Reverse Mortgage Story: From Poverty to Provision

August 16, 2023
How a reverse mortgage helped a senior woman in need

When seniors face unexpected financial circumstances, a reverse mortgage could be the answer to their situation. Here’s a true story of one of our customers, who was able to greatly benefit from a reverse mortgage.

The Situation

Joellen’s only family was her son, John — a veteran who had been sending her money every month. Joellen was so proud of John, and she enjoyed sharing stories of his military awards; he was her everything.

About six months before Joellen met our Waterstone Mortgage Reverse Mortgage Specialist (RMS), John had unexpectedly passed away. Of course, Joellen was devastated, both emotionally and financially. She had a very small social security income because she had chosen to be a stay-at-home parent most of her life. She had no retirement assets and now — without the help her son had been giving her — she was existing on a poverty-level income.

It was January, and Joellen never turned on her heat. She was very thin and had to bundle up head-to-toe every day in her home. She needed a new roof and property taxes were due soon. She had no way of paying for heat, let alone the property taxes.

Joellen had paid off her house years ago and wanted to stay in the home she loved until the day she died. Someone at her church told her she needed to talk to a mutual friend, who happened to be our Waterstone Mortgage RMS.

Joellen delayed and resisted until she couldn’t afford to buy groceries. Fortunately, her friend from church kept urging her to call the RMS. Joellen was afraid of reverse mortgages. She told our RMS all the terrible things she had heard about them. He listened to her fears, and asked if he could share what he knew. When our RMS was finished addressing Joellen’s concerns and explaining how reverse mortgages really worked, she said she was surprised by all the myths she had heard.

The Solution

Joellen got her reverse mortgage, and now she has a new roof and a remodeled kitchen. She also receives $1,200 deposited into her bank account every month for as long as she lives in the home and has a “safety net” in a reverse mortgage line of credit (RLOC). Best of all, she has peace of mind and a great plan to stay in the home she loves. After this experience, our RMS said his life was also changed forever, and he knew this was the exact way he was meant to serve.

Is there someone in your life (ages 62+) who might benefit from a reverse mortgage? We offer complimentary consultations. Contact a trusted Reverse Mortgage Specialist at Waterstone Mortgage to get started.

It’s our goal to help senior citizens create a more financially stable and secure retirement.


Based on the location of the property, Waterstone Mortgage loan applications may be referred to another loan originator within the company. Property and borrower eligibility requirements apply. Loan becomes due and payable when the last remaining borrower (or eligible spouse) sells the property, permanently leaves the home or passes away. Taxes, insurance, and repairs are the responsibility of the borrower and must be maintained to avoid early repayment of the entire loan amount. Consult a tax advisor for questions about tax and government benefit implications.