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Tough times at every age, every turn

No matter how bleak your own situation is, when you see senior citizens charged with robbing banks, as is the case with an elderly New York executive with a home in the suburbs, you know times are tough. Police aren’t saying what allegedly prompted 71-year-old financial advisor Edward M. Solomon — described as a devoted grandfather, good neighbor and valued employee – to rob a Peekskill bank of $5,900 in cash.

But The New York Times reported that money woes were an issue: Solomon had to give up a Connecticut home in 1995 to satisfy creditors and had borrowed against his current home in Westchester. Peekskill Police Chief Eugene S. Tumolo told the Associated Press that in an economic downturn, “many people who were living comfortably now will be driven to extreme measures as their income begins to dissolve and their style of living begins to diminish significantly.”

His lieutenant, Eric Johansen, told The New York Times that bad times often create unlikely crimes. “We do find that desperate people do desperate things,” he said. “This wasn’t a junkie trying to support his habit, it was a 71-year-old man who may have fallen on hard times. For everyone affected by this, there probably aren’t a lot of dry eyes.”

What are you doing in times of crisis to make ends meet? Share your best practices for stretching your unemployment benefits and saving in ways you hadn’t thought possible.

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