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The Source: Reverse Mortgages Explained | Self-Help Science And Skepticism


In the first segment:

A recent study by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) found that 25 times more money is spent advertising financial products then on educating people on what these products are. Anyone who is up watching TV past 9 p.m. knows this is especially true of reverse mortgages.

Well-known actors like Henry Winkler and Fred Thompson are trotted out to tout the benefits of this complex financial product with no context or understanding.

Are people using these loans the way congress expected? Another study from the CFPB shows they aren't, with 70 percent of Americans taking out all the equity in their home upfront in one lump sum, putting them at risk of losing the home if they have no money to pay the taxes on it.  

Are there enough protections for spouses? The AARP turned the spotlight on the lack of protections in a series of articles

Today we dig into reverse mortgages with Dr. Lori Trawinski from the AARP's Public Policy Institute and Nora Eisenhower, assistant director of the Office of Older Americans at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

In the second segment:


2014 has arrived and if you are like millions of other Americans you have made a few resolutions -- resolutions that may have you scanning the hundreds of titles in the self-help aisles of your local bookstore.

But how do you know there is any science behind the self-help books you buy? We take a look at self help with a few people intimately involved.

Jessica Lamb-Shapiro grew up the daughter of an author of instructional parenting books and she spent a year winding her way through self-help groups and books.  Her forthcoming book "Promise Land: My Journey through America's Self-Help Culture," is out next Tuesday. 

Also joining us is Dr. Keith Humphreys, professor of psychiatry at Stanford University. He has seen the transformational work of support groups and people striving to improve themselves.

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Paul Flahive can be reached at Paul@tpr.org and on Twitter at @paulflahive