Rudri Bhatt Patel

Senior Staff Writer

Rudri Bhatt Patel is an attorney-turned-writer, journalist, and educator. She currently serves as a senior staff writer for Finance of America Reverse. In addition, her work has appeared in The Washington Post, Business Insider, JSTOR Daily, Saveur, Civil Eats, and numerous other local and national publications.

Ms. Patel does not represent the company as counsel. Her articles are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice.

Articles by Rudri Bhatt Patel

4 Min. Read

How to Pay Off Higher-Interest Debt with Proceeds from a Reverse Mortgage

If you're straddled with higher-interest debt, a reverse mortgage loan could help with your long-term financial goals and strategy.

4 Min. Read

Why Reverse Mortgages Are So Misunderstood

Understanding facts versus fiction regarding reverse mortgages is important to understand.

4 Min. Read

Why Reverse Mortgages Aren’t Just For the Rich

Find out why a reverse mortgage loan isn't just a tool for the rich.

3 Min. Read

What Makes a Good Reverse Mortgage Candidate?

If you're curious to find out what makes a good reverse mortgage, here are some of the guidelines lenders will consider.

Understanding loan to value ratios
3 Min. Read

Understanding Loan-to-Value Ratios

Understanding the loan-to-value ratio on your home impacts how much you can borrower with a reverse mortgage loan.

What are FHA Property Standards?
3 Min. Read

What Are FHA Property Standards?

Find out more about the Federal Housing Act (FHA) minimum property standards.

A woman learns some facts about reverse mortgages
4 Min. Read

Reverse Mortgage Facts and Statistics

There is a lot of confusion surrounding reverse mortgages. Here are some facts and statistics to help you separate truth from fiction.

A couple celebrates their reverse mortgage proceeds options.|A woman gathers facts about reverse mortgages
4 Min. Read

Reverse Mortgage Proceeds: Understanding Your Options

Reverse mortgages give borrowers a variety of proceed options to choose from. Here is a rundown of the possibilities and how each works.

A family facing a health crisis can rely on an advance directive.
3 Min. Read

Everything You Need to Know about Advance Directives

Advance directives ensure healthcare wishes are carried out when a person cannot speak or advocate for themselves. Here's more about them.

People setting up a power of attorney
3 Min. Read

Everything You Need to Know about a Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is an important part of an estate plan, but there are more uses for them than that. Here is a guide to the types of POA and how to set one up.

Some seniors enjoy a meeting arranged by an area agency on aging
2 Min. Read

What are Area Agencies of Aging, and What Can They Do for You?

Find out about Area Agencies of Aging (AAA) and how they can help you and your loved ones.

A couple learning about wills and trusts
4 Min. Read

Everything You Need to Know About Wills and Trusts

Depending on your estate plan you may need a will, trust, or both. Here is everything you need to need to know about wills and trusts.

A family planning their estate and trying to avoid estate planning mistakes
6 Min. Read

9 Common Estate Planning Mistakes

Making an estate plan is an important step in creating security for your family. Make sure that you avoid these common mistakes to ensure your plan works for you and your family when you need it to.

A family shares a toast in a home that is placed in a living trust
5 Min. Read

What You Need to Know about a Living Trust

A living trust is established during a grantor's lifetime to ensure their assets are passed down in accordance to their wished. Here's what to know about a living trust.

An elderly woman and her middle aged daughter look at documents to place her home in a trust
3 Min. Read

8 Reasons to Put Your Home in a Trust

Putting your home in a trust offers multiple advantages to your estate. Here are 8 reasons it might make sense for you.

a hand making a diamond painting|women holding her diamond painting|
3 Min. Read

Why Diamond Painting Is a Great Hobby for Seniors

Not only is diamond painting a fun way to add some sparkle to your life, it can also offer some excellent mental and physical benefits to senior crafters.

A woman who avoided probate court sits among moving boxes
3 Min. Read

6 Ways to Avoid Probate Court

When the time comes to pass on their estate, most people would prefer their heirs didn't have to deal with probate court. Here are 6 ways to set up your estate to avoid probate court.

