The Urban Institute recently published a report which discuses how reverse mortgages may appeal to certain demographics of people over others. By using data from the Health and Retirement Survey (HRS), the Washington, DC based institute was able to estimate the potential increase in annual household income a reverse mortgage can provide different groups of people.
Overall, the HRS data showed that home equity values have increased dramatically for older households from 1998 to 2006. However, increases for homeowners has been uneven, favoring whites and Hispanics relative to blacks, and high-income homeowners relative to those in lower-income brackets. Because of this, the Urban Institute found that homeowners in the lowest income groups would receive relatively higher percentage income gains from reverse mortgages, as would single homeowners over married couples.
While these findings are by no means ground breaking, I did find some of the graphs interesting because of the way they break down groups of people.