July 15, 2024
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HELP ME RETIRE RETIREMENT

‘I would much rather be mortgage-free in 10 years’: I need to retire in a decade. Should I focus on paying off my mortgage or maxing out my 401k contributions?

‘I would much rather be mortgage-free in 10 years’: I need to retire in a decade. Should I focus on paying off my mortgage or maxing out my 401k contributions?

Hi Moving Diaries,

Alright, so here’s the deal. I got divorced back in 2019, and it wiped out half of my retirement savings. That was a huge blow because I had a decent chunk saved up. I’m aiming to retire in 10 years, and according to my financial advisor, it’s totally doable if I start throwing as much money as possible into my 401k (which is basically a retirement savings plan offered by employers).

Now, I bought my current house in 2020 with a 30-year mortgage. If I start making extra payments, I could have it paid off in 10 years instead of the standard 30. Here’s what my math looks like:

If I stick to just the regular payments, my home will be paid off by 2050, and I’ll have shelled out $110k in interest.

But, if I toss in an extra $1,000 towards the principal each month, I’d clear the mortgage by 2032 and the interest would drop to $62k. That’s $1,000 extra every month for 104 months, totaling $104,000.

My financial advisor is all about pumping my 401k and not stressing too much about paying off my mortgage early. However, I’ve got a couple of buddies who think it’s way smarter to knock out the mortgage ASAP. Honestly, I’m kinda siding with them. The idea of retiring and still having a mortgage hanging over my head for another 18 years just isn’t appealing. Sure, maybe it’s more financially sound to focus on my 401k as the advisor suggests, but emotionally, the idea of being mortgage-free in 10 years sounds way better to me.

What do you guys think?

Thanks for listening,

“The Divorced Saver”

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