You should aim to have everything paid off, from student loans to credit card debt, by age 45, O'Leary says. “The reason I say 45 is the turning point, or in your 40s, is because think about a career: Most careers start in early 20s and end in the mid-60s,” O'Leary says.
Paying off your mortgage early is a good way to free up monthly cashflow and pay less in interest. But you'll lose your mortgage interest tax deduction, and you'd probably earn more by investing instead. Before making your decision, consider how you would use the extra money each month.
Mortgages typically come with a certain amount of time to pay off the loan. This is known as a mortgage term. The most common mortgage term in the U.S. is 30 years. A 30-year mortgage gives the borrower 30 years to pay back their loan.
If you're focused on paying off your mortgage, good for you. It's generally always good to get rid of debt. Plus, with no mortgage, you get a guaranteed, risk-free return. Just make sure you consider the downsides.
When you pay down your mortgage, you're effectively locking in a return on your investment roughly equal to the loan's interest rate. Paying off your mortgage early means you're effectively using cash you could have invested elsewhere for the remaining life of the mortgage -- as much as 30 years.
“If you're going to stay living in that house for the rest of your life, pay off that mortgage as soon as you possibly can,” Orman tells CNBC. Without a mortgage, you'll have more financial security in retirement, she says.
With your mortgage paid off, you do not have to send the mortgage company any more money. Send discharge of mortgage letter to your county: Your mortgage company should send all of the required documents to your county clerk's office notifying them that your home is no longer bound by a mortgage.
Kevin O'Leary, an investor on “Shark Tank” and personal finance author, said in 2018 that the ideal age to be debt-free is 45. It's at this age, said O'Leary, that you enter the last half of your career and should therefore ramp up your retirement savings in order to ensure a comfortable life in your elderly years.
In this scenario, an extra principal payment of $100 per month can shorten your mortgage term by nearly 5 years, saving over $25,000 in interest payments. If you're able to make $200 in extra principal payments each month, you could shorten your mortgage term by eight years and save over $43,000 in interest.
Since your interest is calculated on your remaining loan balance, making additional principal payments every month will significantly reduce your interest payments over the life of the loan. By paying more principal each month, you incrementally lower the principal balance and interest charged on it.
Legally, you don't have to take out mortgage life insurance if you take out a mortgage. However, many mortgage lenders will insist on it to protect their loan in the event of a householder's death. And you might want to buy life cover anyway if your loved ones would struggle to pay the mortgage should you die.
Mortgage Debt in the US
In 2019, the average American mortgage debt was $213,599. This figure increased to $215,655 or by nearly 1% (0.96%) in 2020. If we go further back, the difference is a bit higher. For example, in 2015, the average balance owed for mortgages was $184,323.
It's typically smarter to pay down your mortgage as much as possible at the very beginning of the loan to save yourself from paying more interest later. If you're somewhere near the later years of your mortgage, it may be more valuable to put your money into retirement accounts or other investments.
Paying off a mortgage can be smart for retirees or those just about to retire who are in a lower-income bracket, have a high-interest mortgage, and don't benefit from tax-deductible interest. It's generally not a good idea to pay off a mortgage at the expense of funding a retirement account.
Being mortgage-free can make it easier to downsize in other ways – such as going part time – and usually makes it cheaper and easier to buy and sell your home. Generally, a smaller mortgage gives you greater freedom and security.
When you are in your 30s, it can be a great time to buy life insurance. You're at an age where, if you're in good health, you're likely to be able to get affordable coverage with a term life insurance policy.
A mortgage life insurance policy is a term life policy designed specifically to repay mortgage debts and associated costs in the event of the death of the borrower. These policies differ from traditional life insurance policies. With a traditional policy, the death benefit is paid out when the borrower dies.
Generally, national banks will allow you to pay additional funds towards the principal balance of your loan. However, you should review your loan agreement or contact your bank to find out their specific process for doing so.