we need to look at the equity these folks have learned through their hard work to help them now. Leaving your heirs a home free and clear is a great goal, but not at the cost of your own quality of life.

 

Liz Craven  11:09

Right. This seems to me like a tool that would be right for a family trying to fill that gap, the financial gap that exists for care for mom or dad, and the kids don’t have the funds to put their own money in mom and dad don’t have the funds mom and dad obviously can’t work at this point. So what do you do, and like you said, it’s nice to inherit a home free and clear. But being able to take the equity, take their own money out of a property and use it for what they need it for seems to me a better option than struggling, just to leave something behind for family, it really just gives you the opportunity to use the asset that you already own. And then when the home is sold later down the road, the mortgage is satisfied, it doesn’t leave the children holding the bag.

 

Jane Hammond  12:01

No, it absolutely doesn’t. And in some cases, it may even leave the children with other cash funds or increased cash funds. Because they weren’t. The older adult members were not using their money every month to satisfy a mortgage payment. And perhaps they’re investing that money or they’re not touching other accounts that can continue to grow as well.

 

Liz Craven  12:31

Right. One thing people fail to recognize is when you’re looking at assets of older adults, specifically, when it’s involving a couple, there’s a big risk involved in depleting all of the funds for one spouse. So I sat with a family just last week, and he has late-stage Parkinson’s. And mom is as healthy as a horse. This woman’s going to live for a long time though she does have some dementia and some issues of her own. And they are currently living in their home. And the kids are trying to figure out how are we going to pay for all of this. So their private funding most of the care needs from home care and other things because they don’t qualify for Medicaid and don’t have the right other supports in place. You know, I said to them, you really need to talk to an attorney, you really need to get all of your options out on on the table in front of you. Because if you go through all of the funds, all of the assets that are in place now to take care of Dad, what’s going to happen to Mom, you have to protect mom, and this seems like a really good way for a situation like that for a family to take advantage of a reverse mortgage or a heckum. Is that the right? Yeah. hakob changing our language. Yeah. I like that.

 

Jane Hammond  14:00

Yeah. And I think that you’re absolutely right, I’ll I can draw from my own personal experience. My mom had had Alzheimer’s and we moved my parents as a consequence of her condition. And now that she has passed, it does make me reflect on was this the right choice for my dad, who’s still really healthy and will live a long time and but now we made a lot of decisions just around the immediate need for her care. So I think that’s a great point.

 

Liz Craven  14:34

What is another of the top myths that you hear as it relates to this type of loan?

 

Jane Hammond  14:40

Well, I think that one other thing that I found surprising is that you can use this type of loan to purchase and this is something that gets really got me excited about it all over again. Because how many times have we talked to a family That needs to move mom and dad closer. And what does that look like? Maybe, you know, maybe they don’t. They’re coming from an area where they’re selling their home, they’re getting all that equity out of that property. But to turn around and try to do something closer to family is challenging. And what do we do in that situation? So a hacker can actually multiply your buying power. So we typically have heard about reverses, you’re already in that home, and it’s a refinance. But in the purchase situation, it’s just a powerful money multiplier. So let me give you an example. a sweet lady came to me, she had sold her condo in another area of the state came here to live closer to family. So she had that good nest egg. And she said, I just want to purchase a mobile home, she selected a great community, when you’re talking about a mobile home, you need to own the land under it, which is still possible in over 55 Park. She wanted a nice mobile home. She said I want to spend between 40 and $60,000. To do it, that’s my downpayment. What can I do, and we looked at a conventional mortgage for her. But honestly, she lives on Social Security. So 12 $100 a month. And now you’re trying to make a payment out of that, it was challenging, and it wasn’t going to give her options to be in a safe and healthy environment. So we went and did a reverse. And so at the end of the day, here’s basically and these are, these are just a general set of numbers to work from. But the same $50,000 that she was going to put down on a property and have a payment every month, she used that $50,000 to buy a mobile home for $112,000. Which, by the way, appraised for 120. So she earned more money on it, love that part. But she got a home for $112k. And she has no monthly payment. And she is Yeah, she’s in her early 70s. Very healthy, active lifestyle. So now she you know, for all intents and purposes, she should be set for 25 years of no payments, and very sharp lady, she was like, Well, I’m gonna take that principal and interest that I don’t have to pay each month. And I’m gonna keep investing that. And I’m just like that now. That’s smart. That’s right. So if you really think about it, she knew no one would want her home. That’s another misconception. You know, oh, we have to hold on to this the equity in this home because somebody is gonna inherit it? Yes, they might. But more times than not. The other family members actually don’t want the home, they’re going to sell it anyway. Right. so in this situation, her heirs will inherit her home, there will be a mortgage to satisfy, but she will probably already have more money in the bank, which they’ll also inherit, to satisfy that mortgage as well. In addition, obviously, being able to sell the property.

