Reverse Mortgages Can Help House-Rich Seniors Free Up Cash for Retirement. Here’s How They Work.

By Neal Templin on Dec. 14, 2019

Looking to free up $4 million to fund your retirement or pay off your mortgage?

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If you’re a senior with serious digs in places like California or the New York City area or other markets where many homeowners are house-rich and cash-poor, you might be able to secure such funds with only your home. The market for jumbo reverse mortgages has come back to life.

Reverse mortgages, in which retirees tap the equity in their homes through mortgages that don’t have to be paid as long as they live there, were long regarded as a last resort. Then financial experts began publishing research several years ago showing that the strategic use of reverse mortgages could help retirement portfolios better survive down markets or delay the claiming of Social Security benefits.

You may find the full article here.

Reversing the Conventional Wisdom: Using Home Equity to Supplement Retirement Income

by Barry H. Sacks, J.D., Ph.D., and Stephen R. Sacks, Ph.D.

Figure 1: Cash flow survival propability chart

This paper examines three strategies for using home equity, in the form of a reverse mortgage credit line, to increase the safe maximum initial rate of retirement income withdrawals.

These strategies are:

  1. the conventional, passive strategy of using the reverse mortgage as a last resort after exhausting the securities portfolio; and two active strategies
  2. a coordinated strategy under which the credit line is drawn upon according to an algorithm designed to maximize portfolio recovery after negative investment returns,
  3. drawing upon the reverse mortgage credit line first, until exhausted.

Full paper here.