The Market for Reverse Mortgages among Older Americans
Source: Wharton Pension Research Council

Reverse mortgages have long been viewed with skepticism by some retirees, financial planners, and financial institutions. Potential concerns are many, including high costs, dicey sales practices, and the potential of retirees to lose their home if things go badly. Interestingly, the same concerns about reverse mortgages or similar products (‘equity release’ options) seem to persist in
many countries with very different institutions and financial systems.

Yet the need to access additional retirement assets like home equity has never been stronger. Academics and researchers lament the lack of adequate retirement savings and growing debt among older Americans. Media headlines such as ‘Over 60 with Decades Left on the
Mortgage: The New Retirement Math’ in the Wall Street Journal (Rexrode 2020) are common.

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