Paying off mortgage in retirement


Q. Do you happen to have any articles about the pros and cons of paying off the mortgage in retirement? We had paid off ours. But we moved to downsize before selling the bigger house. So we took on a VA mortgage at a relatively low interest rate last November.

When we sell the big house, we have two options: Keep the mortgage and invest all the money, or pay off the mortgage and invest the balance. I retire in January 2013, and our pension income will be half our current income. Is there a “calculator” to evaluate the choices?

A. You will find a column I wrote on the subject here:

There are calculators for everything, but they’ll give you whatever answer you want depending upon the assumptions put into them, so don’t rely too heavily on them in making your decisions.


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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

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