Financial Fixes Save Senior’s Independence

Jennie, 79, was referred to Financial Pathways by the Department of Social Services. On a fixed monthly income of $958, all Jennie’s bills were late, her checking account was $500 overdrawn, and she depended on crises programs to pay for food and utilities. Her home and car insurance was about to be cancelled for non-payment; she was months behind on her car payment.

A senior money management counselor visited Jennie and learned that repairs were needed to keep her home safe and that she had an overdue credit card in her name, maxed out by a granddaughter. Looking at Jennie’s income, the counselor helped her complete a budget and begin to prioritize expenses. Next, the counselor set up a plan to catch up Jennie’s homeowner’s insurance and worked with the finance company to add the car payments to the end of her loan. Finally, she negotiated a payment plan with Duke Energy for Jennie to pay her late balance.

Over the next months, Financial Pathways arranged with the Shepherd’s Center of Kernersville’s Handyman Program to repair Jennie’s floor and helped her apply for Weatherization Assistance to insulate her home. Jennie’s power bill dropped dramatically. The counselor continued to work with Jennie on paying her monthly bills on time, reconciling her accounts, and looking for options to stretch her income further.

Today, Jennie receives meals on wheels, a low income subsidy to help pay for Medicare, and occasional free food from AniMeals for her cats. She has repaid the over-draft fees on her checking account and has saved $800 for emergencies. To the great relief of Jennie and her family, she is living independently in her home on a balanced budget.