76-Year-Old Husband Can Finally Retire

Montgomery Village, Maryland

[The Reverse Mortgage] enabled a pair of high school sweethearts to continue living in a home that has brought them and their family a lot of happy memories.

Henry, age 76, and Lily, age 73, have now been happily married 56 years. They have four kids, ten grandchildren and four great-children. “We love big families. I‘m just thankful we all live in houses in the same area, so I get to see my grandchildren pretty regularly,” says Lily. She and Henry both grew up in tiny Winchester, VA, located 75 miles outside Washington, D.C. in the Shenandoah Valley. Lily fondly remembers when she was five years old and Henry delivered newspapers to her parent‘s home. They started dating in high school.

When she was 17 and Henry was 20, they got married and he entered the Air Force. They lived the typical life of a military family: over the span of four years, the couple and their growing family lived in Memphis, Tennessee, Ardmore, Oklahoma, and Southern Pines, North Carolina, before Henry received an early discharge.

They eventually settled in Montgomery Village, MD, a planned suburban community, developed in the 1960s and 1970s on the outskirts of Washington, D.C. where they acquired a two-story brick townhouse to raise their four children. “Our home was brand new when we moved in,” Henry adds. “Some of the kids were a bit older when we arrived, but our youngest was two years. This is the home they remember growing up in.” Henry was a printing salesman and Lily a stay-at-home mom. When she wasn‘t busy wiping noses or cleaning skinned knees, she enjoyed making shadow boxes and other crafts. “That was my favorite hobby,” she said. “I have arthritis now, so I can‘t do that anymore, which I miss.”

In the mid-Seventies, Henry briefly owned his own printing business, Variety Graphic Arts. Lily helped out when she could, setting the type and the layout for the various print jobs. But Henry never worked at one printing company long enough to accumulate a pension or significant retirement savings. Lily worked odd jobs over the years and they both were able to contribute some money into a 401(k). But those funds slowly dwindled. Henry continued to work into his 70s, because Social Security wasn‘t enough to cover basic living expenses, or the medical and credit card bills.

The couple felt they would have to sell their home, if Henry retired. And leaving was the last thing they wanted to do. “It‘s just the two of us,” Lily comments. “Our house is the perfect size and we enjoy where we live. We want to live here until they carry us out.”

Fortunately, they had equity in their home and qualified for a reverse mortgage. They went to their bank to inquire about getting a reverse mortgage and were referred to Song Hutchins, who at the time worked for Wells Fargo.

The couple used the reverse mortgage to pay off bills, plus a car loan and home equity loan. Additional funds went to replace the furnace and air conditioning. They have funds set aside in a line of credit, which they only plan to use when necessary. “My husband always said if we had not gotten a reverse mortgage, he would have worked till he was 90,” Lily notes, with a little humor in her voice.

It enabled a pair of high school sweethearts to continue living in a home that has brought them and their family a lot of happy memories.

“The reverse mortgage has been a real security blanket for us,” says Lily.