Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

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LarryAllen
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Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

Post by LarryAllen » Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:14 pm

I don't see any advantage to telling people. I recall an acquaintance had a mortgage ripping-up party at about age 30. He didn't have that much of a career so obviously it was a gift/inheritance. That made me laugh and no i didn't go to the party.

flyingaway
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Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

Post by flyingaway » Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:14 pm

Paying off mortgage is really nothing here, compared to the membership of the two comma club.

22twain
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Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

Post by 22twain » Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:17 pm

We didn't tell anyone when our house was paid off, and didn't even celebrate it ourselves because it wasn't a big deal by that point.

When we bought the house in the late 1980s, both sets of parents offered to loan us part of the money. Also, our employer offered as a fringe benefit, a $10K mortgage loan for each of us, paid off through payroll deduction, at (I think) a 1% discount from the normal interest rate. As a result we didn't have to deal directly with a bank for any of it:

$35K parental loans
$20K employer loans
$15K cash down payment

Yes, only $70K total for about 2000 ft^2, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths. This is a small town in a LCOL part of the country, and it was nearly 30 years ago.

After a while, each set of parents decided to forgive their loan balance. They decided we were going to stick together, they didn't need the cash flow from the payments, and they figured we would inherit the money back eventually anyway (which would have indeed happened).

So we were left with only the employer loans, at a combined total of about $150 per month. Plus taxes and insurance of course, which we paid on our own all along. If we had stopped working there, we would have had to pay back the balance, but we stayed on with them, and the loans came to an end naturally after their 20-year term expired.

At that time our combined take-home pay was around $5K per month after all deductions (taxes, health insurance, retirement contributions, and of course the loans), so the extra $150 didn't make a big difference.

I happened to be reminded of all this a little while ago while reorganizing the old papers in my filing cabinet. I came across the amortization tables that I calculated on my computer and printed out for our parents and ourselves, so we would know how much principal and interest we were paying each year.
Last edited by 22twain on Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:44 am, edited 3 times in total.

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FIREchief
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Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

Post by FIREchief » Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:18 pm

investor997 wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:30 pm
Resurrecting old thread..

I'm about to drop the payoff check for my mortgage in the mail. It took me a little over 19 years to reach this point. I was honestly considering a FB post to brag a little but leave it to the wisdom of forum to suggest otherwise... I think I'll limit the news to a few close friends/family and of course, all of you. :)
I would absolutely tell nobody but my adult children. I want everybody else to think we are on the brink of losing our house to creditors.
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.

BusterMcTaco
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Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

Post by BusterMcTaco » Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:24 pm

flyingaway wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:14 pm
Paying off mortgage is really nothing here, compared to the membership of the two comma club.
Hah! My mortgage is in the two comma club.

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Cycle
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Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

Post by Cycle » Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:48 pm

FelixTheCat wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:32 pm
Biggest mistake of my life. Told friend and he’s been telling me how to live my life since. I wish I said I was broke like everyone else.
I made the mistake of mentioning to my coworker, he was saying he can't wait to pay off his house in 7 years so he can retire at 60. I mentioned I paid mine off at 33 and felt like a braggart.

A week later my good friend was talking about how he knew this person who basically spends all their money on paying down their mortgage and don't ever go out. I said that's crazy and don't know why someone would feel the need to pay down a low interest loan.

The bragging should be reserved for BH forum.

randomguy
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Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

Post by randomguy » Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:58 pm

BusterMcTaco wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:24 pm
flyingaway wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:14 pm
Paying off mortgage is really nothing here, compared to the membership of the two comma club.
Hah! My mortgage is in the two comma club.
That's what I was thinking:)

Seriously you should tell some people when you pay off the mortgage. Seems like something you should share with your spouse for example. But why would you be sharing financial info with other people? What is the possible gain?

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Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

Post by Sheepdog » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:00 am

Yes, I did. It was common for people to tell others good news. How many "congratulations" I have said of mortgages having been paid off I don't know, but several. It is not telling my financial being, in my opinion. It just says that you paid off your mortgage of x years and it is nice to get rid of that burden so let's drink to that. I have never seen "jealousy" or felt like someone was telling their finances.
People should not say everything they think. They should think about everything they say.

