Completely Debt Free! Yay!

This morning, I walked into the bank that held my mortgage, wrote a massive check, and paid it off.

With that payment, we are completely debt free for the first time since 2003. I gotta tell you, it feels good. Better than I thought it would, given that it chewed through more than we had in our savings at the beginning of the month.

As mentioned in this article: These Are My 5 Highest-Conviction Stock Market Moves for 2023 | The Motley Fool , rising costs and salary not keeping up with inflation put a huge pinch on our ability to make ends meet. Add a known income cut in 2023 due to a contract ending plus our first child heading off to college in 2023, and the cash flow projection math got really ugly, really quickly.

Fortunately, I got extremely lucky during the market’s recent mini-recovery. That, along with maturing bonds, bond interest, and stock dividends, opened up just enough cash availability in the brokerage account where I invest in options and bonds to transfer out the gap between what we had in savings and what we needed to pay off the mortgage.

The flexibility is much, much appreciated. It gives us breathing room we haven’t had since inflation started soaring. How long it lasts depends on both our other sources of income and whether inflation gets under control. But for the time being, it’s an amazing relief and released burden.

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Congratulations!!! And what will you do with all this new cash flow that used to go to mortgage payments?

Big party? Mortgage burning? Travel? New car? Boat? Airplane? RV? Yacht?

How are you fixed for retirement? Kids education? Lets hope most of it goes to savings and investments.


My primary objective is to “stop the bleeding.” Costs had to be cut substantially to do so, and the mortgage was the biggest one out there… I will consider 2023 a victory if:

  • The only investment I need to tap into to cover costs is my oldest’s 529 plan to cover his college costs.
  • I can get back on track for our overall savings/investment goals for the future.
  • I can make a dent in “paying back” the money I “borrowed” from the savings portions of those goals to get the mortgage paid off.

I believe that I am generally on track, but if inflation doesn’t get under control, all bets are off.

Maybe… Depends on which schools they choose and what the scholarship landscape looks like. I’ve been funding their 529 plans since they’ve been born, and they all have decent balances that could be sufficient for in-state public schools (or other schools that offer good scholarships).

That’s a key part of the goal – to be able to save/invest net new money again.

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