NBC Today Show Expert Could Use Some Brushing Up on Reverse Mortgages

It’s really bad to be house rich and cash poor, Today Show guest and financial adviser Carmen Wong Ulrich told viewers this week. Advising savings first before turning to other sources of retirement financing, Ulrich addressed questions from NBC’s Al Roker including whether a reverse mortgage is a good option for seniors.

For those who do find themselves with lots of home equity and little savings, a reverse mortgage is still not a good option because “you can lose up to 20% on the value of your home,” and “you can outlive your home, and then you would have to move,” Ulrich says.

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The house is not a liquid asset, she says.

For those who do use their home equity to fund retirement through a reverse mortgage, however, it’s important to note that the borrower cannot “outlive the home,” as long as the borrower can keep up with tax, insurance and upkeep on the property.

Ulrich does not explain the details behind the 20% loss scenario.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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  • I really do not even know what to say about this,
    just sad, so so sad. Does anybody remember the show “All in The
    Family”? Remember how Archie Bunker would always act like he was an expert
    on things and then say something that was not only inaccurate but totally asinine?
    That is what all the politicians and TV Financial Guru’s sound like when talking about a Revrse Mortgage. And we,
    like Michael “Meathead” Stivic, just sit here and look dumbfounded.

  • I really do not even know what to say about this,
    just sad, so so sad. Does anybody remember the show “All in The
    Family”? Remember how Archie Bunker would always act like he was an expert
    on things and then say something that was not only inaccurate but totally asinine?
    That is what all the politicians and TV Financial Guru’s sound like when talking about a Revrse Mortgage. And we,
    like Michael “Meathead” Stivic, just sit here and look dumbfounded.

  • OK but you have to admit she is much cuter than Al.

    It is genuinely strange that a home will lose value due to a reverse mortgage.  As a real estate broker, I never learned this concept (LOL). 

    With all of the great graphics and camera shoots, it simply has to be true (LOL).  This is not the first time the financial types on this show have been way off in their assessments of reverse mortgages.  Someone, with connections to NBC like former Senator Thompson or Henry Winkler, should go on the Today show and correct these misperceptions.  Maybe this is a job for “the Jeannie” or the Greenlight “retirement expert.”

  • OK but you have to admit she is much cuter than Al.

    It is genuinely strange that a home will lose value due to a reverse mortgage.  As a real estate broker, I never learned this concept (LOL). 

    With all of the great graphics and camera shoots, it simply has to be true (LOL).  This is not the first time the financial types on this show have been way off in their assessments of reverse mortgages.  Someone, with connections to NBC like former Senator Thompson or Henry Winkler, should go on the Today show and correct these misperceptions.  Maybe this is a job for “the Jeannie” or the Greenlight “retirement expert.”

  • totally  clueless advisor…. We should form a committee and campaign directed at these TV shows , and EDUCATE THEM ON RM ‘s before they have some clueless so called financial expert spew mis information on TV. I will be calling the today show to voice my complaint.

  • “Experts” is a term thrown around quite lightly on TV. Anytime I hear that on any news station I go in my cupboard and get a grain of salt. I have two friends who are recurring experts on Fox News in their respective fields. Over dinner I once asked one of them if he knew what they were going to ask him and he said yes and no. They tell him the topic and sometimes the supposed spin they are after, but he said 3 out of his last 5 appearances they totally changed the topic on him. They actually asked him opions on issues tangentally related to the original topic and one time he really wasn’t versed on the nuances of that particular market. Folks, think about it, they are doing several news hours an hour. They don’t have time nor the desire to make sure every nibble of info is true or accurate.

  • “Experts” is a term thrown around quite lightly on TV. Anytime I hear that on any news station I go in my cupboard and get a grain of salt. I have two friends who are recurring experts on Fox News in their respective fields. Over dinner I once asked one of them if he knew what they were going to ask him and he said yes and no. They tell him the topic and sometimes the supposed spin they are after, but he said 3 out of his last 5 appearances they totally changed the topic on him. They actually asked him opions on issues tangentally related to the original topic and one time he really wasn’t versed on the nuances of that particular market. Folks, think about it, they are doing several news hours an hour. They don’t have time nor the desire to make sure every nibble of info is true or accurate.

    • After all it is not facts; it is just news.  Good points to remember.

      You would think that when they reach out to the “experts,” they would provide a more balanced mix.  Of course, one cannot expect that out of NBC; MSNBC proves that point.

  • You can all go to the Today Show website and at the bottom there is a “contact us” page and please ask them to correct the misinformation.  I have already sent one in.

  • I fail to understajd why NBC and other major networks just cannot find someone who actually knows what they are talking about when it comes to reverse mortgage.  These so called experts are idiots who continue to make it harder for us to help seniors than it already is.  I also contacted and asked them to correct the false information they put out there.

  • I fail to understajd why NBC and other major networks just cannot find someone who actually knows what they are talking about when it comes to reverse mortgage.  These so called experts are idiots who continue to make it harder for us to help seniors than it already is.  I also contacted and asked them to correct the false information they put out there.

  • I fail to understajd why NBC and other major networks just cannot find someone who actually knows what they are talking about when it comes to reverse mortgage.  These so called experts are idiots who continue to make it harder for us to help seniors than it already is.  I also contacted and asked them to correct the false information they put out there.

  • I fail to understajd why NBC and other major networks just cannot find someone who actually knows what they are talking about when it comes to reverse mortgage.  These so called experts are idiots who continue to make it harder for us to help seniors than it already is.  I also contacted and asked them to correct the false information they put out there.

  • The “expert” on the Today show mistakenly dispensed misinformation about reverse mortgages. Equally disconcerting, however, is the typical, over-the-top, knee-jerk reaction of some of the posters in the RMD community.

    TexasReverse did the right thing and contacted NBC, requesting that they correct their error. We hope they will do so.

  • I am a senior 50+ certified real estate agent (SRES).  As a part of the certification, we are required to understand the negative and positive features of reverse mortgages in order to advice our clients on the best avenue for them when making decisions involving their home choices.  Under some circumstances, the use of the reverse mortgage is the best viable advantage for the client. 

    I agree, the quote “financial advisor” incorrectly stated the facts.  I do not market, sell or make any money on these transactions, but have to advise my client as to what is best for their circumstance.  Many seniors want to remain in their homes  and/or are cash tight and in some cases the reverse mortgage would be a viable alternative.  In addition, there was significant abuse in the industry but some government programs were instituted to make it more protective for the senior.

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