Maya1234
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Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

Post by Maya1234 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:16 am

I live and work in a bubble. Most people i knew would not be particularly envious of us paying off our house. Many of my friends at home , close family and co-worker friends are in a position to pay off their mortgage easily or have done so. So yes. Siblings and close friends were told. I Often discuss financial things with co workers so told them too.

Spirit Rider
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Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

Post by Spirit Rider » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:21 am

Sometimes people might not intend to tell anyone. They might just be caught in a "deer in the headlights" moment. Everyone would like to think they would have a good comeback to financial questions. For me those always seem to come after the fact. "Oh, I could have said this."

It never happened to me with a mortgage, but it happened more than once with a new car ("slow learner"). In good BH tradition, I always paid cash for my vehicles and kept them a long time.

Their question; "So how much is your car payment on the new car?' My response; "ahhh, ummm, yeahh, etc..." Their follow-up; "You don't have a car payment do you?" Me, avoid eye contact, busted! News Flash at the water cooler. Spirit Rider paid cash for his new car. Let the subtle mooching begin.

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Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

Post by runner540 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:47 am

Pacman wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 5:34 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:50 pm
I did not tell anyone I paid my mortgage, because I have not paid my mortgage.
I have not paid my mortgage, because I have never had a mortgage.
I have never had a mortgage, because I have never owned real estate.

But here is an interesting observation related to the premise of this thread:
- If you have paid your mortgage you are perceived as outrageously wealthy.
- If you have always rented you are perceived as pitfully poor.

Both perceptions can be far off the mark.

Victoria
+1. I rent cheaply in an expensive city. Our rent payment represents 7% of our gross income and I've considered this to be a huge driver of our net worth. It's starting to become a recurring topic among friends/family of why we don't own a house, and if we are having financial difficulty or something.
+1 Victoria and Pacman. A good rental situation is worth so much.

It struck me as funny the other day when I realized that it's socially acceptable to throw parties (housewarming) when someone "buys" a house and signs up for $500k of debt, but not when someone hits $500k in their retirement accounts. Stealth wealth.

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Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

Post by Nate79 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:59 am

I can't wait to tell my friends and family some day. They will all be happy about it. As I've seen over the years owning a house outright is a foundation for a more sound retirement and financial future. I have no desire to be forever in debt to a landlord stuck as a renter. I truly feel sorry for the renters in the world stuck paying rent the rest of their lives. My opinion is not a popular one with the anti house buying crowd but so be it.

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Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

Post by HIinvestor » Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:44 am

We told our adult kids when we paid off the house AND all their tuition and ed expenses before H retired. We told them not to worry about having to support us in our old age. :)

I believe it may have come up in a conversation with my folks and perhaps my brother but we have not mentioned it to many folks, other than it coming up with others similarly situated.

We had and have no interest in sharing the info more broadly and see absolutely no value in doing so.

solar99999
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Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

Post by solar99999 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:07 am

Telling people you paid off your mortgage most likely means the following:

1) You are financially disciplined
2) Your disposable income just went up meaningfully.

If you brag on social media, you are inviting certain people to change their opinion of you in an unintended way. Fewer people may want to help you financially. Friends may see you as a target of wealth. Money is a huge reason of why relationships get destroyed.

Yes, bragging on social media makes you feel good in the short run. But put yourself in the shoes of the person reading your post. People don't necessarily like braggers. Some feel jealous. This is worrisome in the long run.

My advice is that if you want to brag, do it in a way where you exemplify #1, instead of #2. Tell people you are estatic to have finally paid off your mortgage after years of hard work and now you can plow every dollar into charity or retirement or some other disciplined plan. I think you will get a good result.

I paid off my mortgage and told my co-worker, boss, and family because I had an adjustable rate mortgage. Promptly after doing so, i asked my boss for a copy of the form to max out my retirement contributions to the company's 401k plan. When next compensation meeting came up, he said he fought on my behalf to raise my base salary as much as he could to maximize the amount of company match I was getting.

Long story short, tell people you paid off your mortgage only if you have a reason to.
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Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

Post by mmcmonster » Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:11 am

LH wrote:
Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:18 pm
I would not generally tell people.