A mother and daughter discussing the merits of a revocable vs. irrevocable trust
4 Min. Read

Revocable vs. Irrevocable Trust

Look at revocable vs. irrevocable trusts to understand the differences and determine which one is a best fit for you.

A couple discussing using a charitable trust for their estate
4 Min. Read

Using a Charitable Trust to Secure Your Legacy

A charitable trust is a helpful tool to secure your legacy. Find out the types of charitable trusts and whether it is a right fit for you.

A man showing how to negotiate your medical bill
5 Min. Read

How to Negotiate Your Medical Bills

Medical bills can be surprising, but there are ways to negotiate charges. Here's what you need to know to negotiate your medical bill.

A woman in assisted living getting help in her apartment
4 Min. Read

Nursing Homes Versus Assisted Living: What’s the Difference?

Both nursing homes and assisted living facilities provide care to people who need help. The difference starts with the level of care.

A couple reviewing their legal documents
4 Min. Read

Five Types of Legal Documents You Need as You Get Older

Keeping legal documents up to date is important at any age, but as you get older having them ready and accessible can help you and your family avoid stress.

A woman begins to navigate a hospital stay
5 Min. Read

Navigating a Hospital Stay: A Stress-free Guide

Whether it's an emergency or a planned procedure, the prospect of a stay in the hospital is full of unknowns. Here's some advice for navigating your hospital stay that should ease your anxiety.

a woman askes her irtual assistant what non-recourse means in a HECM
3 Min. Read

What Is “Non-Recourse” in a HECM?

Non-recourse status is an important benefit of a home equity conversion mortgage. Here's how it works and what it offers consumers.

A man makes a living will
4 Min. Read

Understanding Living Wills

A living will is a document that helps people specify healthcare decisions they would like to make in the event they cannot speak for themselves.

A man studies HUD reverse mortgage foreclosure guidelines
4 Min. Read

HUD Reverse Mortgage Foreclosure Guidelines

Foreclosure in a reverse mortgage is rare, but can happen. Here are the steps that lead to foreclosure in a reverse mortgage as mandated by HUD.

A couple learns about reverse mortgage principal limits
4 Min. Read

What Is a Reverse Mortgage Principal Limit?

A reverse mortgage principal limit is the maximum amount of money that can be borrowed with a reverse mortgage. Here's how the limits are determined.

The United States Congress Building where HUD regulates reverse mortgages
4 Min. Read

How Does HUD Regulate Reverse Mortgages?

Overseen by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), HECMs are subject to multiple safeguards and protections.

A man brainstorming smart ways to use reverse mortgage proceeds
3 Min. Read

6 Smart Ways to Use Reverse Mortgage Proceeds

Because you can use reverse mortgage proceeds any way you like, they can be useful for a variety of retirement planning strategies. Here are 6 smart ways to use your proceeds.

People who have learned the truth about reverse mortgages and feel great about their future
3 Min. Read

The Truth About Reverse Mortgages

The truth about reverse mortgages is that they offer many borrowers a secure way of staying in their homes as they age and filling gaps in their retirement plan.

A couple reviews information about social security|
4 Min. Read

Everything You Need to Know About Social Security

Social security is a federal benefits program. Here is everything you need to know about how social security works, who it's for and when to start collecting your benefit.

A couple reviews the plans for their reverse mortgage ADU
3 Min. Read

Can You Use a Reverse Mortgage to Build an ADU?

The idea of building an ADU on your property is gaining in popularity. Using a reverse mortgage to pay for the construction is possible. Here's what you should know.

A group of people learning about who regulates reverse mortgages
3 Min. Read

Who Regulates Reverse Mortgages?

Reverse mortgages are regulated by several government agencies. Here is an explanation of which agencies are responsible and what they do.

jurors hear the case against the reverse mortgage bad rap
6 Min. Read

How Reverse Mortgages Got Such a Bad Reputation

Though not merited, reverse mortgages have had a hard time shaking a poor reputation. Here's how reverse mortgages got a bad rap and why it's not true.

People in a class learniing why reverse mortgages aren't more popular
4 Min. Read

Why Reverse Mortgages Aren’t More Popular

Reverse mortgages have been around for decades and are safer then ever. But though they offer a viable retirement planning tool for many, they haven't caught on in the mainstream. Here are a few possible reasons why.

