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Tip: Reverse mortgages have grown in popularity

The past decade left you 10 years older, but your stock portfolio probably looks like it did in 1999. The S&P 500 index ended the decade far lower than where it began it. And while your home has certainly lost value over the past few years, it is probably still worth more than it was when the ball started dropping on Dec. 31, 1999.

For those looking for other sources of income to help fund their retirement, reverse mortgages have grown in popularity. To be eligible, a homeowner must be older than 62 and own the home outright or have a mortgage balance that can be paid off from the proceeds of the reverse mortgage loan.

To see if a reverse mortgage is right for you, the Department of Housing and Urban Development has a lot of information at its Web site (

buying/rvrsmort.cfm). And MetLife Mature Market Institute offers a free booklet on its Web site, Type "reverse mortgage essentials" in the search box.

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