Although together for over 30 years, Joan and Helen had only been married since federal marriage laws had changed in 2015. Now just entering their 80’s and in excellent health, Joan had chosen no pension survivor payments when she retired 15 years ago. At that time you had to be legally married to your partner to choose a survivor benefit. Common law relationships were not recognized for pension purposes for heterosexual or same sex couples.
Joan had been a corporate attorney and Helen a chef. They lived on about $15,000 a month, $9200 of which was the pension payments. They still had a $1 million mortgage with $6,000 a month payments on their $7 million home in West Hollywood, CA. If Joan passed away first, Helen would have to sell their home to survive. Neither of them wanted that.
Their tax CPA referred them to me. We discussed various options and finally decided upon a $3 million reverse mortgage with a right of last survivor. This meant the loan would not have to be paid or repaid while either of them was alive. We paid off their mortgage and gave them $2 million to invest; which at only 5% gave them $100,000 more a year that for now they decided to ethically reinvest.
By paying off the mortgage and lowering their overhead by $72,000 per year and securing additional income of $100,000 a year, we not only solved the problem of what would happen to Helen should Joan pass away first, we improved the quality of their life together as a couple. They now had much more disposable income and were able to really make a dent in their bucket-list with no worries about their future.
These are real stories about people like you who have benefited from a mortgage program designed by Marc Gertz. Only their names have been changed or omitted.