What the Heck Is a Reverse Mortgage?

Lately, you've likely noticed a glut of television, radio and even Web advertisements — many of them featuring well-known actors — all talking about a retirement and planning tool called reverse mortgages. Even its name is odd: What in the heck is a reverse mortgage, and should you bother to look into them? After all, these ads talk a great deal, but none really explain what the true nature of these products are. If you're close to your retirement or already in retirement, you may want to read on to discover more about these all-too-tempting sounding arrangements.


Overseen by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), these are loans against the mortgage principal, and a qualifying individual can elect to access this equity in a lump sum, a line of revolving credit or in monthly payments.

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