Thoughts On Savings After A Reader Hits Back On Paying Off A Mortgage

Rocco Pendola
8 min readFeb 27, 2024

Never Retire Checklist: #14

Photo by Devon MacKay on Unsplash

Today’s installment is as much about how psychology impacts our financial decisions as it is about saving money. So let’s intro it with this before detailing how I view and execute savings.

I received pushback from a subscriber the other day in response to this —

If you had $500,000 left on your mortgage at a payment of $2,300/month, $2,000 in other expenses, $550,000 in savings and work that generates $5,000/month, what would you do?

  • I would pay off my mortgage.
  • Save $2,300 each month, resulting in a $3,000/month surplus.
  • If my work was easy on the body and mind and required only around 20–25 hours a week, I would use $2,000 of that $3,000 surplus to replenish my savings each month. While it would take about 20 years to get back to $550,000, it only takes five years to get to $125,000. Not too shabby.
  • $125,000 would cover my $2,000 in monthly expenses for more than five years.

That’s how much having no or a super low housing payment means to me.

We had an exchange where he made the sound mathematical argument against what I would do —