Steve Turner, 78, lives in Demorest, GA, where he sells supplemental insurance for Medicare beneficiaries, commonly referred to as Medigap or Medicare Advantage. 

“I’ve been selling insurance all my life,” says Steve. While he’s licensed to sell annuities and life insurance, his preference is to assist clients in selecting the best possible Medicare Advantage plans.

“It’s a fun thing to help people navigate Medicare,” says Steve.

In 2000, Steve and his partner Mya moved into the home that they both still occupy.

In 2018, the couple had a $75,000 mortgage on their home that they wanted to pay off. Although they had enough savings to pay off the mortgage, the couple wanted to investigate alternative solutions so that they wouldn’t have to dip into their retirement nest egg.

Steve had known about reverse mortgages for several years. One of his Medicare Advantage clients is Robert Parker, a loan officer with Longbridge Financial, whom he had met many years before when they worked in the same office building.

Steve contacted Robert to get more information about reverse mortgages and to run the numbers to see if it made sense as a long-term solution. The couple also met with a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-approved housing counselor to gather additional information and to learn about alternative options. In the end, the couple pursued a reverse mortgage.

The couple’s home was appraised at $300,000, which enabled them to pay off the mortgage and set up a reverse mortgage line of credit for emergencies.

“We accessed funds from the line of credit to replace the roof, buy a new heat pump, and have the house pressure-washed and stained,” says Steve. “The reverse mortgage is such a good thing. It’s so nice to have our house take care of us for a change.”

On several occasions, after drawing from his line of credit, Steve paid off the balances, so that the line of credit was replenished by the same dollar amount of the payment. “When I looked at my last statement, it showed that I had $192,000 in my credit line. That provides a certain level of comfort knowing that money is there,” says Steve.

Another positive feature of the line of credit is that it grows over time at roughly the prevailing interest rate. Since interest rates are currently above six percent, Steve calculated that his line of credit is growing at over $1,000 a month.

“We just leave it alone and let it grow until we need it,” adds Steve. “I think people should look at this product. It’s not for everyone, but I’ve recommended it to most of my friends.”