1. The home must be the primary residence for the borrower and generally, only single family, one-unit dwellings are eligible.
2. There are three major reverse mortgage products in the United States: the Federal Housing Administration Home Equity Conversion Mortgage, which is a federally insured reverse mortgage; the Fannie Mae Home Keeper loan (and the Home Keeper for Home Purchase loan); and the Equity Guard Plan and the Cash Account Plan.
3. The costs associated with getting a reverse mortgage vary depending on the product you choose. However, costs typically include the origination fee (which can be financed through the reverse mortgage), an appraisal fee and charges similar to those associated with a regular mortgage.
4. The money provided through a reverse mortgage does not affect your regular Social Security or Medicare benefits. However, it may affect your ability to be eligible for state and federal government assistance programs, such as Medicaid.
Mellody Hobson, president of Ariel Capital Management (arielmutualfunds.com) in Chicago, is Good Morning America's personal finance expert. Ariel associates Matthew Yale and Aimee Daley contributed to this report.