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Okay, so our protagonist, Sparky, at 70.5, decides to indulge his/her postponed fantasies. (S)he will purchase a hang glinder, a couple of snowbiles, entry tickets to a slew of bocci ball tournaments, exotic stamps for the stamp collection, art, bass fishing tournaments, etc. Total bill: $75,000. Not to worry; (s)he has the cash.

The assets were previously invested, yielding 10%. But what the heck, life is for living. Over the following 15 years that $75,000 would have grown to about $313,294. But we'll get part of that back. The $5,000 mandatory distriubtion from the QRP is still lurking out there. We'll pay the taxes and invest the rest annually at the 10% rate of return, along with the average annual principle payment of $1,000 on the mortgage in scenario two. After 15 years that sum will have grown to $135,575. So we're only out $177,719. But, again, what the heck, life is for living. And they don't have armored cars in funeral processions.

Or, Sparky could keep the investment portfolio intact, and grow those assets to $313,294. (S)he could take the QRP money to offset the interest on the $75,000 mortgage used to purchase all of those goodies. Sparky will derive the same amount of enjoyment from those goodies. And 15 years later the increased assets of $313,294, minus the mortgage balance of $55,200, leaves a net asset base of $258,094.

In my math that's $122,519 better than the no-mortgage scenario. And the benefits derived are contemporary.

Hope this input moves the conversation forward.

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