Vince Scarich has lived 47 years in his three-bedroom, two-bath ranch house, surrounded by dense foliage and towering trees, in the Los Altos area of California’s Silicon Valley.
“I know where things are,” he wryly comments. Born at the other end of San Francisco Bay in Berkeley, Vince sums up his financial experience in just a few words: “Made a lot of money, spent it, divorced it, lost it.”
In reality, it wasn’t quite that simple for this multitalented retired mortgage broker, whose house and reverse mortgage have allowed him to “live life abundantly” in his senior year.
Vince graduated from the University of California, Berkeley at age 20 with a degree in electrical engineering, motivated, he says, by “wanting a Corvette.” He got a master’s degree in engineering and found himself designing computers near the beginning of the computer revolution. “While I was doing this, I managed to make a lot of money in the stock market.”
Instead of the Corvette, “I got a Ferrari,” Vince says.
His career success afforded him enough financial security to retire at age 40, a hiatus that lasted for seven years.
“But when I retired, I missed the normal activities of social interaction, dating, etc. It was kind of a midlife crisis, so I decided to explore, travel and figure out what I wanted to do,” Vince says. A friend got him involved in her business, which involved taking care of flowers in people’s homes and offices.
“I asked her for leads on businesses. I picked out 13 and wrote them letters asking, ‘Do you have all the money you need?’ I didn’t know anything about this business, and I didn’t know where I was going to get the money if I did get any responses,” he says. “I just basically acted my way through.”
That led Vince to obtain his real estate license and then become a mortgage broker.
“I was a commercial mortgage broker, and then in residential for 25 years, and I held a lot of professional positions in the field,” he says. “During that time, I made it a crusade to make truth and honesty into the code of conduct and mission statement for our industry.”
Vince’s occupation as a mobile notary introduced him to the world of reverse mortgages..
“My business depended completely on relationships with the title companies that used my services,” he says. “But eventually it became more work for less money. From what I’d learned, the reverse mortgage became a palpable option for me, and I got one in December 2018. It has allowed me to no longer work and live a life of ease.”
Vince wasn’t always so enthusiastic about the product, however.
“With my [financial services] experience, I wouldn’t do a reverse mortgage because I felt they were too one-sided,” he says. “Now, things have shifted, and the interest rates are workable.”
He looked into Finance of America Reverse’s (FAR) HomeSafe Standard product.
Ashley Honore Smith is FAR’s director of marketing and worked with Vince on his reverse mortgage.
“We explained to him how our different financial services operate and essentially said to him, ‘We think you’re awesome. Can we work with you?,’” Smith says.
Vince established a good relationship with FAR loan officer Jason Chambers and ended up with a proprietary product with far greater proceeds than a conventional HECM would have yielded. “Jason structured it to work for me,” Vince says. “Everybody in Silicon Valley wanted my loan, but I wanted the lowest interest rates. Jason managed to pull it off and gave me the best deal.”
The relationship didn’t end there.
“We quickly became good friends. We had long, intimate conversations about family, home, financial products and the issues we face in our lives,” Vince says. “I knew I could call him any time of day. In all my years as a mortgage broker, he’s one of the best people I’ve ever encountered.”
And what has Vince done with that “life of ease” his HomeSafe Standard reverse mortgage allows him to enjoy? Not to worry – he keeps himself plenty busy socially. “I now have a fabulous partner, and for the past 27 years I’ve been hosting singing parties at my house with live music. It brings together a community of people and leads to other social activities, he says.
Vince’s rich social life began to take root long before he got his reverse mortgage in 2018, though. “Back in 1971, I checked with the Library of Congress to see if there was any established association for bocce,” Vince adds. That’s the Italian-originated game (also claimed by other nationalities) usually played outside in which wooden balls are rolled with the aim of landing them closest to a smaller ball. “It turned out there wasn’t any organized group, so we started the National Bocce Ball Association. I’m the seven-times national champion. We have a court in our backyard. The city is putting two courts in the new community center, and we’re organizing teams.”
Today, enjoying the benefits of his reverse mortgage, Vince says, “I can now go out to dinner when I want, buy what I want and give what I want. The mindset, the mood and the space the reverse mortgage has given me is one where now I don’t have to worry.”