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Debt Free at Last!

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posted on Sep, 9 2012 @ 06:43 AM
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This is it.
The last payment.
I'm paying it off.

Next month I'm officially debt free! No car payment, no credit card interest, no mortgage... nada!

And I believe there might be somewhat of a conspiracy afoot with regards to the oft heard advice:


"Paying off your mortgage early is stupid, you stupid dummy!!"

Why have I heard this more than once? It never made sense to me. For starters they'll say,

"You can invest that money instead of apply it towards your mortage."

Yeah, ok, my 401k is pretty much maxed out so right there is my exposure to the stock market, but ok, fine, I'll try "investing" more on my own. *Does research, signs up for a Motley Cruel account, follows advice, etc* outcome: somewhere between 0% and 3% , not much better than a high yield savings account at best.

I wasn't day trading, I was trying to "buy and hold" as long as possible, at least a year to avoid the extra taxes that come with short-term holding of a stock. If a stock "popped" and I saw a chance to sell and make back what I had invested, so that from that point on I'd be playing with "house money" I'd usually hop on that. It happened a couple times, which was cool, and fueled my greed.

I also "lost big" a few times, betting on strong, long established "blue chip" stocks that have since either plummeted to record lows, or gone completely "governmental" if you catch my drift.
End result? Savings account level earnings. I guess I'm not much of a stock playa'! YMMV

Or this...

"You will lose your (...cue the low-voice guy and dramatic reverb effect) MORTGAGE INTEREST DEDUCTION!! DUN Dun dunnnnnnn........."

So what does that mean to me? Mortgage interest, for me, was running in the neighborhood of 10k a year, so based on my income and tax bracket get to pay Uncle Sam about 3K a year "less" in tax due to that mortgage interest.

See what they did there? I get to pay $3000 less tax so I can give $10,000 more to the bank.

Seems like easy math, I'll take the extra $7000, kthxbye.

And finally...

"That mortgage is a hedge against inflation!"

Really? I might buy into this a little bit if the money supply and economy were functioning properly, but given Fed manipulation of the interest rates, government bailouts, and everything else in this category, I'd much rather put that money towards physical precious metal, or other hard asset, you know, like a HOUSE, as my hedge against inflation.

So to me, the choice was clear. Pay it off. Owe no man.

How did we do it?

1.We chose a modest house that we could afford on just one income should one of us lose our job.

2. Nearly every extra penny went to paying down the principal, instead of keeping up with the Jones's.

3. Kept eyes on the prize.

That's about it I guess.

Now to save up for the kids college, but that's a conspiracy for another day because right now, I'm off to do the George Takei Happy Dance!!



I encourage anyone who's on the fence about paying off the mortgage early to disregard the naysayers and do your own math, and base the decision on your own situation and personality. It's a big decision, but for me one that was well worth it!


edit on 9-9-2012 by tjack because: it was fine the way it was




posted on Sep, 9 2012 @ 06:49 AM
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you may have paid off the mortgage... but the bastards will still extort property taxes and anything else they can think of out of you... in western countries you never fully own anything...



posted on Sep, 9 2012 @ 07:11 AM
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reply to post by tjack
 


Well done! That's quite an achievement! Another 18 months or so will see me free of all outstanding personal debt. My mortgage however is another matter, although I overpay most months I'll still be looking at another 15-18 years unless my circumstances change. Oh well
.

As for credit cards/loans etc. Once I'm paid up I will never open another line of credit as long as I live. If I want something I will save for it, which will be easy as I wont be forking out to various companies who are making a fortune out of me for lending me money.

Well done mate, I'm pleased for you!



posted on Sep, 9 2012 @ 07:17 AM
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reply to post by tjack
 


Congratulations. You are the governments worst enemy - you are intelligent and awake! Look out, they will come for you in black vans if you don't keep quiet about this!



posted on Sep, 9 2012 @ 07:26 AM
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Thanks for the kind words!

I wouldn't have bothered sharing such a personal thing with strangers, but I've been here quite a while and I feel a certain kinship with the people at ATS, and felt compelled.