A woman researching what to do when a reverse mortgage isn't right for you
5 Min. Read

When a Reverse Mortgage Isn’t Right For You

Though powerful financial tools, reverse mortgages aren't right for everyone or every financial situation. Here are 7 situations in which a reverse mortgage might not be a good fit and ways to make it work.

A couple making reverse mortgage complaints to their financial advisor
5 Min. Read

5 Common Reverse Mortgage Complaints

Often complaints about reverse mortgages come from misunderstandings. Get some context and the facts about reverse mortgages and common complaints about them.

Two people who plan to walk away from a reverse mortgage
2 Min. Read

Can You Walk Away From a Reverse Mortgage?

There are several ways to exit or walk away from a reverse mortgage before it comes to term. Contrary to a popular myth, none of them require that you pay a penalty.

Sisters discuss the difference between a heloc and an rmloc over coffee.
5 Min. Read

The Difference Between a HELOC and a RMLOC

Many homeowners understand that they can borrow against the equity in their homes, typically with a home equity line of credit (HELOC), but many don&#

A woman planning her reverse mortgage process
4 Min. Read

The Reverse Mortgage Process: A Timeline

It's difficult to say exactly how long the process to take a reverse mortgage takes, but here is a general timeline to give you an idea of what to expect.

A single senior planning to enjoy the freedom of her retirement
5 Min. Read

Retirement Planning for Single Seniors

Retirement isn't one size fits all. If you're single, here are some special considerations to make when putting together your retirement plan.

A woman contemplating reverse mortgge maturity events and looking at a photo album
3 Min. Read

What Is a Reverse Mortgage Maturity Event?

The term of a reverse mortgage is dependent on a number of qualifying conditions. An event that leads to these conditions no longer being met is a maturity event.

Two people thinking about paying off their mortgage when they retire
3 Min. Read

Should You Pay off Your Mortgage When You Retire?

Deciding whether to pay off your mortgage when you retire is dependent on your specific financial situation and plan. Here are some questions to help you consider the best course of action.

3 Min. Read

What to Do if You Don’t Have Enough Equity for a Reverse Mortgage

A reverse mortgage requires that borrowers have substantial equity in their homes. Here are some options if you don't have enough equity to qualify.

A man expecting the next stage of a reverse mortgage
6 Min. Read

What to Expect at Every Stage of a Reverse Mortgage

If you decide to take out a reverse mortgage, you will experience different aspects of the loan as the process evolves. To help borrowers and potentia

People researching how bankruptcy affects a reverse mortgage
3 Min. Read

Bankruptcy and Reverse Mortgage: Impact and Considerations

The ways that bankruptcy and reverse mortgage impact each other are complicated. Here's a basic primer on how one affects the other and what it means for reverse mortgage borrowers.

A woman wondering if she will outlive a reverse mortgage
4 Min. Read

Can You Outlive a Reverse Mortgage?

It is not possible to outlive a reverse mortgage, however, you can outlive available proceeds. Careful financial planning can prevent running out of funds unexpectedly.

Two doors that are similar but different
5 Min. Read

HECM Versus a Proprietary Reverse Mortgage

Both HECMs and proprietary reverse mortgages are reverse mortgages. However, there are some important differences to understand before deciding which is right for you.

Two jumbo reverse mortgage borrowers in front of their home
3 Min. Read

Jumbo Reverse Mortgages: Who Are They For?

A jumbo reverse mortgage is another way of referring to a proprietary reverse mortgage that offers a larger loan limit than a HECM. Here's what makes them different.

A woman learning about title and reverse mortgages
2 Min. Read

Title and Reverse Mortgages: What You Need to Know

When you take a reverse mortgage, the title to your home remains in your name. Here's what a title is and how it works with a reverse mortgage.

A woman with a reverse mortgage in California skateboards down the sidewalk with her grandaughter following on a bike
3 Min. Read

Reverse Mortgage Qualifications in California

Getting a reverse mortgage in California is very similar to other states with a few key differences that give borrowers extra rights.

