You can now read 10 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Boston Globe

Business

The Color of Money

Before helping parents, get a picture of their finances

During a recent online discussion, one reader titled his post “Big, big problem.’’ It was not hyperbole. And his problem is one being faced by many adults. They are finding that their parents’ finances are a hot mess. Equally frustrating is the realization by these adult children that they don’t have enough money to fix it.

Here’s the situation with my reader: His parents are in their 70s. They want to sell the family home. But it turns out they owe $230,000 on a house with a market value of about $280,000. They bought it in 1979 for $100,000. Clearly, it should have been paid off.

Your comment is subject to the rules of our Posting Policy

This comment may appear on your public profile. Public Profile FAQ

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week