Return to All Stories

Making Hay in Retirement

"To ensure his legacy and preserve his retirement fund, he selected a reverse mortgage…"

Ken is somebody who makes hay while the sun is shining. For years, he strode two worlds — one as a seller of lab equipment, rising to vice president of sales for Medtronic, and the other as the proud owner of the Triple J Ranch in Temecula, California.

In its “hayday,” the Triple J was home to not only his three children (John, Julie, and Jamie, hence the Triple J), but 14 horses, giving Ken a lot of mouths to feed.

Fortunately, since Ken and his wife moved onto the ranch in 1986, they have seen their home greatly appreciate. The city of Temecula, formerly called Rancho California, literally grew up around them, becoming both a bedroom community and a popular getaway for golfing, winery hopping, and hot-air ballooning.

Ken’s growing home equity made it possible for him to refinance and ride out the inevitable boom-and-bust economic cycles in the U.S. economy, like the Black Monday stock market crash of 1987 and the Great Recession and the 2007-2009 Great Recession. As a ranch owner, he liked having a ready-to-use refinancing tool in his back pocket for just those kinds of economic emergencies.

So, when it came time for Ken to retire a few years back, he wondered if there were a way to put his equity to work once again to preserve the nest egg he had built. Although his household expenses were less, with the kids off the ranch raising families of their own, and his shed row of horses down to just two from its peak of 14, he simply didn’t like the idea of funding his retirement exclusively with savings.

Consequently, Ken started investigating reverse mortgages, with the goal of perhaps getting rid of his monthly mortgage payment. By doing so, he figured he could keep more of his retirement nest egg intact and leave his children a larger cash legacy. He would still be responsible for maintaining his property and paying property taxes and homeowners insurance.

“I did my homework,” Ken said.

His research complete, Ken reached out to AAG, whereupon he was contacted by AAG Loan Professional Steve.

“He was real patient and had a wealth of knowledge,” Ken said. “I went through my thoughts with him, especially my goal of not wanting to draw down my retirement savings each month to pay the mortgage.”

Now a few years into his reverse mortgage, Ken appears to be one cool, calm, and collected cowboy.

“It’s very relaxing not writing out a mortgage check from your retirement savings each month,” Ken said. Although a reverse mortgage could help Ken achieve his goal of eliminating monthly mortgage payments, he understood he was still responsible for the upkeep of his home and the payment of property taxes and homeowners insurance.

Over the years, Ken made improvements to his ranch that allow him to enjoy the retirement he deserves. Indeed, his grown children often return to his homestead with their kids in tow to give them a taste of life on the ranch.

As for his other kids — two remaining older horses, whom he calls his “big dogs, only messier” — they pretty much have the run of the place. Best part, together they consume only six bales of hay a month!

From Ken’s vantage point, life is good at the Triple J — as splendid a retirement hay-ven as any family could wish for.

[Clients were paid for their time. Their statements are their own.]