Mortgage free!!! Now what???

Mortgage free!!! Now what???

The time has come: we’re mortgage free!!! Now what???

Read on. 🙂

Mortgage free!!! Now what???

Image: Pexels. 

We’re mortgage free!!! Now what???

I’ve heard and read from many successful early retirees, semi-retirees and full-on retirees that life reallly begins once you’re debt-free. 

We hope to experience that now.

How did we do it?

What was the math like?

Here was the journey in a nutshell, what we did and tried to avoid if you’re seeking a mortgage-free blueprint:

  • For the most part, we avoided “too much house”. Yes, we did (recently, as in five years ago) live in a sizable bungalow just outside the city for a number of years, but we’ve since downsized our home along with our environmental footprint. Even though our salaries could have potentially afforded more McMansion that was certainly not something we needed nor wanted. I believe the ability to get housing and transportation right in your asset accumulation years can be a major key to your financial success long-term…$5 coffee decisions are not stealing your early retirement dreams!

Two expenses stealing your early retirement dreams (that are not coffee)

  • We took advantage of our accelerated payments/mortgage terms. We believe it’s important to read the fine print: get a mortgage product that meets your needs. In our case, we wanted (and did) take advantage of our mortgage prepayment options and lump-sum payment opportunities over time to reduce our mortgage debt – especially when borrowing costs were cheap. There is always a tradeoff that exists when it comes to investing vs. mortgage payments.

The definitive answer to paying down your mortgage or investing

  • We put our raises or salary increases to mortgage work. If you want to pay off your mortgage debt faster, a good, simple approach is to use any salary increases from work as the aforementioned lump-sum mortgage payment from time to time – and avoid using any raises from work over the years as any spending windfall. You won’t miss the income and you’ll potentially knock off at least a few months from your mortgage amortization period if you do. 

After using these simple tactics….after paying off >$350,000 over the last decade we’re now mortgage-free!

We’re mortgage free!!! Now what???

Nobody, not even the most seasoned investor or financial expert, can successfully predict the markets.

So, as a passionate DIY investor, one of our goals moving forward is to simply remain the investing course.

We’ll also manage market volatility using a modest cash wedge designed to support us in any semi-retirement planning.

The Cash Wedge – Managing market volatility

Based on what some financial experts share from time to time, there are also some “do’s” and “don’ts” when it comes to being mortgage-free:

My name is Mark Seed - the founder, editor and owner of My Own Advisor. As my own DIY financial advisor, I'm looking to start semi-retirement soon, sooner than most. Find out how, what I did, and what you can learn to tailor your own financial independence path. Join the newsletter read by thousands each day, always FREE.

113 Responses to "Mortgage free!!! Now what???"

  1. Congratulations to you and your wife Mark, huge achievement.

    I am further down the life path (i am 64) with a somewhat complex family life but here the answers to your questions in point format and in a manner that i hope makes some logical sense:

    – had the mortgage almost paid off when divorce struck. As a result of the settlement (half the equity went to the ex), i essentially paid the mortgage off twice, last time several years ago.
    – Since then, in jan 2019, i also finished paying off the mortgage on two rental properties here in Ottawa, purchased well before the national housing crisis erupted (would not have bought the rentals otherwise i like to think)
    – In nov 2021 i paid off my new car (had leased it, as even if debatable a choice from a financial perspective i liked the freedom of returning it after 4 years if it not turned out to my liking)
    – Three months ago, I Finished paying for my son’s 8 years of out of town university expenses
    – I have been funding my grandson’s RESP and helping various charities
    – Always tried to find a balance between saving/investing for my and my family’s future (i also have a daughter) and living in the present. Fortunately, my active income has supported these twin goals. As a result, i did not feel burning off the mortgage on the primary residence as a huge turning point (an important and happy one yes though) in the bigger scheme of things (more on this below)
    – Took sufficient time off work on a regular basis and plan to negotiate working 8 of the 12 months when my contract comes up for renewal (will see whether it works. If it does not, it may be 0 out of 12 as i would stop working altogether)
    – I have a 5 year GIC ladder/wedge in my RRSP which, together with divvies in it, rental income and business accounts divvies (i am self employed and incorporated) will support a comfortable and secure retirement for the first 5 years, when it comes. After that i will gradually burn the RRSP account stock capital. I will leave intact my TFSA and business accounts, probably only taking divvies out of the latter
    – Decarbonized my stock investments (i only have a small amount in Enbridge left), at the cost of narrower diversification and risking lower returns on investments (latter risk materialized in 2023).
    – Always try to be mindful of my work-life balance and answer the ‘is it consistent with happiness?’ question. The answer continues to be ‘yes’ (or so i like to think. i do try to answer the question with brutal honesty)

