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If you are deciding whether a reverse mortgage is the right move for you, it’s important to have an honest conversation with your adult children if they are still living at home. Ultimately, it is your decision to get a reverse mortgage, but informing them on the product can help eliminate any miscommunication and conflict down the road.

Explain the basics

First, informing your children on what a reverse mortgage is all about is vital. A common misconception among many people is that in a reverse mortgage transaction, the bank takes ownership of the borrower’s home. This is not true. The borrower maintains ownership throughout the course of the loan, which typically becomes due and payable when he or she moves or passes away.

Reader tip: if you’re new to reverse mortgages start here with some basics.

Next, talk to your kids about what people actually use reverse mortgages for. Explain that the payments from the loan could help to cover the costs of things that your retirement savings and finances may not be able to cover such as home renovations or medical care. You may be less of a financial burden on your kids due to the reverse mortgage. Many adult children are relieved to hear this. Also share that you won’t have to pay back the loan until you either pass away or move out of the house permanently.

Explain the basics of what your responsibilities will still be in terms of loan obligations. Even though you will not be responsible for making a monthly mortgage payment with a reverse mortgage, this does not mean all other payments go away. You are still responsible for keeping up on property taxes and insurance on the home and ensuring the property is kept in good condition.

Share their role

Adult children are often skeptical of their parents taking out a reverse mortgage because they fear that when they pass away, they will have to pay back the loan. This is another misconception.

Explain to your kids that a reverse mortgage is a non-recourse loan. This means that no matter how large the loan balance gets; they will never have to pay back more than the appraised value of the home at the time of sale.

If the loan balance is higher than the appraised value of the home, then the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insurance fund absorbs that loss. This is one of the benefits of FHA insurance, which is a requirement of all Home Equity Conversion Mortgage reverse mortgages. So share with your kids that if you pass away, they can use the value of the home to pay back the loan, but they won’t go into debt over it.

In fact, if the loan balance is less than the value of the home, share with your kids that they will be able to keep the difference as inheritance, if you choose to name them as your heirs. This is a very possible outcome if you live in an area with high home appreciation because the value of your home could go up over the years.

It is also extremely important to explain non borrowing spouse rules of the loan to your adult children, if you are married. This can give your children peace of mind knowing the protections available for spouses of reverse mortgage borrowers.

Bringing this topic up may not be the easiest, so try to start off by talking about your broader financial planning agenda. You could even include your adult kids in the reverse mortgage counseling that’s required for all borrowers. This counseling can take place over the phone, which can make it easier for adult children to be included.

If you would like to learn more about how to talk to your adult kids who still live at home about a reverse mortgage and speak to your trusted adviser.


Work has recommenced on David Siegel’s Palace of Versailles, a building set to become America’s largest family home in 2015.

The sprawling 90,000-square-foot property in Windermere, Florida, owned by former beauty queen Jackie Siegel, 47, and her self-made billionaire husband was imagined six years ago.

But building work stopped on the property during the recession in 2009 after the couple ran out of funds.

David and Jackie Siegel, who were the subject of 2012 fly-on-the-wall documentary Queen of Versailles, now hope to finally move into the vast mansion with their eight children after scraping together the $30million needed to complete it.

Jackie Siegel, who won the Miss Florida title in the 1990s, told The New York Post that as a result of the delay they have had to make several minor adjustments to the floor plan – especially now that their children are older.

For example, instead of sandboxes and playrooms, they plan on creating “man caves” and yoga studios.

The couple modeled their extravagant 30-bedroom home after France’s 17th century Palace of Versailles and started laying foundations on a ten-acre plot of land in 2007.

Their lavish pad is nine times larger than other houses in the area and has a $20 million mortgage, which is 100 times the size of the average mortgage in Central Florida, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

However, in 2009 they were forced to put their project on hold as their finances suffered a blow during the recession.

Instead of pouring his profits into buying construction materials David Siegel, 78, concentrated his efforts on protecting his 30-year-old time-share and real estate company Westgate Resorts.

Last July he even decided to put the property, which was only two-thirds complete, on the market for $65 million so he could reinvest the money in his business.

But after it failed to sell, the Siegels decided to keep hold of the building and surrounding land. This year work restarted and Jackie Siegel told Today in February: “We’re finishing it to actually finish it. But we do want to live in there.”

Work has recommenced on David Siegel’s Palace of Versailles

Work has recommenced on David Siegel’s Palace of Versailles

And she revealed to The New York Post that the family are once again enjoying their extravagant lifestyle.

“I never see a bill. My husband gives me credit cards and I think they’re like magic, they just keep working,” Jackie Siegel explained.

It was previously estimated that it will take two years to finish the Siegels’ home.

As well as 30 bedrooms, the concrete home fronted with white marble from Italy, will have 23 bathrooms boasting spectacular views over Lake Butler, about 20 miles outside Orlando.

All 23 full bathrooms will have full-sized hot tubs, and 160 triple-pane windows and Brazilian mahogany French-style doors promise plenty of light.

The hand-built windows for the house cost more than $2million and bespoke materials have been sourced from all over the world.

On the entertainment front a roller rink, children’s theater, bowling alley, three swimming pools, a baseball field and two tennis courts will be installed.

And outside a large boat house, formal gardens, a one-story gatehouse and an underground garage with enough space for 20 cars will complete the palatial look.

There is also a His and Her office space with a 12ft two-sided aquarium.

David and Jackie Siegel currently live in a 26,000-square-foot home in the exclusive Isleworth gated community, best known as the scene of Tiger Woods’ 2009 car crash just before his divorce.

The entire family and their entourage of staff featured in Queen of Versailles, a film by Lauren Greenfield which grossed more than $2 million and won numerous awards including the U.S. Directing Award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.

Jackie Seigel previously said that she enjoyed her time in the spotlight and would like to launch a career in reality TV. However, she admitted to The New York Post: “I don’t have time to watch a lot of TV but I probably need to start educating myself on the <<Housewives>> and what’s out there.”

While their yet-to-be-completed home is large, the original Versailles, outside Paris and completed by the Sun King, Louis XIV, in 1710, is much, much larger.

The 219,000-square-foot landmark boasts 2,300 rooms and 67 staircases. Building it also caused financial problems, nearly bankrupting France.

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