Lots of people are struggling.
It's definitely not something I'd bring up in conversation. Mine is paid off but when people talk about it, I just say I have a few years left.

And yes, the paid off mortgage is part of why I feel I could leave work at any time (and work somewhere else for less pay but less stress). :beer

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Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:09 am

cutterinnj wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:32 pm
I always debate this in my heady. However, with mortgage rates so incredibly low (less than 3%), I feel bad about paying it off completely just yet.
My savings account yields even less, and I don’t feel sorry for the online savings bank.
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djpeteski
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Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

Post by djpeteski » Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:23 am

We told people about paying off my mortgage. We teach FPU occasionally and still mention that we are on BS7 which means something to people in the know.

This isolated us from people we considered friends that are also neighbors. It turns out, they were our friends as long as they could believe they were better than us. So no big loss there. The funny thing is they bad mouth us, saying we are broke, and at the same time display a lot of jealousy. Bless their hearts.

We occasionally get hit up for donations. One "friend" attempted to get 53K out of us for a camper for some hair brained scheme her and her husband cooked up. That was an easy "No" as the husband has not worked for like the past 7 years. Silly me took the time to develop a plan for them to get their life back on track. Well he owes a bunch of back child support that he does not want to pay so he won't work to have his wages or tax return garnished. Talking with her about her life was a bit like watching an episode of "Teen Moms" or some other hot mess express reality show.

Yea so we tell people to promote the Dave Ramsey way of life. He really helped us get our financial life on track.

Now, only our adult children know about the two comma club milestone.

mouses
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Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

Post by mouses » Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:25 am

investor997 wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:17 pm
I find it strange how several here have said "I've only told my spouse." Although I'm not married, it seems odd to me that this is the type of event that needs to be communicated to a spouse, as if they'd ordinarily be clueless as to how much money they owed on their home.
+1.

scrabbler1
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Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

Post by scrabbler1 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:31 am

I bought my co-op apartment in early 1989 and refinanced it in 1992 after interest rates took a huge tumble in 1990-1991. I was still working full-time back then, and the stock market began to boom in the 1990s. Taking some of the gains from the markets enabled me to pay off the mortgage in early 1998, just when I turned 35. My salary was rising nicely in the 1990s so I was covering my expenses on 1 biweekly paycheck after I paid it off. It didn't take me too long to replace the money I used to pay it off, and this big reduction of my expenses set the stage for my semi-retirement in 2001, followed 7 years later by fully retiring at 45.

I didn't tell many people I had paid off the mortgage, just my small circle of friends, and my dad (mom had died a few years earlier), who had paid off the 30-year mortgage on his house 4 years earlier without any fanfare.

AntsOnTheMarch
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Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

Post by AntsOnTheMarch » Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:34 am

mouses wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:25 am
investor997 wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:17 pm
I find it strange how several here have said "I've only told my spouse." Although I'm not married, it seems odd to me that this is the type of event that needs to be communicated to a spouse, as if they'd ordinarily be clueless as to how much money they owed on their home.
+1.
+1

Paid off mortgage 20 years ago and kept it to ourselves since. I see no reason to advertise it. Now, in our current age group (60) I imagine quite a few people have mortgages paid off so it wouldn’t mean much to anyone. Still, no reason to advertise. Unless people start walking around with placards hanging from their necks listing their net worth, I see no reason to share details of our personal finances with them.

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Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

Post by Jags4186 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:36 am

ThePrince wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:08 pm
Jags4186 wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:05 pm
I don’t understand why anyone would announce this? At best it makes you look like a braggart and at worst it makes you a target. Also in today’s interest rate environment there is a very sound argument that carrying a mortgage is more financially sound than paying it off.

Stealth wealth people. Stealth wealth.
Your interest rate argument fails to weigh the financial risk a mortgage represents.
The only risk a mortgage represents is foreclosure in the event you fail to make the mortgage payments. That risk isn’t a risk to someone who has the money to pay off the mortgage but chooses instead to carry a loan and invest the money.

ERISA Stone
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Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

Post by ERISA Stone » Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:53 am

I have no interest in people knowing how well or poorly I'm doing financially. I've run into the same issue with cars. They ask what my car payment is and I say I have no idea. I'm pretty sure they know I don't have a car payment.

