The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not represent our advertisers

Thursday, June 04, 2015


Millions of them are straining to make house payments

Al and Saundra Karp have found an unconventional way to raise money and help save their Miami-area home from foreclosure: They’re lining up gigs for their family jazz band.

They enjoy performing. But it isn’t exactly how Al, an 86-year-old Korean War vet, or Saundra, 76, had expected to spend their retirement.

Of all the financial threats facing Americans of retirement age — outliving savings, falling for scams, paying for long-term care — housing isn’t supposed to be one. But after a home-price collapse, the worst recession since the 1930s and some calamitous decisions to turn homes into cash machines, millions of them are straining to make house payments.

Read more


Anonymous said...

If you still have a mortgage in your 70's or 80' really screwed up somewhere along the way.

Anonymous said...

What, are we to feel sorry or guilty for these idiots being foolish or doing foolish things like refinancing and sucking the money out or for the idiots that do reverse mortgages? I think not.

lmclain said...

I don't want to surprise either one of you "I got mine" goofs, but old people lose their homes for a whole lot of reasons other than being "idiots" or "poor planners".
God, the total stupidity of some people always seems to exceed even my expectations.

Anonymous said...

does anybody remember that whole 2008 crash where people lost half their net worth?

LadyLiddy said...

I hope you haters don't experience a life catastrophe. This could happen to anyone and often does. Most American's are living paycheck to paycheck. Seniors, on a fixed income, can't overcome a financial set back. Calling them "idiots" or "poor planners" just isn't fair. You get what you give haters and yours could be coming any day!

Anonymous said...

Only takes a medical crisis to lose everything you own.

Anonymous said...

Change your Name to LOPEZ....Obama will give you a home!!!

Anonymous said...

Only takes a medical crisis to lose everything you own. This is true but there are plenty of people who like the cricket fiddled while the ants put up provisions for the coming winter. Now the crickets have nothing.

Of course the ants got some of their money every time the crickets made a foolish move or had extra fun. That's why the ants are forced to help the crickets.

Anonymous said...

Medical bills or nursing home costs don't cause anyone to lose their homes. All they can do is put a lien against it, and when they die and the estate is settled, maybe the creditors get paid.

Most of the foreclosures of elderly people's homes we have seen in our industry, are second homes, or reverse mortgages which are more or less "planned foreclosures" after death.

Anonymous said...

Wrong. We had someone lose their home because Medicare wouldn't cover treatment. They had to mortgage their home to pay for it. In the end he still lost his battle with the disease and she couldn't afford the payment (on only one income) after he was gone.

Anonymous said...

9:47 Nobody loses their home because Medicare won't cover treatment. They lose their home because they took out a mortgage (for whatever reason) that they couldn't afford to pay back. That doesn't make it "right", and it's still a tragedy either way. Go without treatment, or risk losing your home and die anyway. Not a pretty situation for anyone to be in, especially if you can't go out and get a job to pay for it, due to age or health.

We have seen a few like that, actually, and it really is heartbreaking.

But I stand by my original statement: medical bills alone do not force anyone out of their home. They can only put liens on your home, not kick you out.

Moral of the story: use unsecured credit, i.e. credit cards, for those type of bills, even if you can only pay the minimum payment, if you are elderly and very sick. They'll put a lien on your home, and will get their money once your estate is settled.

By that time, you don't have to worry about it.