Families Coping: A retired couple faces challenges in tough economy

TOLEDO (WTOL) - In our Families Coping series, we meet retirees who've worked their entire lives to build a future, only to see that sense of security vanish in an economic crisis.

Al and Rose Geha have lived lives that are the very definition of the American dream. Al was born in Lebanon and came to the U.S. through Ellis Island. His dad built a modest life for his family here in Toledo.

"My father was in the grocery business, and we had a number of grocery stores -- one here, one there," Al said.

Al put himself through college and made a good career for himself in the medical field. Rose came to the U.S. from Egypt after meeting Al during his service in the military. She also went into medicine.

In fact, life worked out so well for them, they decided to spend time volunteering for various charitable organizations, including United Way.

"We felt that we should actually do something for other people, because we're able to," Al said.

For them it's been a life of good choices: working hard, saving, living within their means.

"We never really splurged too much. If we didn't have the money we just wouldn't buy anything," Rose said.

But even with a life lived well, there are still huge concerns right now. Dwindling retirement investments, worrying about the future for their kids and grandkids -- and especially healthcare. This was especially brought home when Al had a bout with cancer.

It's the unsettling frustration of knowing you've done everything right and that you still have to wonder if it will be enough. There's so much for all of us to learn from couples like the Gehas. And, sure enough, we'll hear more from them in the coming months.