I became disabled due to a workplace accident and recently received $185,000 after deductions for lawyer fees. Back in 2011, I was facing foreclosure and was unable to take care of our children. In 2014, I started receiving Social Security Disability Insurance.
During our divorce, my ex-husband filed motions for child support. I couldn’t afford a lawyer to defend myself, so I didn’t fight back. The judge awarded me $17,000 in tuition in 2014. My ex-husband earns $140,000 a year, while I earn $28,000 plus some extra income from a part-time job. Due to my limited mobility, I can’t work for long periods.
In 2017, my lawyer lost a case regarding a change in circumstances, and my ex-husband won a $78,000 settlement against me. Now, I am facing a bill of $107,000 for care that Medicare won’t cover. I also have to maintain a house that needs $20,000 to $30,000 in repairs. Living in a high-tax state is financially challenging with my current income.
I have $193,000 in equity in my home, with a remaining mortgage balance of $140,000. Renting in my town starts at $1,700 per month. Currently, my mortgage repayments are $1,340, and my total monthly expenses amount to $3,200. After Medicare deductions, I receive $2,600. I also own a 2010 Honda with over 103,000 miles, which is necessary where I live.
As a 64-year-old with daily chronic pain, life is not easy. I have a small credit card debt ($2,000), and my property taxes are frozen at $6,000 per year. I’m worried about a financial collapse and would appreciate any advice or words of wisdom.
The first step to avoid a financial collapse is to take things one day at a time. It’s overwhelming to see all your challenges at once, so focus on tackling them gradually. If you need legal assistance, look into free legal aid services provided by your state’s bar association or local legal-aid office. Prioritize paying off high-interest debts like your credit card debt and mortgage. Explore ways to reduce your monthly expenses.
Nonprofit financial-counseling organizations like the National Foundation for Credit Counseling and American Consumer Credit Counseling can help you create a budget. Support groups like Debtors Anonymous can provide a safe space for sharing your experiences and learning from others.
You might consider taking in a roommate or looking into a reverse mortgage on your property. Reverse mortgages allow you to tap into your home’s equity, with the lender paying you instead of the other way around. To qualify, you either need to own your home outright or have a low enough mortgage balance that can be paid off using the reverse mortgage funds. Even if it’s not an immediate solution, it could be an option in the future.
Research senior support services in your area, which can provide transportation, medical appointments, and Medicaid waivers for home care. Seek advice from your children or friends and remember that you don’t have to go through this alone.
This article is rephrased by an AI to enhance readability. Original article source: MarketWatch