On This Episode
With rates being at historic lows, a lot of clients have been asking questions about refinancing. So this week we answer the biggest questions people have.
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Here is a transcript of today’s episode:
Marc: Hey everybody. Welcome in to this edition of Retirement Planning Redefined with John and Nick from PFG Private Wealth. And we’re here today to talk about investing, finance, and retirement. And we’re going to talk about refinancing actually a little bit here on this first podcast. Guys, what’s going on? Nick, how are you, buddy?
Nick: Doing pretty good. We’re staying busy. Today we’re in the little bit of a midst of a market pullback, so today’s been an interesting day. But besides that pretty good.
Marc: Good, good. Yeah, it’s been a little all over the map the last week or so the market has been for sure. So John, how are you, my friend?
John: I’m good. I’m good, I’m actually just started coming back in the office this week. So it’s been nice to say the least, although I miss seeing my kids 24/7, it’s nice to have a little break from screaming madness. It’s a good change.
Marc: Yeah. A little mental break from time to time is certainly a good thing. Well, I mentioned we were going to talk about refinancing. So a lot of people have been sending questions in that they are thinking about it with the rates being what they are. So let’s dive in and talk about it. Why refinance?
John: Yeah. So over the last month, Nick and I have got a lot of requests of just really helping clients as far as just analyze, “Hey, you know, the rates are dropping, and is it now a good time to refinance?” And, full disclosure, we’re not mortgage brokers. We’re not in that industry, but we’re familiar with our clients’ situations. So we’re able to at least help them navigate and ask the right questions in this situation. So we’ve definitely seen an uptick over the last month. So we figured this would be a good time to kind of discuss it.
John: So just understanding really initially what a refinance is. And it’s basically, you’re taking your current mortgage and you’re paying it off with a new one. Some reasons why you might want to refinance is obviously the biggest one is lower interest rate environment, which we’re seeing currently. And when interest rate’s lower, and Nick correct me if I’m wrong, typically rule of thumb, a 1% drop, you may want to look into it. It could really reduce your monthly payments, and over time it could really help you build equity in the house as well, if you’re going to be in there longterm.
John: So, just a quick example. A 30 year mortgage at 5.7%, let’s say 300,000 mortgage balance. The payment on that’s about $1700 per month. Let’s say the interest rate’s dropped to 4%. That same 30 year mortgage payment’s going to be about $1432, roughly $271 per month saving. You’re looking at about $3,250 per year, which is a pretty big number. And then especially if you’re looking at, if you still have 20 years left in the mortgage, that can really add up. So, that’s one thing you want to consider.
Nick: Yeah, I would say one of the other times where it can make a lot of sense is, let’s say for example, you took out a home equity line a couple of years ago and use the home equity line either to make improvements on the home, purchase a second home, use it for a down payment on a second home, or whatever the reason may be. A lot of times those equity lines had a really, really good rate in the first year or two. And then they start to kind of jump up. So the consolidation of the two together, and while reducing the payment and also potentially reducing the term of the loan can be a really useful scenario, situation for people.
John: Yeah. And I’ll say one thing, when we do a lot of planning with clients, one of the biggest goals we see is, “Hey, I want to make sure my mortgage is paid off when I go to retire.” So now could be a good time to analyze and say, “Hey, I’m 10, 15 years out from retirement. Do I want to adjust to a 10 to 15 year mortgage?” And we’ve been finding in this environment, we’ve seen clients keep the payment the same as they’re currently doing, but they’re shortening the terms. So again, it’s really just a matter of your situation and what works for you.
Marc: Well, are there any right moves? I mean, how can we determine is it the right move to make, is there some things, some bullet points we can kind of consider? Obviously talking with the qualified professionals, the right people, goes a long way, but is there some things we could go through on our own checklist ahead of time?
John: Yeah, I mean, the main thing really is how much are you going to be saving monthly? So you kind of start there and evaluate that. And then you kind of look at it longterm. One of the biggest negatives with refinancing is the closing cost, which can range from application fees, to recording fees, and whatever else. And we’ve seen them range from 1% to almost 4% sometimes.
John: So you want to evaluate, “Hey, is it worth refinancing, incurring those costs into my mortgage?” And that’s where it’s important to work with someone to help you analyze and crunch those numbers. And one of the biggest things that we’ve seen, it depends how long you going to live in the home. So you want to ask for an amortization schedule whenever you’re looking at it to say, “Hey, if I’m going to only be in the home for 10 more years, does it even make sense to refinance this?” And that’s one of the biggest things I think people don’t take a look at, is just figuring out, “Hey, how long am I going to be in this house and does it make sense.”
