Monday, October 31, 2011

Pay off house by end of next year

My wife and I were talking and assuming all goes well (meaning my job holds out that long - vehicles hold out - no other unexpected runs on the bank acct ) we're going to try to pay off the house by the end of next year. We just sent in another payment against principle and I'm really OK with diverting cashflow there.

At this point, there's really only a couple key concerns in my mind:
- maintain sufficient liquidity in event of emergency (emergency fund). This is my top concern by a far stretch, esp. given job uncertainty.
- I used to have a concern about alternative stock market returns I'd be missing out on, but I'm really 50/50 on the market right now anyhow, so using extra cash to remove a certain mortgage debt seems a reasonable way to go. While a surge in the markets could happen, I don't expect it, and even if it did I'd still be holding alot of cash, so going ahead and paying down the house makes sense in this context also given a guaranteed return of whatever our mortgage rate is vs. almost 0% for holding cash right now.

I still plan to fund the 401k, maintain investing accts, and fund other retirement accts, but just be willing to send in extra payments against principle as liquidity permits.

I like the flexibility that having cash-on-hand brings - but think it's time to spend it down some to get rid of this debt overhang of the home mortgage. As much as anything I think the mortgage weighs on my mind, pre-occupies my thinking and decision-making, and strangles my perspective.

Yeah, I'm 40 and it's mid-life crisis time - if such a thing exists - but debt is an insidious little thing that creeps in and has a way of taking over. It has kept me on the hampster wheel - that much is for sure. But I'm not built to handle debt very well, so getting rid of it will hopefully free my soul a bit to do better and more interesting things with my life.