(This is Part 2 of a two-part series. Read Part 1, "Mortgage-interest tax break lacking in benefits.") When the last week of August quickly slipped into Labor Day weekend, the Cashen kids decided the time had come to take over the loan payments of the family cabin from their parents. Each of the three kids and their families had enjoyed their allotted time at the lakeside retreat fishing, water skiing, sailing and visiting with longtime lake families who, like them, had children of their own. The financial shift had been in the works for some time, yet was brought to a head when the folks refinanced the place on a 30-year, fixed-rate loan ("I'm not gambling on those ARMs," said Grandpa Gene) and had taken the $300,000 in funds to buy a condo in Tucson, Ariz. It was not the first time the lake place had been refinanced. Gene pulled out cash for two college tuitions and years ago plunked down $7,000 to secure a spot for his mom at a popular nursing home. The lake home has bee...
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