In its April 22, 2006, lead editorial, The New York Times calls on states and the federal government to enact incentives to encourage people to use reverse mortgages to pay for services that will allow them to grow old at home.
"Perhaps the most powerful incentive," the Times says, "would be to allow people who use reverse mortgages for home-based care to shield some assets from the Medicaid estate recovery process, which states use to recoup some of the money spent on Medicaid patients after the patients die."
Reverse mortgages, financial arrangements designed specifically for older homeowners, are a way of borrowing that transforms the equity in a home into liquid cash without having to either move or make regular loan repayments. They permit house-rich but cash-poor elders to use their housing equity to improve the quality of daily life while delaying or averting the need for a nursing home.
To read the editorial, "Aging in Place," click here. (Free registration required and article is available free of charge for only one week.)
For more on reverse mortgages, click here.