Revised article published in AREUEA 22, no. 2 (Summer 1994): 235-255.
The article is organized as follows: Section I briefly describes the features of various types of reverse mortgages offered in the private and public sectors. Section II surveys the ~elevant literature that has focused on the savings patterns of the elderly and their demand for reverse mortgage products. Section III describes the sample of the elderly drawn from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). Section IV analyzes the potential demand for reverse mortgages on the basis of age, fertility history, income, housing wealth, liquid wealth, and debt. Section V discusses the difficulties in developing an established market for reverse mortgages, including legal and regulatory barriers, as well as issues of appropriate pricing and risk. Section VI concludes the paper.