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Well, if your home loan is at 5%, that represents a GUARANTEED 5% pretax return on investment by paying off your home loan. You're unlikely to find a substantially better GUARANTEED result. Extremely likely, maybe, but top-rated corporate bonds do have default risk.

On the other hand, for at least a year or two it's likely to be somewhat illiquid - not because of you or your situation, but because of the banks' situation.

And after that, the more desperately you need to draw on it the less liquid it will be. Want to fund a vacation on the other side of the country? Sure. Need to pay some big medical bills and buy a new car but facing a year of very-little-employment rehab? Forget it.

So I'd vote against cashing in liquid investments to pay down the mortgage.

Now, paying down with extra payments... if you think there's a better-than-even chance that you can do better than 5% return in some other investment, that may be a better choice.

Once you're very near retirement, it changes slightly. Then the level of security provided by continued employment gets replaced by pensions, maybe social security, and a chunk of your investments. At a long-term safe configuration for this chunk (20-35% Treasuries, the rest S&P500, drawing off 3.8% to 4% of initial balance - inflation adjusted - per year), for every dollar of your ANNUAL mortgage payment you need about $25 to $30 in your investment pool. So if you can eliminate that dollar of outgoing money by paying less than $25, you're money ahead.
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