FAR Announces Educational Partnership with Financial Planning Association

Finance of America Reverse (FAR) and the Denver, Colo.-based Financial Planning Association (FPA) today announced the formation of a new partnership aimed at providing educational material to financial planner professionals to better inform them of the options that are available to their clients in incorporating reverse mortgages as part of a comprehensive financial plan. This is according to both organizations, which reached out to RMD with the announcement.

Citing a recent National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA)/RiskSpan statistic that has placed the collective value of senior-held home equity at a combined $7.23 trillion, this helps represent a “tremendous” opportunity for seniors to tap the equity they’ve built up in their homes in order to stabilize their retirement years. Because of that, the strategic partnership between FAR and FPA is designed to “educate financial planners on the opportunities that reverse mortgages may present,” according to a joint announcement.

Under the aims of the new partnership, FPA and FAR will jointly launch a series of educational programs providing home equity resources and other content in an “unbiased” fashion to help Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designees demonstrate to their clients some of the ways in which responsible use of home equity tapping through the use of a reverse mortgage product can serve as a pillar of a diversified financial portfolio for qualified borrowers, according to the announcement.

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FAR is described as FPA’s “exclusive reverse mortgage partner,” and will share its educational reverse mortgage and thought leadership resources across FPA’s platform, which includes online educational programming, as well as an educational presence at FPA’s upcoming Annual Conference this fall in Phoenix, Ariz.

“I’m pleased FPA is partnering with FAR. Financial planners need to continue to question, evolve, and create new ways to serve the best interests of their clients, and transform lives through holistic financial planning,” says FPA Executive Director and CEO Lauren M. Schadle, CAE in the joint announcement. “This partnership will position FPA and FAR as truly progressive leaders supporting the modern financial planner.”

For FAR’s part, this partnership is seen as a logical extension of the ways in which the company has sought to educate a wider variety of professionals on the benefits of reverse mortgages, according to company president Kristen Sieffert.

“Americans are living longer than ever and we believe it’s critical for them to have a variety of options available when choosing how to fund retirements that are now lasting upwards of 30 years,” said Sieffert. “As one of the largest reverse mortgage providers in the country we have a front-row view of positive outcomes this financial instrument creates for retirees and believe it should be considered as part of a diversified retirement approach.”

Financial planners have long been sought after by the reverse mortgage industry as valuable partners in broadening the conversation surrounding the implementation of home equity into seniors’ retirement plans, and this partnership represents the growing normalization of that conversation, Sieffert adds.

“Teaming with FPA is a logical extension of FAR’s ongoing educational efforts and is particularly exciting because it provides another touchpoint to reach a critically important player in many Americans’ lives when it comes to retirement – the financial planner,” she said.

Over the next several months, FPA and FAR plan to collaborate on additional educational initiatives and thought leadership programs that have the potential to benefit FPA members, their clients and the broader financial planning community, according to both organizations.

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  • Congratulations to FAR and the FPA. Will this be the partnership that finally works?

    With only 31,274 HECM endorsements in the 12 month period ended 9/30/2019 and with the withdrawal and suspension of proprietary reverse mortgage (PTM) offerings by some lenders and the reduced benefits now being offered by the remaining PRM lenders along with Covid-19 and its negative impact on the US and world economies, like seniors needing help from cash inflow sources, so our industry needs help from referral sources.

    Only a few HECM applications with case numbers assigned after May 31, 2020 will be endorsed in this fiscal year. In the three months ended May 31, 2020, we will need a total of about 5,900 applications getting case number assignments. As of 5 PM EST, HUD has not posted its FHA Production Report for March 2020 in which HUD provides the HECM case number assignment data for March.

    With all of the talk about inquiries being up to levels not seen in three years is there any reason why in the three months ending May 31, 2020 would we not see 14,000 or MORE HECM case numbers being assigned? If hearsay were accurate, we would have had 100,000 HECM endorsements in fiscal 2010 and 300,000 endorsements in fiscal 2018. Perhaps HECM endorsements could reach 35,000 this fiscal year but based on the condition of PRMs in the industry, overall reverse mortgage production will most likely only see a slight increase, if any.

    So let us hope that FAR will be able to multiply its financial advising referrals and (most importantly) the closings from those referrals and that there will at least be a “trickle down” benefit to other lenders.

  • I applaud FAR on this partnership with the FPA (financial planners), it has been long awaited.

    It sounds like FAR is planning to approach the financial planer industry VIA the FPA the right way, and that is from a large company platform rather than an individual originator prospect program.

    Especially in today’s environment, financial planners can be a major referral source. They are close to their senior clients and they know their clients needs in today’s uncertain environment.

    With a professional educational partnership being offered by FAR is what the financial planning industry has needed for a long time. The financial planner will look at the educational offering from FAR not as a sales man’s pitch, but as a true benefit for their senior clients. This could change the entire dynamics of referrals from financial planners.

    I also want to add that the comment Jim Veale posted has a tremendous amount merit as well as the statistics to back up what a program like this being offered by FAR can do for future endorsements!

    Excellent move on the part of FAR, hopefully many updates as to how the program is working will come from RMD as well as directly from FAR!

    John A. Smaldone
    http://www.hanover-financial.com

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