Ask Terry Questions Mortgage Payoff

Mortgage Payoff

By Terry Savage on January 05, 2019 | Financial Planning / Retirement

I have a mortgage balance of $138,000 at 3 3/8%. I’m thinking about paying off my mortgage but since I have such a low interest rate, would I be better off investing? I’ve heard both sides, yes and no. I’m within a year of retiring and no other debt.

Terry Says

I don’t think you’ve considered all the correct alternatives!  I always advise people to pay off their mortgage before retiring — BUT, not in this case!  That incredibly low fixed rate is a gift!  Now consider the alternatives.  I’m assuming that since you considered paying it off, you have cash.  So put that cash in a safe place like U.S. Treasury bills.  You’ll only earn about 2.5 percent — but the mortgage interest is tax deductible, so it’s close to a wash.  And you get the added benefit of liquidity and flexibility.  Don’t necessarily rush into investments without considering the impact of any potential loss at this stage of your life.  There’s nothing wrong with having a pile of “chicken money” at this stage of your life and at this stage of the market and the economy.

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