Improve your life by cashing in on your home’s equity
Whether seeking money to finance a home improvement, pay off a current mortgage, supplement their retirement income, or pay for healthcare expenses, many older Americans are turning to “reverse” mortgages. They allow older homeowners to convert part of the equity in their homes into cash without having to sell their homes or take on additional monthly bills.
In a “regular” mortgage, you make monthly payments to the lender. But in a “reverse” mortgage, you receive money from the lender and generally don’t have to pay it back for as long as you live in your home. Instead, the loan must be repaid when you die, sell your home, or no longer live there as your principal residence. Reverse mortgages can help homeowners who are house-rich but cash-poor stay in their homes and still meet their financial obligations.
To qualify for a reverse mortgage, you must be at least 62 and live in your home. The proceeds of a reverse mortgage (without other features, like an annuity) are generally tax-free, and many reverse mortgages have no income restrictions.
Type of Reverse Mortgages
Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs), and are backed by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). A reverse mortgage can be used, for home repairs, improvements, property taxes, education, daily bills, auto purchase, or anything else you may want to use the cash for. There are two types of reverse mortgages fixed or adjustable. A fixed reverse mortgage requires you to take a lump sum of cash. The adjustable reverse mortgage allows you to receive month payments, or take out the cash whenever you like. The adjustable reverse mortgage will not offer you as much cash as the fixed reverse mortgage.
Reverse mortgage loan advances are not taxable, and generally do not affect Social Security or Medicare benefits. You retain the title to your home and do not have to make monthly repayments. The loan must be repaid when the last surviving borrower dies, sells the home, or no longer lives in the home as a principal residence. In the HECM program, a borrower can live in a nursing home or other medical facility for up to 12 months before the loan becomes due and payable.