Q. You made the following statement in a recent column on common mistakes regarding retirement: “Think paying off your mortgage in retirement is important in achieving the highest standard of living possible? It’s probably not.”
Why? I’ve always thought the opposite — that you should have your mortgage paid before you retire. Can you share your thoughts on this subject?
A. You’ll find a transcript of a column I wrote on the subject here: http://www.variplan.com/uploadedDocuments/1277733522Carrying_mortgage_into_retirement_can_pay_off.pdf.
Basically, the reason is that paying off your mortgage can tie up funds that you may need later to pay your bills — the bills for your lifestyle. Particularly, when you can lock in historically low interest rates for 30 years, your money can do more good in supporting your standard of living if it is invested properly in a more liquid portfolio.