Inflation, Low Rates, and Home Appreciation

The combination of inflation and low mortgage rates usually leads to much higher compounded rates of home appreciation. For owners of property, high rates of inflation and appreciation are welcomed and appreciated. For buyers or tenants, however, the skyrocketing purchase and rental prices are not liked much at all.

Rapidly increasing rates of inflation are not very helpful for our consumer purchasing power for basic goods and services like food, utilities, dining at restaurants, or gas or transportation prices. However, the best traditional hedge against inflation is, was, and probably always will be something called Real Estate. This is true partly because home values tend to increase at least as much as the reported annual rates of inflation.

Using the old investment formula called The Rule of 72, investors can quickly calculate how soon their investment will double in value by dividing the number 72 by an estimate of annual appreciation gains. In many boom markets over the past few decades, especially in California and other popular housing regions across the U.S., values have appreciated by anywhere between 7% and 10% per year over the period of five to 10+ years.

A home that appreciates at 10% per year (72 divided by 10 = 7.2 years) may double in value every 7.2 years during a more solid economic “boom” era. Another home that appreciates 7% each year can double in price every 10.2 years during a relatively strong economic time period. Or, a home appreciating in value just above the historical inflation numbers at 5% per year is quite likely to double in value every 14.4 years.

Over the past 50 years or so, a significant amount of family generational wealth has been created by buying and holding onto one, two, three, five, 10, or 20+ homes while benefiting from the magical power of compounding inflation and homes appreciation gains.

During a 30-year mortgage term, a home can double in value two, three, or four plus times. The quick or slow appreciation percentage rates for homes and other types of real estate are dependent upon a wide variety of factors such as buyers’ demand, the availability of affordable third party loan sources, the local housing inventory supply, quality property location, and local and national unemployment trends.

While the most common mortgage loan is typically for a 30-year term, the average hold time for a mortgage on a home is 10 years prior to the homeowner selling the property, paying it off in full, or refinancing with another new mortgage. This is a major reason why the 30-year fixed rate is tied directly to the movement of 10-year Treasuries, or the 10-Year Treasury Constant Maturity Rate. In recent years, 10-year Treasuries have hovered at or near all-time record lows right alongside 30-year fixed mortgage rates.

The most important factor which usually determines whether or not a housing cycle is positive, negative, or flat is directly related to the cost and the ease of availability for third party capital sources such as banks, credit unions, and private money funding sources.

Here’s What You Need to Know About a Long-Term Care Insurance Policy

So you’ve made the decision to learn more about long-term care insurance. That’s smart, as neither health insurance nor Medicare would pay for extended long-term care services in the event that you needed them in the future. Plus, there’s about a 70% chance you’ll need some type of long-term care after age 65, according to government stats. And given that the cost of long-term care can quickly deplete your life’s savings, it just makes sense to add it your financial plan.

When you prepare for any upcoming investment or purchase, you probably run into some unfamiliar language or terminology in your research, which can be frustrating and downright confusing.

Searching for a long-term care insurance policy is no different. A long-term care insurance policy describes coverage under the policy, exclusions and limitations—and can be laden with industry jargon. Here’s a breakdown of the fundamentals:

There are four primary components that determine your long-term care benefits and influence your monthly cost.

1. How much. This is the total maximum benefit available under any policy. There are many maximums to choose from, ranging from $100,000 to $250,000, $500,000 or more. Benefits are available until you have received your maximum benefit in total.

2. How fast. This is the monthly limit you can access from your total maximum benefit. Insurance companies do not pay out your “how much” in a single lump sum. Rather, you access your benefits in smaller amounts on a monthly basis up to a predetermined monthly maximum.