    As a final point, i support the view of one of the posters that mortgage burning on the primary residence is an important and even ‘happy’ event but that it needs to be placed in a larger context for true happiness. I know you and many here agree. I also think it is not a subject for this thread but worth underscoring. Non-attachment, non-aversion and non-delusion come to mind as essential goals.

    Reply
    1. Great stuff and thanks very much for the detailed comment!

      So much to reply to, but I will say, we are thrilled to be debt-free and because of that, it will open up lifestyle options for us in the coming short years I believe.

      I will comment on your final happiness point. Having no mortgage debt is not an “end game” for us, rather, another milestone in a broader journey.

      I hope you continue to follow and comment away.
      Mark

      Reply
  2. Hi Mark: Don’t sweat the cost. Transitioning from mortgage to no mortgage is a good transition and as mentioned you will have more money. A trip should not seem like an extravagance. Remember that the stock market will pay for it as it will pay for the car. In 2018 I had to buy a new car and got it for $50000.00. My brother said why buy it when they are almost giving it to you to lease but if I get a new car I want it to be mine and not have to make lease payments. It wasn’t long before that large payment was a thing of the past and I was worth more than before. People who don’t understand the market and like to see other people do bad would laugh when the market dropped and say that I must be really hurting now and I would say not so. During the great recession and pandemic I did quite well as I am a buy and hold investor and as long as you don’t sell you are still collecting your dividends but some people seem to thing if the stocks drop so does your dividends but we know this not to be the case and a low market is just a time to pick stock up that are on sale. Enjoy the feeling of being mortgage free and keep well.

    Reply
    1. Ha, thanks Ronald!

      Where possible, we will try and pay cash/no finance for the car. I will sleep better at night this way. I don’t want to borrow/finance a depreciating asset. 🙂

      Two weeks later, I continue to enjoy the feeling of being mortgage free!!

      I appreciate the kind words and insights,
      Mark

      Reply
  3. Congratulations to you both for joining the mortgage-free club! It took you long enough. Jk, Haha!
    It’s the best feeling knowing that you don’t owe a debt to anyone. We wouldn’t trade it for anything.
    Enjoy that coffee now, buddy.
    Mr. CBB

    Reply
  4. Hi Mark: Congrats on being mortgage free. What now? Anything you want and now you won’t have the anchor of a mortgage to0 hold you back. The trip sounds great. I personally don’t know the joy of being mortgage free as I’ve never had a mortgage. Being an epileptic I still live in the family house and mom and dad had a small mortgage back in the ’40’s and 5 years later paid it off and so then had a 100 acre farm mortgage free. Most of the farm has been sold off but I still have .8 of an acre so some grass to cut. Just keep on investing and as you mentioned you had $44000.00 which in 10 to 15 years will double which is just fact as you invest more, the dividends increase and the power of compounding will insure it. With more money you will be able to go on all kinds of trips and golf and do anything you want. So just sit back and enjoy the freedom with the lack of a mortgage.

    Reply
    1. Thanks very much, Ronald.

      Beyond a few savings and investing goals that remain, for 2024, we are definitely going to let dividends and distributions compound away as potential part-time work looms. We’ll see. 2024 is a transition year for us in that respect and we want to travel and likely pay off a new(er) car too so lots of priorities – but the common denominator is no debt entering some form of semi-retirement and we won’t stop working full time unless that occurs. 🙂

      Thanks very much for your comment and stay well!
      Mark

      Reply
    1. Very kind, Chrissy. Thanks for your comment. Been quite a journey. 🙂

      Yes, now we can enter a different phase in our lives and consider some new options in the years to come. Exciting to figure that out but still a few things “to do” on the list for 2024.

      Congrats on passing your two years of FI. Pretty impressive but I’m sure very rewarding for you!!

