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Q. I recently read an article that said you should refinance before you retire rather than plan for a reverse mortgage as long as you plan to stay in your home for at least five years. That’s my situation. My current 15-year mortgage will be paid off in seven years. I am not sure how long I will remain in my home, but it will be at least six years. I would love to make some improvements to my house and it would be nice to have the cash to do so. Thoughts? — Homeowner

A. Your question gives a lot to think about.  There are various ways you can access the equity you’ve built in your home to help free up cash for home improvements.