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Do you need to pay off your mortgage before you retire?

Many near-retirees pay extra on the mortgage each month, avidly working toward having it paid off by retirement. Is this necessary to have a secure retirement? In some cases, yes. In others, not so much. When it comes to paying off the mortgage, a one-size-fits-all answer doesn’t work.

In general, lower income households with total investable assets of less than a million are best served working to pay off the mortgage by retirement.

Higher income households with over $1 million of invested financial assets may want to think about debt more strategically — in much the way a corporation would. Companies use debt to fuel growth.

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