Depending on the carrier you choose, your monthly maximum could range from $1,500 to $10,000 a month. The “how much” and “how fast” components work together to determine how long your coverage will last. If your monthly maximum (“how fast”) is $5,000 and your total policy maximum (“how much”) is $250,000, it would take 50 months (four years, two months) before your exhaust your policy benefits. If you needed $2,000 a month to pay for home care, as an example, it could take more than 10 years to exhaust a $250,000 policy. The greater your “how much” and “how fast,” are the higher your premium will be.

3. Growth rate. This determines how your benefit grows over time. The most common growth rate today is 3%. If your policy started with $176,000 in your “how much” and $4,500 in your “how fast,” a 3% annual growth rate would double your benefits in 24 years to $352,000 total maximum benefit and $9,000 monthly maximum respectively.
You also have the option of choosing a growth rate other than 3% or to increase your maximums upfront and forgo a growth rate all together. A specialist can help you identify the growth rate that best suits your goals and budget.

4. Deductible. Long-term care insurance has an elimination period that, like a deductible, determines how much you may have to pay out of your pocket before benefits are paid. One distinction to note is that an elimination period is stated in days, not dollars. The most commonly selected elimination period is 90 days. This typically means that you must receive 90 days of care that you pay for out of your pocket before benefits are available.

Not that difficult when put simply, right? I hope you feel better prepared in your search for the right policy and that I have also remove some of the confusion. long-term care insurance is here to help you live the lifestyle you want 10, 20, even 30 years down the road.

5 Reasons Why It’s (Super) Smart for Women to Get Life Insurance—or More of It

One of the most harrowing experiences I’ve ever had was during the sixth month of my pregnancy. My husband was out late, hadn’t called, and I was, of course, angry at his thoughtlessness. But this very evening, he had misjudged a bend in a rural, mountain road—and plummeted off the side of it into a ravine, totaling his car.

It was some time before campers found him, unconscious and with a dislocated shoulder, but otherwise uninjured. I was overwhelmed suddenly—even though my husband was going to be fine—with the prospect of managing the future costs of raising a child without him. But there was a catch to this epiphany: I was the breadwinner of the family. If I was worried about losing him, what if he lost me? I talked to an insurance agent and secured policies for both myself and him.

My story could be anyone’s story. And women, in particular, tend to have less life insurance coverage than men. So here’s why it’s a good idea to take stock:

1. Women increasingly are the primary breadwinners and even sole providers for families. Whether you’re earning more than your spouse or you don’t have a spouse, your income is critical to providing the most basic of needs to your family, whether that family involves kids you’re raising, aging parents or a special-needs sibling you’re caring for. Life insurance ensures that whomever depends on your livelihood can continue to do so even after (heaven forbid) something happens to you.

2. Stay-at-home moms need protection, too. Don’t discount the value you provide as the manager of the household. Life insurance provides much needed funds when an overwhelmed spouse or other caregiver suddenly has to find help to care for the kids, manage a household or needs to take a significant amount of time off to stay with them. Watch the Virgen’s story if you have any doubt.

3. Women often pay less for insurance—or get more coverage for the same amount. Because women have a longer average life expectancy than men, that in turn brings the cost of life insurance down for women. Also keep in mind that the younger and healthier you are, the less it will cost you. For example, a healthy 30-year-old can get $250,000 of coverage in the form a 20-year level term life insurance policy for about $13 a month.

4. Mompreneurs and those who work part time need coverage too. Women often run home-based businesses or work part time while also raising children. They should also consider their need life insurance because, while they may not be the main breadwinner, their income supports the family and will be sorely missed if something were to happen.

5. Women’s situations can change. Just when you think you’ve gotten your life insurance needs all taken care of, you might experience more additions to your family, or close down a business, or go through a divorce, or a family member might need your active support in the future. Is your insurance up-to-date with your changing needs?

Remember, an insurance agent will sit down with you free of charge to go through your needs and help you find coverage that fits your budget, which is key! If you don’t have an agent, here are some tips on finding the right fit and then searching by ZIP code with the Agent Locator. Don’t wait for that crisis moment, the way we nearly did!