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It’s important that you understand how a reverse mortgage works and to explore all your options and needs before signing any papers. For example, do you plan to live in your home for a long time? A reverse mortgage usually makes more sense the longer you live in your home. If a health issue or other event may cause you to move out soon, a reverse mortgage is an expensive way to cover short-term cash needs.

There may be better, less expensive choices available to you, such as mortgage refinancing, securing a different type of home equity loan, or reducing your living expenses in other areas. You are required to go to housing counseling before signing up for a federally-insured reverse mortgage; however, consultation with a trusted financial advisor before any decision involving your home is a good idea.

For more details about reverse mortgages and questions to ask, read this informational PDF document from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.