My mother sold her house and made a nice profit in 2007. Yet now she's in debt and owes me over $1,500. I'm 30 years old and planning a wedding this year. At what point should a child not be responsible for helping a parent who has made bad financial choices? -- Matt, Annapolis, Md.
My wife and I are 62 and just starting to take Social Security. We're thinking about taking out a reverse mortgage and using it as a line of credit. The extra money could come in handy. What do you think? -- S.W., Red Oak, Texas
Thanks to new federal rules, reverse mortgages don't have to sting as much at the outset. Previously these loans -- which let owners 62 or older borrow against their home and don't have to be paid back until the owner moves or dies -- always carried high upfront fees.
QUESTION: I'm a 73-year-old widow who receives about $1,150 a month from Social Security and a pension. I own a small home valued at about $100,000, but no other assets. I have about $25,000 in debt that requires payments of $600 a month.
Many of us wonder what role we should play in our parents' finances. Should we pry and ask about their savings, investments and insurance coverage? Or should we just cross our fingers and hope they've got their bases covered?