Reimagining Retirement: The Transformative Power of Reverse Mortgages

Feb 4, 2024

Introduction by Vanessa Saunders – Founder & CEO – Global Property Systems

For many years, reverse mortgages carried a less-than-favorable reputation, often viewed with skepticism and caution by homeowners and financial advisors alike. Misconceptions and early challenges in the industry contributed to a narrative that didn’t always reflect the potential benefits of this financial tool, especially for those in retirement seeking to leverage their home equity wisely. Recognizing the importance of accurate information and expert guidance in navigating such a pivotal decision, we turned to an expert in the field, Luke Centrone of CrossCountry Mortgage. Luke has not only transformed my own perspective on reverse mortgages but has also demonstrated his ability to enlighten and assist countless others in understanding the true value and opportunities they present. As our guest specialist, Luke brings a wealth of knowledge and insight, ensuring homeowners are well-informed and confident in their choices. Join us as we explore the intricacies of reverse mortgages, debunk common myths, and shed light on how they can be a strategic financial tool for achieving a more secure and fulfilling retirement.

Unlocking Home Equity: A Comprehensive Guide to Reverse Mortgages

By Luke Centrone

Understanding Reverse Mortgages:

Tailored for homeowners aged 62 and above, reverse mortgages differ from traditional mortgages. Instead of making monthly payments to a lender, homeowners receive payments, transforming a portion of their home equity into cash. This cash can be utilized for various purposes, including mortgage repayment, new home purchase, or establishing a tax-free “Growing” buffer asset for future needs such as long-term health care.

How It Works:

Eligibility: Homeowners must be at least 62 years old, reside in and own their home as their primary dwelling, possess outright ownership, or maintain a minimal mortgage balance that the reverse loan proceeds can cover. A reverse mortgage can also facilitate home purchasing.

Loan Types: Predominantly, there are three reverse mortgage categories: Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs), FHA-insured, proprietary reverse mortgages, and single-purpose reverse mortgages, with HECMs being the most prevalent.

Loan Amount Calculation: The borrower’s age influences the loan sum, the property’s value, and prevailing interest rates. Generally, increased age and home value enable access to larger funds.

Disbursement Options: Borrowers can select their funds’ receipt method: a lump sum, monthly payments, a line of credit, or a mix of these options, offering customization to meet individual financial needs.

No Monthly Payments: A distinguishing characteristic of reverse mortgages is the absence of a monthly payment requirement from borrowers. The loan is settled when the homeowner sells, relocates, or passes away, with the balance comprising the borrowed amount plus accumulated interest.

Considerations and Risks:

It’s advisable for borrowers to consult a Reverse Mortgage Specialist to ascertain if a reverse mortgage suits their situation, considering the costs involved—upfront fees, closing costs, interest charges—and the long-term implications.

Impact on Heirs:

The loan’s repayment through home sale may result in reduced inheritance. Nonetheless, HECMs possess a non-recourse feature, which safeguards heirs from owing more than the home’s worth. Importantly, ownership remains with the client; a reverse mortgage is analogous to a conventional mortgage regarding estate settlement after the homeowner’s demise.

Counseling Requirement:

Prospective borrowers must undergo counseling with a HUD-approved counselor to ensure a comprehensive understanding of reverse mortgages’ implications and obligations.


Reverse mortgages can be a substantial financial instrument for homeowners eligible to augment their retirement income or fund long-term health care. Grasping its complexities, risks, and advantages is essential for informed decision-making. Engaging with a Reverse Mortgage Specialist and a financial advisor is recommended to evaluate personal situations and objectives.

*Luke Centrone*

Senior Loan Office – Cross Cross Country Mortgage

D: 914.494.8319

Website |

Personal NMLS: 1200569 | Branch NMLS: 1698537 | Company NMLS: 3029:




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