DEAR BENNY: For the life of me I cannot fathom why all real estate people insist borrowers keep a mortgage going. My husband and I bought our house and paid it off in five years. Now, instead of getting a deduction off our taxes, we have our paychecks free and clear. I cannot see how paying $1,000 a month for 30 years would have been better. With that money in pocket we amassed nearly $1 million in savings. Here is what it allowed us to do: We paid outright for my college education. No huge debt on graduation!  We bought two rental properties, which we also paid off within 10 years and now collect all of the rent. We pay only the taxes. We bought a really nice boat that will be paid off in four years from the rents and no mortgage on our house.  ...