Last week at the MetLife UK Symposium in New York, Bob Sollmann, senior vice-president for MetLife’s Retirement Strategies Group spoke about how he believes reaching out to the retirement community is more important than ever in the current marketplace. He said, "Our focus is launching and navigating for people 50-plus, where they are three to five years away from retirement.”
Sollmann added that reverse mortgages or in UK terms “equity release” could also be an option that the firm is looking to expand in. "Equity release is something of a last resort in the US, but there will be increasing benefits there, in order to fill the gap."
He also stressed that while investors are typically looking for the best return on their investment, retirement investors need to focus on creating a reliable stream of income. "Our goal is to maximize the reliability of income. We also believe a combination of insurance and investment, is very powerful. For people who think they will continue to live, the opportunity to improve lifestyle with more income today and to protect yourself before running out of money, it is a very powerful idea.”
This goal of maximizing the reliability of income fits perfectly with MetLife’s purchase of EverBank Reverse earlier this year. It’s expected that MetLife will use its reverse mortgage platform to compliment its insurance offerings. While some might argue that using a reverse mortgage to fund investments is never a good idea, it does make sense for certain people.
"The way we look at long-term care, if you are a rational investor you really should be investing for the future expenses. Having this kind of ‘back stop’ might encourage people to prepare for their retirement years."