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paying down mortgage vs investing money

If the homeowner did not refinance and decided to spend the money, they would not have extra retirement savings, if that's their goal. Second-. Pay off the mortgage with the savings and you are £ a year better off. Use my simple calculation to see if you should save or overpay. Below. By paying off your debt, you eliminate the drain on your finances that is interest expense. That's why as a general rule of thumb. BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE PDF IN WORD

There are also some downsides to consider when choosing to pay off your mortgage. Having some investments in the sharemarket allows for more freedom, and allows you to learn something along the way. Financial literacy is an area where New Zealanders could do better, particularly when it comes to understanding our investing options outside of housing. When you have some skin in the game, you often take a much greater interest in something.

However, using some of that disposable income to invest along the way can also pay off over the long term. If you follow a few simple rules you should do well in the long-term, even if you experience a bit of volatility at times which is also a good lesson. You might even decide that doing a bit of both is best for you. Returns from investing are uncertain and volatile. Debt — and the cost of debt — is a certain liability. Mortgage debt is relatively cheap and manageable, however.

A mortgage is money rented from a bank. Typically we use that money to buy a property. In this scenario our home stays mortgaged for longer, like an investment property. The decision is as much about risk as any reward. Come with us via the scenic route! First things first: Non-mortgage debt must go Have you got credit card or store card debt or any personal loans? Get rid of that debt first. Student loans may be an exception, as MoneySavingExpert explains.

Think carefully before repaying any student loans. The interest rates on credit cards and loans are much higher than on a mortgage. That rate is double the average returns you should dream of achieving in the stock market. What about margin? Some gung-ho sophisticated investors use margin debt from a broker to fund property.

The risks are magnified because unlike with a mortgage, margin debt is marked-to-market. This means that if stocks fall, you must stump up more assets or else repay the debt. I suggest With a foot barge pole. There is no law of smart investing that says you should do anything other than pay off your mortgage first.

Many people would kill to be mortgage-free. Crucial point alert Repaying a mortgage is a form of saving. Your net worth — assets minus liabilities — is the same in both cases. Repaying your mortgage is usually a better option than saving in cash. Most mortgages charge a lot more. In fact depending on your personal tax situation and where you hold your savings, the benefits of paying down your mortgage can be even bigger.

At a certain point, interest income from cash outside of an ISA is taxed. You should have an emergency fund before investing or making over-payments on your mortgage. Just in case you need cash in a hurry. If you have reason to hold even more cash at the same time as a mortgage maybe your income is uncertain consider an offset mortgage. Our calculator also handles over-payments. So we can ignore inflation when comparing these options.

A few more reasons to murder your mortgage Paying off a mortgage early is a great aspiration, and for good reason. Being debt-free is mentally liberating. Pay off your mortgage early and you experience that benefit sooner and enjoy it for longer. It reduces big picture risk. The smaller your mortgage, the less chance a financial upset like unemployment, illness, or divorce sending your finances spiraling out of control. Just throw any spare money at your mortgage! That will save even more money.

You may be happier investing in volatile shares when you have no mortgage. And you should have more spare cash to do so. Selling your home is tax-free. But it may be best to put big windfalls like bonuses or inheritances into paying off your mortgage. You can be too clever in life. Paying off the mortgage is hard to beat. Now, I personally run an interest-only mortgage in pursuit of higher returns.

For the average wage slave, being mortgage-free is one step to nirvana. You hope investing will leave you richer! The long-term average return from developed world stock markets depends on how you measure it. At the least your portfolio needs to deliver higher returns 2 than your mortgage rate for investing to be profitable. Aiming for a high return means investing in riskier assets — specifically shares.

And shares are very volatile. Only historical precedent. Paying off the associated mortgage delivers a known return. Investing earns an uncertain one. House prices fluctuate regardless. How to invest instead of repaying your mortgage Regularly investing into index funds will be the best approach for most. Investing globally diversifies your money across many markets. Index funds get you the market return at the cheapest cost. We think a global tracker fund is the only equities fund most people need.

Just remember that in some circumstances the ownership of your home could be at stake. This should influence the risks you take. Interesting choice Suppose you have an interest-only mortgage. Invest wisely! But it may still have been worth it to reduce risk. What about other assets — like bonds? The trouble is that as you add safer assets to counter the volatility of your equities, you also reduce expected returns.

