Reverse Mortgage 

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United States Eligibility

To qualify for the FHA-insured Home Equity Conversion Mortgage ( HECM) reverse mortgage, borrowers  must be at least 62 years of age and the home must be their primary residence (second homes and investment properties do not qualify).[16]

There are certain protections to spouses younger than age 62. Under the old guidelines, the reverse mortgage could only be written for the spouse who was 62 or older. If the older spouse died, the reverse mortgage balance became due and payable. If the surviving spouse didn't have the ability to pay off or refinance the reverse mortgage balance, he or she was forced to either sell or give up ownership of the home. This often created a significant hardship for spouses of deceased HECM mortgagors, so FHA revised the eligibility requirements. Under the new guidelines, spouses who are younger than age 62 at the time of origination retain the protections offered by the HECM program if the older spouses dies. This means that the surviving spouse can remain living in the home without having to repay the reverse mortgage balance as long as they keep up with property taxes and homeowners insurance and maintain the home to a reasonable level.

For a reverse mortgage to be a viable financial option, existing mortgage balances usually must be low enough to be paid off with the reverse mortgage proceeds.[18] However, borrowers do have the option of paying down their existing mortgage balance to qualify for a HECM reverse mortgage.

The HECM reverse mortgage follows the standard FHA eligibility requirements for property type, meaning most 1–4 family dwellings, FHA approved condominiums, and PUDs qualify.[19] Manufactured homes also qualify as long as they meet FHA standards.

Before starting the loan process for an FHA/HUD-approved reverse mortgage, applicants must take an approved counseling course.[20] An approved counselor should help explain how reverse mortgages work, the financial and tax implications of taking out a reverse mortgage, payment options, and costs associated with a reverse mortgage.[citation needed] The counseling is meant to protect borrowers, although the quality of counseling has been criticized by groups such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.[1]

In a 2010 survey of elderly Americans, 48% of respondents cited financial difficulties as the primary reason for obtaining a reverse mortgage and 81% stated a desire to remain in their current homes until death.[21]

Financial assessment

On March 2, 2015, FHA implemented new guidelines that require reverse mortgage applicants to undergo a financial assessment. Though HECM borrowers are not required to make monthly mortgage payments, FHA wants to make sure they have the financial ability and willingness to keep up with property taxes and homeowner's insurance (and any other applicable property charges). Financial assessment involves evaluating two main areas:

  1. Residual income - Borrowers must have a certain amount of residual income left over after covering monthly expenses.
  2. Satisfactory credit - All housing and installment debt payments must have been made on time in the last 12 months and there are no more than two 30-day late mortgage or installment payments in the previous 24 months. There is no major derogatory credit on revolving accounts in the last 12 months.

If residual income or credit does not meet FHA guidelines, the lender can possibly make up for it by documenting extenuating circumstances that led to the financial hardship. If no extenuating circumstances can be documented, the borrower may not qualify at all or the lender may require a large amount of the principal limit (if available) to be carved out into a Life Expectancy Set Aside (LESA) for the payment of property charges (property taxes, homeowners insurance, etc.).[22]

Interest rates

The HECM reverse mortgage offers fixed and adjustable interest rates. The fixed-rate program comes with the security of an interest rate that does not change for the life of the reverse mortgage, but the interest rate is usually higher at the start of the loan than a comparable adjustable-rate HECM. Adjustable-rate reverse mortgages typically have interest rates that can change on a monthly or yearly basis within certain limits.

Applicants for a HECM reverse mortgage will likely notice that there are two different interest rates disclosed on their loan documents: the initial interest rate, or IIR, and the expected interest rate, or EIR:-


Initial interest rate (IIR)

bulletThe initial interest rate, or IIR, is the actual note rate at which interest accrues on the outstanding loan balance on an annual basis.
For fixed-rate reverse mortgages, the IIR can never change. For adjustable-rate reverse mortgages, the IIR can change with program limits up to a lifetime interest rate cap.

Expected interest rate (EIR)

bulletThe expected interest rate, or EIR, is used mainly for calculation purposes to determine how much a reverse mortgage borrower qualifies for based on the value of the home (up to the maximum lending limit of $625,500) and age of the youngest borrower. The EIR is often different from the actual note rate, or IIR. The EIR does not determine the amount of interest that accrues on the loan balance (the IIR does that).

