In recent years, reverse mortgages have been enthusiastically marketed to homeowners ages 62 and over. Optimally designed for homeowners with at least 50 percent equity in their home, reverse mortgages allow homeowners to tap into that equity, providing them with a regular monthly payment – the complete opposite of a standard mortgage. Any income a homeowner receives from a reverse mortgage is typically tax-free, with payments continuing as long as the borrower remains in their home. However, if the homeowner moves or the home is sold, the loan becomes due and payable.
Introduced in 1989, reverse mortgages were designed for homeowners nearing retirement age. The premise behind a reverse mortgage is to allow those aged 62 or older, with at least 50% equity in their home, to tap that equity in the form of a payment that will be made to them monthly. The complete opposite of a standard mortgage, reverse mortgages use the home’s equity to pay borrowers a set amount each month, with owners no longer required to pay their current monthly mortgage, if they have one.