U.S. News: 5 Ways to Tap Home Equity for Retirement

Getting a reverse mortgage was one of five methods of getting retirement income from the home listed in a recent U.S. News: Money article, along with tapping into home equity. 

“[G]enerating enough retirement income has become a herculean task,” the article says. “Your home may just be the answer. If you have a home with some equity, you may be able to use it to boost your retirement income.”

There are pros and cons to getting a reverse mortgage, which are sometimes used as a last resort but are a lower-risk way to tap into home equity compared to other forms of borrowing against the home, says U.S. News.


“Reverse-mortgage scandals abound, so you need to be careful who you deal with when taking one out,” the article cautions. “Also, the fees associated with a reverse mortgage can be onerous.” 

Homeowners with “plenty of equity” in their homes have other several options including a home equity loan, a home equity line of credit, or a cash-out refinance.

“Today’s low mortgage rates make these attractive options,” writes U.S. News. “Each of these options will have different costs and benefits, so think carefully about what you plan to do with the money and whether tapping your home’s equity will be worth your while in the long run.”

Other ways to tap the home for retirement income include selling and downsizing; renting out the home during extended travels; and getting a live-in renter to capitalize on empty bedrooms. 

Read more at U.S. News

Written by Alyssa Gerace

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  • Why did the author ignore shared appreciation rights? Not long ago we had three companies offering them, Equity Key, Nestworth, and the Rex Agreement. While these instruments do not decrease mathematical equity currently, they do impact legal equity.

    • FHA HECM reverse mortgages DO NOT change or share equity or appreciation. I have been working with FHA HECM reverse mortgages for about 5 years. Before I was an IT professional working for banks, only left that industry by getting laid off. I have never seen a sales ad or reference anywhere on a shared equity or shared appreciation product, I don’t know where I would go to find one of these to sell. I get no ads for them, and I never see anything on them on the internet. Why would anyone go for a shared equity or appreciation loan when the FHA HECM is available. I am relatively sure that if they are not totally dead, they are almost totally dead, and they should be. All the bank gets back on a HECM mortgage when the loan come due is the money ‘borrowed and used’ and the interest accrued on that money, funds never used, that are left in the line of credit DO NOT accrue interest.

      • Jim-

        Good afternoon. I am quite certain that the author did not ignore shared appreciation products, but rather, a lack of doing adequate homework in advance of writing the article. FirstREX is very much alive. Ron G has missed the point entirely. The article, titled 5 ways to Tap Your Home for Retirement Income, was not inviting comparative analysis. One size clearly does not fit all in our business. We should ALL strive to educate ourselves around each and every product that may assist our clientele, so they are in a position to make a fully informed decision, one that is right for themselves and their family.

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