HONOLULU (KHNL)- While many can only watch as their investments drop in value during this financial crisis, some seniors and retirees are taking action to free up their money, when they need it most.
87 year old Bernard Sorem has been retired for 15 years.
For a while, things looked good, for him financially.
"Up to about 3 years ago, we were sitting pretty, no problems in the world," said the Nuuanu resident.
But as the stock market crashed so have his future plans.
"Financially we're hurting!"
Even though his nest egg has shrunk, he needs to move to a retirement community now before its too late, because his wife Asako has emphysema.
"She's 65 I'm 87. We have to move into a spot so when I'm no longer on this earth, she is well taken care of"
The Sorems are not alone, many other seniors are facing similar struggles.
"They're very concerned about their future and how they are going to afford it," said Jan Kaeo, with 15 Craigside.
"A lot of people are having to postpone retirement. Especially in the financial turmoil happening now," added Doug Page, with Senior Life Solutions.
For many seniors on fixed incomes, there aren't a lot of financial options but this summer lawmakers at the State Capitol passed legislation to regulate a new alternative. Called a life settlement program.
"Under the program, they're able to sell their life insurance policy for cash, to use in any way they want to," said Page.
Like reverse mortgages, life settlements give retirees access to money now and may just be the solution to the financial struggles the Sorems have been facing.
Life settlements could also benefit those who can no longer afford the cost of life insurance premiums, or don't need the insurance anymore. But it is always best to talk with a money professional before you do anything, as each case is different.