Friday, April 27, 2007

This article, while it seems to be attempting to make the argument that maxing out retirement plans is better than paying off mortgages early, only serves to solidify my decision to focus on the mortgage. First, it hypes that "40% of homeowners would be better off!"- meaning, of course, that 60% would not. Second, it assumes that the homeowner has a mortgage large enough to make deducting interest worthwhile. For the second year now, our potential itemized deductions- including insanely high property taxes- have been less than the standard deduction. Third, our mortgage interest rate is relatively high and not reasonably refinanceable.

Finally, the outcome of the investment scenario the author presents (which is much more optimistic than ours would be) is a whopping extra $400 per year. Now, while I'm not one to pooh-pooh that amount of cash, I'm not all that impressed, either. Especially given that the typical readers of this article likely spend that at restaurants each month.

So we plan to use our tax refund to continue paying down the house, while we maintain our savings account with 6+ months worth of living expenses, and expect to worry about retirement when the kids make working for pay less difficult.


Nana said...

Roth IRA
Compound Interest :)

Just sayin'

Of course,keep in mind.. no research has gone into this opinion!

Sarah said...

Our mortgage interest is calculated based on our current balance, so every bit we pay off means less interest paid. The total amount paid on a 30-year mortgage is usually about triple the amount of the mortgage; we'll pay much less than that if we pay off early.