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Quantitatively you're right. Qualitatively it is more complex than an Excel spreadsheet can reveal.

Which is to say, what you're saying makes financial sense, but people aren't robots, and we have negative feelings associated with debts/financial liabilities. For example a lot of people worry about losing/changing jobs exactly because of these kind of financial burdens.

If being "mortgage free" gave people more confidence to take more risk (e.g. change jobs, take a work-break, start a business) it could ultimately still be more beneficial than the alternatives, even if the maths doesn't show that.

Paying off a mortgage also reduces your liquidity, which is a risk itself.

The post above was contrasting it against medium or higher risk investments, so in both cases your liquidity is compromised. Leaving it as cash (or near-cash) is even more conservative than paying off a mortgage.

How so? Cash is mobile, cash lets you move, invest, make changes to your life. Paying off a home ties you down, and you don’t immediately get evicted for missing a mortgage payment.

My point is % return is not everything. I would gladly give up a 1.5% return in exchange for the ability to up and move when I need to, or respond to emergencies such as legal/health/family/political and resource instability/etc.

And paying off a mortgage improves your ability to move when you need to or respond to legal/health/family/etc issues. You're now "ahead" on mortgage payments allowing you to miss several without incurring penalties, giving you more flex while not incurring proportional loss from inflation as you would with near-cash holdings.

By definition, paying off a mortgage reduces liquidity. As a store of value, real estate is less liquid than cash, and many other types of assets. There is no way that exchanging a more liquid asset for a less liquid asset (giving up cash to gain equity in a home) improves one's ability to "move when you need to".

Also, there is no reason to assume home values in general protect against inflation better than savings accounts or other "safe" investments".

Only if you completely ignore the mortgage itself. The mortgage puts you into effectively negative liquidity as you have to meet the liability using liquid assets. By paying it off and gaining a home you can sell you've increased your liquidity relative to the mortgage but not relative to raw cash.

But as I said above raw cash (or near-cash) is even more conservative than mortgage repayments.

> Also, there is no reason to assume home values in general protect against inflation better than savings accounts or other "safe" investments".

History gives us a good reason to believe that. Cash depreciates. Homes on average appreciate.

I believe most lenders require you to make a payment each month regardless of whether you've paid extra or not. I don't have a mortgage yet but have read this. Really odd, in my opinion.

I agree that paying early improves your ability to move, though. You're less likely to be "underwater" (lose money) selling the house with more equity.

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