Too young to maximize reverse-mortgage benefits

Home needs repairs, but homeowner needs lifetime income

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DEAR BOB: I am 63 and hope I can continue working until I am 70 when my Social Security benefits will nearly double. My $935,000 home needs about $30,000 in repairs. I had hoped to live on reverse-mortgage income until I retire, but the amount I would receive is so small I couldn't afford the repairs. It seems I have no recourse but to sell my 50-year-old home. Any suggestions? --Helen W. DEAR HELEN: Your real problem is you are too young and your life expectancy is too long to gain maximum benefits from a senior-citizen reverse mortgage. Because you didn't mention any existing mortgage, I will presume there is none. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. Another possibility is to obtain a home equity credit line to pay for the $30,000 of repairs. But the big drawback is a home equity loan requires monthly payments whereas a reverse mortgage does not require any payments. As you probably know, there are three nationwide reverse-mortgage lenders: FHA, Fannie Mae and Financial Fre...