A reverse mortgage is a program to help you tap into your home equity. You will not need to make payments or pay back the loan until you sell the house. Typically, you can take about 60 percent of your equity in a reverse mortgage. There must be enough left over to cover closing costs, which are due in advance and can run as much as 5 percent of your home's value. Use this calculator to help illustrate how a reverse mortgage might work in your situation.