Your Home as a Source of Dollars in Retirement

If you own a home, you may be wealthier than you think. The equity in your home could be one of your largest assets, especially if your mortgage has been paid down over the years or paid off. This home equity can be a valuable source of extra income during your retirement years.

How do you tap your home equity?

There are two ways to tap your home equity if you're approaching retirement (or already retired) and don't want to make mortgage payments: You can trade down, or you can use a reverse mortgage. Trading down involves selling your present home and replacing it with a smaller, less expensive home. A reverse mortgage is a home mortgage in which the lender makes monthly payments to you, rather than you making monthly payments to the lender. Both of these strategies can give you substantial additional income during retirement.

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