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DW -- who writes the checks for the mortgage payments -- has always written extra amounts "for principal only." A few years ago, in 2000, when I first was getting into investing, I tried to convince her that it just didn't make mathematical sense, and we could put the additional $$ into investing. But she insisted. So, she continued to pay extra on the mortgage, and that year the S&P fell. She was OK with her plan and continued to make extra payments the following year, and the market fell again in 2001. I was pretty sure that the market wouldn't go down a third year in a row (and, when I consulted the record, I saw that the market had in fact not gone down three years in a row during my lifetime). But she liked the idea that we could depend on the fact that payments "for principal only" were real, but the market seemed to go up and down (well, on paper maybe, but in our actual experience, it only went down). So, we continued with the "for principal only" payments and the market went down even more than it had during the previous two years.

All those numbers we read about are only averages, and what happens in any one year can be quite different. But the mortgage is fixed.

So, in about two more years, the house will be totally paid off. Nice!

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