No. of Recommendations: 2
Greetings, Mojo16, and welcome. You asked:

Which is better: paying off a 30 year 8% mortgage early or investing the funds in the stock market or a more conservative investment vehicle?

"Better" is strictly in the eyes of the beholder. There is no right answer to your question, only one which makes the person concerned the most comfortable.

IMHO the decision to pay off the home, to carry a mortgage, or to rent in retirement is strictly a personal and highly emotional one. You may go through many variations of specific "economic" analyses that may "prove" conclusively from a financial standpoint you should do any one of the three. The "winning" result will vary depending on where you live and the economic situation at the time of the "study." But in this Fool's opinion it all gets reduced to one inescapable outcome. You and you alone must be comfortable with what you're doing regarding your retirement housing. And that means you're in an area where emotions should probably prevail over financial considerations.

I would almost never rent, nor would I ever completely pay off the mortgage. Others would probably never rent, but insist on having no mortgage. Still others, despite annual increases in rent, would never own. Are those views financial? Maybe. But mostly they're emotional. Therefore, we must all recognize there are times when the "economic man" must and should concede the floor to the "emotional man."

For details on some of the considerations involved, see my article "Your House" at

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