I have tried to read most of the replies, but let me add my own 2 cents worth.- First, in addition to the danger of using the pension to bail out the credit cards, the money they take out is not working for them. In order for the full annual payout to be there when they retire, the pensions have to be working at full potential.- Second, It looks like a number of those credit cards are on default rates, so I strongly agree that credit reports need to be checked and any problems addressed.- Third, you mention a mortgage but not whether there is any equity in the house. Usually I do not like the idea of using a home as collateral to pay down debt, but in this case if the credit report is not damaged, it may be worthwhile exploring to significantly reduce the finance costs.- The journey must start with your parents. They need to define their budget. They need to make a decision to cut their expenses. They need to be comfortable with drawing on their pension or their mortgage and understand the risks.- They may have to consider delaying retirement in order to secure all their dreams. It would be a bad situation for them to take on a retired life they can not yet afford before or just after paying off their working lives.- Both are elligible for Traditional IRA contributions and should consider utilizing the extra $500 annual catchup contribution to which they are elligible as a means of reducing their tax liabilities and applying the savings towards debt.- Most of all, you have to resign yourself to the idea that you can not fix their financial situation. You are starting your own life, and you have to begin building your own financial future, whatever decisions your parents make for themselves.FuskieWho joins all other Fools in wishing you well...
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