How can I afford my children's college?
What you're worried about: You want to help your kids by paying for college, co-signing loans or bailing them out in general.
What you should be concerned about instead: Fund your retirement.
"How will you retire if you drain your cash to fund Junior's archaeology degree at an expensive private school?" asks Jayne Di Vincenzo, president of Lions Bridge Financial in Newport News, Va. "If you have to pick, make sure you're OK for retirement first. People in their 30s sometimes pick their kids' education instead of themselves, thinking, 'I'll make up for this later.'"
The longer you wait, the tougher it is to catch up. Remember, your kids have years to work -- you don't, Bourke says. "I see people put themselves in financial jeopardy because they want so badly to help their children financially that they end up harming themselves."