KIRO Radio's Tom Kelly digs deep into the Puget Sound real estate market
Real Estate

Home 'annuity' could supplement seniors' incomes

A recent article in U.S. News and World Report suggests seniors and baby boomers consider turning their homes into an annuity by using one of the least tapped avenues of a reverse mortgage.

These monthly payments are available under a feature of the loans called tenure payments. The payments allow borrowers to convert a percentage of their home's value into monthly payments for the time, or tenure, they remain in their homes, supplementing other retirement assets.

Most reverse mortgage borrowers now seek a one-time, lump-sum payout. Often, those funds evaporate sooner than expected.

While tenure payments are not widely discussed among existing lenders, they are the centerpiece of a new reverse-mortgage philosophy. For example, Bellevue-based Axia Financial believes tenure payments can be an extremely viable and attractive way for millions of seniors to at least partially close their retirement income gaps.

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