Did you know that Americans spend nearly as much on back-to-school shopping as they do during the holidays? If back to school shopping is breaking your bank account here are a few ideas to help decrease the financial impact:

1. Spread it out. Shop year-round for back to school purchases.

2. Wait. The kids don’t need 3 packages of crayons on the first day. Buy over time to allow for what is really needed. Smooth the financial impact by buying over time.

3. Avoid trendy items. Your kids don’t need the hottest gift or gadget, stick to the basics.

4. Have a budget. Shopping will be less costly when starting with a budget. Try shopping during sales and at discount stores.

5. Build a shopping list. A list will keep you on track and allow you to avoid impulse spending.

6. Shop at home. Don’t forget to go through your home to see what you already have.

7. Swap supplies. Check with your friends and neighbors to see if you can swap any needed items.

8. Save all year. Put money budgeted for back to school purchases into a savings account.

9. Get the kids involved. Start the teaching and learning process early. Teach your kids how to shop and make wise choices.

You might have seen the ads on TV about reverse mortgages, but what is a reverse mortgage? It is a loan for older homeowners that uses a portion of the home’s equity as collateral. Instead of the homeowner paying the lender, it is the lender that pays the homeowner based on the equity in the home.

How much can be borrowed?

The amount that can be borrowed in a reverse mortgage is determined by an Federal Housing Authority (FHA formula).  The formula considers age, the current interest rate, and the appraised value of the home.

What are the requirements for a reverse mortgage?

You must be at least age 62

The home must be owned free and clear or all existing liens.

Any mortgage balance must be paid off with the proceeds of the reverse mortgage loan at the closing.

There are usually no income or credit score requirements.

How is the loan repaid?

The loan cannot become due as long as at least one homeowner lives in the home as their primary residence and maintains the home in accordance with FHA requirements (keeping taxes and insurance current).

The must be repaid when the last surviving homeowner permanently moves out of the property or passes away. The estate will have approximately 6 months to repay the balance of the reverse mortgage or sell the home to pay off the balance.


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