Should I Obtain a Reverse Mortgage on My House?

A reverse mortgage is a financial product that allows homeowners, typically seniors, to convert part of the equity in their home into cash without having to sell the home or take on new monthly mortgage payments. While this can offer a lifeline by boosting financial flexibility during retirement, it’s crucial to understand the advantages and disadvantages before deciding. Consulting with a Fee-Only financial adviser can also provide valuable insights tailored to your personal financial situation.

Pros of a Reverse Mortgage

1. Supplement Retirement Income: One of the primary benefits of a reverse mortgage is the ability to supplement your retirement income. This can be particularly useful if your retirement savings are not sufficient to cover your living expenses or if you face unexpected costs.

2. No Monthly Mortgage Payments: Unlike traditional mortgages, you are not required to make monthly payments on a reverse mortgage as long as you live in the home and comply with the terms of the loan. This can significantly reduce your monthly financial burden.

3. Flexible Payout Options: Reverse mortgages offer flexible payout options, including lump sum, monthly payments, or a line of credit, allowing you to tailor the disbursements according to your needs.

4. You Remain the Owner: You retain home ownership and can continue to live in your home. The loan does not have to be repaid until you move out, sell the home, or pass away.

Cons of a Reverse Mortgage

1. High Fees and Interest: Reverse mortgages typically come with higher upfront costs compared to traditional mortgages, including origination fees, insurance premiums, and closing costs. Additionally, the interest rates are often higher than those for conventional loans, which can quickly increase the amount you owe over time.

2. Reduction in Home Equity: Because you are borrowing against your home equity, the equity you have in your home decreases over time as interest on the loan accumulates.

3. Impact on Inheritance: A reverse mortgage can reduce the amount of money you can leave to your heirs. Unless they can afford to repay the reverse mortgage, they may need to sell the home when you pass away or when it is no longer your primary residence.

4. Eligibility Requirements: Not everyone can qualify for a reverse mortgage. There are age restrictions, typically requiring at least one homeowner to be 62 years or older, and the home must be your primary residence.


While a reverse mortgage can provide financial relief and enhance your spending power during retirement, it’s important to weigh its benefits against the drawbacks carefully. Given the complexities and potential impacts on your financial health and estate planning, consulting with a Fee-Only financial adviser is crucial. They can help ensure that any decision made is well-informed and aligned with your broader financial goals.

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