Nick: Yeah. That term, that length of being in the home is probably the biggest reason that it may make sense for somebody not to refinance. Because the reality is that the monthly payment, if it’s staying the same or reducing, if it’s very small, because there are costs associated with refinancing, it may not make a whole lot of sense unless you have kind of a strategy and a longterm plan. So we have seen those scenarios where people have said, “Hey, we don’t plan on being here any longer than a couple of years, does it make sense for us to spend this, to do that?” And we recommended no, dependent upon the situation. So that’s absolutely something to keep in mind.
Nick: I will say as well, that there are companies out there that will kind of advertise “no closing costs” or “we pay your closing costs,” that sort of thing. And while that may be true, and they still may be offering good rates, one other thing to make sure you do is we always recommend get three offers from three different companies, banks or lenders, because we’ve seen, “Hey, we’ll pay your closing costs, but you’re going to pay more on the rate.” You know, they make it one way or another. But we’ve had clients recently getting quotes at anywhere from 2.5, to 3, 3.25, dependent upon the length of the term, dependent upon if it’s their primary residence versus a rental property, those sorts of things. So, all things to consider, keep in mind.
Marc: Well, if you are refinancing, some might say you’re resetting the clock. You’re adding years. I mean, obviously you’ve got to have these conversations. You might get a lower rate, but you might be tacking on more years.
Nick: Yeah. And I would say that it’s rare that we’re going to recommend anybody tack on any extra years. The one thing that I will kind of comment on is, their other habits have a big impact on whether or not something like that could make sense. So for example, if somebody is, by default, a very good saver, and let’s say a 30 year mortgage will add on five years. But let’s say it’s going to free up $500 a month. And the reality is that they’re not going to be in that home for more than another 10 years. And they’re really good at recapturing that money. So in other words, instead of paying that $500 a month, they’ve proven over time that they’re a good saver and they’re going to actually save that $500 or even set up a schedule to save that money right away. And maybe they’re very comfortable in the market and investing and their thought process is, “Hey, I’d rather have control of this extra $500 a month than have the lender or the bank have control of the money.”
Nick: That’s a scenario that we may consider saying, “Okay, that’s something that could make sense for you.” But I would say that it’s pretty rare where we’re going to really kind of give our okay or green light on somebody extending the term of their loan. Usually it’s keeping it the same, reducing it a few years, and if we can reduce it four to five, six years and keep the payment the same, that’s oftentimes a win for the client. Conversely, if the reality is that having that mortgage payment a little bit higher for them is a forced, quote unquote, savings by reducing their liabilities, that’s something that we take into consideration and that’s the important part of us understanding and knowing our clients, knowing their tendencies and helping to put them in a position to succeed.
Marc: Well, if you’re thinking about refinancing, again, you need to go through of these questions. Why do you want to do it? Is it the right move? Have the right conversations with the correct people. John, anything in the summary that you want to add as we kind of wrap up this podcast about this?
John: Really, just if you’re thinking about it, just make sure it aligns with your overall financial plan and your goals. It’s just important. You don’t want to do it just because the rate has dropped. You really want to make sure it makes sense for you. And we highly recommend working with people that understand your situation versus just someone random that’s just trying to go ahead and “Hey, let’s just do it” just to do it. So definitely want to do due diligence and make sure that aligns with what you’re trying to accomplish.
Marc: Yeah, because I’m sure a lot of people keep getting things in the mail, right. “Our rates are so low.” I mean, I think I get something probably almost every other week to contact whomever about refinancing. So, that’s a great point. You want to make sure that it works in conjunction with what you’re trying to accomplish and not just doing it for the sake of, because we keep getting hit with these things that are like, “Oh, let’s look at this rate.” So on and so forth, right. Have a conversation, make sure the whole scenario plays out correctly in the way that you want it to. And we talk about that often on the show anyway, is make sure whatever steps you’re taking, whatever you’re doing, it’s part of your overall plan and an overall strategy to get us to and through retirement.
Marc: So that’s going to do it this week for the show, Retirement Planning Redefined. If you’ve got questions again about today’s topic, make sure you reach out to them and let them know you’d like to have a conversation. We’ve already had quite a few people bring this up, which is why we talked about it today. So give them a call at (813) 286-7776. If you’ve got questions before you take any action, (813) 286-7776. You can also go to PFGprivatewealth.com. That’s PFGprivatewealth.com. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast by hitting the subscribe button on Apple, Google, Spotify, whatever application you like to use. But check the guys out there at the website. And with that, gents, I’m going to let you go this week. Thanks for your time, as always. I hope you stay safe and sane, and we’ll see you soon.