      Stay in touch,
      Mark

      Reply
  5. Congratulations Mark on paying off the mortgage it does really call for a celebration! when we paid off our mortgage first thing we did we took an extra trip to Mexico because we felt like we deserved it after all we worked so hard for it and we need the break, as for what you should do now that mortgage is done? not sure about what you should do but in our case the money that was going towards the mortgage now we directed towards helping the kids with their education paying their university tuitions fees and help them max out their tfsa and fhsa because we decided when they were little that we would help them when we’re alive and not after we pass from this life.
    Jack bogle wasn’t wrong about his book “Enough” and for us we found our enough and now we want to help our kids and others.
    Congratulations again.

    Reply
    1. Thanks, Gus!

      We are planning an international trip this fall in fact, to have a bigger celebration.

      We figure with a few final saving and investing goals in 2024, work on our own terms is coming close and we look forward to those options.

      Good point about having “enough”, everyone has their number but life is also short and very finite.

      I appreciate all your comments here Gus – always nice to chat.
      Mark

      Reply
  6. I’ve read every above comment, they’re so interesting, and I’d like to add my congratulations to you and your spouse too. It’s a great achievement.

    After our final mortgage payment, our celebratory meal was at A&W, and it never tasted better. Being debt free made everything seem just that little bit better. Having got over the initial excitement, we did a big trip to Europe and then ramped up our savings rate, peaking at around 70%. As soon as my spreadsheet “said” you have enough, I wrote and delivered my resignation letter. That didn’t feel great, but it was the right thing to do because the job was all consuming, and after all, the spreadsheet said it’s time to quit. The spreadsheet was right!

    Reply
    1. Thanks very much, Bob.

      Ha, A&W.

      We visited a nice restaurant here in Ottawa to celebrate – it was great.

      I’m still smiling when it comes to being debt-free.

      We are planning a nice international trip to pay in cash later this year. We’ll also hopefully be able to pay for a new(er) car with cash too.

      “As soon as my spreadsheet “said” you have enough, I wrote and delivered my resignation letter.”

      We’re not quite there yet, since we both want to work, but are considering scaling back for sure in the coming year. The spreadsheet says we’re about “90%” there to realizing our semi-retirement/work on own terms goals. A few more saving and investing goals for 2024 then we’re done. I’ll keep you and all other readers posted.

      Thanks for the follow all these years and the kind words. 🙂
      Mark

      Reply
  7. Congratulations Mark on a major financial milestone.

    We employed many of the tactics you did in purchasing and paying off our mortgage (bought less than we could afford, bi-weekly payments, accelerated and annual lump sum payments). Took us 12 yrs to slay our mortgage. Been debt free 14 yrs now. We used some of our new found $ to take less modest and somewhat more frequent vacations to provide our 3 kids and us more great experiences and memories. But most of it we piled into our non-registered account as we were already maxing the RESP’s, modest RRSP’s (we both have workplace pensions) and we’re just starting TFSA’s. 14 yrs post-mortgage, we recently retired and have more income than we ever did.

    Our newest goal is to draw down our RRSP’s before we start collecting CPP at 70 or perhaps a bit earlier and provide our young adult children with lump sums to start investing towards their eventual retirement.

    Cheers

    Reply
    1. Thanks very much, Paul.

      Congrats on being debt free for so long. Nice. We’re only a few weeks in!

      I suspect we’ll make RRSP x2 contributions this spring, and then save for future 2025 TFSA contribution room this summer. After that, likely take an international trip.

      “14 yrs post-mortgage, we recently retired and have more income than we ever did.” – impressive! That means you did everything perfect. 🙂

      I like your call of course on taking CPP at age 70, if you can, for the 42% income boost. Seems to make great sense as to start withdrawing from RRSPs/RRIFs sooner to smooth out taxation. The most successful retirees I’ve talked to, all aspire to do that.

      Kudos on your detailed and smart planning. I hope to follow in the footsteps of folks like you.
      Mark

      Reply
  8. Woohoo 🥳 there is no better feeling than being debt free! Congratulations to you and your family, Mark.You’ll be smiling for a long while yet. We paid off our house in 5 years, I doubled up each month until it was done We bought in 1998 when houses were a lot cheaper. In hind sight, I wish wed bought a couple more. Nonetheless, awesome achievement and now you’re one step closer to your ultimate goal of early retirement. Well done!