Amount of proceeds available

The total pool of money that a borrower can receive from a HECM reverse mortgage is called the principal limit (PL), which is calculated based on the maximum claim amount (MCA), the age of the youngest borrower, the expected interest rate (EIR), and a table to PL factors published by HUD. Similar to loan-to-value (LTV) in the forward mortgage world, the principal limit is essentially the percentage of the value of the home that can be lent under the FHA HECM guidelines. Most PLs are typically in the range of 50% to 60% of the MCA, but they can sometimes be higher or lower. The table below gives examples of principal limits for various ages and EIRs and a property value of $250,000.[23]

Borrower’s age at origination Expected interest rate (EIR) Principal limit factor (as of Aug. 4, 2014)[24] Initial principal limit based on MCA of $250,000
65 5.5% 0.478 $119,500
65 7.0% 0.332 $83,000
75 5.5% 0.553 $138,250
75 7.0% 0.410 $102,500
85 5.5% 0.644 $161,000
85 7.0% 0.513 $128,250

The principal limit tends to increase with age and decrease as the EIR rises. In other words, older borrowers tend to qualify for more money than younger borrowers, but the total amount of money available under the HECM program tends to decrease for all ages as interest rates rise.

Closing costs, existing mortgage balances, other liens, and any property taxes or homeowners insurance due are typically paid out of the initial principal limit. Any additional proceeds available can be distributed to the borrower in several ways:-

Options for distribution of proceeds

The money from a reverse mortgage can be distributed in four ways, depending on the borrower's financial needs and goals:[20][25]

bulletLump sum in cash at settlement
bulletMonthly payment (loan advance) for a set number of years (term) or life (tenure)
bulletLine of credit (similar to a home equity line of credit)
bulletSome combination of the above

Note that the adjustable-rate HECM offers all of the above payment options, but the fixed-rate HECM only offers lump sum.

The line of credit option accrues growth, meaning that whatever is available and unused on the line of credit will automatically grow larger at a compounding rate. This means that borrowers who opt for a HECM line of credit can potentially gain access to more cash over time than what they initially qualified for at origination.

The line of credit growth rate is determined by adding 1.25% to the initial interest rate (IIR), which means the line of credit will grow faster if the interest rate on the loan increases.

 Because many borrowers were taking full draw lump sums (often at the encouragement of lenders) at closing and burning through the money quickly, HUD sought to protect borrowers and the viability of the HECM program by limiting the amount of proceeds that can be accessed within the first 12 months of the loan.

If the total mandatory obligations (which includes existing mortgage balances,
all closing costs, delinquent federal debts, and purchase transaction costs) to be paid by the reverse mortgage
are less than 60% of the principal limit, then the borrower can draw additional proceeds up to 60% of the principal limit in the first 12 months.
 Any remaining available proceeds can be accessed after 12 months.

If the total mandatory obligations exceed 60% of the principal limit, then the borrower can draw an additional 10% of the principal limit if available.

HECM for purchase

HECM mortgagors have the opportunity to purchase a new principal residence with HECM loan proceeds — the so-called HECM for Purchase[27] program. Applies if the borrower is able to pay the difference between the HECM and the sales price and closing costs for the property.[20] The program was designed to allow the elderly to purchase a new principal residence and obtain a reverse mortgage within a single transaction by eliminating the need for a second closing.

Closing costs

Reverse mortgages are frequently criticized over the issue of closing costs, which can sometimes be expensive. The following are the most typical closing costs paid at closing to obtain a reverse mortgage:

  1. Counseling fee: The first step to get a reverse mortgage is to go through a counseling session with a HUD-approved counselor. The average cost of the counseling session is usually around $125, but counselors often don't charge at all.
  2. Origination fee: This is charged by the lender to arrange the reverse mortgage. Origination fees can vary widely from lender to lender and can range from nothing to several thousand dollars.
  3. Third party fees: These fees are for third-party services hired to complete the reverse mortgage, such as appraisal, title insurance, escrow, government recording, tax stamps (where applicable), credit reports, etc.
  4. Initial mortgage insurance premium (IMIP): This is a one-time cost paid at closing to FHA to insure the reverse mortgage and protect both lenders and borrowers. The IMIP protects lenders by making them whole if the home sells at the time of loan repayment for less than what is owed on the reverse mortgage. This protects borrowers as well because it means they will never have to pay out of other assets to settle up the reverse mortgage if they owe more than the home is worth. How the IMIP is calculated was changed in late 2013 with Mortgage Letter 2013-27. The IMIP is now charged as either 0.50% or 2.50% of the max claim amount (which usually equals the appraised value of the home up to a maximum of $625,500), depending on how much of the principal limit is utilized within the first 12 months of the loan. If the utilization is under 60% of the principal limit, the lower rate applies. If it's above that amount, then the higher rate applies.[30]

