How to Get Out of $32,000 of Debt at Age 70
April 1st, 2015
Can you imagine being $32,000 in debt at the age of 70? Dave and Marilyn Sellick don’t have to imagine, as they lived through this reality for 4 and a half years.
After realizing that they had $32,000 of credit card and government debt, along with $30,000 of debt remaining owed on their vehicle, the Sellick’s had no choice but to do something, and do something fast. “I suddenly realized I was at that point, and if I was ever going to get clear, I needed to resolve it,” said Dave.
Now 73 years old, Dave will be able to retire at the end of the calendar year. “We lived, and we survived. There is life after credit cards,” he said.
In 2011, the Sellick’s called Money Mentors and made an appointment after researching the organization online. “Luckily, Stacey became our counsellor,” said Dave.
THE MONEY MENTORS EXPERIENCE
After Stacey presented the Sellick’s with their options, the Orderly Payment of Debts (OPD) program was the best choice for them to get out of their financial situation quickly and in a cost-effective manner.
While on the OPD program, the Sellick’s discounted using credit cards to prevent going into further debt. The Sellick’s were placed on a cash-based diet, in which Marilyn organized everything into an envelope style system.
“Stacey made our budget so that we didn’t feel deprived, we didn’t feel smothered. I mean, it was hard work to follow – but once I got into that routine and actually saw where our money was going it was eye-opening,” said Marilyn. “The further along we went, the more encouraging it was.”
Marilyn and Dave appreciated the confidentiality and the truly compassionate counselling they received from Stacey.
“She really went beyond what any normal counsellor would go to personally, and was excited over our triumphs. I think that makes all the difference in the world, to have someone rooting for you,” said Marilyn.
HOW DID IT GET THERE?
Both Marilyn and Dave explained that their debt came from many different areas of life, some costs unavoidable, others – wants over needs. Being avid travellers, the couple would spend in the moment, and worry about bills later.
“I was brought up in a home where you didn’t buy anything if you couldn’t afford it,” said Marilyn. “When I married Dave, Dave was spend today, worry about it next year.”
Often, relationships and money can become tricky. It is important to have the tough conversations about finances early on, so that in the long run, things aren’t as damaging.
“Instead of my ways passing on to him, I just fell into it,” said Marilyn. “It becomes a habit, and you don’t stop to think about the consequences.”
Marilyn and Dave wouldn’t trade those memories for anything, but they both agreed that there is a more sensible way to budget and spend.
LIFE AFTER DEBT
You could see nothing but smiles and pure joy come off of the Sellick’s as they described their feelings after overcoming this mountain of debt. “The day I paid the car off I thought, wow – for the first time in my life I don’t owe anyone anything,” said Dave.
Changing their old habits, the Sellick’s now opt for staycations or cost-effective activities such as going to church every Sunday. One great example would be their 30th anniversary trip, which was a road-trip along the Oregon coast.
The couple rented a car and drove the coast, with nothing but cash. Marilyn gushed, explaining that they had a great time.
Dave and Marilyn are grateful to Money Mentors, and more importantly – Stacey. “They saved our financial lives,” said Dave. The Sellick’s are now being cautious as Dave heads towards retirement.
The one piece of advice Dave would give to his old self, when it comes to finances, would be to “Do it sooner. I should have done it 3 years sooner.”
Money Mentors would like to congratulate Dave and Marilyn on being debt free and having the courage to share their story with us!
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