DEAR ABBY: My wife and I are 50-year-old professionals who paid the cost for our two daughters' four-year college educations. Our oldest, "Lana," went on to law school and has incurred well in excess of $100,000 in law-school-loan debt. She has struggled to find a job as an attorney, and I'm no longer sure she still wants to practice law. Lana is married to a medical student who also has significant student-loan debt.

I made the mistake of telling Lana that her mother and I would help her pay off her student loans. I regret having opened my mouth. She and her husband spend their money on frivolous luxuries and are not responsible financially.

My wife and I live frugally. We withdrew money from our retirement accounts to help fund our daughters' college educations. We now need to increase our contributions.

Although we have always helped our children financially, we can no longer afford to trade our future financial security to support them. I would appreciate some advice. . n

— Spoke Too Soon in Pennsylvania

DEAR SPOKE TOO SOON: Before making any promises to your daughter, you should have reviewed your retirement plans with your financial adviser. It's still not too late to do that, and once you do you should immediately inform Lana that, upon review, you now realize that giving her more money will compromise your plans for retirement. It may be the wake-up call Lana needs that it's time to assume her own responsibilities.