The vast majority of closing costs typically can be rolled into the new loan amount (except in the case of HECM for purchase, where they're included in the down payment), so they don't need to be paid out of pocket by the borrower. The only exceptions to this rule may be the counseling fee, appraisal, and any repairs that may need to be done to the home to make it fully compliant with the FHA guidelines before completing the reverse mortgage.

Lenders disclose estimated closing costs using several standardized documents, including the


Reverse Mortgage Comparison,


Loan Amortization,


Total Annual Loan Cost (TALC),


Closing Cost Worksheet, and


the Good Faith Estimate (GFE).

These documents can be used to compare loan offers from different lenders.

Ongoing costs

There are two ongoing costs that may apply to a reverse mortgage: annual mortgage insurance and servicing fees. Like IMIP, annual mortgage insurance is charged by FHA to insure the loan and accrues annually at a rate of 1.25% of the loan balance. Annual mortgage insurance does not need to be paid out of pocket by the borrower; it can be allowed to accrue onto the loan balance over time.

Servicing fees are less common today than in the past, but some lenders may still charge them to cover the cost of servicing the reverse mortgage over time. Servicing fees, if charged, are usually around $30 per month and can be allowed to accrue onto the loan balance (they don't need to be paid out of pocket).

Taxes and insurance

Unlike traditional forward mortgages, there are no escrow accounts in the reverse mortgage world. Property taxes and homeowners insurance are paid by the homeowner on their own, which is a requirement of the HECM program (along with the payment of other property charges such as HOA dues).[31]

Life expectancy set aside (LESA)

If a reverse mortgage applicant fails to meet the satisfactory credit or residual income standards required under the new financial assessment guidelines implemented by FHA on March 2, 2015, the lender may require a Life Expectancy Set Aside, or LESA. A LESA carves out a portion of the reverse mortgage benefit amount for the payment of property taxes and insurance for the borrower's expected remaining life span. FHA implemented the LESA to reduce defaults based on the nonpayment of property taxes and insurance.

Are HECM proceeds taxable?

The American Bar Association guide[32] advises that generally,

bulletThe Internal Revenue Service does not consider loan advances to be income.
bulletAnnuity advances may be partially taxable.
bulletInterest charged is not deductible until it is actually paid, that is, at the end of the loan.
bulletThe mortgage insurance premium is deductible on the 1040 long form.

The money received from a reverse mortgage is considered a loan advance. It therefore is not taxable and does not directly affect Social Security or Medicare benefits. However, an American Bar Association guide[32] to reverse mortgages explains that if borrowers receive Medicaid, SSI, or other public benefits, loan advances will be counted as "liquid assets" if the money is kept in an account (savings, checking, etc.) past the end of the calendar month in which it is received; the borrower could then lose eligibility for such public programs if total liquid assets (cash, generally) is then greater than those programs allow.[33]

When the loan comes due

The HECM reverse mortgage is not due and payable until the last borrower (or non-borrowing spouse) dies, sells the house, or fails to live in the home for a period greater than 12 months.[34] The loan may also become due and payable if the borrower fails to pay property taxes, homeowners insurance, lets the condition of the home significantly deteriorate, or transfers the title of the property to a non-borrower (excluding trusts that meet HUD's requirements).[35]

Once the reverse mortgage loan comes due, borrowers or heirs of the estate have several options to settle up the loan balance:

  1. Pay off or refinance the existing balance to keep the home.
  2. Sell the home themselves to settle up the loan balance (and keep the remaining equity).
  3. Allow the lender to sell the home (and the remaining equity is distributed to the borrowers or heirs).

The HECM reverse mortgage is a non-recourse loan, which means that the only asset that can be claimed to repay the loan is the home itself.
 If there's not enough value in the home to settle up the loan balance, the FHA mortgage insurance fund covers the difference.


