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Making the most of retirement

It wasn’t until he was over the age of 50 that John Maskell discovered a love of travelling. He’s more than made up for lost time since then, by going on an adventure every few years. Now 76, John continues to enjoy overseas trips and other hobbies – interests he hasn’t had to forego thanks to a Heartland Reverse Mortgage.

“I never travelled when I was young, but I’ve been intrigued by Antarctica ever since I was a little boy,” says John, who was born on the Mainland but grew up in Auckland. “My sister told me about an information evening on trips to Antarctica and insisted I go. By the end of the night, I had signed up for a 26-day trip on board a ship called the Marco Polo.”

John’s intrepid maiden voyage from New Zealand sparked a new-found love of adventure.

“It was every bit as spectacular as I’d hoped – I was absolutely out of my tree! In addition to the incredible things we saw, there were lectures about wildlife, oceanography, weather and so much more.

“Since then I’ve to been to Bali, India, Mongolia and a number of other places with my partner, as she’s always up for an adventure.”

John, who retired from his job selling engineering equipment at 67, says there’s rarely a dull moment in his life as a retiree. Between travelling, taking care of his much-loved 1969 Rover and spending time with his partner’s family, his life is fuller than he could have imagined.

However, as savings started to decline about three years ago, John realised that superannuation alone wouldn’t be enough to cover his lifestyle, so he decided to take out a Heartland Reverse Mortgage. With his two-bedroom home in the Avondale suburb of Auckland valued at $640,000, Heartland Bank offered him a reverse mortgage for $140,000.

“With a Heartland Reverse Mortgage, you only pay interest on the amount you draw down, not the amount you’ve been approved for, so I only draw down $10,000 per year to cover my lifestyle, plus some home improvements and expensive necessities such as new glasses,” says John, who purchased his home more than 20 years ago.

He says he can’t imagine living anywhere else.

“I love the community and I’ve adapted the house to suit my needs – I wouldn’t dream of leaving. If the reverse mortgage wasn’t an option, I would have a very different lifestyle, but I wouldn’t move.

“I feel really lucky to have this option available to me – I am living a very comfortable and enjoyable life as a result.”

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