Reverse mortgage shopping secrets

Part 4: State of the 'reverse' market

As noted in the previous articles in this series, the financial crisis has made the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), insured by the Federal Housing Administration, the only reverse mortgage in the market. Yet the HECM has been strengthened by higher loan limits and new options, offering valuable opportunities to many, though not all, seniors.

Characteristics of Seniors Who Should Look Into HECMs: They must be 62 or older and occupy the home as their permanent residence.

They have significant equity in their homes, meaning that their mortgage is either paid off or is small relative to the value of their property, but their income and financial assets are not large enough to meet all their needs.