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Dave Says: Should You Pay Off Your House or Build Up Your Retirement?

Dave Says: Should You Pay Off Your House or Build Up Your Retirement?

Dear Dave,

If you have a mortgage that will be paid off in the next two or three years, should you pay extra toward the house or invest that money over and above the 15 percent you recommend putting toward retirement?

Walt

Dear Walt,

I would pay extra on the house. You know, a magical thing happens when you pay down a house and sell it somewhere down the road. The money comes back. You didn’t lose it.

Honestly, you’re not doing a bad thing by putting it into retirement either. But you don’t know exactly what will happen over the next several years of your life or the life of your investments. You might think you know. You might even have a plan. But the truth is even the best plans don’t always work out the way we want.

And if that happens, it sure would be neat to own your home outright!

—Dave

* Dave Ramsey is America’s trusted voice on money and business. He has authored five New York Times best-selling books: Financial Peace, More Than Enough, The Total Money Makeover, EntreLeadership and Smart Money Smart Kids. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 8 million listeners each week on more than 500 radio stations. Follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at daveramsey.com.


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