Of course you don’t want to carry credit card debt into retirement, but what about the mortgage? The old advice was to burn it before you left work, but in today’s low-rate environment, maybe not. Assuming that your rate is less than 5% and that you’ll be able to afford the payments from guaranteed-income sources in retirement—or if you’re planning to move—there’s no rush. You may do better by investing money you would have put toward the loan.
On the other hand, if you won’t be able to swing the nut later on, or simply want peace of mind, use this mortgage calculator Mortgage calculator to figure out how to erase the debt sooner. Or consider a cash-in refi to a shorter-term loan. Say you have $200,000 and 20 years left on a 30-year mortgage at 5%. Refinancing to a 15-year at 3% and putting in $50,000 would shave off five years and cut the monthly payment from $1,381 to $1,074. Keep up the original payment, and the loan will be paid off in 11 years, plus you’ll save $10,300 in interest.