Policymakers can help some seniors age in place through policies to strengthen private-sector reverse mortgages. In reverse mortgages, individuals who may be “house rich but cash poor” can use their home’s equity to receive regular income or get money through a credit line. Andrew Helman argues that state legislatures can help seniors avoid the “tricks and traps” of reverse mortgages by estab­lishing programs in which lenders who agree to play by rules that ensure the safety and security of such mortgages are placed on a “preferred” list for seniors seeking a loan. He observes that laying the groundwork now can help a larger group of seniors age with dignity.

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