Over the weekend the New York Times published a story describing how older Americans are struggling to get by while the economy continues to slide. One of the people featured in the article is Marie Hinkel, a 79 year old widow who lives in Port Chester, NY. After her husband died, Hinkel has been relying on the generosity of neighborhood churches and community centers to help her get by.
Hinkel and her late husband were able to purchase a home in 1996 but after he passed away she was unable to pay the monthly maintenance fee. In order to pay off some debt and move into affordable senior housing, she decided to list her apartment for sale. Unfortunately, each of the perspective buyers were rejected by the co-op board and wasn’t told why.
Luckily, Judy Fink, the director of Geriatric Services at the Westchester Jewish Community Services, was there to help. Ms. Fink helped Mrs. Hinkel apply for food stamps and was able to help her apply for a reverse mortgage. With the proceeds from the reverse mortgage, she can now afford the monthly maintenance fee needed to live in her apartment. To Mrs. Hinkel, the reverse mortgage is a godsend. Without it, “I would have been out on the street,” she said.
The article covers a couple other seniors who are struggling day to day as well, definitely an eye opening article.