The United States today faces a retirement funds crisis: a rapidly growing number of persons who are retiring without the financial capacity to support themselves during ever-increasing life spans. The HECM reverse mortgage program, which allows older homeowners to convert some or all of the equity in their homes into cash, ought to be a major policy tool for dealing with the crisis. It is a well-designed program that allows seniors to draw funds in a variety of ways to meet a wide range of problems, but it has been hobbled by major challenges that have kept it small. These include excessive complexity that leaves many seniors befuddled, negative media reports by befuddled journalists, deceptive merchandising by some loan providers, and hostility by AARP to which many seniors look for guidance on financial products.
A New Challenge to the HECM Reverse Mortgage Program
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