Twenty-three percent of Americans are worried that they will run out of savings in retirement, according to a Bankrate survey. Rising healthcare costs, increasing debt and uncertainty about Social Security benefits don’t help matters.

Stressing about the future is not how anyone wants to spend their retirement years. Fortunately, finding ways to supplement your income may not be as difficult as you imagined. In fact, your home may already hold the key to bridging the gap.

Apply for a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage

If you are a homeowner age 62 or older and you have completely or nearly paid off the mortgage on your primary residence, you may qualify for a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), also known as a reverse mortgage. A HECM allows you to borrow a lump sum or line of credit against your home’s equity, and the funds can be used at your discretion.

Payments to repay the borrowed funds are deferred for as long as you remain in the home. If you choose to move out of the home, or are forced to move due to health issues, the balance of the loan will be due. Similarly, the reverse mortgage will need to be paid by your estate upon death.

Rent a room to tenants or travelers

Renting a room, basement, or garage apartment is another great way to make your house work for you. You could take on a tenant or host travelers by posting your accommodation on a booking site like Airbnb. Just be sure to familiarize yourself with the laws in your area. It may be worthwhile to meet with an attorney to ensure you put adequate protections in place to secure your investment, and ensure you are in compliance with tax requirements.

Host a furry friend

Leverage your love for animals with pet sitting or boarding. Advertise on neighborhood forums, or sign up with one of many on-demand pet-sitting websites and apps. Depending on your location, you could earn up to $50 daily per pet for your services. As an added bonus, studies show that pets can improve your quality of life through your retirement years.

Contact a mortgage specialist today to find out how Open Mortgage can help you meet the challenges to retiring comfortably.

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