Battling Depression

Jerry has close to $500,000 in debt and is finding himself very depressed. He has the right spirit but has several issues he needs to clear up.

QUESTION: Jerry lost his job in April and he has depression. He is 55 and his 50-year-old wife is a teacher. They have lived on credit cards for years and have about $500,000 in total debt, $340,000 of which is on the house. He works 2 jobs and makes just more than minimum wage. There is more than just a money crisis going on here.

ANSWER: I’m not an expert on depression, but if I were in your shoes, the money and career problems would give me the blues, at least. We need to solve the career crisis. What solves this mathematically is selling the house, living on nothing and cleaning this mess up. You can’t afford this house; it’s got to go. You may sell a car as well, but if you do that you’ll have the debt worked down to about $100,000, and you can attack that with a $70,000 income. When you are active and intentional in your life, it fights your depression. I admire your work ethic, because you’re 55 years old and working 2 jobs. Lots of others wouldn’t do that, but you have the right kind of spirit and that’s what it will take to win.