Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, May 12, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page A:10



Mountain Views-News Saturday, May 12, 2018 



HAPPY BIRTHDAY! …May Birthdays*

Joann Serrato-Chi, Harriett Lyle, Jean Coleman, Birgitta Gerlinger, Donna 
Mathieson, Luciana Rosenzweig, Linda Wochnik, Marian Woodford, Debbie 
Sheridan, Joanne Anthony, Carole Axline, Kika Downey, Shirley Hall, Annie 
Scalzo, Janet Ten Eyck, Jane Thomas, Ray Burley.

 * To add your name to this distinguished list, please call the paper at 626.355.2737. 
YEAR of birth not required

ACTIVITIES: Unless listed differently, all activities are at the Hart 
Park House (Senior Center) 222 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre



Hawaiian & Polynesian Dance Class: Every Tuesday morning from 10a.m. to 
11a.m. Join the class with Instructor Barbara Dempsey as she leads you in the 
art of Hula. 

Bingo Time: Every Tuesday beginning at 1:00p.m. Cards are only $0.25 each! 
Everyone is welcome to join. Activity may be canceled if less than five people. 

Free Blood Pressure Testing: 2nd Tuesdays of the month from 11a.m. to 12p.m. No appt. is necessary. 

Brain Games: Join us on Thursday, April 19th at 10:30a.m. to 11:30a.m for Scattergories, a creative 
thinking game by naming objects within a set of categories; or Jenga, a block-building challenge that 
keeps you stacking and balancing your tower. Everyone is welcome, and no experience is needed. What 
a great way to strengthen your brain and make new friends. Games facilitated by Senior Volunteers. 

Free Legal Consultation: Wednesday, April 18th from 10:30am to Noon. Attorney Lem Makupson is 
available for legal consultation. Specializing in Family Law, Wills, Trusts, Estates, and Injury. Please 
call Hart Park House for an appointment, 626-355-7394. 

Senior Club: Meets every Saturday at the Hart Park House Senior Center. Brown Bag Lunch at 

Chair Yoga: Mondays & Wednesdays from 11:00a.m. to 11:45a.m. with Paul Hagen. Classes include 
Yoga and balance exercises. All ability levels are encouraged and welcomed!

* A voluntary donation of $5.00 per week is suggested but not required.

Birthday Celebrations: Every 2nd Thursday monthly at the Hart Park House, share some free 
birthday cake provided by the Sierra Madre Civic Club! 

Free Strength Training Class: Fridays from 12:45p.m. to 1:30p.m. with Lisa Brandley. This 
energetic class utilizes light weights, low impact resistance training and body conditioning. Class 
equipment is provided. 

Tax Assistance: Every Wednesday beginning on February 7th through April 11th from 1:00p.m. 
to 2:00p.m ...Don Brunner is available for income tax consultation... 
**Appointments are required by calling the Hart Park House Office 626-355-7394**

 ** Call Community Services Department for details about the “Ear to Ear Program” returning in 
2018** 626 - 355 - 5278

Dear Savvy Senior,

What can you tell me about reverse mortgages for 
retirees? My wife and I are contemplating getting 
one but want to make sure we know what weÕre 
getting into.

Running Short

Dear Running,

For retirees who own their home and want to 
stay living there, but could use some extra cash, 
a reverse mortgage is a viable financial tool, but 
thereÕs a lot to know and consider to be sure 
itÕs a good option for you. 


Let's start with the basics. 

 A reverse mortgage is a unique type of loan 
that allows older homeowners to borrow money 
against the equity in their house (or condo) that 
doesnÕt have to be repaid until the homeowner 
dies, sells the house or moves out for at least 12 
months. At that point, you or your heirs will have 
to pay back the loan plus accrued interest and 
fees, but you will never owe more than the value 
of your home.

 It's also important to understand that with 
a reverse mortgage, you, not the bank, own 
the house, so youÕre still required to pay your 
property taxes and homeowners insurance. Not 
paying them can result in foreclosure. 

 To be eligible, you must be 62 years of age or 
older, own your own home (or owe only a small 
balance) and currently be living there. 

 You will also need to undergo a financial 
assessment to determine whether you can 
afford to continue paying your property taxes 
and insurance. Depending on your financial 
situation, you may be required to put part of your 
loan into an escrow account to pay future bills. 
If the financial assessment finds that you cannot 
pay your insurance and taxes and have enough 
cash left to live on, youÕll be denied.

Loan Details

Around 95 percent of all reverse mortgages 
offered today are Home Equity Conversion 
Mortgages (HECM), which are FHA insured and 
offered through private mortgage lenders and 
banks. HECMÕs also have home value limits 
that vary by county, but cannot exceed $679,650. 

 How much you can actually get through a 
reverse mortgage depends on your age (the older 
you are the more you can get), your homeÕs value 
and the prevailing interest rates. Generally, most 
people can borrow somewhere between 50 and 
65 percent of the home's value. To estimate how 
much you can borrow, use the reverse mortgage 
calculator at 

 You also need to know that reverse mortgages 
have recently become more expensive with a 
number of fees, including: a 2 percent lender 
origination fee for the first $200,000 of the 
homeÕs value and 1 percent of the remaining 
value, with a cap of $6,000; an upfront 2 percent 
mortgage insurance premium (MIP) fee on the 
maximum loan amount, plus an annual MIP fee 
thatÕs equal to 0.5 percent of the outstanding 
loan balance; along with an appraisal fee, closing 
costs and other miscellaneous expenses. Most 
fees can be deducted for the loan amount to 
reduce your out-of-pocket cost at closing. 

 To receive your money, you can opt for a lump 
sum, a line of credit, regular monthly checks or a 
combination of these. 

More Information

To learn more, read the National Council on 
Aging's online booklet ÒUse Your Home to Stay 
at Home at And see the 
National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association 
self-evaluation checklist at ReverseMortgage.

 Also note that because reverse mortgages are 
complex loans, all borrowers are required to get 
face-to-face or telephone counseling through a 
HUD approved independent counseling agency 
before taking one out. Most agencies typically 
charge around $125. To locate one near you, visit, or call 800-569-4287.

 Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, 
P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit Jim Miller is a contributor to the 
NBC Today show and author of 'The Savvy Senior' 

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