Reverse mortgages have been criticized for several major shortcomings:

bulletPossible high up-front costs make reverse mortgages expensive. In the U.S., entering into a reverse mortgage will cost approximately the same as a traditional FHA mortgage; depending on the loan-to-value.
bulletThe interest rate on a reverse mortgage may be higher than on a conventional "forward mortgage".[44]
bulletInterest compounds over the life of a reverse mortgage, which means that "the mortgage can quickly balloon".[13] Since no monthly payments are made by the borrower on a reverse mortgage, the interest that accrues is treated as a loan advance. Each month, interest is calculated not only on the principal amount received by the borrower but on the interest previously assessed to the loan. Because of this compound interest, as a reverse mortgage's length grows, it becomes more likely to deplete the entire equity of the property.[13] That said, with an FHA-insured HECM reverse mortgage obtained in the US or any reverse mortgage obtained in Canada, the borrower can never owe more than the value of the property and cannot pass on any debt from the reverse mortgage to any heirs. The sole remedy the lender has is the collateral, not assets in the estate, if applicable.
bulletReverse mortgages can be confusing; many obtain them without fully understanding the terms and conditions,[44] and it has been suggested that some lenders have sought to take advantage of this.[45] A majority of respondents to a 2000 survey of elderly Americans failed to understand the financial terms of reverse mortgages very well when securing their reverse mortgages.[21] "In the past, government investigations and consumer advocacy groups raised significant consumer protection concerns about the business practices of reverse mortgage lenders and other companies in the reverse mortgage industry"[46] But in a 2006 survey of borrowers by AARP, 93 percent said their reverse mortgage had a mostly positive effect on their lives, compared with 3 percent who said the effect was mostly negative. Some 93 percent of borrowers reported that they were satisfied with their experiences with lenders, and 95 percent reported that they were satisfied with the counselors that they were required to see.[47]


A reverse mortgage or home equity conversion mortgage (HECM) is a type of home loan for older homeowners (62 years or older) that requires no monthly mortgage payments. Borrowers are still responsible for property taxes and homeowner’s insurance. Reverse mortgages allow elders to access the home equity they have built up in their homes now, and defer payment of the loan until they die, sell, or move out of the home. Because there are no required mortgage payments on a reverse mortgage, the interest is added to the loan balance each month. The rising loan balance can eventually grow to exceed the value of the home, particularly in times of declining home values or if the borrower continues to live in the home for many years. However, the borrower (or the borrower’s estate) is generally not required to repay any additional loan balance in excess of the value of the home.[1]

Proceeds from a reverse mortgage

The money from a reverse mortgage can be distributed in several different ways:[5]

bulletas a lump sum, in cash, at settlement
bulletas an annuity, with a cash payment at regular intervals
bulletas a line of credit, similar to a home equity line of credit
bulletas a combination of these.

Taxes and insurance

The borrower remains entirely responsible for the property. This includes physical maintenance.[5] In addition, some programs require periodic reassessments of the value of the property.[5][7]

Income from a reverse mortgage set up as an annuity or as a line of credit should not affect Government Income Support entitlements.[5][9] However, income from a reverse mortgage set up as a lump sum could be considered a financial investment and thus deemed taxable ; this category includes all sums over $40,000 and sums under $40,000 that are not spent within 90 days.[9]

When the loan comes due

The reverse mortgage comes due – the loan plus interest must be repaid – when the borrower dies, sells the property, moves out of the house, or breaches the contract in some way.[5]

Prepayment of the loan – when the borrower pays the loan back before it reaches term – may incur penalties, depending on the program.[5][8] An additional fee could also be imposed in the event of a redraw.[8]

"Some providers offer a 'no negative equity guarantee'. This means that if the balance of the loan exceeds the proceeds of sale of the property, no claim for this excess will be made against the estate or other beneficiaries of the borrower."[5][7]

On 18 September 2012, the Government introduced statutory 'negative equity protection' on all new reverse mortgage contracts. This means you cannot end up owing the lender more than your home is worth (the market value or equity).

When the reverse mortgage contract ends and the borrowers home is sold, the lender will receive the proceeds of the sale and the borrower cannot be held liable for any debt in excess of this (except in certain circumstances such as fraud or misrepresentation). Where the property sells for more than the amount owed to the lender, the borrower or their estate will receive the extra funds.


bulletReal estate appraisal = $175–$400
bulletLegal advice = $400–$600
bulletOther legal, closing, and administrative costs = $1,495


you don’t have to make monthly payments. The lender doesn’t collect until the homeowner moves, sells or dies. Once the home is sold, any equity that remains after the loan is repaid is distributed to the person’s estate.

