If you think that reverse mortgages are only for cash-strapped retirees without any other financial options, think again. The features of reverse mortgage loans have been evolving over the years and a growing body of research suggests that these loans can help older adults manage a dependable stream on income during their retirement years.

Today almost all reverse mortgages are home equity conversion mortgages. These are issued by a variety of lenders but all are insured and regulated by the Federal Housing Administration, a branch of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  As the program has evolved over the years, it has developed new rules to make the home equity conversion mortgage more dependable and sustainable for most borrowers.  Many problems with earlier versions have been addressed. There are now more practical safeguards, better consumer protections and, importantly, some attractive new features.

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