 

Liz Craven  18:27

That is a really incredible situation. So let me repeat this back to you to make sure I’m understanding what you said. She can take her cash that she has for a downpayment, purchased the home and based on the equity that she has placed in the home with her cash down payment. That’s how she can use a HECM and not have to pay a mortgage payment.

 

Jane Hammond  18:52

Yes,

 

Liz Craven  18:52

that’s amazing. I mean, I had Yeah, my mind blown. I absolutely had no idea that it was a tool outside of refinance. You know, I was thinking, who is this right for? Who is this product right for and who is the right candidate for a loan like this, but now that really opens up the spectrum of who should and should not consider?

 

Jane Hammond  19:19

Absolutely, if you’re bringing family closer to you, it is worth the conversation. And again, it’s not going to be right for everyone. That’s why you go to a mortgage loan officer, a professional who is trained to be able to look through your specific scenario and show you all that your options are. But Liz, you’re certainly not alone because I didn’t know what I did that deal with a realtor who is very well known in the area. She has been working very successfully in Lakeland for a very long time, and she had no idea and so it was a great partnership that we had. She just couldn’t believe it herself, that it was such a great, you know, deal for her client. She was thrilled.

 

Liz Craven  20:09

So is that something that’s new to this type of loan? Is that a part of reforming of it? I thought I read somewhere that some of the rules had recently been updated and changed. Is that a part of that? Or was it there all along, and people just weren’t really aware?

 

Jane Hammond  20:25

Well, my understanding is that it was there all along. It wasn’t it’s just not something on people’s radar. But you know, you make a great point. One of the reasons that there are these myths and myths truths are out there about a HECM is because they were a much different product. And they were a much different product around the time of the bubble. And let’s face it, the mortgage industry needed and got a lot new, a lot of new regulation and a lot of new control. And that’s a great thing to remember about a HECM. This is a FHA-HUD product. So it is highly regulated. It’s not a free for all, just as we had the subprime lending and those types of things of the past. That is not the situation these days. And as you said, I’ve been an advocate for seniors for so long. I absolutely would not be talking about this product, if I felt that it was in any way negative.

 

Liz Craven  21:25

Absolutely. And do you think that some of the bad rap that this has gotten over the years is because of unscrupulous people who were pushing it to the wrong people?

 

Jane Hammond  21:36

I think that that’s definitely where it got some of the bad rap. And I think that we can talk about, you know, how do we ensure that you’re not getting in with unscrupulous people, whether it’s your mortgage, whether it’s investments, whether it’s any of these things that make older adults vulnerable to scams. And certainly, you want to, in my opinion, first and foremost, you want to find a licensed mortgage loan officer, we are trained or licensed we have to pass a rigorous test. So those things give us the tools to be able to analyze situations correctly, make sure that we’re recommending things that are appropriate. But I tell my clients, whether I’m doing conventional refinances for anyone of any age, or you know, a HECM. Just remember, you can always walk away. And if someone is pressuring you, or making you feel uncomfortable, in any way, walk away.