I get enough strange looks when people find out I have an actual investing strategy.

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Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:40 am

djpeteski wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:23 am
We told people about paying off my mortgage. We teach FPU occasionally and still mention that we are on BS7 which means something to people in the know.

This isolated us from people we considered friends that are also neighbors. It turns out, they were our friends as long as they could believe they were better than us. So no big loss there. The funny thing is they bad mouth us, saying we are broke, and at the same time display a lot of jealousy. Bless their hearts.
Lots of hypocrites around including in the Sunday pew. Lots of envy as well.

Yea so we tell people to promote the Dave Ramsey way of life. He really helped us get our financial life on track.

Now, only our adult children know about the two comma club milestone.
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Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

Post by goodenyou » Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:17 am

Conspicuous savings is as obnoxious as conspicuous consumption. Come to think of it, anything used to advertise in order to promote one's prestige is obnoxious.
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Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

Post by Salada Dinero » Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:28 am

First time poster, long time lurker.

My mortgage is not paid off but am on track for that to occur in 4 years. Am 5 years into a 30 yr conv. mortgage.
I made the mistake of telling a friend this last year. He was very jealous to say the least. I should have known better but let my excitement get the better of me.

I'll keep this little fact a secret when it does happen. Good advice by others in this thread!
Last edited by Salada Dinero on Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Pajamas
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Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

Post by Pajamas » Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:40 am

No, absolutely not, other than asking the bank with the mortgage to file the UCC termination documents when they didn't do so automatically. :oops:

When you stop working before the traditional retirement age, there will inevitably be questions about that at some point no matter how much you try to avoid them, and I always frame any response as a matter of major and minor life choices that affect finances to put it in context. Most people wouldn't want to trade their life for mine, and vice versa!

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Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

Post by yolli71 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:01 am

mouses wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:25 am
investor997 wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:17 pm
I find it strange how several here have said "I've only told my spouse." Although I'm not married, it seems odd to me that this is the type of event that needs to be communicated to a spouse, as if they'd ordinarily be clueless as to how much money they owed on their home.
+1.
+2. I understand friends and relatives, but keeping your own spouse in the dark about finances unless you feel like telling them? Or the fact that they have zero clue in the first place? Odd to me as well.

Congrats on paying off your home...I paid mine off just under 2 years ago and it's a great feeling (regardless of if you could "potentially" get more in return by investing).

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Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

Post by VictoriaF » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:08 am

FelixTheCat wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:32 pm
Biggest mistake of my life. Told friend and he’s been telling me how to live my life since. I wish I said I was broke like everyone else.
Can you share your friend's advice? Does he recommend to take home loans? Does he want you to upgrade to a more expensive home? Does he suggest how to spend your new-found moneys? Or is he introducing you to ladies interested in digging gold?

Victoria
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Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

Post by flyingaway » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:13 am

We paid the mortgage off twice for two different houses, each time just a few years after the mortgage was started. We made it our top priority to pay off any debt.
I never bragged about that. If anyone would ask, I would tell the truth. However, it seems nobody has asked.

DrGoogle2017
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Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:22 am

It won’t impress anybody in my hood, they all pay cash for their houses. Acronym for them is FCB.

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Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

Post by samsoes » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:28 am

DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:22 am
It won’t impress anybody in my hood, they all pay cash for their houses. Acronym for them is FCB.
FCB?
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Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:31 am

samsoes wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:28 am
DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:22 am
It won’t impress anybody in my hood, they all pay cash for their houses. Acronym for them is FCB.
FCB?
Foreign Cash Buyers

wolf359
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Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

Post by wolf359 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:31 am

investor997 wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:17 pm
WalterMitty wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 6:17 pm
Secondly, as many have said already, IMHO don't tell anyone (except spouse). I told my spouse, and that was it.
I will hold back on the social media. I've told a couple close friends/coworkers and that's it. I'll leave it at that. They're all happy for me.

