While many may prefer to leave milestone birthdays behind after age 21, these birthdays can come with tangible financial benefits during your later years, such as becoming eligible for early Social Security benefits at 62, qualifying for Medicare at 65, and reaching full retirement age at 67.
Those who have reached early Social Security age are also old enough to take out a home equity conversion mortgage (HECM) or "reverse mortgage". But while most individuals may be aware of this option, few pay much attention to the upper age limits for this type of loan. In some cases, the parents (or even grandparents) of a 62-year-old homeowner seeking a reverse mortgage could also qualify.
Read on to learn more about how your age can impact your ability to take out a reverse mortgage, as well as some other factors that may drive this decision.
How Old Is Too Old for a Reverse Mortgage?
Eligibility requirements can vary by lender (and from state to state), but few reverse mortgage lenders have any hard-and-fast age maximums. In fact, one lender reported extending a reverse mortgage to an octogenarian borrower and her 101-year-old mother who shared a home.
Because reverse mortgage lenders rely in part on actuarial tables that can predict lifespan when extending loans, older (and thereby less risky) borrowers can often qualify for even more favorable terms than might be available to younger borrowers.
However, age can also make reverse mortgages more risky for older borrowers, as the odds of you spending the next two decades in your home (mortgage-free) when you're 85 are somewhat lower than when you're 65. While reverse mortgages can still be a wise investment for those in their seventies, eighties, and beyond, it's worth considering a few key factors first.