Written by Jessica Guerin, as originally published in The Reverse Review.

While reverse mortgage professionals work diligently to connect with seniors seeking financial options to support retirement, a palpable sense of uncertainty continues to loom over the industry.

Lately, all eyes have been focused on Capitol Hill as the FHA lobbies

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Congress for the authority it needs to make much-needed changes to the HECM program. HUD has outlined several proposed adjustments to the program, including the establishment of set-asides for taxes and insurance and the institution of financial assessment guidelines. The agency has said it’s confident that such changes will ensure the HECM’s long-term viability, and our friends at NRMLA have been hard at work to help make this happen, pounding the pavement in Washington to aid in the fight for legislative control.

In the meantime, the industry must continue with business as usual—assessing marketing strategies, adapting better tech solutions, and originating mortgages for seniors who want access to their hard-earned home equity. No doubt, the wait is frustrating; we are all

eager to see the product take its final shape. Hopefully then the public will embrace the reverse mortgage as the valuable financial tool that it is and the industry can speed past its 3 percent penetration rate.

But as we wait for that day come, there’s little to do other than remind ourselves why the product we offer is so important. National statistics repeatedly expound the fact that today’s generation of working Americans is woefully unprepared for retirement. Most recently, a survey by Fidelity Investments reported that 28 percent of American households have set aside less than $1,000 for retirement, and that four in 10 retirees do not have enough income to cover monthly expenses.

Clearly, our seniors need options, and considering that a substantial portion of a senior’s net worth is tied up in home equity, a HECM needs to be one of them.