Securitization of Longevity Risk in Reverse Mortgages

  • Wang L
  • Valdez E
  • Piggott J
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Abstract

Reverse mortgages are becoming remarkably popular in the last few years in Australia, and although they have been around a lot longer in the United States, they are receiving renewed interest among the elderly. Increase in life expectancies and decrease in the real income at retirement due to inflation continue to worry the those who are retired or close to retirement. Today, financial products that help alleviate the “risk of living longer” therefore continue to be attractive among the retirees. Reverse mortgages involve various risks from the provider’s perspective which may hinder the further development of these financial products. This paper addresses one method of transferring and financing the risks associated with these products through the form of securitization. Securitization is becoming a popular and attractive alternative form of risk transfer of insurance liabilities. Here we demonstrate how to possibly construct a securitization structure for reverse mortgages similar to the one applied in traditional insurance products. Specifically, we investigate the merits of developing survivor bonds and survivor swaps for reverse mortgage products. In the case of survivor bonds, for example, we are able to compute premiums, both analytically and numerically through simulations, and to examine how the longevity risk may be transferred to the financial investors. Our numerical calculations provide an indication of the economic benefits derived from developing survivor bonds to securitize the “longevity risk component” of reverse mortgage products. Moreover, some sensitivity analysis of these economic benefits indicates that these survivor bonds provide for a promising tool for investment diversification.

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Authors

  • Liang Wang

  • Emiliano A. Valdez

  • John Piggott

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