Up to a point, adding safer government bonds to an equity portfolio will reduce risk volatility more than it reduces returns. A smoother ride can make it easier to stick to your investing plans. But the past is no guarantee of the future. Also, just like retirees you face sequence of returns risk , especially with an interest-only mortgage — because what if the stock market crashes a year before your debt is due?

Luckily you have some flexibility over a long mortgage term. For example, if your portfolio shoots the lights out for a decade, you might change gears and start paying off your mortgage instead. As opposed to pushing your luck into a stock market bubble. You could even sell down your bulging portfolio to start repaying your mortgage early. The best of both worlds! Avoid early repayment charges. You can still sell down your portfolio by more than this if that seems appropriate.

Just keep the proceeds in cash, and pay off your mortgage as its terms best allow.

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Investment Gains vs. In other words, there would be no material difference between investing the money versus paying off the 3. The Power of Compounding One of the reasons for such a difference between the investment gains and the interest saved from paying the loan off early is the power of compounding. Risk Tolerance Before investing money in the market, it's important for investors to determine their level of risk tolerance , which is the amount of money they're willing to risk in order to make an investment gain.

Risks of Different Investments There are various types of investments to choose from, and each has its own risk associated with them. For example, U. Treasury bonds would be considered low-risk investments since they're guaranteed by the U. However, equities or stock investments have a higher risk of price fluctuations, called volatility , which can lead to losses for the investor. Going back to our example, if the homeowner decides to invest their money in the market instead of paying off the mortgage ten years early, there's a risk that some or all of that money could be lost.

As a result, if the investment loses money, the homeowner would still need to make ten years' worth of loan payments. Determining Risk Tolerance A person's level of risk tolerance is often determined by their age, the amount of time remaining until the money is needed, and their financial goals. For example, retirees might be risk-averse since they're not earning employment income any longer.

Conversely, younger people in their 20s or 30s have a longer time horizon, which means their portfolio has more time to recoup market losses. As a result, a younger person can invest a greater share of their portfolio in higher-risk investments such as equities. The Market's Double-Edged Sword Although the stock market can provide sizable returns, there's also a risk for sizable losses. In other words, just as taking on more risk can magnify investment gains, it can also lead to more losses, meaning the market risk is a double-edged sword.

As a result, investors should have realistic expectations as to what they can earn in the market. Full Bio Pete Rathburn is a freelance writer, copy editor, and fact-checker with expertise in economics and personal finance. He has spent over 25 years in the field of secondary education, having taught, among other things, the necessity of financial literacy and personal finance to young people as they embark on a life of independence.

Learn about our editorial policies Trying to decide between eliminating debt and investing for the future is a difficult decision. Both are laudable goals, but which should come first? It's also better to start saving for retirement early, so you can reap the benefits of compound interest over a longer period of time.

As a general rule, the younger you are, the more you should prioritize your retirement savings over your mortgage. Although you make the same size payment each month assuming you have the proverbial year fixed-rate mortgage , most of your money in those early years is going toward interest and doing little to reduce the loan's principal. So by making extra payments early on—and reducing the principal on which you're being charged interest—you could pay considerably less in interest over the life of the loan.

The same principles of compound interest that apply to your investments also apply to your debts, so by paying down more of your principal early, the savings are compounded over time. By contrast, in the later years, your payments are going more toward the loan principal. Other Mortgage Considerations Saving money on interest is not the worst idea in the world. But mortgage interest is not the same as other types of debt.

For home mortgage debt incurred before Dec. If you need something to reduce the amount you owe Uncle Sam, the mortgage might be worth keeping. This eliminated the need for many taxpayers to itemize their deductions and led to many homeowners to forego using the mortgage interest tax deduction. Building equity in a home that is financed by an adjustable-rate loan will make it easier for you to refinance to a fixed-rate mortgage if you ever decide to.

Also, if local real estate values are tanking, if people in your area are seeing little appreciation—or even depreciation—in their homes, paying down a mortgage is a way to keep from going underwater owing more than your home is worth. That could make it difficult for you to sell the home, refinance it, or obtain other credit.

Thanks to the joys of compound interest , a dollar you invest today has more value than a dollar you invest five or 10 years from now. That's because it will be earning interest—and the interest will be earning interest—for a longer period of time.

So each year you delay saving for retirement will hurt you a disproportionate amount. For that reason, it generally makes more sense to save for retirement at a younger age than it does to pay down a mortgage sooner.

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