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For 2004 the standard deduction for married filing jointly with both spouses over age 65 was $11,600. It goes up every year, but Pub 17 for 2004 is sitting on the edge of my desk right now, so it was handy to check.
That comment, plus:
If the mortage you've taken out has $1000 of interest per month, and you're in the 20% bracket, that's $200 of your interest payment that gets 'subsidized' by Uncle Sam's IRS. You pay the other $800.

I'd just as soon have that $800 bucks... unless of course I had a really snazzy place to put the mortgage proceeds to work, making more than that...

I've thought about it... think I'll sit on the paid off domicile...
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