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The Stewardship of Housing Wealth With Harlan Accola

FaithFi: Faith & Finance | Jun 4, 2024


Show Notes

Homeowners now have an average of nearly $300,000 in home equity, and the nationwide total is staggering at $16 trillion. 

Home equity is undoubtedly one of our largest assets. So, how do the biblical principles of stewardship apply to it? Harlan Accola joins us today to discuss this.

Harlan Accola is the National Reverse Mortgage Director at Movement Mortgage, an underwriter of Faith and Finance. He is also the author of Home Equity and Reverse Mortgages: The Cinderella of the Baby Boomer Retirement. 

Understanding Reverse Mortgages

Today’s reverse mortgages are not the same product that gave the name such a negative reputation in the past. Here are some of the facts that need to be known:

  • Not Like Credit Card Debt: Unlike credit card debt or the subprime crash of 2008, reverse mortgages don't carry the same financial risks.
  • Widow Protections: New laws ensure that widows can stay in their homes for as long as they wish, a significant improvement from the past.
  • Retained Ownership: Modern reverse mortgages allow homeowners to maintain ownership and pass their homes to their children, unlike older versions that often result in loss of ownership.

Home Equity as God’s Providence

Home equity is a remarkable gift, especially for baby boomers who have seen their home values skyrocket over the decades. If you bought a house in 1967 for $100,000, it might be worth a million dollars today. This incredible growth represents a unique wealth that no other generation has managed. As Christian baby boomers, we hold a significant amount of this wealth and must manage it wisely.

We've all heard the phrase "Home is where the heart is" and Jesus' words in Matthew 6:21, "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Our hearts can become too attached to our homes, and we need to view our home equity as we do other assets – with stewardship. This means planning strategically how to spend, give, manage, preserve, and grow it, just like we would with our savings or retirement funds.

Practical Stewardship

While we would never encourage someone who is strongly led to be debt-free to leverage their home equity, it can be a powerful tool for many in this stage of life. Whether through reverse mortgages or buying and selling homes, we should consider how to use our home equity in the best interests of our family and God's kingdom.

It's also important to note that the government guarantees these reverse mortgages. This means you don't have to worry about being kicked out of your house if you live too long or the home's value decreases. This guarantee makes reverse mortgages unique and different from other types of debt.

Movement Mortgage

For those interested in learning more about reverse mortgages and how to manage their home equity with biblical stewardship, visit movement.com/faith. You can also email reverserequest@movement.com; someone from their team will be happy to help.

On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:

  • Would investing the $35,000 due in gold or CDs be better? I plan to give the interest or increased value to charity within the following year.
  • If I were to die at 68 years old, being married to my second wife for 26 years, but she is not currently drawing social security at 63, would she receive part or all of my social security since she has never remarried?
  • Should I roll over some money from my 401k into an IRA annuity? I currently have some money in an annuity that guarantees 4%, but I wanted to know if better annuity options are available now that could provide a higher rate of return.
  • Are there any repercussions if I draw on my grandchild's social security? I have about a year and a half before I retire and am raising my grandchild. I wanted to know if I could do that or what the situation was regarding drawing on a grandchild's social security.

Resources Mentioned:

Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.

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