Hopefully it inspires another brother or sister to consider the notion, and not just take so called "expert" advice as gospel.



posted on Sep, 9 2012 @ 07:28 AM
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Originally posted by tjack

So to me, the choice was clear. Pay it off. Owe no man.



You still owe Tax Man. You will NEVER be in the clear because Uncle Sam needs you to fork over PROPERTY TAXES for your real estate until the second you take your last breath!

You never get in the clear. You never can breath a sigh of relief... until you expire and they cant force more out of you. But then again, they probably figured out a way to TAX OUR SOULS in the next life. .



posted on Sep, 9 2012 @ 07:29 AM
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reply to post by HangTheTraitors
 


Ok, then for the sake of discussion pretend I said "Credit" debt free.

Of course I realize I'll always be paying taxes if I choose to continue living here, but as far as the math goes, I was paying that anyway.




edit on 9-9-2012 by tjack because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 9 2012 @ 08:20 AM
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reply to post by tjack
 


Whatever. Ignore the nay-Sayers. Being debt-free and self made is awesome. I don't care who or where you are.

to you.



posted on Sep, 9 2012 @ 09:04 AM
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I deal strictly in cash. House-Paid in full in cash. Cars- Paid in full in cash. How is that possible? I pinched my pennies starting at a very young age. Invested wisely, never got a credit card and kept my money out of the banks. People get into debt because thats how they think you need to function to survive. Live strict, save and invest wisely and there is no need to be in debt. Kudos to you sir for getting off the debt wagon.



posted on Sep, 9 2012 @ 09:39 AM
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I became “debt Free” 8 years ago and immediately garnered an incredible peace of mind.
OWN a smaller house 1 block from the Atlantic Ocean. OWN 2 cars; 1 for fishing; 1 for the road.
Bank account might not be very big but maintain it through prudent equity and currency trading.
Make a plan; the results are worth the interim sacrifices.



posted on Sep, 9 2012 @ 09:47 AM
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reply to post by tjack
 


Congrats! I have been debt free for 11 years,ever since I paid off my truck early.("They" told me I was foolish to do so) Turned out to be the best decision I made in along time.Not only did I save a couple grand,but it also gave me peace of mind.My home was paid for many years ago so I only have to pay for insurance and property tax.I have never had a credit card,so I don't have that hanging over my head.I know people who have a new car every year and live in a newer,nicer home,but they have to work 60-70 hours a week just to stay afloat.I am 47 years old and havent worked in three years and still don't have any debts.You tell me who is better off.



posted on Sep, 9 2012 @ 09:55 AM
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reply to post by JayFlores
 


How do you define 'invest wisely'. Look at the current financial system.



posted on Sep, 9 2012 @ 10:03 AM
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reply to post by roadgravel
 


I hear that a lot. But Im doing very well. Money to burn and never miss it. I guess Im one of the few lucky ones?



posted on Sep, 9 2012 @ 10:14 AM
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I sure wish we had that mortgage interest deduction up here. The US is one of only 3 countries that has that apparently. We have 2 houses mortgaged right now, and there is no such deduction up here.

Can you use that deduction for a rental property you might purchase?
Is the deduction the full amount of the interest, or just a percentage?

If there are decent homes in decent neighborhoods, where there might be good tenants, that might be a good reinvestment, while rates are so low (although with the tax deduction, do rates even matter?), and real estate is bottoming out.

Congrats on being mortgage free

Every time I pay off a loan of any type, it just feels soooo good



posted on Sep, 9 2012 @ 10:28 AM
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Originally posted by snowspirit
~snip~
Is the deduction the full amount of the interest, or just a percentage?
~snip~
Congrats on being mortgage free

Every time I pay off a loan of any type, it just feels soooo good


The full amount. The way the mortgage interest deduction works is; the amount you pay in mortgage interest subtracts from your income, and you're then taxed at the lower income. For example let's say my mortgage interest paid was 10k, and I made 60k that year. I would be taxed as though I made 50k.

