$330,000 Mortgage Crushed in 5 Years on a Single Income – with Talaat McNeely

Today, we’re chatting about Mortgage Freedom.

Eliminating the largest debt in your life … Owning your home outright.

If you’re reading this and you’re thinking, “Well … you always have a mortgage. That’s just something you need to pay forever. No one pays off their mortgage.”

Well, I have a guest today that completely disagrees with that statement.

Talaat McNeely joins me today on the show to discuss how he and his wife, Tai, paid off their $330,000 mortgage in just 5 years. Not only did they complete this impressive feat incredibly fast, but they did it on a single income.

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Should I Pay Off My Mortgage or Invest?

Our question of the month comes in from Luke from Indiana:


Hey Andy,

I was reading on your blog that you recently paid off your mortgage early. Congratulations!

I’m a Dave Ramsey guy like you and we’re getting close to baby step 6. I’m considering going heavy into paying off my mortgage like you did, but I’m also thinking it might be smarter for me to invest more for my retirement or just simply invest in the market. I also know market returns are unpredictable and we’re near all-time highs.

I have a 15-year mortgage at around 4% and the principal sits around $200,000. My wife and I are both working – we like what we do and combined we make around $200,000 per year. I feel like we could throw $50k per year at the mortgage and we’d be done in 4 years or less.

That could also be a good amount to throw at our retirement each year too.

What would you suggest for us? Should we pay off our mortgage or invest the money?

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The Life-Changing Benefits of Complete Debt Freedom

Recently, my family became completely debt free.

No student loans, credit card debt, personal loans, car payments and, yes …  no mortgage.

After 7 years of educating myself, diligent planning and partnership with my wife, we officially do not owe a single dollar to anyone. (We do have a late fee for Moana at the library. Does that count?)

We’re incredibly excited about our young family’s future and the opportunities that our debt freedom has opened up for us.

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How I Wasted Over $13,000 Refinancing My Mortgage

In 2004, my first mortgage was a 30-year 5/1 ARM at 5.25%. If that information confuses you, don’t worry. I was completely confused too when I signed up for it at 22 years old.

I didn’t care though. After saving up $20,000, I was thrilled to put that money into my first house down payment. I was proud to be a homeowner.

That’s what we’re supposed to do, right? Buy a home so we’re not wasting our money on rent?

Well, homeownership can be a smart move for some, but not the way I did it. I made two mistakes right away with my first home:

  1. Signing up for a mortgage that I didn’t understand
  2. Committing to homeownership costs that I could not afford

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Is Debt Freedom Impossible in a High Cost of Living Area?

This week’s question comes from Michelle in response to an article I wrote about paying off our mortgage early:


MICHELLE:

Hi Andy,

I find myself in a unique position.  I understand the steps you’ve outlined in your mortgage pay off article. I’ve read a few books on that process by Dave Ramsey.  

What advice would you give to someone who lives in a very high cost area?  

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We’re Mortgage Free! Here are the 10 steps we took to pay off our loan in less than 4 years

In late 2017, we paid off the $195,000 mortgage on our dream home. After 4 years of focus and partnership with my wife Nicole, we’re now completely debt free and thrilled about the future ahead of us.

To help our two young children remember this family tree-changing moment in our lives, we decided to celebrate with them. Instead of just burning the mortgage and tipping back a few glasses of champagne (which we did too), we came up with a few unique ideas of our own like running through a “Mortgage Wall” and whacking a “Mortgage Piñata”!  

The kids had a blast and so did we. This was a moment we wanted our kids to remember. It was the day we decided that our family was going to become debt free for life.

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How to Celebrate Paying Off Your Mortgage Early

You’re mortgage free! Congratulations!

This was no small feat. Your hard work and dedication in paying off this massive debt should be celebrated.

But how do you celebrate something that only a fraction of the US population has done?  

My family recently paid off the $195,000 mortgage on our home and we were asking ourselves this very question. We thought about painting our front door red or throwing a party with some close friends. After some spirited fun back and forth with my wife, we landed on four fun ideas that we could do together as a family.

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$400,000 Home Paid Off in Less Than 4 Years

The beautiful fall day outside of my office windows made it tough to concentrate that day. Not only were the leaves on the trees changing, our family’s financial situation was about to change as well.

Eventually, I made my way out of the office for the day and into the crisp autumn air. I took a deep breath to appreciate the moment and said to myself, “THIS is going to be a life changing day for our family.”

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Money Plans After the Mortgage is Paid Off?

Last week, Nicole and I made a really FUN phone call. We reached out to our mortgage company and said that we’re ready to pay off our 15-year loan. It was awesome!

I honestly can’t believe we’re here! After 4 years of extra payments and me repeatedly telling my patient wife the monthly balance … our day has come!

On the call with the mortgage company I was thinking, “They’re going to tell me that I can’t pay it off for some reason. There’s going to be some sort of legal fine print that I didn’t read correctly.” Nope, it was a very nice woman who walked us through the process.

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8 Compelling Reasons to Pay Off Your Mortgage Early

My wife and I have been paying down the principal on our $200,000 mortgage for almost four years now. The balance currently sits at $20,000. We are knocking at the door of mortgage payoff paradise!

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