I find it strange how several here have said "I've only told my spouse." Although I'm not married, it seems odd to me that this is the type of event that needs to be communicated to a spouse, as if they'd ordinarily be clueless as to how much money they owed on their home.
Most people know how much their house cost when they bought it, and how much money they borrowed for the mortgage. After 10 years or so, most people don't know how much money is left to be paid. Usually only the person who is tracking the finances or doing the taxes even sees the annual statement. Even then, there is so much money owed left that the outstanding principal isn't actionable or relevant to their lives.

In fact, most people don't even know how much they're spending in a given month, let alone specific details about their mortgage amortization schedule (whether they're married or not.)

It's unusual to have one person obsessing over this level of financial detail. My wife certainly doesn't.

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Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

Post by czeckers » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:33 am

mouses wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:25 am
investor997 wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:17 pm
I find it strange how several here have said "I've only told my spouse." Although I'm not married, it seems odd to me that this is the type of event that needs to be communicated to a spouse, as if they'd ordinarily be clueless as to how much money they owed on their home.
+1.
Married. We divide up the work of keeping our finances in order. She handles the day-to-day and utility bills. I handle the bigger picture things like insurance, retirement savings, student loan payments, mortgage. Given that the mortgage is paid by direct deposit, there would be no direct indication that it is paid off until the letter comes from the bank.

So yeah, I'll probably tell her when we pay it off. :wink:
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alpine_boglehead
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Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

Post by alpine_boglehead » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:48 am

quantAndHold wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:03 pm

A couple of years later...

Boss: "quantAndHold, I'm a miserably incompetent pointy head, and I need you to do something you're strongly not inclined to do."
quantAndHold: "My last day will be 2 weeks from Friday."
A scene like this alone is worth the "struggle" for FI. :sharebeer

I'll also support the stealth wealth recommendation. Having no mortgage really makes you feel like an oddball at the lunch table with the house-poor people. If they know your status, they will think your are an oddball.

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Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

Post by HIinvestor » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:25 pm

I will admit I was jealous of a friend who had no mortgage or housing costs when we were paying a large chunk of our take home pay towards our mortgage.

I also admit that since I handle most of our household finances, H didn’t know we had paid off the kortgage until I told him (pre-paid an extra $500 every month so we would fully pay it off before he retired).

It felt great paying off all the kids ed expenses and tuition and the mortgage before H retired. It has allowed us to have a lot more options, particularly in terms of helping our kids financially, travel, and running my nonprofit, which I greatly enjoy.

Sharing the info broadly doesn’t seem kind or prudent, knowing that many friends and relatives are not similarly situated and nay be paying mortgages and working for a very long time, as they do not live far below their means.

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Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

Post by OEJAW » Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:56 pm

We bought our house in cash. My parents know but no one else does. For the rest of our family and friends this would create a lot of animosity that we were able to do on similar/less income than them. So yes, we outright lie if asked. Sometimes that's what you gotta do to keep the peace in the family. I'm less worried that people know I saved up 20k in cash for my car but I still don't advertise.

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Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

Post by mouses » Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:51 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:08 am
FelixTheCat wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:32 pm
Biggest mistake of my life. Told friend and he’s been telling me how to live my life since. I wish I said I was broke like everyone else.
Can you share your friend's advice? Does he recommend to take home loans? Does he want you to upgrade to a more expensive home? Does he suggest how to spend your new-found moneys? Or is he introducing you to ladies interested in digging gold?

Victoria
I think you mean women, Victoria, not ladies.

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VictoriaF
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Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

Post by VictoriaF » Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:07 pm

mouses wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:51 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:08 am
FelixTheCat wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:32 pm
Biggest mistake of my life. Told friend and he’s been telling me how to live my life since. I wish I said I was broke like everyone else.
Can you share your friend's advice? Does he recommend to take home loans? Does he want you to upgrade to a more expensive home? Does he suggest how to spend your new-found moneys? Or is he introducing you to ladies interested in digging gold?

Victoria
I think you mean women, Victoria, not ladies.
I had in mind ladies of the night, figuratively and literally.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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whatusername?
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Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

Post by whatusername? » Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:34 pm

I told my parents who were proud of me. I have quietly told a few close friends over the past couple years when it has been relevant to the discussion. Oh, and I told one random stranger in the Denver airport while we were making small talk the day I paid it off. I would never, never make a public announcement about it though unless it was entirely anonymous (i.e., I told you fine folks too).

