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Ten Steps for a Sound and Secure Retirement

10. Don't Count on Home Equity as your Sole Source of Retirement Income.

- Home equity alone may not satisfy all of your retirement income needs.

- Use 401(k)s, IRAs, insurance and annuities to build multiple and diverse streams of income and protection for yourself.

- A reverse mortgage can help – but understand the expense and increasing-debt mechanics of such loans before using them. (They are an extremely high-cost kind of debt, not suitable for everyone).

- Consider a retirement location with low taxes and living costs as well as diverse cultural and social activities.


- The truth about your home equity as a retirement asset.

- Should you rely on home equity for your retirement? Here's what Henry Hebeler thinks. Jeremy Siegel on the coming Baby Boomer asset sell-off.


Robert Shiller Discusses "Your Home as an Asset" Terry Savage Answers the Question: Should I Take Out a Reverse Mortgage?


"Retirement is an invention that came in the late 19th Century. I think it is a great thing for people who hate their jobs." - Robert Shiller, Yale Economics Professor


A Reverse Mortgage is an "increasing debt" loan available to seniors 62 and over in the United States which uses your primary residence as collateral to release money as a lump sum or as multiple, periodic payments. The borrower retains ownership of the property and is responsible for all taxes and repairs. The obligation to repay the loan is deferred until the owner dies, the home is sold, or the owner leaves. Because of their high costs, people should seek guidance when considering such loans.

Tools and Resources

- Learn more about reverse mortgages from these sources:
Cash-Rich Retirement by Jim Schlagheck, St. Martin's Press, March 2008

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