Covering Health Care

Windhaven, Maine

The reverse mortgage allowed John to get rid of his monthly mortgage payments, pay off some medical bills and even provided some cash to take care of big purchases.

More than 100 miles from the major metropolitan cities in the Northeast and even 45 minutes from the Atlantic Ocean is quiet Windhaven, Maine. On the edge of picturesque Spangle Lake, Windhaven offers all the amenities of a popular water resort to regional tourists, as well as a tranquil environment in which local residents can raise a family and retire.

It was to this region that John and his wife moved from suburban Connecticut 33 years ago. Maine offered them quiet resort communities where they could start a family and raise their son that was in stark contrast to the more-crowded urban and suburban areas of Connecticut.

“It was a great place to raise our son,” John says. “There was an excellent school system. And while I can't say you don't have the crime and related problems of big cities, it is a lot easier to stay away from those problems here than it is in the big-city regions.”

Although Windhaven is 45 minutes from the ocean, the rural atmosphere suited him fine.

In fact, John's family liked the wooded areas so much that they got even closer to nature nearly five years ago when they moved from a single-family home in Portland to a condo in Windhaven. The condo is 30 minutes from the nearest stores, but makes up for the isolation with an environmentally friendly atmosphere.

“You feel like you are in the woods here,” he says. “My wife and I fell in love with the place the minute we saw it,” he says of his three-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bath home that is 1,800 square feet in size. Although it is a condo, it has a full basement with the feel of a single-family home, he says.

When their son graduated from college last year and found employment as a nutritionist, the family had hoped to prepare to enjoy their retirement. John is an avid fly fisherman and his wife loves to window shop in the nearby towns. And they take pride in the success of their son. “He is an exceptional person as a son,” John says. “My wife and I put our hobbies on hold after he was born. The most fun we ever had was when we were with our son.”

But times weren't always so favorable. His wife became disabled 15 years ago. And then the family had to go on disability from his job as a regional advertising manager in the publishing industry six years ago. Both are 62 years old.

Health concerns and the resulting health costs became a big issue for the family. “I previously had a lung operation and am now working with four different doctors on various health issues,” says John.

It was the need to cover the medical costs that caused John and his family to look at a reverse mortgage.

“I didn't even know it existed before, but I was given the name of Amy Caitlin with GIA Mortgage in Erie, Maine,” he says.

The family's greatest fear about taking out a reverse mortgage was that his heirs would have nothing to inherit. “But Amy explained how this worked and that my heirs have certain rights,” he says.

The reverse mortgage allowed John to get rid of his monthly mortgage payments, pay off some medical bills and even provided some cash to take care of big purchases. He was able, for example, to help his son purchase an automobile that he needed to get to work after he graduated from college.

“We love living here and this has helped us to get rid of our monthly payments and live more comfortably knowing our medical bills are paid,” says John.