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Old 08-11-2011, 09:43 PM   #81
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I paid off my mortgage 8 years ago and never told anyone.

A few months later, I was sitting in my boss's office (she was one who loved to spend, spend, spend) with another co-worker. The boss was in the midst of a jumbo mortgage refi on her million dollar house, so she turned to both of us and asked about our mortgage rates and how many years we still had left on our mortgages. The look on her face when I told her I didn't have a mortgage was PRICELESS! I also sensed that my innocent comment sort of turned the tide, so to speak, as my hard-charging boss then realized that she didn't have much leverage with me.

I've often heard that bosses love to have employees with huge debt...as that keeps them motivated and interested in working overtime, etc. I've read that this is a way of life in commission-based sales departments: where the sales culture supports "living large" (big houses, fancy late-model cars, expensive vacations, etc.) This then keeps the employees focused on making lots of sales commissions to try to pay for the lifestyle. A vicious circle.

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Old 08-11-2011, 09:46 PM   #82
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When I was a fresh-faced young associate at a big law firm, a crusty old partner once said to me "The Firm likes you to have a big mortgage." I'm afraid I didn't hew to the company line on that.
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Old 08-12-2011, 09:36 AM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bestwifeever
Ahem--happy to share that we just paid off our mortgage 45 minutes ago.

Congrats!!
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Old 08-12-2011, 09:42 AM   #84
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All of my friends and family already know I am a bit obsessed with retiring early and thus saving money and getting out of debt are huge prioritites in my life. I talk about it all the time!

I am going to have my mortgage paid off one year from now. I was planning on having a mortgage burning party and spend what I am now spending per month on my accelerated mortgage pay down. I thought my friends and family would be happy for me as it would be my last major step in achieving my goals. Plus, I simply like to party with friends!

The responses on here are a bit surprising to me and have me second guessing my plans. It makes me question my real motivation for this party. In my head I was wanting to have the partying to celebrate an accomplishment with friends. I wonder if deep down, I am doing to just make it obvious that I have accomplished something almost nobody else I know has so far? Hmmmmm....
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Old 08-12-2011, 09:50 AM   #85
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Don't second guess Skyvue! Have the party! They WILL be happy for you, because they are your friends. And they'll be even happier because they know you can spring for the good stuff now that you are mortgage-free.

But, I must admit that part of the reason I wanted to have the party was to demonstrate that reaching big hairy audacious goals like being mortgage free really is possible, even for people of modest means.

I read somewhere that we are most influenced by the 5 people with whom we spend the most time. So if these are the peeps I want to hang out with, I think that I should model the kind of behavior that supports sound financial and personal goals.
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Old 08-12-2011, 09:52 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by Bestwifeever
Thanks, everyone. Just updated the budget spreadsheet and both DH and I are grinning ear to ear. Everyone's situation is different but for us this made so much sense at this point in our lives.
My budget workbook had a sheet for every scenario for my situation and tax implications over 50 years of retirement:

1 home/no mortgage, sold rental (debt-free)
1 home/mortgage, sold rental
1 home, 1 rental, 1 mortgage
1 home/mortgage, 1 rental/mortgage

No matter how much I tweaked to favor mortgages, the debt-free sheet came out way on top. I'm not much of a Dave Ramsey fan but I agree with him on this.

Enjoy the freedom, BWE!
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Old 08-12-2011, 09:55 AM   #87
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I am going to have my mortgage paid off one year from now. I was planning on having a mortgage burning party and spend what I am now spending per month on my accelerated mortgage pay down. I thought my friends and family would be happy for me as it would be my last major step in achieving my goals. Plus, I simply like to party with friends!

Don't Burn That Mortgage! - T-V Law
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Should your burn your mortgage when it is returned to you from the lender? My advice is to make sure a release of mortgage is recorded and keep the returned documents in a safe place. Burn a steak on the grill to celebrate the payoff of a mortgage instead.
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Old 08-12-2011, 09:55 AM   #88
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Silly King! Of course we burned a copy of ours, not the original!
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Old 08-12-2011, 10:11 AM   #89
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All of my friends and family already know I am a bit obsessed with retiring early and thus saving money and getting out of debt are huge prioritites in my life. I talk about it all the time!

I am going to have my mortgage paid off one year from now. I was planning on having a mortgage burning party and spend what I am now spending per month on my accelerated mortgage pay down. I thought my friends and family would be happy for me as it would be my last major step in achieving my goals. Plus, I simply like to party with friends!

The responses on here are a bit surprising to me and have me second guessing my plans. It makes me question my real motivation for this party. In my head I was wanting to have the partying to celebrate an accomplishment with friends. I wonder if deep down, I am doing to just make it obvious that I have accomplished something almost nobody else I know has so far? Hmmmmm....
You should have that party ONLY if you invite all of us. I'll bring some champagne.

Most definitely it is a time to celebrate with the people who know you've been working toward that goal.
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Old 08-12-2011, 12:27 PM   #90
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Ahem--happy to share that we just paid off our mortgage 45 minutes ago.

CONGRATULATIONS!

It been a few years for us but the feeling of security and a solid foundation is always there.
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Old 08-12-2011, 12:27 PM   #91
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Am I the only one who moved every 5 years for some reason or another? I sold a house, grabbed the profit I made, and rolled over the tax basis for the old house into a new one. I had rental property too. Sometime I would move into a nice rental house and make it my personal residence - thus avoiding any capital gains tax on the (former) rental house.

Several times I converted a garage into a small granny flat. That added a ton of extra income, and I enjoyed building decks out the back of the garage, er, new apartment. Being a handyman and civil engineer made converting according to the building code easy and held the cost down.

