In general, lenders typically allow you to borrow up to 80% of your home's equity. For example, if your home is currently valued at $400,000 and you owe $200,000 on your mortgage, you may be able to borrow up to $160,000 (80% of the $200,000 in equity you have in your home).
Anyone who has paid attention to the TV recently has likely seen a lot of commercials for something called a reverse mortgage. For those who might not know, a reverse mortgage is exactly that. In this option, people receive monthly payments from a lender in exchange for equity in their homes. In essence, this functions as an annuity.
A reverse mortgage is a way to use the equity value that built up in a home to improve the quality of life for those who have appropriate circumstances when they reach the retirement age of 62 or older. With a reverse mortgage, a person continues to live in their own home and retains the title to it but does not have to make any monthly reverse mortgage payments.