Fortune published a balanced and informative article on reverse mortgages that examined how they work, key differences between HECMs and proprietary loans, and the pros and cons of getting one.

Staff writer Mia Taylor says a reverse mortgage can be a good choice for those who want to modify their homes as they age without having to take a typical personal loan that would require making principal and interest payments, or for individuals who want to avoid using retirement accounts, particularly if those accounts have taken a hit in a down market.

“Increasingly there are individuals who are just simply building reverse mortgages into a broader financial plan,” says Steve Irwin, President of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association. “

This includes the strategic use of home equity if there are retirement savings accounts and retirement investment accounts that have taken a hit. Then people may turn to strategic use of home equity in the meantime.” 

Read the full article.