One personal finance expert says that Canadians of retirement age should consider tapping into the equity in their home if they are facing liquidity concerns.  

Chief Financial Commentator for CHIP Reverse Mortgage Pattie Lovett-Reid said in an interview with BNN Bloomberg Friday that the top concern she hears among older Canadians is that they will outlive their money. According to Lovett-Reid, the average 65-year-old has an annual income shortfall of about $20,000. 

“People see equity in their home and it's sacred, ‘I'm never going to touch it’,” Lovett-Reid said. 

“Canadians on average have less than $200,000 saved for retirement, so the fear of outliving their money is very real. So they've got to give themselves permission.” 

However, she added that tapping into equity in a home is “not for everybody” but “worthy of exploring” as a way of picking up additional income. 

“Someone may decide to take out a home equity line of credit. They may decide to refinance. Others may look at a reverse mortgage. Some will downsize and then buy smaller or rent or lease, or they may even sell to someone and leaseback,” Lovett-Reid said. 

“But the good news for people who haven't saved is that there is an opportunity to look at an option.” 

To watch the full interview with Lovett-Reid, click on the video at the top of the article.