 

Liz Craven  22:46

That’s a red flag for sure. Yeah,

 

Jane Hammond  22:48

absolutely. Absolutely. So you have every right to be comfortable in a conversation. You know, another great thing about the HECM product, because it is regulated, one of the requirements is actually counseling by independent counselors that have to be certified for HUD. And so every potential client has to complete that independent counseling first. So we ensure things like we’re talking about older adults, let’s make sure that they understand what the conversation is about, are they comfortable with the transaction, it’s someone else to kind of go over the list of parameters again, and make sure that an independent person is evaluating their ability to understand it. Honestly, my clients come out of counseling, even more enthused, and energetic. Let’s go, I really get this, you know. So it’s a great tool, because everyone is welcome to come with that person, or that couple, attorneys, family members CPAs. We encourage all of that way up front, so that everybody feels comfortable and understands and ask their questions about the product.

 

Liz Craven  24:09

Wouldn’t it be nice if for every loan that you took out that there was someone to explain all the ins and outs and say, This is what that means? That’s amazing. I think that’s a terrific safeguard. And that makes me happy knowing that it’s in place. Honestly, I’m very ignorant about this whole conversation. I have never looked at it very closely. I’ve always known that it was there. And have always believed that for the right situation and for the right people that it’s a good tool, but I never dug very deep to learn about it. So I appreciate that you’re here to teach us all of these things today.

 

Jane Hammond  24:48

Absolutely.

 

Liz Craven  24:50

So are there any other big misunderstandings or mistruths that you see out there that you’re confronted with daily

 

Jane Hammond  25:00

I think the other thing is that it does sound like it’s too good to be true. It raises red flags, right? Sure. Yeah. Oh, that that’s impossible. How could it possibly work that way? And I think that it’s important to remember that it is a valuable financial tool for older homeowners. But again, we’ve said it a couple of times, but you can’t say it too much, really, it’s not the right choice for everyone. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad mortgage product, it just means that you need a licensed mortgage loan officer to help you determine what type of mortgage is right for your goals and your situation. If you’re someone over 62, that wants to stay in your home, you have a significant downpayment, to put down on a home or own a home with high equity. And you need to eliminate those principal and interest payments, or you need additional income, this may be your too good to be a true solution. Yes, you know, these folks have worked very hard to create their biggest asset. And they should have the right to top that equity, and still age in place.

 

Liz Craven  26:15

So what kind of person would this type of product not be right for?

 

Jane Hammond  26:21

That’s a great question. It’s not right, for a short-term solution, perhaps, I think it’s, it’s not right for someone who would just take the money without a purpose. You can use it for any purpose. But if you were just taking the money out, and it was going to maybe just sit there or you are going to use it for maybe some shorter-term purpose, then you are using the equity in the home. I hesitate to say that because sometimes those short-term purposes can have a high value in your quality of life. So it’s really hard to give a specific reason why it’s not good. But I think that the structure of the loan is really for someone who thinks they’re going to be in that home for a long period of time that it is going to be their primary residence. That’s usually the biggest question that I get asked, oh, can I use this? And, you know, then go buy another home and live somewhere else? Nope, you have to live in that home? Nope, it can’t finance your personal assisted living, because you have to live in the home. So I think those are the factors are you going to stay there is a long term decision, what are you going to use the money for? And that will help lead you in the conversation of what you need to do? Or do you just need access to a smaller part of your equity, I recommend tools that I can’t provide a HELOC or a home equity line of credit or something like that, in the shorter term that might have higher costs, higher interest rates, lower upfront costs, you know, these are, these are what you have to have someone who loves to sit there and analyze the numbers. Pick me, right. Um, you know, you should be working with somebody who will keep digging into those numbers and giving you the best return on your investment.

