Senior Living: Fulfilling Her Dream With a Reverse Mortgage

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grandmother living the dreamAfter the sudden death of her husband, Dorothy Duvall thought that her dream of traveling across the country in a motor home had been brought to a halt for good.

She and her husband had lived in several places along the East Coast and had taken their four children on numerous vacations across the country, so she imagined she would spend her retirement the same way. The couple talked about driving from their home in Fredrick, Md. to somewhere along the West Coast, where they dreamed of relaxing on the beach and sticking their feet in the Pacific Ocean. They planned to stop to do some sightseeing at many attractions across the country, including Yosemite Park and the Grand Canyon.

“But then he passed away, and I thought ‘There goes my dream,'” she recalled. “I knew I’d never have enough money to do it alone.”

Because the 61-year-old grandmother was not yet eligible to receive social security benefits, she struggled to live on a very limited income and often found herself staying home to conserve money. But then, tucked inside her monthly bank statement from M & T Bank, she read a brochure that turned her luck around.

Dorothy had received information about the bank’s reverse mortgage program, through which the equity she had accumulated by owning her home would be paid out to her before it was ever sold. Knowing that she couldn’t stand being isolated in her home for much longer, she contacted Barbara Hillard, a reverse mortgage specialist with M & T Bank. She was ecstatic when she found out the benefits she’d be receiving.

“It came at the perfect time and it was so simple,” Dorothy said. “All I did was meet with Barbara and think about how I was going to spend my money.”

Though she knew she wanted to pursue her dream of the motor home, Dorothy seriously considered the effect that the reverse mortgage would have on her children. She wanted to leave them with a sense of security, and found she would still be able to accomplish that in the present and in the future.

“The value of my home is still going up as we speak, so my children will be left with that inheritance when I eventually do sell it,” Dorothy said. “But even better, I can help them out financially now if the need ever arises, and I can watch them enjoy the money today instead of waiting 20 years.”

On her 62nd birthday, the date that marks her official eligibility for a reverse mortgage, the process of receiving the money and purchasing her new motor home will finally begin. Her son-in-law helped her find a used motor home in great condition, and once the transaction is complete Dorothy will pick it up right away. She is planning a trip to Florida with her grandchildren this spring.

“When I found out about the reverse mortgage from M & T and saw the motor home for sale, I knew my late husband was guiding me every step of the way,” she said. “My dream is picking back up now.”

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