I like practical articles like this one. However, some commonly held beliefs in the personal finance world is not always best for everyone, but should be looked at in the context of your personal situation. Other commonly held beliefs do tend to apply to almost everyone.

For example, in this article,the first point is wait to claim social security. This may not apply to every personal situation. Other factors like family history of longevity and current financial situation may indicate not waiting to take social security. Social security and when to take it is complicated. The math is not, but the factors on when to take it are and can be hard to estimate. This is an area where you will usually want to consult with an expert before deciding.

Number 3 in this article about a reverse mortgage can boost your retirement income and does say it may not be for everyone and it includes a link to help you understand these financial instruments better. I'm not a fan of these personally since I prefer that people be debt free, but I do understand that in certain situations, these can help.

The one tip I can give you if you are considering a reverse mortgage for you or one of your loved ones, is to shop them. The fees and interest rates are usually higher than traditional mortgages. So, shopping them with 3 or 4 companies that offer them, comparing the components (e.g., interest rates & fees) of their offers. This allows you to "cherry pick" the components as you shop them. Never be afraid to ask for them to reduce a fee and also let them know you're shopping the reverse mortgages with a few different companies. This will give you more leverage. Competition is a wonderful thing!

To the extent you are able, numbers 4 (take advantage of catch up contributions) and 5 (aggressively pay down your debt) are generally very good advice for everyone. To leverage this good financial advice, many times some lifestyle choices need to be cut back or reduced so that more money can flow to 401Ks or IRAs and to paying down your debt. I wish you the best with your personal finances!

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Sean Hyman
Sean Hyman


I love #6: Move to a low-tax state. But yes, I'm not a fan of reverse mortgages.