Improving Access to Home Equity Can Help Fix America’s Retirement System

Improving Access to Home Equity Can Help Fix America’s Retirement System

One way to fix America’s retirement system is to provide better access to housing equity in retirement, according to a recent paper published by economists Ben Harris and Martin Neil Baily of the Brookings Institution.

The paper, based on the recently published book, “The Retirement Challenge: What’s Wrong with America’s System and a Sensible Way to Fix It”, discusses seven policy reforms to help improve the current system.

What they’re saying: “For older Americans with substantial housing wealth but limited financial wealth, retirement presents an agonizing choice: Sell your home and live off the proceeds, or “age in place” without access to a primary source of wealth,” says the paper.

  • “One solution is to offer better access to reverse mortgages, which allow retirees to age in their residences while accessing the money in their homes.”
  • Specific policy recommendations include offering conversions between traditional and reverse mortgages and less costly “small dollar” reverse mortgages.

Published by

Darryl Hicks

Darryl Hicks is Vice President of Communications for the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association. In this capacity, Hicks writes for NRMLA's publications, manages the association's web sites and social media accounts, assists committees and the Board of Directors, and manages the Certified Reverse Mortgage Professional designation. Prior to joining NRMLA in 1999, Hicks spent three years in the Washington, D.C. bureau for National Mortgage News.