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Higher mortgage rates predicted

When the Federal Reserve reversed course and began lifting short-term interest rates in December 2015, some forecasts called for mortgage rates to spike and chill the housing market.

It didn't happen. But that doesn't mean borrowers won't see rates ratchet up in the months and years ahead, said Michael Fratantoni, chief economist with the Mortgage Bankers Association.

"We will get higher mortgage rates, but not that much higher," he told an audience gathered Tuesday morning at the group's annual convention, which was held at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.

Fratantoni said rates on 30-year mortgages, which averaged 3.6 percent in 2016, are running closer to 4 percent this year. His forecast calls for them to average 4.6 percent in 2018, 5 percent in 2019 and 5.3 percent in 2020.

His forecast calls for economic growth that can be described as modest but strong enough to push down the unemployment rate. That will help push up wages, allowing more millennials and renters to purchase a home.

Reverse mortgages and retirement risks

By Alain Valles, CRMP

If you’re approaching retirement or hopefully enjoying retirement, there may be a nagging concern of have you done everything possible to minimize your financial risks?  Whether you have professional advisors, do your own planning – or perhaps worse, ignore the entire topic – below are economic areas that can affect your quality of life once you stop working:

Inflation

Fortunately for people living on fixed income or Social Security, inflation rates have been low for the past several years, but we have had times with inflation well over 8 percent.  A $2.50 gallon of milk today will cost $5.03, just over double, with an inflation rate of only 3.5 percent over 20 years. Does your financial retirement plan cover inflation risk?

Timing of Retirement

Planned or unplanned? As Allen Saunders was quoted – “Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans.” Studies show that approximately 49 percent of people are forced to retire earlier than planned and, of this group, 78 percent retired due to health or job-related termination. The result is less time to accumulate retirement savings and higher healthcare costs.

Cannot pay mortgage have cancer..help?

My brother has been working with the Bank of America since July 2009 to get emergency assistance on his mortgage. He always worked and paid his bills but was diagnosed with bone cancer and cannot move around - so cannot work.