Before You Begin
If you're a senior homeowner exploring reverse mortgages as a way to supplement your retirement income, you may be bewildered by how unfamilar and complex these mortgages are. One thing is for sure: reverse mortgages are not a good fit for everyone and making the right decision depends largely on the potential borrower doing their homework.

This self-assessment tool is meant to help you assess your own situation, focus on the most important factors to consider and help you answer the basic question: "Is a reverse mortgage suitable for me?"

The tool is not a substitute for reverse mortgage counseling or consultation with personal finance advisors. It is intended only to provide general guidance on issues that should be weighed carefully in making the reverse mortgage decision.

To use the Self Assessment Tool, simply work through the questions to the best of your ability. The questions center on the federally-insured Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) program, but are relevant to other reverse mortgage programs as well. After each answer, your cumulative score will appear and, at the end, we've provided guidance for interpreting your score. If you feel a question does not pertain to your situation, you should skip it. If you need more information about a topic, hover your mouse over the website assessment star button.

Completing the self-assessment will take effort and thinking on your part. Expect to spend at least 5 minutes thoughtfully responding to the questions. The more time you spend pondering these issues, the better prepared you will be to make one of life's most important financial decisions.

The Reverse Mortgage Self Assessment Tool works best with the most recent version of Microsoft Internet Explorer web browser. You can answer the questions online or, alternatively, print the page and fill in the scores by hand. In either case you may want to print out a report for your future use.