Besides reverse mortage, what options are available if I am without heir and want to get cash in retirement backed by my equity?
Edit: I live in Canada, 40 years old and I am building savings by filling out my RRSP limit yearly.
There's no free lunch. When people talk about 'equity tied up in their house,' it's not like money can be in two places at the same time. You either own a paid-in-full house or you have loans against it.
The reverse mortgage is, in effect, a loan. It accumulates interest on some portion of your home's value and if you live long enough, you'll be in a home that has no equity at all.
At some point, you might consider a sale with lease back. To be clear, this would be an outright sale, but to someone willing to rent the house back to you. At least you'd have the funds, no interest accruing on a loan, and, with proper legal advice, the right to stay in the house. The buyer gets a built-in tenant, and the potential increase in value over the years till you pass. The rent might have capped increases as part of the deal.