Reverse Mortgage Facts

A potentially good way of freeing up funds to help ends meet; for daily expenses, or unplanned expenses like purchasing a new car, or even taking that trip you’ve always wanted to take, is by taking a Reverse Mortgage on you home.

A reverse mortgage is a financial product that allows homeowners, typically those aged 62 or older, to convert a portion of their home’s equity into tax-free cash without selling the home. It can be a way to free up funds if you own a home and need additional income or a lump sum of money. Here’s how it works:

  1. Eligibility: To qualify for a reverse mortgage, you must be a homeowner, usually at least 62 years old, and have substantial equity in your home.
  2. Types of Reverse Mortgages:
  1. Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM): This is the most common type and is insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).
  2. Proprietary Reverse Mortgage: These are private loans backed by individual companies.
  1. Loan Disbursement Options:
  • Lump Sum: You receive a single, upfront payment.
  • Monthly Payments: Regular payments over time, which can act as a steady income stream.
  • Line of Credit: A credit line that you can draw from as needed.
  • Combination: A combination of the above options.
  1. Repayment: Unlike a traditional mortgage, you don’t make monthly payments. The loan is typically repaid when you move out of the house, sell it, or pass away. At that point, the lender sells the home to recover the loan amount.
  2. Interest and Fees: Interest accrues on the outstanding balance of the loan, and fees are associated with the loan, which can reduce the amount of equity you have in your home over time.
  3. Advantages:
  • Provides an additional income source for retirees.
  • You can continue to live in your home.
  • Generally, the loan is not taxable, and it doesn’t usually affect Social Security or Medicare benefits.
  1. Considerations:
  • Interest and fees can accumulate over time, potentially reducing the amount of equity left in the home for heirs.
  • It’s important to fully understand the terms and costs associated with a reverse mortgage.
  • Ensure you have plans in place for the repayment of the loan when the time comes, such as selling the

It’s essential to carefully consider whether a reverse mortgage is the right financial decision for your individual circumstances. Consulting with a financial advisor or a housing counselor can help you assess whether it makes sense for your needs and goals.