We met with our financial planner last week for an end-of-the-year chat to make plans for 2023. Our financial planner is intent on securing our future, but he also wants us to enjoy our lives and our money. His advice is welcome for someone like my husband and I, who are intent on saving for the future and checking all of the financial boxes. After we spoke with him, we decided we’re not rushing to pay off our house.
Our Retirement Is on Track
The financial planner assured us that we’re on track to retire in the next 15 to 20 years, which is exactly what we want to do. So, that’s good news.
The Mortgage Is My Albatross
However, I expressed concern that we have a 30-year mortgage and plan to retire in the next 15 to 20 years. In addition, after being spoiled by a 3.25 percent mortgage rate when we lived in Arizona, our current 5.375 percent mortgage rate for our New York house bothers me. I look at how much money is being paid toward interest, and I want to funnel all of my money onto the mortgage to eliminate this debt as soon as possible. However, our financial planner urged me not to do that.
Why We’re Not Rushing to Pay Off Our House
Instead, our financial planner suggested we also use some money to enjoy our lives. He knows that we struggled with paying off debt for years. We accrued this debt through student loans and several years of low-paying entry jobs while living in a high-cost-of-living area.
Now, our income is good, and the debt is gone. For the first time, we have breathing room. Our financial advisor urged us, for now, to stick with the minimum payments on our mortgage and use the money to do something we’ve wanted to do for years—travel.
As he reminded us, there will come a time, likely in our early 70s, when we won’t want to travel. By then, we may have health issues that make travel more difficult. As a result, we may feel less adventurous and prefer to stay closer to home and sleep in our own beds.
Our financial planner’s gentle urgings were reminiscent of what I read in Die with Zero. According to the author, Bill Perkins, many people diligently save for retirement and pay off all their debts, thinking they’ll travel and enjoy their lives in retirement. However, some die before retirement, and others find that they don’t or can’t travel when they’re older.
If we want to see the world, the time is now.
This year, we’ve decided we’re not rushing to pay off the house. Instead, we’ll refinance when rates are better. Meanwhile, we’ll make our regular house payment and funnel our additional cash to international travel. So now the question is, which country would we like to visit first?
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