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Debt Free!
Old 07-09-2009, 03:02 PM   #1
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Debt Free!

Well, I paid off the remaining principal on my mortgage today, and I believe that for the first time in 20+ years that my wife and I are completely debt free.

It feels great!
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Old 07-09-2009, 03:13 PM   #2
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Congratulations!

Others may be along shortly to tell you what a terrible mistake you made but know there are an equal number of us here who agree with you that being debt/mortgage free is a wonderful thing.
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Old 07-09-2009, 03:16 PM   #3
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Congratulations! I danced a jig at payoff time and periodically I dance a step or two three years later because of no mortgage. Uh oh...here I go again....
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Old 07-09-2009, 03:21 PM   #4
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It's a great feeling, isn't it? As REW said, whether or not to pay off a mortgage early is a rather controversial issue here, but what matters most is your own temperament and tolerance of debt. Personally I find it extremely liberating and like a heavy monkey off of my back.
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Old 07-09-2009, 03:27 PM   #5
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Congratulations, that's great!

Fun = take a picture of you holding the final release of lien document, complete with a couple glasses of champagne. We did that a few years ago, it sounds silly but it's fun to look back at someday.
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Old 07-09-2009, 03:49 PM   #6
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Oh what a wonderful feeling...
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Old 07-09-2009, 03:56 PM   #7
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Congrats shigsy. I consider that (paying off the mortgage) to be one of the smartest financial decisions that I ever made. Make sure that you continue to pay the mortgage money to yourself from here on out...
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Old 07-09-2009, 04:26 PM   #8
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Make sure that you continue to pay the mortgage money to yourself from here on out...
Great point A lot of people experience "lifestyle creep" once they've paid off a monthly obligation, replacing an $X per month house/car payment with $X per month in buying consumable and depreciating "stuff". These are the people who don't build wealth and who don't FIRE.

One of the best ways to prevent ever needing another car loan is to pay yourself that old car payment every month in a dedicated "new car account" after your current car is paid off, so that when it is time for a new car 7-10 years later (or longer if you're a professional cheapskate who knows how to keep 'em running forever), you'll have most or all of the money saved up -- meaning little or no car loan.

And with a mortgage? Save some of the monthly "mortgage-free" windfall, invest some of it for long term goals, maybe blow a little of it on stuff that matters a lot to you...but save and invest most of it.

THAT is how people build wealth when they become debt-free. Not by allowing lifestyle creep to set in.
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
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Old 07-09-2009, 04:34 PM   #9
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Congratulations! It is wonderful to know that you do not owe a cent to anybody. Not only that, but now that your house is paid down, your savings rate will catapult upwards!
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Old 07-09-2009, 05:00 PM   #10
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Congratulations! best move I ever made when I ER'd in 2002.

I can tell you that when it looked like Great Depression II was here in late 2008 just knowing that the house was paid for and even in a cataclysmic environment a roof over our heads was guaranteed was tremendously reassuring. The relief was beyond words.
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Old 07-09-2009, 05:46 PM   #11
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Yeah!!! Good for you. Feels great doesn't it? I paid mine off in 2007 against all tax advice. I still think I made the right decision. I didn't want to be some old lady with a mortgage to pay. I wonder how many people other than me have irrational bag lady fears? I sleep better at night. Now I just have my huge property tax bills to worry about.
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Old 07-09-2009, 06:02 PM   #12
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Congratulations!

Others may be along shortly to tell you what a terrible mistake you made but know there are an equal number of us here who agree with you that being debt/mortgage free is a wonderful thing.
Thanks all.

We struggled with the mortgage paydown versus investment decision for a while. For us, the psychic benefit of not having debt was more beneficial than possibly getting higher returns on our investments or tax deductions. But I can certainly understand why a lot of people prefer to direct money into investments. No right or wrong answer with this one, it's a subjective thing for sure.

Taking the wife out to dinner tonight to celebrate...but frugally of course.
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Old 07-09-2009, 06:06 PM   #13
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Congratulations, that's great!

Fun = take a picture of you holding the final release of lien document, complete with a couple glasses of champagne. We did that a few years ago, it sounds silly but it's fun to look back at someday.
I was looking forward to getting the title (is that different than a release of lien?), but I think we are going to get a HELOC (with a $0 balance of course) to have available for emergency reasons. If we do, our bank says they will need to hold on to title of course.

But I like the idea of toasting champagne over the title to our house!

I never would have imagined just ten years ago that I'd be able to own our dream house outright. We are definitely very fortunate and thankful.
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Old 07-09-2009, 06:32 PM   #14
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Congratulations...it must be a wonderful feeling. I'm looking forward to being debt free within the next few years. Oh what a feeling.

You should call The Dave Ramsey show. He loves to celebrate being DEBT FREE with his viewers.

Definitely something to celebrate - and you can afford to splurge this one time.
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Old 07-09-2009, 06:41 PM   #15
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I don't recall offhand when I paid off the house, was more than 10 years ago. A truly great feeling.

If you were paying escrow, be sure to contact the insurance company and tax people just to make sure everything is in order.
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Old 07-09-2009, 06:44 PM   #16
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Congratulations Shigsy! Its a wonderful feeling! We paid ours off in 1995 I think. When we built the new house, DW wanted to hurry it along by getting a loan, but I couldn't bring myself to do it, so we built as we had money to do it. Now with all the commotion in the economy, every once in a while DW gives me a hug and says, "sure glad we did it without debt". Even if you aren't completely FI, the feeling of having safe haven for your family without being in "bondage" is a wonderful thing.

As others have said, make sure the "mortgage payment" is still "paid" every month, into your "Financial Independence" fund (minus a small amount of play money, of course)...enjoy your celebration dinner!

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Old 07-09-2009, 06:45 PM   #17
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Awesome, just awesome. I understand the reasoning behind keeping a mortgage and the potential advantage on paper, but not to have to send thousands of dollars to the mortgage company every year--priceless.

Congratulations!
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Old 07-09-2009, 06:56 PM   #18
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Congrats on being debt free!! I also think you ought to have a glass of champagne and do a toast. Regardless, tonight you'll sleep like a baby.
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Old 07-09-2009, 08:28 PM   #19
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Good for you! We became completely debt free earlier this year when we sold our house. We presently have a sweet rental situation with a house owned by the company I work for. We have our old house payment (and then some) pulled out of my paycheck every two weeks and invested for future ER.
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Old 07-09-2009, 08:43 PM   #20
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Congrats! That must be a great feeling.
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