WhiteMaxima
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Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

Post by WhiteMaxima » Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:37 pm

Do you tell anyone how much in your saving account?

MathWizard
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Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

Post by MathWizard » Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:38 pm

I told my kids, and one brother who paid off his house long before I did.

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celia
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Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

Post by celia » Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:18 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:50 pm
But here is an interesting observation related to the premise of this thread:
- If you have paid your mortgage you are perceived as outrageously wealthy.
- If you have always rented you are perceived as pitfully poor.

Both perceptions can be far off the mark.
Victoria, It is interesting that of all the Bogleheads here, you should be the one posting this. I read this and remembered you came to the U.S. from Russia, which reminded me about something that happened over 30 years ago. During the early years of the "internet", I was in a chat room with several other people. We introduced ourselves and told where we lived. How interesting that I'm sitting at home and talking (typing) to people in <far-away places>, many of us probably thought. Most of the people on that particular night were from all over the U.S. Then a few said they were connecting to the chat room from Russia. We asked how things were doing in various places. There were cross-conversations going on, but the chat box kept filling up with the latest question or comment.

Then one of the Russians asked "We have heard that many people in the U.S. own their house. Is that true? Do you know anyone like that?" The conversation stopped. No-one typed for over a minute. No-one wanted to sound like they were "rich" Americans.

Remember, this was a long time ago when it was hard to talk to a stranger on the other side of the world and get to know them. And you weren't really sure that the person was who they claimed to be. And at that particular time, the only people with "internet" access in the US were those who had it through an ARPANET-related job or who had above-average income AND the know-how on how to connect (all of which I had).

Finally, someone said "I own a house but have a loan from the bank that I need to pay off over 30 years before I own it completely." Then others started replying with similar answers. It soon became apparent that many of the Americans in the chat owned homes, not just knew others who did.

Fast forward 30 years and here we are, not just owning homes, but so many in this forum have paid them off early or purchased in cash! Not only is this an "extreme" variation of "Do you know anyone who owns a house?" but it is also surprising to me that so many people are willing to admit it anonymously here but not tell anyone but their trusted friends and relatives. Maybe if we were more open to this and people talked about it more, more people would be tuned in to the fact that is it possible to own your house (and pay it off before you retire). To me, this is akin to teaching/modeling for the next generation that you need to save part of each paycheck as a way to pay for your needs later on.


On another note, I couldn't locate the old post, but after a lot of people lost homes they couldn't afford in 2009-2011, we had someone post how his 10-year-old son saw an unusual piece of mail come to their house and asked the dad what it was. The dad replied that it was the deed to their house and explained how they now owned all of it. He explained about mortgages and how they had no more worries about paying the bank each month. The dad said it was a huge relief for the son to know that and it gave him much-needed security as several friends of the son were getting ready to move as their parents were losing the house.

investor997
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Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

Post by investor997 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:30 pm

czeckers wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:33 am
Married. We divide up the work of keeping our finances in order. She handles the day-to-day and utility bills. I handle the bigger picture things like insurance, retirement savings, student loan payments, mortgage. Given that the mortgage is paid by direct deposit, there would be no direct indication that it is paid off until the letter comes from the bank.

So yeah, I'll probably tell her when we pay it off. :wink:
It still seems a little strange to me. I suspect most folks on this forum are generally on top of their investments, including how much they owe on their mortgage and how much longer it'll last. A few months' heads up to the unsuspecting partner might be nice. :)

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VictoriaF
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Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

Post by VictoriaF » Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:44 pm

celia wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:18 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:50 pm
But here is an interesting observation related to the premise of this thread:
- If you have paid your mortgage you are perceived as outrageously wealthy.
- If you have always rented you are perceived as pitfully poor.

Both perceptions can be far off the mark.
Victoria, It is interesting that of all the Bogleheads here, you should be the one posting this. I read this and remembered you came to the U.S. from Russia, which reminded me about something that happened over 30 years ago.
Thank you, Celia, for the story.

I came to the U.S. from what used to be the Soviet Union, and in the USSR home ownership was mostly out of question. In the country side, people lived in houses rather than apartments, but these houses were more primitive than American sheds. In cities, some people had cooperative apartments, but they were small and had too many restrictions to qualify as true ownership.

