5 Retirement Influencers Speak on Reverse Mortgages

This week I want to highlight five retirement planning influencers and allow them to share their insight on the newly restructured reverse mortgage. Each talks about helpful ways to incorporate housing wealth in retirement income planning.  Hope you enjoy – dg

Ed Slott, CPA, The IRA Leadership Program & Elite IRA Advisor Group

I’ve watched Ed on PBS for years. Now I have the privilege of being recognized as his go-to resource for Housing Wealth education, and later this year I will be in Dallas speaking at a gathering of 350 of his Elite Advisors. It’s a real honor.  Ed was also the impetus to me finishing my client-facing book as he wanted to feature it in his PBS-Special Resource Guide.

Did you know that Ed use to be on the fence about reverse mortgages? Here is Ed’s podcast with me on why he changed his mind about the value of the HECM. (View transcript here.)

I’ve included information about The Retiree’s Guide to Housing Wealth in my PBS program materials because I want the audience to be exposed to the new, updated and accurate information found in it. I recommend you read it. Ultimately, it’s about educating yourself and learning the questions to ask when considering this strategy.

-Ed Slott, CPA, The IRA Leadership Program & Elite IRA Advisor Group

Tom Hegna, CLU, ChFC, Economist, Speaker, and Best-Selling Author

I met Tom in 2015 through Curtis Cloke.  At that time, Tom had already included reverse mortgages as part of his 7 steps to an optimized retirement, but he allowed me to build on and update the content.  Later on, he not only wrote the foreword to my first book, but he honored me by asking that I rewrite step 7 of his book, Don’t Worry Retire Happy. Wow, what a thrill.

Below is my podcast with Tom (transcript) as well an article he wrote himself: How to Change One of Retirement’s Largest Assets into Income

I was skeptical of reverse mortgages, but what Don writes about in this book shows you things about them you had no idea were even available. When you combine housing wealth with other retirement assets, a whole new dimension is added to what can be accomplished.

-Tom Hegna, CLU, ChFC, Economist, Speaker, and Best-Selling Author

Curtis Cloke, LUTCF, RICP, Retirement Income Expert, Trainer & Speaker

Curtis is a true pioneer among financial advisors–specifically in his work on Deferred Income Annuities (DIA’s).  Though Curtis is product-agnostic and holistic in his approach, the work he’s done in the DIA space is truly revolutionary.

We meet in 2015 when he allowed me to share at his Thrive University.  Thinking back on the event, Curtis likes to say, “I didn’t know, what I didn’t know when it came to reverse mortgages.”  Since then, Curtis has not only embraced the role of Housing Wealth in retirement income, but has been at forefront of recent favorable changes–many broker dealers now embracing the reality that Housing Wealth is here to stay and their advisors need to know about it. 

Jamie Hopkins, Esq., CFP, Director of Retirement Research at Carson Wealth

When I first met Jamie, he freely admitted he was not a fan of reverse mortgages. Wow, how things have changed! Jamie’s voice as an influencer is resounding and it reverberates throughout academia and the industry.  Jamie was kind enough not only to write a foreword for my book, but also to film an introduction for my Housing Wealth Certificate Course.  You can check that out in the video below. 

While reverse mortgages are not for every client, they can be a beneficial tool when used correctly. Don Graves knows reverse mortgages inside and out. He also knows how they fit into a retirement plan. As such, there is no better person to learn more about reverse mortgages from than Don Graves.

-Jamie Hopkins, Esq., RICP, Director of Retirement Research at Carson Wealth

Wade Pfau, PhD, Professor at The American College

When I met Wade, he was just beginning his research into the concept of reverse mortgages. We had the chance to spend a lot of time together, and he is a big reason for the success I enjoy today. He arranged for me to do a Lunch and Learn at the American College (a tremendous privilege) and has gone on to become the most proficient academic writers on the subject.  Below is short video excerpt from a recent webinar.

What Do They All Have in Common?

Each of the heavyweights above is very successful in his field, and they share a common belief that the housing asset should not be ignored in comprehensive financial plan.  By no means are they suggesting that a reverse mortgage is right for every client–far from it–but they do emphasize the importance of including the housing asset in the retirement planning conversation. I am grateful for all these giants!

Where Can You Start?

Many advisors understand the role that home equity can play, but they may not be certain how to identify clients who may benefit from a housing wealth conversation.  It can be a challenge to figure out which strategies work best, how to broach the subject, or how to “pass the baton.” With a little reading and some basic training, advisors can learn how to impact more clients and generate more revenue for their practice through the strategic and prudent use of Housing Wealth. Here are a few resources that can help.

1. Get a Copy of the Housing Wealth Book

2. Get Some Basic Training

Click here to learn more about the Housing Wealth Certificate Course and to get a complimentary preview.

3. Request a Customized Housing Wealth Illustration for Your Client Meeting

Don developed the Housing Wealth Illustration software to help advisors model Housing Wealth options for their clients.  After all, a picture is worth a thousand words!  Go to to get your Illustration for an actual client, or a hypothetical one (if you just want to see how it works). It takes only about 90 seconds!


Don Graves, RICP®, CLTC®, Certified Senior Advisor, CSA®
Don Graves, RICP® is a Retirement Income Certified Professional and one of the Nation’s Leading Educators on the Emerging Role of Reverse Mortgages in Retirement Income Planning. He is president and founder of the HECM Institute for Housing Wealth Studies and an adjunct professor of Retirement Income at The American College of Financial Services. He has helped tens of thousands of Advisors as well as more than 3,000 personal clients since the year 2000
Don Graves, RICP®, CLTC®, Certified Senior Advisor, CSA®
Don Graves, RICP®, CLTC®, Certified Senior Advisor, CSA®

Categories: Advisors


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