Grandparents who funded their grandchild's education with a reverse mortgage look at her proudly on graduation day
4 Min. Read

What to Know About Funding Education With a Reverse Mortgage

A reverse mortgage is a possible way of helping a child or grandchild get a secondary education. Here's what you should know before you decide to fund their education with a reverse mortgage.

A woman researching her reverse mortgage and social security
3 Min. Read

Will a Reverse Mortgage Affect My Social Security

A reverse mortgage will not affect your social security, but it can have an impact on other government need based programs.

A senior enjoying educational travel
5 Min. Read

Educational Travel Resources for Seniors

Find an educational trip that suits your interests and lifestyle to a tee with our complete list of educational travel resources for seniors.

two people ask a financial advisor questions about retirement finances
7 Min. Read

12 Retirement Questions Financial Advisors Hear Most Often

The topic of retirement finances brings up endless questions. Here the the 12 questions financial advisors are asked by their clients most often.

a woman learning the differences between medicare and medicaid.
4 Min. Read

What’s the Difference Between Medicare and Medicaid?

Though the names sound the same, Medicare and Medicaid are different government programs that serve largely different groups of people. There are however, some overlaps.

A man rockclimbing secured by a rope harness
5 Min. Read

Understanding Mortgage Insurance Premiums

If your mortgage requires you to have mortgage insurance, you'll pay mortgage insurance premiums or MIPS. Here's what you will want to know about how they work.

A tech savvy senior using a home computer with headphones
3 Min. Read

How Seniors Can Become More Tech Savvy  

The world of tech has many solutions for older people. An open mind and a willingess to learn may be all it takes to benefit from the latest technology.

A woman assessing the risks of a reverse mortgage
4 Min. Read

Assessing the Risks of a Reverse Mortgage

Understanding the risks of taking a reverse mortgage starts with understanding how these financial tools work and the protections they have built in.

Twins explore the difference between a traditional and a reverse mortgage.
6 Min. Read

Traditional vs. a Reverse Mortgage: A Comparison

A traditional mortgage and a reverse mortgage have some similarities, but function quite differently. Here is an explanation of how each works and what that means for potential borrowers.

A financial advisor explains the difference between a home equity loan and a reverse mortgage to a client
4 Min. Read

Home Equity Loan vs. a Reverse Mortgage

Both home equity loans and reverse mortgages allow homeowners to borrow against the equity they've built up in their homes. However, there are some important differences between the two loan types.

Three generations on a hike.
5 Min. Read

How to Create a Trust Fund for Your Heirs 

A trust is an important part of many people's estate plans. Here are the steps to creating and funding a trust.

A mobile home
3 Min. Read

Can I Get a Reverse Mortgage on a Mobile Home?  

A mobile home is a specific type of dwelling that is not eligible for a reverse mortgage. A manufactured home, however, can be eligible. Here's how you can tell the difference.

A grandfather sharing digital assets with his granddaughter
5 Min. Read

Legacy Planning: How to Make Digital Assets Accessible to Heirs

Digital assets are an important part of your legacy. Learn how you can ensure loved ones have access to them as part of your estate plan.

Home Appraisal process
4 Min. Read

What Happens During a Home Appraisal? 

An appraisal is an important part of taking any home loan, here is what homeowners can expect from the process.

Anonborrowing spouse
4 Min. Read

A Non-Borrowing Spouse Guide to Reverse Mortgage

Spouses not eligible for a reverse mortgage can be afforded rights and protections should something happen to the spouse listed as a borrower on the loan.

Couple learning about their reverse mortgage options.
4 Min. Read

What Are the Downsides of a Reverse Mortgage?  

Understanding potential downsides to a reverse mortgage can help you determine if this financial tool is a good fit for your needs.

Woman calling a loan servicer on the phone.
3 Min. Read

What Is the Role of a Loan Servicer?

A loan servicer is one part of the team that does the behind the scenes work on a loan. Here's what this important role is responsible for.

A woman showing a loved one how to access their bank account.
3 Min. Read

Legacy Planning: Granting Family Access to Your Bank Accounts

An easy and important part of estate planning is making it possible for your heirs to access your bank accounts after you've passed. Here's how to do it.