However, in not owning a home in the United States I am even more an outlier among Russian (and ex-Soviet) immigrants than among Americans. When I came to the U.S., the common wisdom among the Russians was to buy a house as soon as possible, in as nice area as possible, as expensive as one could qualify for. Many people were borrowing for the down-payment from their parents or siblings.

I did not follow this trend not because I was better informed or wanted to be a contrarian. My barrier was that I came to the U.S. as a single parent of a 2-months old child. For many years, I had to pay for daycare, babysitters, and her and my universities. By the time I was able to buy a home, it has lost any attraction.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

delamer
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Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

Post by delamer » Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:03 pm

ERISA Stone wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:53 am
I have no interest in people knowing how well or poorly I'm doing financially. I've run into the same issue with cars. They ask what my car payment is and I say I have no idea. I'm pretty sure they know I don't have a car payment.

I get enough strange looks when people find out I have an actual investing strategy.
I completely identify with this. One of these reasons that I am active on this forum is so I can discuss financial issues in anonymity.

A few of my friends know that I post here and have asked what my screen name is. No way that I give it out.

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Chris001122
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Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

Post by Chris001122 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:07 pm

Just people who ask. Not many.
"It's always been a mistake to bet against the United States since 1776." - Warren Buffett

ThePrince
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Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

Post by ThePrince » Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:31 pm

Jags4186 wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:36 am
ThePrince wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:08 pm
Jags4186 wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:05 pm
I don’t understand why anyone would announce this? At best it makes you look like a braggart and at worst it makes you a target. Also in today’s interest rate environment there is a very sound argument that carrying a mortgage is more financially sound than paying it off.

Stealth wealth people. Stealth wealth.
Your interest rate argument fails to weigh the financial risk a mortgage represents.
The only risk a mortgage represents is foreclosure in the event you fail to make the mortgage payments. That risk isn’t a risk to someone who has the money to pay off the mortgage but chooses instead to carry a loan and invest the money.
Wrong. What if the market crashes and wipes out the money that person had saved, which could have satisfied the mortgage. Let’s look at a sunk cost analysis: If you didn’t have a mortgage, would you obtain one and invest all the proceeds in the stock market? No, I wouldn’t either.

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Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

Post by Spirit Rider » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:02 pm

celia wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:18 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:50 pm
But here is an interesting observation related to the premise of this thread:
- If you have paid your mortgage you are perceived as outrageously wealthy.
- If you have always rented you are perceived as pitfully poor.

Both perceptions can be far off the mark.
Then one of the Russians asked "We have heard that many people in the U.S. own their house. Is that true? Do you know anyone like that?" The conversation stopped. No-one typed for over a minute. No-one wanted to sound like they were "rich" Americans.
This should be considered in context. Not only in the former Soviet Union, but in much of the world. By "own their house", they meant free and clear. Even now there still is very little ability for people in many countries to get mortgages to buy a home. It generally only happens through family.

Several years ago I spent 75% - 80% of the time over two years onsite at a project in Buenos Aires, Argentina. People in the middle class/upper middle class owned their own apartments, but free and clear. In all that time I never met anyone with a mortgage.

randomguy
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Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

Post by randomguy » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:58 pm

yolli71 wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:01 am
mouses wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:25 am
investor997 wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:17 pm
I find it strange how several here have said "I've only told my spouse." Although I'm not married, it seems odd to me that this is the type of event that needs to be communicated to a spouse, as if they'd ordinarily be clueless as to how much money they owed on their home.
+1.
+2. I understand friends and relatives, but keeping your own spouse in the dark about finances unless you feel like telling them? Or the fact that they have zero clue in the first place? Odd to me as well.

Congrats on paying off your home...I paid mine off just under 2 years ago and it's a great feeling (regardless of if you could "potentially" get more in return by investing).
And if you don't tell them how are the going to know the mortgage is paid off? Do you expect them to go online and see that the mortgage value is 0? Do you expect them to read the piece of mail that comes from the company? That all seems a lot more complicated than just saying "We paid off the mortgage today. Lets have a drink to celebrate".

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