Q: I am 66 years old and I bought my existing two-story home in November 2007 for about $235,000. The outstanding mortgage balance is $180,000.

I wish to move to a single story home of similar value, but I do not have a job and am not yet retired, so I really have no regular income.

I have about $900,000 worth of investments ($650,000 in a tax-deferred IRA and more money in an after-tax Roth IRA plus regular brokerage accounts). I could sell my existing home, liquidate some of my investments and buy another property without a mortgage but I would incur an unpleasant tax bill.

I have been told I need to put some cash into an annuity to show regular income to supplement Social Security which will be about $30,000 per year for my wife and I when the time comes to officially “retire.” But annuity returns are really low at the moment.

I would really appreciate your help and guidance on how to proceed.

A: First, why do you need to move? If you don’t need to move, you may decide that it might be better for you to just stay in your home and the problem will be solved.

If you do need to move, then you’re either going to have to get a job (to show income) or withdraw $180,000 from your retirement and, as you put it, face an unpleasant tax bill.

I don’t have any magic tricks for you. If you need a loan, lenders are going to want to see a W2 or a P&L from a business that you own. They’ll want to see at least 20 to 30 percent (if you’re unemployed or self-employed, figure on ponying up the higher number) in cash for a down payment.

I don’t know why you need cash into an annuity. Once you qualify for the loan and then close on the property, no one will care whether you have an annuity or social security or money from a savings account. Lenders only care how you look on the day you close on the property.

Perhaps you’re not getting sound advice from the people you are talking to. You should see if you can find a mortgage broker in your area along with a local bank and talk to them about your options. Finally, with the amount of money you have in your accounts, you may want to have a talk with the financial institution that is holding your money. In some situations they may have mortgage products available for people in your situation.

I hope this helps.