The number of federally insured reverse mortgages closed in 2008 grew to 115,176 loans, up 6.4% over the 2007 total. That is according to Reverse Market Insight, Aliso Viejo, Calif., which analyzed data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

This prompts a question that financial advisors might want to pose to clients: would a life settlement be a more effective way for you to raise cash than a reverse mortgage?

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