Clark Howard’s Take on Reverse Mortgages Revealed!

by | Feb 21, 2024

Welcome to a thoughtful exploration of Clark Howard’s viewpoint on reverse mortgages. As a trusted voice in personal finance, Howard’s insights can be crucial for those considering reverse mortgages as a tool for retirement planning. It’s especially relevant if you’re playing catch-up with your retirement savings later in life. Reverse mortgages can seem like a tempting option for immediate cash flow, but what does Clark Howard say about reverse mortgages? Let’s delve into his perspective to help inform your decisions.

Clark Howard often emphasizes the importance of understanding the nuances of reverse mortgages before diving in. He alerts consumers to the potential pitfalls of this complex financial product, suggesting that it may not be the best solution for everyone. Howard advises that reverse mortgages should be approached with caution, as they can come with high fees, potential impact on heirs, and the risk of losing your home if certain conditions aren’t met.

If you’re looking to catch up with your retirement planning, we’re here to help. Contact us today for a complimentary consultation with one of our expert Advisors. They’re ready to provide personalized guidance to help you achieve your retirement goals. Don’t miss this opportunity to take control of your future. Schedule Your Free Consultation Now! Click here.

Decoding Reverse Mortgages: A Financial Tool for Retirement

Reverse mortgages are unique financial instruments designed for homeowners aged 62 and older, allowing them to convert part of their home equity into cash income without having to sell the home or take on additional monthly payments. Instead of making payments to a lender, the borrower receives payments, which can be structured as a lump sum, monthly payments, or a line of credit.

While this can provide a much-needed buffer to a retirement savings shortfall, it’s essential to understand the full picture. The loan balance increases over time as interest on the loan and fees accumulate. As borrowers are not required to make monthly payments, the interest is added to the loan balance, which grows over time. Furthermore, borrowers must continue to pay property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, and maintain the home according to Federal Housing Administration (FHA) requirements to avoid foreclosure.

Decoding the intricacies of reverse mortgages is crucial for a secure retirement strategy. They can be a lifeline for some, offering financial flexibility and the ability to stay in one’s home. However, they are not without their drawbacks, and the decision to pursue a reverse mortgage should be made with a full understanding of the terms and long-term implications.

Pros and Cons of Reverse Mortgages According to Clark Howard

When assessing what does Clark Howard say about reverse mortgages, it’s clear he recognizes both the potential benefits and drawbacks of this financial tool. On the positive side, Howard points out that reverse mortgages can provide a steady stream of income without the burden of monthly payments. This can be particularly beneficial for those who have substantial equity in their homes but may have limited cash flow in retirement.

However, Howard also cautions retirees about the potential pitfalls. One significant concern is the high upfront costs, including lender fees, insurance, and closing costs, which can be substantial. Moreover, because the loan balance grows over time, there’s a risk of depleting home equity, leaving less for heirs or to cover future needs such as long-term care.

Another advantage, according to Howard, is the non-recourse feature of reverse mortgages, meaning borrowers or their estates will never owe more than the home is worth. Nevertheless, he advises potential borrowers to consider alternatives, such as downsizing or refinancing, and to consult with a financial advisor to ensure a reverse mortgage aligns with their overall retirement strategy.

Clark Howard’s Advice for Potential Reverse Mortgage Candidates

Clark Howard offers prudent advice for those considering reverse mortgages as part of their retirement planning. He emphasizes the importance of understanding one’s financial situation comprehensively before proceeding. Howard advises potential candidates to carefully evaluate their long-term income needs, current home equity, and alternative retirement funding sources.

He also highlights the necessity of seeking independent counseling from a HUD-approved counselor to help consumers make informed decisions. This educational step is mandated by law and serves as a protective measure for homeowners, ensuring they grasp both the benefits and obligations associated with reverse mortgages.

Furthermore, Howard suggests exploring other financial avenues before opting for a reverse mortgage. Tapping into existing investments, downsizing, or even considering a home equity line of credit might provide the needed funds without the complexities of a reverse mortgage. He stresses that reverse mortgages should not be a knee-jerk reaction to a financial shortfall but rather a well-considered component of a holistic retirement strategy.

Lastly, for those who decide a reverse mortgage is the right move, Howard recommends choosing a product that offers flexibility, such as the ability to draw on the loan as needed rather than receiving a lump sum, thereby potentially preserving home equity for longer.

Comparing Reverse Mortgages with Alternative Retirement Strategies

When exploring retirement catch-up strategies, comparing reverse mortgages to other options is essential for a well-rounded plan. Reverse mortgages can provide a stream of income by tapping into home equity, but it’s crucial to weigh them against alternative approaches.

One common alternative is downscaling to a smaller, more affordable home, which can free up equity and reduce living expenses. Another strategy is to invest in low-risk financial instruments like bonds or dividend-paying stocks, which can offer a steady income without tapping into home equity.

For some retirees, working part-time or turning a hobby into a source of income can supplement savings without the need to borrow against their home. Additionally, annuities are an option for those looking for guaranteed income, although they require a significant upfront investment.

Each of these strategies comes with its own set of pros and cons, and their suitability varies based on individual circumstances. It’s important to consider factors such as the potential tax implications, impact on estate planning, and the need for liquidity when comparing these options to a reverse mortgage.

Ultimately, building a diversified retirement plan that incorporates a mix of income sources may offer greater financial stability than relying heavily on any single strategy.

Implementing Clark Howard’s Financial Wisdom in Retirement Planning

Implementing the financial wisdom of consumer expert Clark Howard can be a game-changer for those looking to enhance their retirement planning. Howard’s prudent approach to money management emphasizes living within one’s means, avoiding debt, and saving consistently over time. He advocates for the importance of diversification in investment portfolios and suggests being wary of financial products with high fees or complex terms.

Clark Howard’s skepticism towards reverse mortgages is rooted in the belief that they should be a last resort, not a primary retirement strategy. He advises individuals to extensively research and consider the long-term implications before opting for a reverse mortgage. For those needing to catch up on retirement savings, Howard recommends exploring all available options, including maximizing retirement account contributions, seeking professional financial advice, and potentially delaying retirement to allow more time for savings to grow.

If you’re looking to catch up with your retirement planning, we’re here to help. Contact us today for a complimentary consultation with one of our expert Advisors. They’re ready to provide personalized guidance to help you achieve your retirement goals. Don’t miss this opportunity to take control of your future. Schedule Your Free Consultation Now!

By applying Clark Howard’s time-tested strategies and seeking personalized advice, individuals can make informed decisions that lead to a secure and vibrant retirement, even if they are getting a late start.


  • Scott Hall

    Scott realized about 5 years ago that he was woefully behind on retirement savings and needed to catch up. He began writing about it on

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