My Husband is Disabled and I’m Not Sure What to Do. – Athena

“Dear Steve,

My husband ,42,became disablied this spring, and just won his disability last month. So far all the doctors, including local univerity hospital, have been unable to diagnous the nuerolgial problem, but guess it will continue to get worse until he is unable to talk and move. He can still do many thing now, but cannot walk unaided, or type well. Use to earn about $100K. We have two girls, 9 and 13. I have been a stay at home mom for 9 years. We live on an acre, with a mortgage of $165,00, house tax value about $280,000. The girls have been in private school, and we own a motorhome, owing $78,000 on it,. It blue books at $75,000 but we don’t think we could sell it for that.

We are at a sudden crisis, as his very generous ex-boss paid him full wages and benefits before the social security money came in, and p romised us the difference after the benefit came. Now he is unable to give us any more. So we are forced to find a Plan B. We pulled $20K out of his 401K to pay for medical bills and a major remodel to accomate my husband downstairs in his wheelchair. We only have $40K left. I do not have any money in a 401K. With only the disabilty money we are almost $1500 a month short of what we usually spend.

How do we decide what to sell and how to downsize? Should I go back to work and leave my husband at home (I don’t feel safe doing that), and with my skills my income couldn’t cover all current expenses. My husband wants to sell the house and move the family into the RV, touring the country and spending his last few good years together, homeschooling. Another idea is to sell both house and RV, and move the family into a mobile-park, buying the mobile-home with the equily.

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Thank you for your time.


Dear Athena,

I actually like your husband’s plan. If his time is limited and his condition will grow worse it does not seem like being able to travel and spend more quality time with you guys is a bad idea. Actually sounds like something I’d do.

The key here is that no matter what you do you will need to be able to live within the disability income now coming in. Taking more money from investments to pay for things is a dead end road.

You’ll also need to think ahead about what will happen if or when the time comes that he needs to settle down in a place without wheels. How will you care for your family then?

But for now, enjoy your travels, your time together and cherish those wonderful memories you will create. Take lots of pictures!

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P.S. Be sure to read ‘The Secret of Surviving Through Difficult Economic Times. What I Learned On My Journey‘.

Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

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2 thoughts on “My Husband is Disabled and I’m Not Sure What to Do. – Athena”

  1. Thank you so much for giving a response right away. Your answer helps me see his idea in a new light. Giving up the house, yard, neighbors,stability, and being near family is a hard thing, but many women have given up more to follow their husbands dreams.

    • Athena,

      Yes, that is a huge leap of faith and adjustment but if you can find a way to open yourself up to the excitement of not knowing what will be around the next corner it will be a grand adventure with memories to last a lifetime.

      With all that you’ve been through and the current situation I think the comfort of stability is an illusion. If you didn’t set off on this trip of a lifetime you would have to give up the house and move and that would cause some instability in itself.

      Thankfully easy internet access is available while on the road and staying in touch with families and friends will be easier than it ever has been before.

      Safe travels.



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