Kewadin, Michigan

Michael and Carol, both 73, live near Kewadin, MI, on the shores of Torch Lake, considered “the third most beautiful lake in the world, according to National Geographic,” says Michael.

The couple have been married 26 years. They have three children apiece from prior marriages, resulting in 10 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

“We enjoy the summers on the lake, especially when our kids and grandkids come visit us,” he adds. “They really enjoy swimming, even though the water is really cold.”

Michael spent just over 10 years in the Air Force as a military police officer. He was stationed in New York, South Carolina, Ohio, Montana and Turkey. After leaving the military, he spent the next 17 years on the Michigan state police force, while Carol served as a nursing home administrator.

After leaving the police force, Michael finished out his career as a private detective. Both are now retired.

The couples’ lakefront home was acquired in 1987 and used primarily as a summer retreat. “We moved here permanently in 2000,” Michael adds.

The couple took out an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) to buy the home. A few months before the interest rate was scheduled to adjust upward, Michael figured out the new monthly mortgage payment would increase dramatically to a level they could not afford for long on their fixed income.

They heard about the reverse mortgage program from 1st Financial Reverse Mortgages, based further south in Northville. The couple obtained a reverse mortgage, which allowed them to pay off the ARM. There was money left over to pay for small remodeling jobs and property taxes, while the rest was set-aside in a line of credit.

Most importantly, the reverse mortgage allowed Michael and Carol to continue living in their dream home. “We love this place. We enjoy the changing of the seasons and like I said, we have the third most beautiful lake in the world right outside our front door.”

The reverse mortgage, he added, may not be the right option for everyone, but “it certainly was the best thing for us.”