I feel good paying off loans too, I can't imagine what this one is going to feel like, it's by far the biggest one I ever paid off. Can't wait!!
edit on 9-9-2012 by tjack because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 9 2012 @ 10:32 AM
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reply to post by JayFlores
 


So you are referring to stocks and products from investment banking, nor regular banking.



posted on Sep, 9 2012 @ 11:34 AM
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Congratulations!!!! I agree with every word you wrote about the idiocy of not paying off a mortgage just to have a tax deduction.

I have a friend, who, frankly, is an idiot. His wife inherited $200,000 from her grandmother when she passed away. They went to a financial adviser who told them NOT to pay their mortgage off but to invest the money. Well, because he is an idiot, he invested in 2 companies that failed miserably. Ended up losing their home because they had to file bankruptcy. Financial advisers do not follow common sense most of the time.

My husband and I have paid off one mortgage, which is now a rental. We are in our new home, a modest home that we paid $125,000 for three years ago and now owe $76,000 on that mortgage. We pay an additional $2,000 per month on our home so that we can pay it off as soon as possible with as little of our hard earned money going to the bank in interest.

I am in my late 30's and my husband is in his mid 40's. We have no children and both work. We are not rich by any stretch of the imagination, but with common sense and not abusing credit, we look forward to a comfortable future, debt free.

Our vehicles are about 10 years old each and will need to be replaced in the next couple of years, but by planning ahead, we will only need to finance about 1/2 of the purchase price. All other purchases that we make, for example a golf cart and yard equipment, we save for and shop around for best prices.

My husband comes from a family of 11 children and knows what it was like to have nothing and have to save for what he wanted. I come from a smaller family, but with the same upbringing as far as the value of money and work. After high school, I did get myself into a bit of a credit situation, being young and dumb. I am very thankful that I learned from that experience!!!!

Congratulations to all those who do not fall into the "keeping up with the Jones-es" mentality and can see credit for what it is.....a trap! My brother always tells me that he wouldn't be able to get the things he wants if it weren't for credit. I always respond by telling him its because he wants it now and can't wait to save for it. He owes on 2 vehicles, a home, has incredible credit card balances for things that won't hold any value (ie..computers, electronics, toys). I don't see a good outcome when it comes time when he wants to retire.

For those of you struggling, whatever your situation, I feel for your situations, I really do. Many of my friends are in the same traps. Just remember to listen to your inner common sense when it comes to your hard earned money.

I wish you all the best.



posted on Sep, 9 2012 @ 01:11 PM
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reply to post by tjack
 

Some people in my life wonder why I 'm generally relaxed and easily having a good time while they are constantly stressed and have no personal time. They don't seem to fully understand what I mean when I say "I live debt free" in response.

You will soon fully understand, though you already have a good taste as evidenced by your post.

Congratulations, you are an inspiration that I wish more people would look to.

Thank you for spreading the light.
edit on 9-9-2012 by ErgoTheConclusion because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 9 2012 @ 01:28 PM
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I don`t care what the "experts" say i believe that paying off a mortgage is the best thing that anyone could do.

you`ll always have a free place to live as long as you pay your annual extortion fees ( property taxes) to the government. When the economy goes bad, like it did, you`ll always have a free place to live. if you lose your job, become disabled, etc, you`ll always have a free place to live.

The largest percentage of most people`s monthly expenses is for a place to live.by eliminating the monthly expense of paying for a place to live you just gave yourself a huge monthly pay raise.

i only have 23 more payments (23 months) until my mortgage is paid off.
edit on 9-9-2012 by Tardacus because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 9 2012 @ 02:11 PM
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reply to post by tjack
 





I did exactly what you have done, many years ago and also against everyones advice

And it was one of the BEST things i have ever done


Hope you go on enjoying being debt free as i am still doing






Well said Tardacus You've got it in one! And 23 months is no time in the bigger picture!
edit on 9-9-2012 by eletheia because: (no reason given)






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