To qualify, you have to be 62 or older.

You would have to make payments on a line of credit or loan.

The fact that counseling is required from a government-approved agency for loans made through the Federal Housing Administration’s Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) program is an indication of the complexity of this financial product. Still, many seniors don’t understand what they are getting into.

People complained to the CFPB about their loan terms, the loan servicing companies, and not being able to add a borrower. Adult children complained that lenders refused to add them as an additional borrower or allow them to “assume” the loan for an aging or deceased parent, the report said.

 CFPB tips :-

bullet▪  Double check that your loan records accurately reflect who is on the mortgage.
bullet▪  Be sure to understand the risks of not including a spouse on the loan. Often an older spouse will take out a reverse mortgage in his or her name only because older homeowners are able to borrow against a greater percentage of the home’s equity.

“Non-borrowing spouses submit complaints distraught that they are facing foreclosure and about to lose their home after their husband or wife dies,” according to the report. “Other non-borrowing spouses submit complaints worried about their ability to remain in their home should the older spouse die first.”

If you decide it’s financially better for just one spouse to take out a reverse mortgage, be sure to have a plan for the non-borrowing spouse. Can a surviving spouse stay in the home? The Department of Housing and Urban Development has attempted to address the issue of non-borrowing spouses. Under certain conditions, some spouses may be able to stay but others may not get that protection.

The CFPB recommends that if only one spouse is on the mortgage, you should find out if the loan servicer will permit the non-borrowing spouse to qualify for a repayment deferral allowing him or her to remain in the home.
bullet▪  Talk to your heirs. If you have adult children or other relatives living in the house, be sure they understand what could happen if the reverse mortgage becomes due.

Go to the CFPB web site at  and click the link for the agency’s consumer advisory on reverse mortgages.

There are some pros to a reverse mortgage. But the complexity of the product means you better be just as aware of the cons.


With the equity you've built up in your home you can stop paying a mortgage and a lender starts sending you checks regularly (or in a lump sum or line of credit) !
mortgages can indeed serve many retirees well, but they're not perfect for everyone, and they have some downsides worth considering.

The basics

A reverse mortgage is essentially a loan, with the amount borrowed not having to be repaid until you die, sell your home, or stop living in it (perhaps because you moved to a nursing home). At that time, the home can be sold to cover the debt, or your heirs can pay it off and keep the home. Reverse mortgage income is often tax-free, which is another big plus.

Dangers, pitfalls, and things to know

There are some dangers and pitfalls associated with reverse mortgages, though, and in many cases, what you don't know can cost you. Let's run through some facts.

bulletFor starters, many people have been pressured into reverse mortgages by pushy salespeople. Reverse mortgages can be complicated contracts, too, so be sure to review all the terms closely, to ask questions, and perhaps to have a financial professional review the deal.
bullet Reverse mortgages feature closing costs, just as with regular mortgages, and they tend to be costlier. The applicable interest rates tend to be higher, as well.
bulletYou may not receive as much income through a reverse mortgage as you might have expected. The amount you can borrow depends on factors such as how much longer you (and your spouse, if you have one) are expected to live, the value of the home, the equity you have in it, and prevailing interest rates. Interest charges are added to the balance of the loan over time.
bulletYou'll still be on the hook for home-related expenses such as property taxes, home insurance, home repairs, and maintenance. Those can be substantial. Miss out on some of these payments, such as property taxes, and your lender might be able to close out the loan, causing you much grief.
bulletOnce you leave your home, it will likely need to be sold to pay off the reverse mortgage. If you'd hoped to leave it to your children, you won't be able to do so unless the reverse mortgage loan can be paid off in some other way. Some people have run into trouble if they got sick and were out of their home for an extended time, such as in rehab -- as their lender then moved to close out the loan and take possession of the house. 
bulletReceiving income from a reverse mortgage might hurt your eligibility for various benefits, such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income. So while it can boost your income, it may also reduce it.
bulletIn the past, when a reverse mortgage holder has died, the surviving spouse often ended up defaulting on the loan and facing foreclosure. Regulations have recently strengthened protections for spouses, but it's worth taking a close look at any fine print and asking pointed questions. It can be especially dangerous if your spouse is not included in the loan.
bulletWhen some people have tried to refinance their mortgage, they've discovered that their equity is much smaller than they thought, because holding a reverse mortgage shrinks your equity in part via accrued interest expenses over time.
bulletSome people have complained to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau that their reverse mortgages with variable interest rates raised the rates too quickly, costing them more, and that they were not able to renegotiate terms.
bulletIf you're not disciplined, you can spend too much of your reverse mortgage money too soon (especially if you've received it as a lump sum) and can end up in worse financial shape.

