NBC Today Show Expert Could Use Some Brushing Up on Reverse Mortgages

It’s really bad to be house rich and cash poor, Today Show guest and financial adviser Carmen Wong Ulrich told viewers this week. Advising savings first before turning to other sources of retirement financing, Ulrich addressed questions from NBC’s Al Roker including whether a reverse mortgage is a good option for seniors.

For those who do find themselves with lots of home equity and little savings, a reverse mortgage is still not a good option because “you can lose up to 20% on the value of your home,” and “you can outlive your home, and then you would have to move,” Ulrich says.

The house is not a liquid asset, she says.

For those who do use their home equity to fund retirement through a reverse mortgage, however, it’s important to note that the borrower cannot “outlive the home,” as long as the borrower can keep up with tax, insurance and upkeep on the property.

Ulrich does not explain the details behind the 20% loss scenario.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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