A reverse mortgage might sound like an ideal way to bring in extra income during your retirement. If you’re a homeowner age 62 or older, a reverse mortgage lets you convert your home equity into cash without moving out. And those TV commercials with Henry Winkler and Robert Wagner urging you to apply are pretty enticing. So if you’re at least 62, have built up some sizable home equity, and don’t plan to move soon, a reverse mortgage might sound like the perfect solution.
But this type of loan is tricky and potentially expensive. (The new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is looking into the risks of reverse mortgages and AARP has filed two suits against lenders.) So you need to be cautious before signing on the dotted line.