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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.

  • Need more money to manage everyday expenses: There are many reasons why people may find themselves in a position where they need access to money quickly. A reverse mortgage can provide that solution and give you back some control over your finances


A reverse mortgage is not a good choice if:

  • You are planning to move: If you're thinking about relocating soon or downsizing, don't get a reverse mortgage. The fees are expensive and the interest rate can be high which means that it won’t pay off for quite some time unless there's an incredible long runway ahead of us.

  • You might need to move due to health issues: With a reverse mortgage, you are required to live in the home and could end up having pay back if relocating any kind of assisted living arrangement. It’s probably wise for those who have health issues as well not take this option due concerns about their current situation changing rapidly which may make it difficult or impossible for them maintain payments on what they owe.

  • You are struggling to cover the other costs of your home: If you have been struggling to come up with the money for property taxes and homeowner’s insurance, adding more debt should not be an option.


If you’ve considered all the pros and cons and believe a reverse mortgage will be good for you, follow these steps to get one:

Step 1 - Figure out if you’re eligible: To get a reverse mortgage, you'll need to meet some key requirements: (1) be at least 62 years old and live in your home, (2) have 50% of equity required for this type loan.

Step 2 - Meet with a HUD-approved financial counselor: It may seem like reverse mortgages are complicated and difficult to understand. This couldn't be further from the truth! You'll need an expert in your corner who can explain all of these options for you, we can help you find the right option for your needs.

Step 3 - Compare multiple lenders: When you're looking at lenders, make sure that the ones with low fees and rates are in your crosshairs. It might seem like an easy decision but there's more than meets the eye, many other things come into play when choosing which lender will work best for both yourself as well as them.

Step 4 - Talk it over with your heirs: Your loved ones should know about your Reverse Mortgage plan so they can take care of it when you die. Make sure that everyone in the family is on board with this decision, otherwise things may get complicated.


The reputation of reverse mortgages has been slightly less than perfect. This is because some companies have tried to use dishonest marketing techniques, which can lead unsuspecting homeowners into scams or legitimate but dangerous financial situations with their borrowing powers.

The key to avoiding home insurance claims is simple - be very cautious about putting your house at risk.

Still, there are two key reasons that seniors might consider examining their reverse mortgage options today:

  • Elevated equity: Home equity is on the rise. The average American homeowner gained more than $56,000 in equity between 2020 and 2021 according to CoreLogic.

  • Record-low interest rates: Interest rates are beginning to rise, but it’s still a cheap time for you if your interested in borrowing money. The current estimate is that 30-year loans will stay below 4% throughout next year.

If you are looking for an easy way to access the cash in your home, consider taking out a reverse mortgage. This option can provide stability and security as well as give users freedom from worrying about monthly payments on their house or other types of debt obligations that they may have been struggling with before getting this loan type approved by banks

You should also consider other options to access cash, like a home equity loan versus reverse mortgage. The best way for you will depend on your needs and the type of property that's being bought.

Home equity loans and reverse mortgages are both viable options for accessing cash in retirement. It’s important to understand the pros and cons of each loan before making a decision. A home equity loan may be a better fit if you need access to a large sum of money, while a reverse mortgage could be a better choice if you want to maintain control over your property and don’t need all the funds at once.

If you need assistance you can schedule an Initial Consultation below.

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