Two friends playing pickleball.|Pickleball coach and player Sara Johnson
4 Min. Read

Why Pickleball Is a Great Sport for Seniors

Chances are someone you know plays pickleball. Interested in giving this popular sport a try? Here are some tips to get you started.

three sisters hugging
2 Min. Read

Can Family Members Get a Reverse Mortgage Together? 

Sharing a reverse mortgage with another person can be a good way to ensure all parties have the right to stay in the home should something happen to one of them.

A couple looks over information about reverse mortgage fees
4 Min. Read

What Fees Do You Pay With a Reverse Mortgage?

There are fees and costs associated with taking out any mortgage, and reverse mortgages are no exception. Here is a detailed list of the fees you can expect to pay when you take a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM).

A woman calculating how much equity she has in her home.
4 Min. Read

How Much Equity Is in My House?

Learn how to calculate your home equity and how understanding it can help you leverage it to your advantage.

A man reviewing information about his reverse mortgage line of credit
4 Min. Read

How Does a Reverse Mortgage Line of Credit Work?

A reverse mortgage line of credit has some unique features that can make it both a useful tool in the present and security for the future.

A boxing woman fights inflation with a reverse mortgage
3 Min. Read

Fight Inflation With a Reverse Mortgage

When inflation is high, a reverse mortgage offers some unique ways of fighting the pinch of rising prices.

A couple discussing the tradeoffs of a reverse mortgage with a financial advisor|A couple discussing the tradeoffs of a reverse mortgage with a financial advisor
3 Min. Read

Reverse Mortgage Tradeoffs: What You Give, What You Get

In any financial transaction there are tradeoffs. Here's a rundown of what you give up and what you gain when you take a reverse mortgage.

A family discussing a reverse mortgage|A family learning about their parents' reverse mortgage
5 Min. Read

Reverse Mortgage: A Guide for Children and Heirs

After the last borrower on a reverse mortgage passes away, the loan needs to be settled. Usually, that responsibility falls to the heirs. Here's what they can expect.

A mother reviews her estate plan with her adult child
3 Min. Read

What to Tell Your Adult Children About Your Estate Plan

Sharing information about what's in your estate plan with your adult children is a simple way to help them navigate your estate when the time comes.

people looking to see if they can get a reverse mortgage on their condo
3 Min. Read

Can I Get a Reverse Mortgage on My Condo?

FHA-approved condos are eligible for home equity conversion mortgages. Here's how you can find out if yours is eligible, and what to do if it isn't.

A daughter having a difficult conversation with her aging parent
6 Min. Read

How to Have Difficult Conversations With Aging Parents

With certain conversations it can be difficult to know where to start. Learn how to initiate essential conversations with your parent, when to talk and when to listen.

People looking at a house and wondering what to do with the reverse mortgage
3 Min. Read

What Happens When a Reverse Mortgage Borrower Dies?

When a reverse mortgage borrower passes away, the loan will become due and payable. Here's what heirs and borrowers should know about what happens next.

a woman discussing types of trusts|A woman discussing types of trusts with her attorney
4 Min. Read

Types of Trusts

Learning about the different types of trusts can help inform which makes the most sense for your estate and needs.

a woman discussing credit and reverse mortgages|A senior woman inquiring about credit ratings and reverse mortgages
2 Min. Read

Reverse Mortgages and Credit Scores: What Borrowers Should Know

Credit ratings and mortgages go hand in hand, but as with most things reverse, when you are taking out a HECM credit works a little differently.

A woman sits a lone at a table thinking about divorce and her reverse mortgage
3 Min. Read

What Happens to a Reverse Mortgage After a Divorce?

Divorce can impact a reverse mortgage in a variety of ways. This overview offers options for several different situations.

A senior woman taking advantage of educational resources for seniors
5 Min. Read

Educational Resources for Seniors

You may have said goodbye to your school days many years ago, but there are compelling reasons to revisit your education in retirement. Here's a few places to start.

A couple learning about reverse mortgage eligibility requirements
3 Min. Read

Reverse Mortgage Eligibility Requirements

Understanding the eligibility requirements of a reverse mortgage can be helpful in deciding if these financial vehicles are right for you.

