Ask Terry Questions Parents Plus Loan in retirement

Parents Plus Loan in retirement

By Terry Savage on June 13, 2015 |

Terry, we have an outstanding balance on our sons student loan of $86,000#. My husband is a retired firefighter from on the job disability. I’ve been retired for a year now. We are both 61 and 62 years old. He has always been in the construction business, and is currently a construction manager. We still have a mortgage ‘at a low rate’ (due mostly from borrowing against for our 2 other children’s education), and our bills are currently manageable. We do have some investments other than our home. My concern is when he retires. He has health issues which resulted in us going into forbearnace, but the interest accrued is tremendous! Is there any type of forgiveness or negotiating down with the federal government, or is it better to refinance at a payment that we can manage in our budget. I appreciate any information you can provide – thank you so very much…….

Terry Says:  I started to give you some advice, but then I realized something is missing here:  Where are your sons??  What are they doing to repay the loans???  Just because you took out the loans  doesn’t meant they don’t have some responsibility here!  After all, your mortgage is also a kind of student loan, since the money was used for them.  What kind of sons let a disabled dad and retired mom go into financial trouble because they aren’t contributing to loan repayment!?  (Yes, a lot of exclamation points — thank goodness I don’t have an editor looking at this — but I’m really serious!)

Second, have you two done a financial plan?  I certainly understand if your husband had to retire because of disability– but why are you retired?  Age 61 0r 62 and retired leaves you exposed to a lot of future expenses, including healthcare costs (although I’m assuming you have medical coverage from his union) –and a continuing mortgage obligation.  What am I missing here?  How are you planning to live for the next 30 years?

If you want to write back with more details, that’s fine and I don’t have to publish them. Otherwise, I’d suggest you contact a fee only financial planner ( and have a meeting so you have a better idea of how to deal with your finances now and in the future.

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