Tap Your Home's Equity for Retirement Income

If you're looking for extra retirement income, it's worth checking close to home. We look at four ways to use your home equity.

illustration of woman taking money out of her home
(Image credit: Illustrations by Anna Godeassi)

Good news for retirees who are concerned about retirement income — because your home could provide the key to long-term security. Housing wealth, better known as home equity, hit a record $11.8 trillion for homeowners 62 and older in the third quarter of 2022, according to a report from the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association.

There are more ways than ever to turn your equity into a source of retirement income. Outside of a plain-vanilla mortgage refinance, retirees can access their home equity through a cash-out refinance, a home equity line of credit or a reverse mortgage. Or you can downsize (more on that below) and use the proceeds to beef up your nest egg. Read on to help determine the best option for you.

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Rivan V. Stinson
Ex-staff writer, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Rivan joined Kiplinger on Leap Day 2016 as a reporter for Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine. A Michigan native, she graduated from the University of Michigan in 2014 and from there freelanced as a local copy editor and proofreader, and served as a research assistant to a local Detroit journalist. Her work has been featured in the Ann Arbor Observer and Sage Business Researcher. She is currently assistant editor, personal finance at The Washington Post.