If you still owe money on your home as you approach retirement, you’ve got a bit of a decision to make. Should you focus more of your income into paying off the mortgage, or should you save that money back into your retirement account instead? Let’s look at mortgages and the best strategies for paying them off.
As You Approach Retirement
As you approach retirement age, you might start eyeballing that mortgage balance. If you put an extra $1,500 per month into it, for instance, maybe you’ll pay it off before you retire. Should you, though? Is that the highest priority to put your money into?
Generally speaking, you should focus more on growing your retirement savings than paying off your mortgage. This especially becomes important if your loan is likely to last longer than you’ll likely be alive. Since you can write off part of the mortgage interest rate on your taxes, you can consider its interest a bit lower in your finances.
Consider what you could do with your money instead of paying off your home. You could invest it in your retirement account, diversifying it across funds that will result in a higher guaranteed return on your money than you would see if you were to funnel more of that money into your mortgage.
In short, if the loan is likely to outlive you, don’t get in a hurry to pay it off unless the interest rate exceeds the average interest rate of your investments.
When You Have the Money
A tough call to make when you have enough money saved up is whether to pay off your mortgage. You’ve got the money sitting in savings, or you’ve got enough across your various assets and investments. In general, the best call here is to look at your mortgage interest rate and compare that to the interest your money is accruing. If the mortgage has a higher interest rate, pay it off. If not, let your money keep growing!