A "Reverse Mortgage" is just one possible tool to consider when it comes to Estate Planning, but in my opinion there are many better ways to plan out your retirement.
Anyway, here is the lowdown from the AARP web site.
A "reverse" mortgage is a loan against your home that you do not have to pay back for as long as you live there. With a reverse mortgage, you can turn the value of your home into cash without having to move or to repay the loan each month. The cash you get from a reverse mortgage can be paid to you in several ways:
* all at once, in a single lump sum of cash;
* as a regular monthly cash advance;
* as a "creditline" account that lets you decide when and how much of your available cash is paid to you; or
* as a combination of these payment methods.
No matter how this loan is paid out to you, you typically don't have to pay anything back until you die, sell your home, or permanently move out of your home. To be eligible for most reverse mortgages, you must own your home and be 62 years of age or older.