058: Ho, Ho, Ho: Inflation Woes + Everything You Need to Know About Reverse Mortgages with Wayne Winegarden and Steve Sless

In this episode of Saving With Steve, host Steve Sexton is joined by Dr. Wayne Winegarden, who is a senior fellow in business and economics at the Pacific Research Institute, and Steve Sless, President of The Steven J. Sless Group of Primary Residential Mortgage, who is regarded as the "Go-To Housing Wealth Expert.”

Inflation reached a 30-year-high in October 2021, and economists have kept a watchful eye on how the gargantuan spike in consumer prices has impacted Americans of all incomes; especially poor and working-class folks. Research shows that inflation is disproportionately hurting less-affluent people - threatening to kneecap the Biden administration's "economic justice" agenda. And, many low-income families are feeling the impacts of rising prices all too acutely this holiday season.

We would think that the 5 trillion dollars the government spent on the pandemic would help, but it hasn’t… My first guest, Dr. Wayne Winegarden, is a senior fellow in business and economics at the Pacific Research Institute, whose research explores the connection between macroeconomic policies and economic outcomes, with a focus on fiscal policy.

Dr. Winegarden joins me today to discuss how government actions designed to help small businesses, entrepreneurs, and low-income Americans during COVID-19 have ultimately had an adverse effect on those populations. He also helps to explain what inflation means for hard working American families.

As you know, many seniors are wondering if they have enough money to last through their retirement and are leery of going into retirement communities, now more than ever, because of COVID. Some seniors can’t even get long-term care insurance due to COVID. Many of these seniors may not realize that their home equity likely represents a large portion of their net worth. 

In fact, homeowners aged 62+ saw their collective housing wealth increase. Understanding how to strategically and tax-efficiently incorporate this wealth into a comprehensive retirement income strategy may be the key to protecting and prolonging their nest egg with the funds needed for long-term care.

My second guest, Steve Sless, has nearly 20 years of mortgage industry experience, and has become a leader in his industry by educating people through seminars and videos. He joins me today to talk about the pros and cons of reverse mortgage loans, strategic use of housing wealth in retirement planning, leveraging housing wealth during economic uncertainty, and how a reverse mortgage can fund a more comfortable retirement.

Wayne Winegarden, Ph.D., is a Sr. Fellow in Business & Economics, Pacific Research Institute, as well as the Director of PRI’s Center for Medical Economics and Innovation.

Dr. Winegarden’s policy research explores the connection between macroeconomic policies and economic outcomes, with a focus on fiscal policy, the health care industry, and the energy sector. As Director of the Center for Medical Economics and Innovation, Dr. Winegarden spearheads research and advances policies that support the continued viability and vitality of the U.S. biomedical and pharmaceutical industries to the benefit of patients and overall economic growth.

Dr. Winegarden’s columns have been published in the Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Investor’s Business Daily, Forbes.com, and USA Today. He was previously economics faculty at Marymount University, has testified before the U.S. Congress, has been interviewed and quoted in such media as CNN and Bloomberg Radio, and is asked to present his research findings at policy conferences and meetings.

Dr. Winegarden is also the Principal of an economic advisory firm that advises clients on the economic, business, and investment implications from changes in broader macroeconomic trends and government policies. Clients have included Fortune 500 companies, financial organizations, small businesses, and trade associations. Previously, Dr. Winegarden worked as a business economist in Hong Kong and New York City; and a policy economist for policy and trade associations in Washington D.C. Dr. Winegarden received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in Economics from George Mason University.

The Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy promotes the principles of individual freedom and personal responsibility. The Institute believes these principles are best encouraged through policies that emphasize a free economy, private initiative, and limited government.

Worthy policy goals with such broad impact are not easily attained, and they require sustained effort and struggle. Together with its alliance of dedicated supporters, PRI is committed to leading the way toward a more free and prosperous future for all.

Steve Sless has nearly 20 years of mortgage industry experience, including 13 years devoted to reverse mortgages. He is proud to have been named a Reverse Mortgage Industry “Game Changer” by Yahoo Finance, and to be one of the only mortgage professionals to have earned the CLTC®: Certified Long-Term Care designation.

Steve takes pride in helping homeowners and his team members every day, while leading the dedicated reverse mortgage division of Primary Residential Mortgage, Inc. (PRMI) -- a multibillion-dollar operation founded in 1998 that is poised to become a top reverse mortgage lender nationwide.

Steve also loves to speak out about reverse mortgage strategies as a conference keynote speaker for NRMLA (the national voice of the reverse mortgage industry), at seminars and learning workshops, in videos, and in media interviews.

His passion is educating and empowering homeowners 55+ and their trusted advisors on how the strategic and proactive use of housing wealth with a reverse mortgage can offer advanced retirement income strategies, protecting and preserving a retirement portfolio. Steve's goal is to dispel myths and common misperceptions about reverse mortgages and show his clients and partners how to achieve peace of mind by helping them to secure the retirement they deserve.

The Steven J. Sless Group is the national division dealing exclusively with reverse mortgages for Primary Residential Mortgage, Inc. (PRMI) – a nationwide, multibillion-dollar operation founded in 1998. Their focus is providing equity-based retirement solutions. Because reverse mortgages are just part of the equation, The Steven J. Sless Group has an extensive network of strategic partners – financial planning, long-term care planning, estate planning, tax & insurance professionals – available to further assist their clients on a referral basis.