 

Liz Craven  28:35

And ideally, a family would have their team, their care team, if you will, meaning you’ve got an elder law attorney in place and you have a financial advisor in place. And alongside your care team that does physical care and your health care and such. So if that proper team is in place, all of those people would probably have some advice and would weigh in on the decision to look at something like this or not do you tend to work with a lot of attorneys?

 

Jane Hammond  29:09

We do. I don’t work directly with the attorneys. But I certainly I’m trying to educate the attorneys that this is a viable tool. Because just like you said that you weren’t aware of it. I just don’t…I don’t think it’s a commonplace understood product, for refinance or for purchase. You know, but we again, we definitely encourage our clients, I make sure that the application package that the clients have, they can review that with their attorneys, they review it with their trusted family members. We have nothing to hide because they need to select a good product, a good solution. And we’re all about giving them all the information they can’t get every professional in their care team.

 

Liz Craven  30:02

Great. And do rules for this type of loan. Do they vary from state to state? Or is it pretty standard?

 

Jane Hammond  30:11

It is pretty standard because it is a federal product. But I would say what you would see from state to state is a variation in your closing costs based on where you are, what those costs look like, maybe, you know, different taxes or things like that, I think you’re gonna find that’s where your variability lies.

 

Liz Craven  30:33

Okay, very good. And any tax consequences and financial considerations that people should think about? As they’re approaching this? You mentioned it a bit before, but is there anything you needed to add as it relates to that?

 

Jane Hammond  30:49

I do because I get asked this question a lot. And it is not taxable income. This is proceeds from a loan. So according to the IRS, that definition, that is not income, so it is not taxed. And I would encourage everyone to look on the IRS website under the FAQs and the subcategory for senior taxpayers. And that gives you a lot of really good tax tips for a variety of topics, not just this one, but it is loan proceeds. So it is not taxable. And I think you know, for the other considerations, again, I’m just probably reiterating the same stuff. But how do you want to use this loan? If it’s a purchase? It’s pretty straightforward, right? How much is the new home? How much? Are you comfortable putting down? Can you afford a conventional payment? If it’s a refinance? Pretty much the same questions, right? What do you need the money for? Are there other options? How long do you think you’ll stay in the home is their income to support that conventional mortgage payment? So again, you always just want a good return on the investment.

 

Liz Craven  32:01

All right, and just by the way, listeners, I will make sure I link, the IRS s website that Jane just mentioned that will be in the show notes. And also in the blog post for this episode, you can find the blog post at Sage aging.com show notes you’ll find at your favorite podcast app. So anything we’ve mentioned in here and including Jane’s information, how to connect with her, that’s all going to be included in those notes for you. So do you have other resources, other favorite places that you can send people to who want to do a little more research on their own?

 

Jane Hammond  32:39

Absolutely. The document that I will direct everybody to is actually from the Housing and Urban Development Agency. And it’s done in conjunction with the National Council on Aging. So we know that these are sources that we can trust. And it is a booklet that they’ve put together called “Using Your Home to Stay at Home.” And it’s a very comprehensive guide to, you know, financial planning to age in place, talks about HECM. But I think it gives a very comprehensive overview of the topic, and it’s definitely going to be another unbiased source.

 

Liz Craven  33:15

Great. And if you’ll provide the link for that, to me, I can also include that so we’re ready can find that easily. So now let’s give you a chance to really just plug you I want to hear about how people can connect with you, obviously, through this conversation. It’s obvious, you know, your stuff. And I think that the other level of confidence like I mentioned in the beginning is the fact that you’ve built a career on supporting older adults and their families. It takes that you and I have said this so many times I can’t even count it takes special people to work with the older population. Number one, it takes a lot of patience. But it takes someone who can look at that other person and look at them as if they are their own parent or their own beloved aunt or uncle. And when you have that combination, I just it really makes all the difference in the world and it leaves you with a level of confidence and a level of comfort when you’re working with someone. So how can people find you?

