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Heloise: Is a reverse mortgage the right move?

Dear Readers: For seniors, a reverse mortgage may seem like a great way to get extra cash to pay bills and expenses, but make sure you thoroughly understand what it is before you dive in.

A reverse mortgage allows you to access the equity of your home, in monthly payments to you, without selling it. This money is usually tax-free.

However, you are still responsible for property taxes, insurance, upkeep, utilities, etc., on the home. And a reverse mortgage can result in you leaving less to your heirs.

To find out all you need to know about a reverse mortgage, the Federal Trade Commission (www.consumer.ftc.gov) is a good place to start. — Heloise

Missing mail

Dear Heloise: The U.S. Postal Service (www.USPS.com) has a service called Informed Delivery. You sign up for the service, and then each day you receive an email message with a digital preview of the mail that you will receive that day.

Each email will contain a grayscale image of your mail. If you do not receive the mail that you are scheduled to receive, you will know something went wrong. Either the mail was lost or stolen. You can then report your missing mail. — Shelly L. in Ohio

Itchy and scratchy

Dear Heloise: Tell designers that if they wish to have their names attached to their clothing, then use tags that aren’t scratchy. The tags are irritating to the back of my neck.

The best ones are those that have their labels printed on the clothing. I tend to only choose those designers. I read your column in the Omaha World-Herald. — Teri Shindo, Omaha, Neb.

(Heloise is a columnist for King Features Syndicate. Send a hint to P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or E-Mail: Heloise@Heloise.com.)

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