Ric Edelman: Hi! I am Ric Edelman. Thinking about retiring? Consider getting a mortgage before you do. A mortgage is not loan against your house; it's a loan against your income and assets. If you don't have an income or a large amount of assets, you won't be able to get a mortgage in retirement.
This comes as a surprise to many retirees who discover that they can't get a loan or that they are forced to pay higher rates for it. That's why it's a good idea to refinance your mortgage before you retire. For many retirees their home is their largest asset and many take pride in having that home fully paid off, but that can be a big mistake.
Let's say you own a $400,000 house free and clear, suddenly you have an expensive medical emergency or you need long-term care and you need cash to pay for it. If your money is tied up in the walls of your house, you can't use it; you would have to sell the house to raise that cash. But if you had refinanced before you retired, you could have pulled money out and put it somewhere safe so that it was available to you when you needed it. That's why you should consider getting a mortgage before retiring.