When I sold my last house, at age 55 and retired to Indonesia back in 2002, I took the one-time capital gains exception. Get this!.. I traced the tax basis for that last house, back 14 different houses, to 1973 when I bought my first house in San Diego for $15,000 (a massive fixer-upper) - so the one-time capital gains tax exception really was a $300,000 tax avoidance.

Funny thing, I am kind of Hobo with 3 former wives (and the mother-in-laws hated me). But I never even consider "paying off" my mortgage. When I sold my last house I still had a mortgage, but the equity in the house was quite large. That was a big part of my ER calculations.

Do most of you live in the same house for 20 or 30 years, slowly paying off your mortgage? Then celebrate when it is paid off? Well, as they say in Indonesia, "different rice fields, different grasshoppers".
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Old 08-12-2011, 12:35 PM   #92
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Hurray! We are quite a ways behind you, but chipping away as hard as we can.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bestwifeever View Post
Ahem--happy to share that we just paid off our mortgage 45 minutes ago.

Until I joined this forum, I thought paying off the mortgage was everybody's Holy Grail - never realized people could have so many well-thought-out reasons for keeping a mortgage. I still haven't found a reason that really applies to our situation, though!

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Old 08-12-2011, 12:40 PM   #93
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Do most of you live in the same house for 20 or 30 years, slowly paying off your mortgage? Then celebrate when it is paid off?
Ummm..... think the idea is that you pay it off, and then if/when you move you can buy the next house in ca$h, using your profit from the previous paid off home. Once you have paid off your house once, that's the end of it (unless you plan to upsize). I paid mine off in 4 years and have lived here 5 additional years with no mortgage or rent whatsoever, which lowers my overall living expenses by maybe 1/3rd and in my case is a happy thing for me as well. I will never have another mortgage, even if I do choose to move.

Those who don't choose to make extra payments, and instead pay off their mortgage on schedule in 15-30 years, are in the same happy situation. When they sell their homes, they can take the proceeds and buy the next home in cash if desired.

Those who move before the mortgage is paid off can put all the equity in the next home, which is then closer to being paid off - - moving doesn't erase your progress in paying off a home, unless you decide to spend the equity on something else.
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Old 08-12-2011, 12:48 PM   #94
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Do most of you live in the same house for 20 or 30 years, slowly paying off your mortgage? Then celebrate when it is paid off? Well, as they say in Indonesia, "different rice fields, different grasshoppers".
We built our house in 2003 and paid it off in 2009. Nothing slow about that!
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Old 08-12-2011, 01:14 PM   #95
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Bestwife, Congratulations on paying off that house, I'm sure that feels really good!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hobo View Post
Do most of you live in the same house for 20 or 30 years, slowly paying off your mortgage? Then celebrate when it is paid off? Well, as they say in Indonesia, "different rice fields, different grasshoppers".
We bought our first house in 1977,
moved and bought our 2nd in 1979,
moved and bought our 3rd in 1985,
moved and bought our 4th in 1986,
moved and bought our 5th in 1992,
paid it off in 1999.

Each time we sold and bought, we increased our equity, then paid it off a couple of months before kid #1 started college.
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Old 08-12-2011, 01:39 PM   #96
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"different rice fields, different grasshoppers".
We ought to increase our repertoire of insect metaphors. I'm one of the ones who hates being in debt --- I believe others here are like that, but I don't know an appropriate insect. In my case, it's not really rational to dislike debt so much. I rented for a long time (couldn't afford to buy), putting some savings into securities, until I could manage to buy with just a 10 year mortgage. I don't think I could have faced 30 years in debt.
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Old 08-12-2011, 02:27 PM   #97
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Am I the only one who moved every 5 years for some reason or another? I sold a house, grabbed the profit I made, and rolled over the tax basis for the old house into a new one. I had rental property too.
I'm not sure where you lived when you were making all of these moves.

Not all parts of the country had home prices increase sufficiently to make a move "pay off" every 5 years. Over the years, I'd run the calculations only to find out that the 'friction' costs of buying, selling and moving usually outweighed the slight gain in house value.

Of course, there are possible exceptions -- finding a handyman special and fixing it up, etc.

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Old 08-12-2011, 02:31 PM   #98
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Well, that explains things. The goal is to live in a house with a paid off mortgage. Reaching that milestone feels good - I can understand that. I have a couple of friends who still work at the same job (well, retired at 65 now), and live in the same house their whole life. I can't say we have much in common to discuss at high school reunions.

I guess I was cut from a different cloth by focusing on real estate investments rather than the stock market all my life. I loved seeing what tax deductions I could find by learning every nuance and loophole in the tax code regarding property investment. As some people on this forum are really skilled in stock and bonds, I feel equally comfortable with real estate. After a while mortgages, equity, rental income and tax deductions made every home seem like a cold investment vehicle... including the houses I lived in! So a mortgage was just another liability on my accounting form (or Quicken later in life). The only thing that was important was the asset minus liabilities kept on showing a profit every year.

Rather strange way to look at what is supposed to be "home sweet home", I guess.
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Old 08-12-2011, 09:35 PM   #99
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I am glad few people have an inkling of our finances and mortgage. I was talking to a sibling today who was going on and on about their dire financial situation but said he knew I didn't have any money. We appear to be very middle class people who happen to take really good vacations. They are the fancy car, fancy house, fancy clothes, fancy restaurant no money in the bank people. Maybe I'm on to something.
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Old 09-24-2011, 08:56 PM   #100
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I would only share with my Mom; she is financially minded too, and also has sense about not sharing such info with anyone else. And the only reason I would even share with her is because it would make her so happy. However, as someone above, if someone asked me point blank (seems unlikely), I wouldn't lie about it - it's in the public records in my county anyway.
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