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Reverse mortgage pros and cons

Reverse mortgages are often marketed to seniors as an easy way of getting access and raising funds for retirement without reducing their standard of living. The good news is that there's no need wait until you're 63 years old before taking out this loan; the maximum age eligibility varies from state-to understand how much they can borrow, but in most cases it’s between 55 and 65 years old with a few exceptions such as Florida which allows people up until 70.

Before you rush off and apply, there's something important that few people know: The interest rates on these loans can be super high! This means if someone has less than perfect credit history then he might not qualify at all - even though she/he meets all other requirements, so make sure this doesn't happen by researching carefully first.


Reverse mortgages are one way for property owners to get access cash when they need it most. The FHA insures these loans so if you don't pay back your reverse mortgage and debts, then the government takes over those balances with their reserves!

Homeowners can take advantage of this great opportunity by getting a reverse mortgage. The government calls them "HECMs," which stands for Home Equity Conversion Mortgages and there's an insurance upfront premium that you have to pay as well as annual fees based on 0 .5% per year long the loan lasts.

In addition to FHA-insured reverse mortgages, there are two other types:

  • Proprietary reverse mortgages: These are available through private lenders, and they are not subject to FHA loan limits.

  • Single-purpose reverse mortgage: State and local governments offer a single-purpose reverse mortgage that can be used for one specific need, such as renovating part of your home or paying property taxes. They are not common though they do exist; you may find these options through non profit organizations in addition to state sponsored programs like this!


With a reverse mortgage, you don't have to pay any interest until your loan is paid in full.

This means that even though the initial cost of borrowing $100k will be higher with this type of credit card-like product than it would on traditional mortgages (which come with fixed rates), over time these loans can actually save money because there's no monthly payment for principal or accruing additions onto both sides!

Well, it turns out that there is a catch. A reverse mortgage will not actually help you pay off any debt if the person who took out this type of loan dies before them or sells their home- which means all responsibilities for repayment fall onto someone else in your family.

The amount you owe will depend on your unique situation, with our $100K mortgage example, the borrower pays about $443 each month. Of this amount, around $160 is paid towards principal in the first month to reduce their loan obligation and otherwise everything remaining goes toward interest charges which can vary based on market conditions at time you took out your loans or current bank offerings as well.

This is how a loan works. You make your monthly payment, with more going towards repayment of the principal and less for interest over time until it's paid off completely at maturity.

The process of taking out a reverse mortgage is very different than traditional mortgages. Rather than making monthly payments, you will only be responsible for interest costs-and this can include capital gains if selling your home later on in life.

The mortgage is a long-term loan for which you’ll pay interest until your balance goes down. This process starts with the amount of money that's left on it after all other expenses are paid, then each year or when something happens to one person who has this type property - whichever comes first.


1. You can better manage expenses in retirement

The typical senior citizen is on a fixed income, so it's important to take their financial condition into consideration before making major decisions like retirement.

A reverse mortgage can be an excellent way for seniors with reduced incomes and monthly housing costs due in part from you paying the bill during work hours each week or month-to supplement what they would have made had that money been taken out of your paycheck instead.

2. You don’t have to move

Reverse mortgages are the best option for people who want to stay in their homes and communities. With a reverse mortgage, you can age in place while staying close by with family or friends--or perhaps even living rent-free!

Plus, there's no cost associated except your monthly payments which may be cheaper than what it would take if we had looked at buying another house outright instead of getting this loan through our bank accounts' equity line

3. You don’t have to pay taxes on the income

The income from your reverse mortgage isn't taxable because the agency considers this money "loan proceeds." IRS rules can be complicated, so it’s important to see a tax professional before committing yourself financially.

4. You’re protected if the balance exceeds your home’s value

When you take out a reverse mortgage, the lender has no claim on your assets in case of emergencies like fires or natural disasters. The only thing they can get from this agreement would be what's owed to them at any given time - which will never exceed fair market value for property because it operates under non-recourse financing.

5. Your heirs have options

Reverse mortgages can be paid off by borrowers sooner, but typically end when the borrower moves, sells the home or passes away. In an estate situation, heirs have several choices:

  • Sell the property to repay the debt and keep any equity above the loan balance.

  • keep the home and refinance the reverse mortgage balance if the property’s value is sufficient

  • If the debt exceeds the value of the property, heirs can settle the loan by giving the title back to the lender.

- The lender can then file a claim for any unpaid balance with the insurer (almost always the FHA).


1. You have to pay for it

Reverse mortgages can be quite expensive and borrowers should take into account the cost of lender fees, FHA insurance charges, closing costs.

These additional expenses could put them over their limit if they have less equity in homes than what's being borrowed against so it is best not to exceed this figure by anything more than necessary. In order to avoid these pesky servicing fees, you might want make sure your interest rate doesn't adjust on a monthly basis.

2. You can’t deduct the interest from your taxes until you pay off the loan

The mortgage interest deduction is a popular tax break that allows you to reduce the taxes owed by including fees related your home loan in 2012. However, this privilege will only apply when paying off an established debt - not new purchases or re-financing!

3. You can’t get as much with the fixed-rate option

HECMs can be a great way to finance your retirement if you want the security of knowing that funds will always work for what they're worth. However, when it comes time convert this mortgage into an adjustable rate reverse one there's less equity available than with other types fixed-rate loans which may make things more difficult in case economic conditions change drastically after installation has already taken place.

4. You could inadvertently violate other program requirements

You may want to rethink getting a reverse mortgage if you are on Medicaid or SSI. It could land your household in hot water with these programs.

Be sure speak directly an attorney who specializes in elder law before going through this process as they will know what steps need taken where and when - especially since it's not always easy finding reputable lenders willing provide such services without collateral upfront (which most require).

5. Your home can be foreclosed

There are many myths about reverse mortgages, one being that you cannot get your home foreclosed on. This isn't true! If seniors do not pay property taxes or maintain homeowner’s insurance their homes could be taken away from them in a matter of days and they would have no way to stop it because these things don’t require monthly payments like interest charges associated with traditional loans do.

6. You could have a hard time navigating changes to your status

Imagine you are in a retirement community and have been planning for years on taking out a reverse mortgage. Unfortunately, when it's time to execute the plan, you find that there may be some unexpected complications with your status as an owner or tenant at this property.

In other words: would you still be considered a resident in your home? If you marry after obtaining a reverse mortgage, must your spouse move out of the property if you die? For details regarding these and other questions, it’s best to speak with a lender or an attorney who specializes in elder law, or contact a pro-bono legal clinic.


For those who are on a fixed income, the idea of putting your home up for sale may seem daunting. But with all potential risks and complexities involved in doing so-in addition to any taxes that could apply, is a reverse mortgage actually a good idea? For some homeowners, the answer might be yes if you:

  • Anticipate staying in your home for a long time: Some people may want to take out a reverse mortgage if they are 62 years old and have been living in their current home for many years. The interest-free period means you won't need any income or assets, which makes this an attractive option compared with other types of loans available on the market today. Plus, if you live somewhere where homes appreciate fast like many parts of America right now your house could be worth even more by when it's paid back or passed down through family lines.