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Personally if you can payoff the mortgage without paying penalties, I would be inclined to do so just to clear the books and not have it hanging over your head.

However, the best answer to your question depends on what return you expect to make with the funds invested in the account (IRA? 401K?) compared to that 8% interest paid on the mortgage. You can also factor into your calculation the discount that results from being able to take a tax deduction on the interest from the mortgage.

If your account is conservatively invested in bonds, they may be paying 6% or so, so paying off the mortgage makes sense. However, if they are Foolishly invested in S&P Index funds, last year you made 21% return, so why give that up to pay off an 8%er. (Of course the real question is whether the S&P can do anything like 21% in 2000.)

Best of luck to you.
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