"To maintain her long-time home and her financial independence, Bonnie secured a reverse mortgage."
Bonnie is Ohio strong! At 79, she is a survivor, a thriver, independent, and rooted to her land the way few Americans are. She and her husband John built their home from the foundation up — and even though he has passed, she isn’t going anywhere.
Home is where her heart is, and where it will always be.
When you talk to Bonnie, you can hear the pride ooze out of her. Her father was a tougher-than-hickory mathematical genius who invented a warehousing system still in use today. Her husband John was a successful international sales correspondent for Reliance Electric. It was love at first sight 47 years ago, when they took apart a carburetor together on their living room floor.
As for Bonnie, she is a mother of two daughters and is a multitalented painter, ceramicist, and, during her working years, a talented secretary.
Like anyone approaching 80, Bonnie will tell you life hasn’t always been a bed of roses, or if it has, she acknowledges there have been a few thorns mixed in. She lost her husband to cancer 14 years ago and her daughter Carson four short years ago. And she deals with severe back pain, which she hopes will ease with an upcoming operation circled on her calendar.
As colorful and fulfilling as her life has been, Bonnie isn’t looking back. She has a whole lot of living still to do.
“I’ve got genetics on my side,” she said, proudly mentioning relatives whose longevity has flirted with the century mark.
So, anticipating a long life ahead, Bonnie started thinking about the best way to sustain herself and her independent lifestyle — out in the country, in a home that was starting to show its age.
“I’m a solutionizer,” Bonnie said, noting she has been taking care of others since she was 15.
Mechanically gifted — she credits her dad for that — she logically started putting the financial pieces together that would help her enjoy the next quarter century. Topping her checklist was developing a plan assuring she could remain in the home she loved for the rest of her life. If her “home” plan included a reverse mortgage loan, she would remain responsible for the upkeep of her home, the payment of property taxes and homeowners insurance, and complying with the loan terms.
“It’s where my roots are,” said Bonnie, who attended Aurora High School, where her grandchildren now attend. “I have family that goes back to the Civil War, mostly privates and sergeants.
“I’ve traveled the world and haven’t seen a place any better than what I have here. I belong here.”
Bonnie also wanted to pull some cash out of her fully paid-off house to upgrade the electrical panel and other infrastructure to support the new solar-powered electric system she recently had installed to replace the gas well that went out on her property.
Bonnie began doing some research before settling on a reverse mortgage loan as the best solution to help her achieve her goals.
As for selecting the company that could best help meet her needs, she chose AAG.
“I kept seeing Tom Selleck in the commercials, and I was fond of him in the first place,” she said. “My thinking was he would not go on TV and tell lies. But I did more research and found AAG was No. 1 and had the best reputation.”
Bonnie also consulted with her daughter and a financial planner before moving forward with her decision.
“We went over the pros and cons, and we agreed it was a good step,” Bonnie said, adding that while she consulted her daughter, she never asked for her permission.
“I’m the matriarch of the family, I don’t ask for permission.”
In her talks, Bonnie made it clear a reverse mortgage was a way for her to make herself “as independent as possible.”
“You have to be frank with yourself,” Bonnie added, “about what you expect from your money, yourself and your children.”
With Bonnie, you know she’s not going to white-wash or sugar-coat anything. She admitted that between having her new solar electric system installed and learning how to run it, on top of getting a reverse mortgage during a pandemic, she didn’t suffer a dull moment.
“My life has been like a rodeo,” Bonnie said, adding in her direct, determined style that she didn’t let what was sometimes a bumpy ride buck her off her stride. She was going to take her goal of living safely, securely, and, most of all, independently to the finish.
She has achieved that and more. Once again, Bonnie is looking to the future. Her solar-powered home is now producing excess energy and her modified tenure reverse mortgage is performing as planned, providing her with exactly the security and peace of mind that were her foremost goals. The few cold nights she spent, wrapped in a blanket and body-length heating pad when her gas heater went out last December, are now but a chilly memory.
“My life is better now with a reverse mortgage,” Bonnie said.
Although Bonnie no longer faces the burden of monthly mortgage payments, she is still responsible for the upkeep of her home and the payment of property taxes and homeowners insurance, according to her loan terms.
Her reverse mortgage loan has given a little extra peace of mind.
“It’s the security of being able to maintain my life the way it is,” Bonnie added.
“And at 80, that’s a good thing.”
[Clients were paid for their time. Their statements are their own.]