Paying off your mortgage early is a highly debated topic among homeowners. Financial experts have differing opinions on a paid-off mortgage. For example, Dave Ramsey advocates paying off your mortgage while Ric Edelman prefers keeping a mortgage for as long as possible.
Here is a list of the pros and cons of paying off your mortgage early.
Pros of Paying Off Your Mortgage Early
- Save Money on Interest. You will end up paying a lot more for your home over the years due to mortgage interest. Compound interest is a powerful thing and will work against you as a homeowner with a mortgage. Paying off your mortgage early on a standard 30-year loan could save you hundreds of thousands of dollars in the long run.
- No More Monthly Payments. Paying your mortgage monthly is just another bill to worry about. Getting rid of your mortgage means no more monthly payments and lowers your cost of living. You can work fewer hours or follow your passion even if it pays less money.
- You Own The Home Outright. My grandfather was a proud man who owned his home and the land underneath it 100%. There is a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction when a part of God’s earth is yours and yours alone. My baby boomers’ parents are quite successful but having a mortgage robs them of the same pride my grandfather had.
- Peace of Mind. You will sleep extremely sound once your mortgage is 100% paid off. No more worrying about making payments or calculating all of the extra interest. You can focus on other problems knowing you only have to make annual property tax payments and keep up your house with routine maintenance.
- Lower Stress. Studies show debt holders have higher anxiety and stress than debt-free individuals. Being in debt makes you less healthy and more susceptible to illness.
- Easier Financial Situation for Your Heirs. Carrying a mortgage means your children or heirs will have to worry about your debts when you pass on. Nobody wants to be a burden on the next generation.
- Option for Early Retirement. Your mortgage will most likely be your #1 monthly expense. Many people work well into their 60’s and 70’s because they still have debts to pay off. Getting rid of your mortgage early gives you the option to work fewer hours or transition careers.
- Lower Cost of Living. Your mortgage makes up a good chunk of your monthly expenses. Getting rid of it means your cost of living decreases, which allows you to save more money and invest in assets such as stocks, bonds, REITs, or crypto.
Cons of Pay Off Your Mortgage Early
- Opportunity to Earn More by Investing. You could take your extra savings and invest in the stock market instead of making early mortgage payments. The S&P 500 returns around 8% over the long run however future returns aren’t guaranteed.
- Increase your Cash Flexibility. Holding onto cash gives you more financial flexibility in the short run. This could protect you from unexpected job loss or medical expenses.
What My Grandparents Taught Me About Paying Off Your Mortgage Early
I personally witnessed the benefits of a paid-off home when comparing my late grandparents to my baby boomer parents.
My grandfather believed in carrying as little debt as possible through life. He borrowed $40,000 for a house in America and paid off his mortgage in just 10 years. When my grandparents passed away, my Aunt inherited their home without any outstanding debts.
In contrast, both my parents carry mortgages on their homes even though they are in their 70’s. I honestly believe my grandfather understood the massive benefits of a paid-off house.
Keeping a mortgage gives you more cash in the short run but creates many problems in the long run. I prioritize health and happiness over more money in the bank because our lives should be free from worry and extra problems.
Paying off your mortgage early makes your life much easier in my opinion and gives you unlimited options in life. Consult with a financial advisor before you take any steps. I’m just sharing my opinion that I hate mortgages and avoid debt like the plague.