 

Jane Hammond  34:18

Well, I am a proud member of the compass mortgage team, a licensed mortgage loan officers, and brokers. And so you can connect with me through the compass website, which is compass mortgage llc.com through my Facebook page, which is Jane Hammond MLO, and of course, my email is JHammond @compassmortgagellc.com. So compass mortgage is a five-star rated best Polk County mortgage brokerage that I can provide a range of mortgage options for all homeowners first-time homebuyers. I do all types of loans and refinances not just heck homes. And, you know, I would just say Don’t send your money, your mortgage company more money than you need to. Call me to evaluate how you can save with a refinance and use that money that you save on interest to reach your other financial goals.

 

Liz Craven  35:13

And the last question, this is my favorite one of the entire episode I ask every single guest that comes on. What is one piece of sage advice that you’d like to leave our listeners with?

 

Jane Hammond  35:27

My mantra has become, stop working to pay your mortgage and make your mortgage work for you. Whether you are young and starting out in your middle years with your retirement plans getting closer or you’re an older adult were achieved high equity or paid off your mortgage. It is always wise to talk to a licensed mortgage professional to review your situation and see how you can improve your quality of life through proper mortgage management. Again, this is typically the largest asset in your portfolio, and it needs to be regularly assessed to get the most out of your investment.

 

Liz Craven  36:06

Good advice. Thank you for that. Well, there you have it. It’s just another tool to add to your arsenal. navigating this time of life can be confusing and the amount of information that there is to take in is mountainous. So I hope this podcast is helping you to wade through some of that. And if you’ve got topics that you’d like for me to cover on the show, let me know I would love to hear about it. We are open to all suggestions. You can drop me a line at info at Sage aging.us and don’t forget that you can get the sage aging podcast sent straight to your inbox and it’s super easy to do. Just go to Sage aging comm scroll all the way to the bottom of the page. And then you can put your email address in there and we’ll send it right to your inbox. And finally, let’s connect on social media. Look for CJ aging on Instagram, Facebook, and tik tok and you can find me Liz Craven on LinkedIn. Thanks again for listening friends. We’ll talk real soon

 

Liz Craven

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As I’ve been preparing to launch this podcast I’ve enjoyed revisiting stages of my own life and reflecting on how this topic became such a passion for me. While I’ve built my career on helping older adults and their families connect to needed education and resources, my connection to the aging and care process goes much deeper.

Some of my earliest childhood memories are of my own multi-generational family living together in one home. I was 4 or 5 when my grandmother moved into our home to help care for my sisters and I while our parents worked. Soon after, her father and grandfather moved in as well. We had 5 generations living under one roof! That was a beautifully chaotic adventure and knowing what I know now, I have so much respect for what my parents and grandmother did.

Fast forward to age 24. Newly married and pregnant with our first child, I spent several months with my in-laws to help care for my husband’s grandmother who had Alzheimer’s. Fast forward again to about 2009 – Wes and I have two teenagers about to head to college and his mother is diagnosed with cancer. Several years later, my mother is diagnosed with cancer. Several years after that Wes’ stepdad is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and his father is suffering from severe dementia. You can see where this is going right? For the better part of the last 10 years we have been the caregivers. We see it as an honor and privilege to have been able to do that for our parents.

The key to navigating our later years is being proactive about gathering information before we get there and staying engaged once we do. To be sage is to be wise. There is wisdom in taking the time to ask questions, seek solutions and know your options before the need arises.

Each week we will discuss relevant topics of aging with experts who can help us to understand and be better prepared for aging. We’ll also introduce you to some Sage Agers who are totally owning their journeys through life. No topic will be off limits and we will deliver open and honest conversation meant to educate and empower our listeners. Each episode will also be available in video and blog formats.

Whether you are proactively seeking to broaden your own knowledge, a caregiver for a loved one or a professional working in the aging care industry, this podcast is for you. We hope you will join us as we explore and celebrate Sage Aging.