Washington Post: Reverse Mortgages Not Tickets to Retirement Easy Street

Reverse mortgages help retirees supplement their income in their non-working years, but they shouldn’t be mistaken for quick tickets to an easy retirement, according to a column published Friday by The Washington Post.

While reverse mortgages provide some extra cash flow for seniors age 62 and older and have undergone critical program changes in the last year, like any other financial loan, they are not right for everyone, notes the column written by Michelle Singletary, who also writes the nationally syndicated personal finance column, “The Color of Money.”

Touching on key reverse mortgage details such as upfront draw restrictions and recent changes to non-borrowing spouse rules, the column informs readers not only of the benefits and qualifications for the loans, but also advises on past dangers that have led to instances of default. 

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The column also disclosed the recent findings from Ohio State University researchers, who examined in a report released last month the relationship between borrowers’ characteristics and the likelihood of default—a report which the Department of Housing and Urban Development plans to use toward its development of the long-awaited financial assessment. 

“Although the TV commercials make a reverse mortgage sound super-simple, there’s a lot to consider,” writes Singletary. “So please proceed with caution.” 

Read The Washington Post column. 

Written by Jason Oliva

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