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By now I think we've pretty well covered the "don't throw money after deductions; it's dumb" part of tax avoidance.

I'll be a contrarian. Sure, it would be dumb to buy a bigger home than you need just to get a deduction. But I don't think the deduction overall is a dumb thing to use in financial planning. Interest rates are getting very low again. All that equity in a paid-for home just earns whatever the appreciation in value that is occurring for where the house is located. A more aggressive approach would be to refinance the house at low rates and invest the proceeds into something that will earn you a higher rate of return. The deduction would be icing on the cake.

in no rush to pay off his 4.5% mortgage
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