Prepare for Retirement: Pay Off The Mortgage

Get Ready. It helps to be prepared. Before you retire, get your house in order…

There are major steps one can, and should, take before retiring, if possible. I went through it, so I can relay what I went through.

Get Your Life Ready
The are several things to do that will make the transition to the not working world much easier. First find out who you are.

Who Are You?
Ha. This may not be as easy as it sounds. In our working lives, we often find definition through our work. This may be seemingly obvious, but when we introduce ourselves to others, or when they introduce themselves to use, we say “I am a …[insert name of profession or job here]….

But in retirement, we no longer have this work, so what are you? How will you introduce yourself? Of course, you can take the easy way and say, “I’m a retired, and I used to do …[insert name of profession or job here]…. ” and that will suffice for a time, but after a while you realize you have become someone else. What is it? What will you be? How will you spend your days and years?

Do Not Be Discouraged
One needs goals and aspirations. Finding these before one retires makes life smoother. Will/Do you have a hobby or a personal pursuit that gives you comfort and satisfaction? Having one or more of these before retirement is extremely beneficial. So prepare before stopping work. Unsolicited advice: choose hobbies that are not expensive!

Scotland. 1702.
Scotland. 1702.

Do Not Be Bored
Here’s an opinion: There’s nothing more depressing than a bored retiree. So prevent the boredom by action and activities. Hopefully at least some of them social.

Financial State
Reducing retirement cash outflow is prudent and smart. How will you do it? There are many ways to reduce expenses. One major way are: pay off the mortgage before retiring.

How To Payoff The Mortgage Early
In my later working years, I also paid an extra amount with every monthly mortgage payment. I specifically designated this extra amount to reduce the principal of the loan. (This last point is important. You must designate any additional funds to be towards principal reduction. Otherwise the mortgage holder might designate it towards interest reduction, which is not in your best interest. Trust me on this.) This shortened the time to pay off the mortgage and thereby reduced the overall interest I paid.

The major benefit of paying of the mortgage early is that it eliminated a major monthly expense. In retirement, I have less income, so reducing expenses is extremely helpful.

Debt Free
Entering retirement debt-free is an exhilarating place to be. I recommend it! May it happen to you too!

How did/do you prepare for retirement? Comment here.

The 1702 map of Scotland, “A new chart of the sea coast of SCOTLAND with the Island thereof” was by cartographer Samuel Thornton, and appeared in “Sea-Atlas : Containing an Hydrographical Description of most of the Sea-Coasts of the known parts of the World,” published in London 1702-1707. Courtesy New York Public Library.

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