Just as I turned 50, the school district where I worked ran out of funding for my part-time position. My husband and I had taken out $350,000 in Parent Plus loans at 8% interest to pay room and board at college for our first two kids; they paid their own tuition.

As the last one prepared for college, I realized we were in way over our heads. I had a panicky moment where I said, "You know, I don't think we can pay for this house and for the kids as well."

I told my husband, who owns his own business and has always been the family's real breadwinner, "You know that lemonade I make for the kids? I'm going to bottle that up and sell it from here to New York, and somebody is gonna come along and give me a big check and we'll pay off all the loans." I even had a name: Lori's Original Lemonade.

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