March 22, 2022
Retired Couple Chopped Down $40,000 Debt
Whereas residing in New York Metropolis, Clifton Seale and Charles Gilmore piled up an infinite quantity of bank card debt for primary bills and frequent dinners out.
After retiring – Seale was a librarian and Gilmore a priest – the couple have been notified of a $200 lease enhance on their Queens condominium. With a lot debt on the books, they realized they may not afford New York Metropolis, and after a couple of visits to see associates close to the Delaware seashore, they moved there.
“I wish to say I flunked retirement as a result of I came upon neither of us may afford to stay on the pension and Social Safety,” Gilmore mentioned.
Though Delaware was a inexpensive place to stay, they didn’t flip their funds round till they discovered the non-profit Stand by Me 50+, which gives free monetary coaches to Delaware residents over age 50.
The couple, who’ve been collectively 35 years and married for 8 years, have a good earnings by rural Delaware’s requirements, if not New York’s. Their mixed earnings is about $70,000 per 12 months. They have been in a position to purchase a $185,000 three-bedroom home in Lincoln, Delaware, after a pal helped with the down fee. Their $1,150 mortgage isn’t way more than the lease on their one-bedroom condominium in Queens.
Bank cards have been Seale and Gilmore’s massive problem. They owed about $40,000, together with transferring bills and a few new furnishings bought in Delaware. Each of them had retired at a reasonably younger age – 62 – however felt they’d no selection however to return to work. Gilmore discovered a job at a neighborhood operation for a nationwide hospice group and, final September, landed a part-time place as a Presbyterian pastor. Seale has labored at a non-profit that helps seniors who need to age of their properties.
The additional earnings helped, however the debt was nonetheless going up. “We weren’t paying off as a lot [debt] as we have been spending,” Seale mentioned. “It doesn’t matter what I did, every part was nonetheless falling down round my shoulders.”
They only wanted to eliminate the debt. So Nanci Glindmyer, their private coach at Stand by Me 50+, beneficial a dependable debt consolidation firm, which took over and paid the couple’s bank card payments in return for a small charge. At first, they paid the corporate about $1,000 per 30 days, together with the $50 month-to-month administrative charge. However the funds dropped over time because the debt shrank. Clifton mentioned he felt relieved each time they have been notified that they’d paid off one other card. It took 4 years to remove the debt.
Stand by Me 50+, based in 2013, has assisted greater than 2,300 shoppers – most are retirees – with every kind of economic points. They assist shoppers apply for presidency help, pay medical payments, whittle down debt, or make choices about retiring.
To stop issues sooner or later, Glindmyer requested Seale and Gilmore to take a tough have a look at their bills. She mentioned they’d been spending an excessive amount of on eating places and holidays. Going over their family funds with Glindmyer “gave me much more readability about what our monetary scenario was, and I ended feeling so overwhelmed,” Gilmore mentioned.
When the couple have been lastly debt free, a couple of 12 months in the past, they splurged on a pleasant dinner in Rehoboth Seashore, Delaware. “We hadn’t gone out very a lot,” he mentioned, “so it was good to rejoice.”
Being freed from onerous bank card debt is certainly one thing to rejoice.
Final week, Squared Away profiled Peggy Grasty, a low-income retiree who additionally bought assist from a monetary coach at Stand by Me 50+. She is now receiving meals stamps and a few help paying her medical payments.
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