A couple on the beach contemplating the horizon and their estate plan
7 Min. Read

Estate Planning Basics: What’s Included and 6 Steps to Make Yours

Estate plans are essential to retirement planning, but that doesn't mean they need to be intimidating or complicated. Here's what they are and how to make one.

Women doing yoga and finding happiness in retirement
3 Min. Read

Attaining Bliss: Finding Fulfillment After Retirement

If you're struggling to find happiness in retirement, these tips and strategies can help get you on a better track.

A couple learning about reverse mortgage interest rates
7 Min. Read

How Do Reverse Mortgage Interest Rates Work?

Interest rates accrue and get paid differently on a reverse mortgage than on other loans, here's what potential borrowers need to know.

A mother and daughter writing a family history together
5 Min. Read

Writing Your Family History: Tips for Non-Writers 

Writing a family history and committing treasured stories to paper makes a meaningful heirloom to pass on to future generations. Here's where to start.

A senior couple hiking safetly
5 Min. Read

6 Hiking Tips for Seniors

Whether hiking is a new hobby, or a lifelong passion, these six tips will help keep safe and healthy on the trail.

Older man asking what is a pension
3 Min. Read

What Is a Pension?

Less common than they once were, pensions are savings vehicles for retirement. Here's who gets one and how they work.

A woman using a smart thermostat in her home
4 Min. Read

Assistive Technology Products for Older People

Chances are if there's something in your life you'd like to make easier, there's a device or gadget to help you.

Couple contemplating a cash-out refi vs. a reverse mortgage in their kitchen
4 Min. Read

Cash-Out Refi Versus Reverse Mortgage

Deciding which type of loan is best suited to your needs can be tricky. Here's a rundown of the differences between a cash-out refinance vs. a reverse mortgage.

Couple moving into the home they bought with a home equity conversion mortgage for purchase
4 Min. Read

Home Equity Conversion Mortgage for Purchase Explained 

Reverse mortgages aren't just for homes you already own. You can use one to purchase a new home as well.

Man weighing the pros and cons of a home equity conversion mortgage over a game of chess
5 Min. Read

Pros and Cons of a HECM

Weighing the benefits of a HECM against the potential downsides can help you assess how well this financial tool will work for your situation.

A woman wondering if she should get a reverse mortgage|A large house on a rolling green lawn|
4 Min. Read

Should I Get a Reverse Mortgage?

Reverse mortgages make sense for many people. Whether it's right for you depends on multiple factors.

Woman receiving check in mailbox|Woman receiving check in mailbox
3 Min. Read

How Much Money Can You Get From a Reverse Mortgage?

Wondering how much money can you get from a reverse mortgage? The answer depends on multiple factors including your age, value of the home, and more.

senior woman with dog_what is home equity
3 Min. Read

What Is Home Equity?

Home equity is a valuable tool that can help you finance your retirement. Learn how you can maximize the benefits of your largest asset.

home equity conversion mortgage application
5 Min. Read

What Is a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM)?

A home equity conversion mortgage is a reverse mortgage insured by the FHA. Here’s a guide to how they work and who might qualify.

A woman learning about a LESA|
3 Min. Read

What Is a LESA?

Life Expectancy Set Aside (LESA) funds are proceeds earmarked through the reverse mortgage process to pay property taxes and other expenses.

A couple studying how a reverse mortgage works|woman at sunset
9 Min. Read

How Does a Reverse Mortgage Work?

A reverse mortgage allows a qualified borrower to access their home equity. How does a reverse mortgage work? Here's what you need to know.

A couple learning what a reverse mortgage is|large house on hilltop reverse mortgage
7 Min. Read

What Is a Reverse Mortgage?

Find out if you are eligible for a reverse mortgage, how they work, and how you may be able to access your home equity and stay in your home.

5 Min. Read

10 Myths About Reverse Mortgages

Learn about the myths surrounding reverse mortgages and find out the truth about how these financial vehicles really work.

A couple reviewing a reverse mortgage with their financial advisor
4 Min. Read

Why More Financial Advisors Are Recommending Reverse Mortgages

Discover the reasons why more and more financial advisors are recommending reverse mortgages as financial tools for retirement.