More than 1 million American families have taken reverse mortgages to improve their lives since the program began in 1989.

Here you will find real life stories of people like you who used a reverse mortgage to pay off a forward mortgage and reduce their monthly expenses, to supplement their income from Social Security and pensions, to pay for healthcare or in-home care, or even to start a new business.

Click on any title to the left and you will find stories here about seniors from 62 to well into their 90s and from all different parts of the United States.

We thank all the borrowers who have generously shared their experiences with us. All these stories are true, but in order to protect their privacy, names have been changed.

Standing Tall With a Reverse Mortgage

Like many of her generation, 77-year-old Freddie Smith says she grew up in a society noticeably different from the one we live in today, one in which women…

Aging in Paradise

Honolulu, Hawaii The view from Lou’s high rise condo in downtown Honolulu is not as beautiful as it once seemed. The state of Hawaii, once a destination for…

Continuing Education

Charleston, South Carolina While you are reading this, I will be in Oxford, England, thanks to my reverse mortgage. I began to toy with the idea of a…

Covering Health Care

Windhaven, Maine More than 100 miles from the major metropolitan cities in the Northeast and even 45 minutes from the Atlantic Ocean is quiet Windhaven, Maine. On the…

Erasing Healthcare Debt

Columbia Heights, Minnesota When Samuel was stricken with lung cancer, Miriam, his wife of 41 years, not only had to contend with watching her husband suffer, but with…

Fear Proves Unfounded

Cape Cod, Massachusetts Cameron sat in his favorite seat for the meeting, facing the window looking out over the calm of Massachusetts Bay. It was an important meeting,…

Finally Able to Retire

Montgomery Village, Maryland Henry, age 76, and Lily, age 73, have now been happily married 56 years. They have four kids, ten grandchildren and four great-children. “We love…

How I Afforded Losing My Job

Palm Springs, California It was 10 years ago when Karen left her native San Francisco to relocate to the warm weather of Southern California. By the time she…

I Can Sleep at Night Again

Virginia Beach, Virginia It has to feel a bit odd these days when Steve wakes up in his Virginia Beach home and does not have an office to…

I Could Afford to Care for My Parents

Chicago, Illinois Natalie, 52, had experienced a string of stressful years, but 2008 was particularly bad. It marked the fifth year since she had been laid off from…

Loan to Avoid Foreclosure

Scholls, Oregon When Mary’s daughter and son-in-law approached her about opening a coffee shop, she wanted to be supportive. Mary carefully considered the options, then finally agreed to…

Maintaining My Subscriptions

Delray Beach, Florida Many reverse mortgage stories involve seniors who are facing profound challenges, such as financial difficulties, medical problems, or family turmoil. They choose to use reverse…

New Energy

Dayton, Nevada Greta and Arthur drove halfway across the country from Wichita, Kansas to Dayton, Nevada (a suburb of Reno) to be closer to their family. Along the…

No More Monthly Mortgage Payment

“Our monthly payment was around $2,000 a month,” said Steve. “Now I am investing that $2,000 toward our retirement instead of giving it to the bank. For me,…

Our Retirement Business

Austin, Texas You can drive for days on the highway through West Texas looking at land in all directions as flat as a chessboard for as far as…

Paying Off Mom’s Debts

Jackson, Mississippi “My mother left me two things,” says Thelma of Jackson, Mississippi, “bad genes and bad debt.” In November of 2007, Thelma’s mother passed away and left…

Peace of Mind

McMurray, Pennsylvania Burt’s motto is “if man made it, man can fix it.” Without any formal training, he has been teaching himself to fix machines of all sorts…

Personal Financial Columnist Gets Personal

Syndicated financial columnist Terry Savage, author of several best selling books including the Savage Truth on Money, helped her dad get a reverse mortgage when he was in…

Remodeling Her Father’s House

Wakefield, Rhode Island Eleanor, 79, is very happy living in the Cape Cod-style home built by her father 58 years ago. When she married in 1961, it was…

Retiring Late

Glendale, Arizona Just two years ago, you could find 80-year-old Beverly on the floor in the petites department in Macy’s. Work was always an important part of her…

Seven Tuitions

Mount Laurel, New Jersey When Gloria’s husband died of a massive coronary, she found herself alone with three children under 15 years old living on her schoolteacher’s salary.…

Sister Rescues Sister

Miami, Florida When Roberta, 72, retired from her position as a housekeeper at New York City’s Helmsley Hotel on 42nd Street, it was time for a change. She…

Staying in Our Dream House

Kewadin, Michigan Michael and Carol, both 73, live near Kewadin, MI, on the shores of Torch Lake, considered “the third most beautiful lake in the world, according to…

Supporting Adult Children

North Bellmore, New York Luisa, 88, grew up in a small border town in Texas, one of 13 children raised by parents of Native American and Mexican lineage.…

The Ace in the Hole

Port Ludlow, Washington Port Ludlow, Washington is a beautiful, bayside town of about 2,000 people with breathtaking views of the gorgeous Olympic Mountains. Those who like boating, fishing,…

The Reverse Mortgage Saved Me

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Marie, 75, has lived in her East Side Philadelphia row house for 30 years. “I love this neighborhood. We all look out for one another. If…