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Thanks for the response. I's all useful information for the planning process.

I'm glad you took my comments in stride.

I don't have a pension of any kind to rely on for basic expenses, and since SS benefits will only cover about 70% of my absolutely lowest expense nut (no travel, cable TV, internet, or car), I tend to be somewhat conservative with my estimates.

After 5-7 years, there should be enough in the account to get a new car (not the $45K one you’re looking at).

Tee-hee. The $45K car is a fantasy! (But even a $25K car makes a big enough dent for me to worry about it.) I'm considering using proceeds from a reverse mortgage to fund those types of one-time expenses, because it eliminates the much larger tax bill that comes with withdrawing a large lump-sum, over and above normal expenses (and I have no heirs to worry about leaving the house to).

While paying off the mortgages is part of the plan, circumstances closer to retirement will dictate if we go forward on it.

I currently own 2 'homes' (one is actually an apartment), and I have mortgages on both. I plan on selling the apartment and using the equity I have to pay off a substantial portion of the other mortgage, but it won't be enough to cover the whole thing. I'll have to play that scenario by ear also, as retirement time grows nearer. It's another use I can think of for reverse mortgage proceeds, or I might find that carrying a much smaller mortgage for a few years might make sense from an after-tax standpoint.

It sounds like you're on the right track by trying to nail down what you can. Fidelity has a fairly in-depth retirement planner that includes home purchases and mortgage pay-offs, in case you're interested. Just be prepared to know what your numbers are so you can input them! (I think you can stop in the middle and save what you already input to go back to later, because coming up with all those numbers can be time-consuming)

Best of luck,

2old
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