Over the last decade, reverse mortgages have been aggressively pitched in TV ads as an easy way for seniors to cash in their home equity to pay for living expenses. However, for many, improper use of the product -- such as pulling all their cash out at one time -- has led to significant financial problems later, including foreclosure.
For many people, their home is their biggest investment, so it only makes sense to think of it as part of what you have 'set aside.' But while your home is definitely part of your overall net worth, how it factors into your retirement savings depends on more than your current equity. It depends on whether or not you're going to turn that equity into cash when you retire.