I have a close friend who made some horrible financial mistakes in her life. She essentially bet everything that her Los Angeles house would continue to go up in value and she always kept it mortgaged to the hilt, living off the equity.
I tried to warn her, I asked many times what her plan was to control her debt. Unfortunately, for many such people money is like an addiction, they lie about what they are doing and maintain their lifestyle even when they know they are hurting themselves.
Now the value of the house has dropped, they cut her home equity line of credit (HELOC), and he has nothing to live on.
Not only is she about to lose a house that once was completely paid off, she will walk away with nothing - no profit from a house that increased in value some 3000% while she owned it, and no nest egg.
Borrowing from your future to live today is not a plan, its a mistake. Its a gamble that doesn't pay off. Don't do it!