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Thanks Gene and Neuromancer --

You've both given us good things to think about. In particular, I hadn't thought of the idea of selling and rebuying the stocks with gains in order to increase their basis price for when we do need the money later. As the year unfolds and we get a better picture of where our income really ends up, that might make a great strategy to take advantage of.

Fortunately, there's nothing forcing a decision on us today. Still, with property taxes skyrocketing thanks to the way the country reappraisal just wound up, insurance costs leaping thanks to one teenage driver and another on the way, and college costs looming, our costs of living are not trending in the right direction. In addition, if income and/or Social Security taxes go up, I doubt we'll escape the increases that actually make it through Congress...

By paying it off, the mortgage is the one big bill that could potentially be eliminated without a huge impact on our lifestyle...

Regards,
-Chuck
Discovery/HR Home Fool
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