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.