SOURCE: Golden Gateway Financial

April 17, 2008 08:00 ET

Reverse Mortgage Income Often Exceeds Seniors' Social Security Check

Golden Gateway Q1 Tally of Consumers' Reverse Mortgage Calculations Spotlights Reverse Mortgage Financial Relief

OAKLAND, CA--(Marketwire - April 17, 2008) - Senior homeowners who own much but not all of their homes and get a reverse mortgage will have their existing mortgage paid off and, on average, receive a monthly check of $683 for much of the rest of their lives.

For most, the money they save from making mortgage payments -- coupled with their monthly checks -- will easily exceed the size of their monthly Social Security check, which today averages $1,080 for a retired American. Many senior citizens can conservatively view a reverse mortgage as a means to effectively receive a second Social Security check for many years and live a more comfortable retirement.

These figures are based on aggregate visitor data from Golden Gateway Financial (, the nation's leading reverse mortgage website and the only online reverse mortgage "marketplace." The figures are based on information reported by more than 50,000 seniors. People go to the site -- a free and agnostic reverse mortgage destination -- to learn about reverse mortgages, how big a reverse mortgage they may be eligible for, and to comparison-shop among major reverse mortgage lenders.

Golden Gateway Q1 '08 Visitor Results      National   Florida*  California*

Avg Primary Borrower Age                       68.6       69.3       68.7
Avg Home Value                             $449,174   $409,430   $764,678
Median Home Value                          $300,000   $300,000   $570,000
% with an Existing Mortgage                   51.4%      53.2%      59.6%
Avg Existing Mortgage Debt                 $157,449   $158,326   $224,765
% with Co-Borrower                           43.52%     44.35%     42.07%
Avg "Up Front" Available after Pay-off     $115,409   $113,938   $154,377
Avg Monthly Available after Pay-off            $683       $677       $913

*These statistics are available for other geographies as well

"There is simply not enough accurate, clearly articulated, useful information available for reverse mortgage consumers today, and frankly too much misinformation, so I applaud Golden Gateway's efforts," said Meg Burns, Director of Single Family Program Development, US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). "The web site and tools it has developed represents a huge step at precisely the right time, when demand for this product is increasing dramatically."

Reverse mortgages, established by the Federal Housing and Community Development Act of 1987, are special loans borrowed against a property's value for homeowners who are age 62 or older. The loan, which does not have to be repaid at a predetermined date, continues without payment as long as the borrower lives in the home as the primary residence. Consumers must also make necessary home repairs and pay property taxes. Reverse mortgages are particularly beneficial to cash-strapped senior homeowners who may otherwise lose their homes and may also make sense for seniors with homes who face a lower standard of living.

Reverse Mortgages used for Survival

Nationally, Golden Gateway visitors showed that about half of senior homeowners contemplating reverse mortgages still had traditional mortgages. The average value of their homes was $449,174, and the average amount of their remaining mortgage was $157,449. On average, these seniors were 68.6 years old. Those who ultimately decide to get a reverse mortgage will have their homes paid off, eliminating their mortgage payment, and also collect a monthly payment of $682.59. A recent study done by Consumer Credit Counseling of Atlanta, GA highlighted the primary reason for a reverse mortgage is to pay for living expenses.

Eric Bachman, CEO of Golden Gateway Financial, said, "Don't trust anyone who tells you, 'Reverse mortgages are great for everyone.' And don't trust anyone who tells you that 'reverse mortgages are bad for everyone.' The only broad-brush statement you should believe about reverse mortgages is that you need to get educated about them so that you know whether one makes sense for you. Properly applied, I've seen them give people their lives back."

About Golden Gateway Financial

Golden Gateway Financial, Inc., based in Oakland, Calif., is the only financial services firm solely devoted to helping tens of millions of senior Americans access and manage the multi-trillion-dollar value in their homes by confidently obtaining a reverse mortgage. Golden Gateway helps clients reduce money concerns and live better during what should be the best years of their lives. The company's process and Internet marketplace make it the intelligent choice for seniors and their families who want unbiased and clear communication and the ability to comparison-shop for a reverse mortgage and related services.

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