Paying off mortgage


Q. I am considering paying off my mortgage before I retire, but at the expense of my TSP catch-up.  I know every case is different, but are there general rules of thumb for this scenario. If you need some specifics: seven years to retire and I save $51,000 in interest payments (6.125 percent annual rate).

A. There are no rules of thumb that I would trust for this decision. You’ll have to grind out the math for the alternatives, including some predictions about the future, to decide. I will say that without further knowledge of your circumstances, I would tend to favor keeping a competitive fixed-rate mortgage and continuing the TSP contributions unless a competent analysis clearly demonstrates a better alternative.


About Author

Mike Miles is a Certified Financial Planner licensee and principal adviser for Variplan LLC, an independent fiduciary in Vienna, Virginia. Email your financial questions to and view his blog at

1 Comment

  1. The difficulty with any mortgage payoff decision is that paying off the mortgage provides a definite savings, while there is no guarantee that if you invest the money instead, you will make more money in the long run.

    You didn’t say what your balance is, how much longer you have to pay your mortgage, nor what your credit status is.

    With a 6.125% rate, I am surprised that you didn’t jump at the recent sub-4% rate for a 15-year mortgage. Of course, with seven years left to retirement, your financial situation would have to be relatively to be able to continue paying a mortgage. Any loan officer would have been glad to go over the numbers with you to show you your savings. There are numerous online calculators that can help, too.

Leave A Reply