Port Ludlow, Washington
Andrew does not
regret taking out the
reverse mortgage line
of credit. “It’s my ace
in the hole,” he says,
“if something happens
Port Ludlow, Washington is a beautiful, bayside
town of about 2,000 people with breathtaking
views of the gorgeous Olympic Mountains.
Those who like boating, fishing, hiking, and
golfing need look no further, and for those who crave some
urban adventure, Seattle is just an hour and a half away. The
mountains form a “rain shadow” that shuts out storms, so the
area sees less rain than much of the rest of the Pacific Northwest.
The Pacific Ocean’s Humboldt Current keeps the area warm
enough that it rarely snows. As such, ferries run frequently in the
area, between nearby Bainbridge and Seattle. It is here in Port
Ludlow that Andrew, an 84-year old World War II naval veteran and retired shipping
bag salesman, makes his home. As much as
he enjoys Port Ludlow, he also enjoys leaving it.
The sports fan goes to Seattle to watch the Mariners play a few
times each summer and to Seahawks games during the fall and
winter, and often makes it to Vancouver to catch the Canucks.
He enjoys area museums, the beach, and going on excursions to
the naval station on Whidbey Island and out to the Naval
Submarine Base in Bangor with the Association of Naval Aviation,
of which he is a member.
He has a wonderful time, except for one thing. Sadly, he must
enjoy Port Ludlow and all of its nearby attractions without his wife.
Barbara had suffered bouts of multiple sclerosis several
times during her life, and often had to take prednisone and other
steroids from which she suffered ill effects. The MS and the
medications combined to cause urinary and heart problems. She
was in a fragile state; such that it was decided that it was in her
best interests to place her in a nursing home. Andrew was at
a loss, however, as to how to do so. They lived comfortably on
their monthly income, but as Andrew says, “a good nursing
home could cost six or seven thousand dollars a month.” He wanted his wife to be in the best nursing home available.
They didn’t have six or seven thousand dollars a month, however.
The plan for a solution came from several thousand miles away
in Arizona, where Mr. Morton’s cousin had just taken out a
reverse mortgage on his home. “His home is worth one and a
half to two million, and his loan was for $667,000,” says Andrew. “So I figured if it was good enough for him, it was good
enough for us.”
He began work with Margaret Belli of Bank of America, who was
very thorough and informative. “She explained everything well,”
says Andrew. He wasn’t as excited about the counseling
part of the process. Engagingly outspoken, he said, “It’s a good
idea, but a waste of money. I don’t need some [counselor] asking
me if I knew what I was doing….” He does agree that it is
necessary for many borrowers, and that it is important that
people know what they’re getting into. The couples’ home was
appraised for $225,000 and they were eligible for $167,000, all of
which is accessed in a line of credit.
Although the reverse mortgage was the answer to Andrew's dilemma, Barbara sadly passed away from urinary
complications and congestive heart failure before they found a
suitable nursing care facility. Andrew does not regret taking
out the reverse mortgage line of credit, however. “It’s my ace in
the hole,” he says, “if something happens to me.” He said he also
may take more trips, possibly even a train trip around the whole
United States. “You have a bedroom on the train, and you can
travel around the country. You can’t beat that.”
Despite the sadness of Barbara's passing, her widower now
has a source of security and possible enjoyment as he continues
to live in their beautiful Port Ludlow home.