Retirement can pose a host of financial challenges for seniors, particularly those whose monthly income primarily consists of Social Security. Historically, those benefits have done a poor job of keeping pace with inflation, and when we throw in rising healthcare costs, it's easy to see why so many older Americans are struggling.
But many seniors have one major asset at their disposal -- their homes. Zillow estimates that roughly 34% of owner-occupied homes in the U.S. are owned by someone 60 or older. If you're part of that statistic, it means you're sitting on a potential cash source. All you need to do is sell your home and use the proceeds of that sale to pay your living expenses.
Of course, the problem with that solution is obvious, and it's that you'll still need a place to live. But actually, there is a product that could give you immediate access to money while allowing you to stay in the home you're comfortable living in. It's called a reverse mortgage, and here’s how it works: Rather than pay a lender money every month, you get paid money based on the equity you have in your home.
You can qualify for a reverse mortgage as long as you're at least 62, use the home in question as your primary residence, and are able and willing to keep up with your homeownership costs -- meaning, continue paying your property taxes, retain homeowners insurance, and maintain your property.