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Should I invest or pay off mortgage?

Extra principal payment each month may shave 12 years off home loan
Published on Feb 4, 2004

The letters and e-mails early in the year – especially from empty nesters and aging boomers – seem to focus on long-term planning. For example, last week "Mickey" wanted to know if he should sock more cash away into his 401k retirement plan or pay down his mortgage. "Earl" asked if it made sense to invest in a Dow Jones company's stock or throw the money directly at the principal portion of his home loan. I've always been a pay-it-off kind of guy when it comes to home loans. I believe there is a huge benefit – financial and philosophical – to owning the roof over your head. When that roof now covers your office, as it does for millions of small business owners across the country, isn't there an extra incentive to make a bigger dent in the domestic debt load as we get older? Many financial planners will tell you folks simply don't focus on stashing away retirement dollars until the loan on the family home is paid in full. With the cost of living, coupled wi...

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