Be smart about reverse mortgages

The key to knowing whether a reverse mortgage is right for you is to learn everything you can about them. In some cases, if you need the income and liquidity that they can provide, then reverse mortgages will be a good tool in your retirement financial plan.


A reverse mortgage can be a terrific solution for those who find themselves cash-poor in retirement. It's far from a simple thing, though, and it does have some drawbacks and warrants some cautions. If you're thinking of getting a reverse mortgage, here are some smart reverse mortgage moves you might want to make.

  1. Be wary of anyone urging you to get a reverse mortgage
    Reverse mortgages are sometimes pushed by those with conflicts of interest and those who may not offer you the best deal. Do your own homework, shop around, and perhaps approach lenders on your own instead of through a salesperson.
  2. Think of the reverse mortgage as a loan, and not as an investment. 
    With a reverse mortgage, you essentially borrow money based on your home equity and don't have to pay it back until you die or stop living in your home. The lender pays you in regular installments or a lump sum or gives you a line of credit. Don't let any salesperson tell you that a reverse mortgage is a smart investment. They generally cost a lot and are not all about growing your wealth. 
  3. Know that a reverse mortgage will often remove your ability to leave your heirs your home. 
    If you've been planning to leave your home to your loved ones, a reverse mortgage can remove those plans. When you die or permanently leave your home (such as by moving into a nursing home), your loan will often need to be repaid. They often requires the immediate sale of your home. But if your heirs can pay off the loan, they may be able to keep the home. 
  4. Know that the amount you have borrowed will increase over time
    When you get a reverse mortgage, it won't be for the total value of your home. It will be for a portion of that, and your loan balance will rise over time, as interest costs are added to it. When the mortgage ends and the loan needs to be repaid, you won't be on the hook for more than the balance of your home.
  5. Know that as with regular mortgages, there will be closing costs. 
    Reverse mortgages tend to be more costly than regular mortgages. The kinds of costs you may pay include a loan origination fee, servicing fees, and title insurance. Typically there's also mortgage insurance.
  6. Know that reverse mortgage income could hurt you in unexpected ways. 
    Receiving income from a reverse mortgage might hurt your eligibility for various benefits, such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income.
  7. Include your spouse in the reverse mortgage or have a provision for him or her. 
    The amount you can borrow with a reverse mortgage depends in part on the age of the borrower, and when a couple is borrowing, it's typically the age of the younger one that matters. In the past, when reverse mortgages have been taken out by one partner who later dies or moves out, the other partner has sometime been forced to sell the home or has defaulted on the loan and faced foreclosure. Recent regulations have better protected spouses, but it's worth looking into the terms of the reverse mortgage you're considering, to learn just how your spouse will be treated and whether it's smart to have both of you as borrowers. Note, too, that any children or others who live with you may be adversely affected by a reverse mortgage coming due.
  8. Before getting a reverse mortgage, consult a financial counselor. 
    You can find a reverse mortgage counselor via the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's website or their housing counselor referral service at 800-569-4287. You might also consult with a financial advisor or two, to explore all your options and make informed decisions. You can look for a fee-only one at . With any advisor you consult, ask whether they have any ties to the mortgage industry and will benefit in any way if you get a reverse mortgage.
  9. Consult with your family, too. 
    If you're getting -- or even thinking about getting -- a reverse mortgage, it's a good idea to let your family members know about it and to make sure they know how that might affect them.
  10. Remember that you may have other options, and look into them. 
    There are often other income-producing options you might look into, besides reverse mortgages. Consider dividend-paying stocks, for example, or annuities, or perhaps a home equity loan. Remember that Social Security will offer some income in retirement, too, but the average annual benefit was recently only about $16,000.