    Reply
    1. Whoot-Whoot! 🙂

      Thanks very much, Candy.

      Congrats on paying off your debt as well – nice!

      Keep me posted on your plans, always great to hear from others are doing and what they have planned with debt obligations are done.
      Mark

      Reply
  9. Congratulations on being mortgage free Mark! It truly is a big achievement. When we paid off our first mortgage we upgraded our house and purchased a cabin as we figured we still had 10 working years left to pay them off. Now with those loans paid off, we can finally retire and not have to worry about payments. Our first mortgage was in the 1980’s at 14.5%. The first year we owed more than we borrowed. You were smart to make those extra payments. Enjoy the extra cash in your pocket. We look forward to your newsletters.

    Reply
    1. Thanks, Donna!

      “Now with those loans paid off, we can finally retire and not have to worry about payments.” Sweet!

      Ya, we figured it only made sense to pay down debt when money was cheap. It wouldn’t stay that way forever. Now, we can simply divert any additional income to savings and investments for the coming few years. And potentially spend a bit as we transition to any semi-retirement.

      I appreciate the kind words on the newsletters!
      Mark

      Reply
  10. Congratulations Mark! Another milestone in your investing journey!
    My wife and I purchased our house in 1999 and made it our priority to pay off the mortgage ASAP. At the time I knew nothing about investing, so it made sense to focus on reducing debt. It was a 25 year mortgage, so it was hard to see the end of the road. But, I soon discovered an online calculator on the mortgage company web site that showed how the years could be shaved off by making extra lump sum payments. We kind of treated it like a game and pounded down the payments (watching the years fall away) until we were mortgage free 11 years later in 2010. We spent the next year paying off car debt and in 2011 I discovered the FI community. We then went full steam ahead with investing and by 2014 I was 100% DIY and loving it! My wife retired two years ago and I’ve been FIWOOT since 2019 when I turned 50.
    You can see from my story that we used our new found cash from being mortgage free to double down on our investing. But, since your finish line is so close, you will soon be able to enjoy the fruits of your labour. 😊🎉

    Reply
    1. Thanks, Mike!!

      We all have twists and turns in our lives, some we don’t see coming or happening!

      “My wife retired two years ago and I’ve been FIWOOT since 2019 when I turned 50.”

      Awesome, pretty much right where we are…

      Our plan for 2024 is to save a bit more, for investing, and then take a nice trip with cash later this fall. I look forward to what any near-term full time work brings or ideally some part-time endeavours in the coming years.

      Mark

      Reply
  11. Congratulations Mark! My wife and I are about a year and a half away from realizing this goal! We could pay off our remaining mortgage now but our rate is locked in at 2.2% until September of 2025 in which time we will pay off the remainder. We have a special dinner/date night in mind to celebrate that moment in September 2025 ha!

    We will be in our late 30s at that time. We have 2 young kids now and have maxed out their RESPs annually since they’ve been born. We currently max our TFSAs and add as much into RESPs and non-reg accounts as possible.

    My “smart” plan once the mortgage is paid off is to roll that mortgage payment into investments. I also lump sum the max amount allowed onto my mortgage annually so not sure what I will do with that $ (assuming my income stays relatively stable. My wife’s is locked in). But the thought of putting that lump sum $ into a condo somewhere down south sounds amazing to me.

    Ultimately we will see where our lives are at come 2025 but that is my plan for our new found freedom as of now.

    Reply
    1. Late-30s almost without debt and 2 kids? That’s very well done my goodness. Kudos.

      I hear ya on the low rate. Ours was 1.69% recently and I/we prioritized investing over the mortgage for that reason.

      Hey, whether it’s a condo down South, rentals internationally, one paid off property will give you lots of options. I look forward to your update when your magical day arrives too!

      Best wishes,
      Mark

      Reply
  12. Congratulations Mark! I turn 70 in June and our mortgage was paid off 30 years ago. We have been strategic in the following ways since that time:
    1) maxed our TFSAs, our RRSPs and RESP for five grandchildren
    2) Supported hard workihg kids/their spouses/and grandchildren in a timely manner rather than later in our life. (downpayment/renos for their homes, expenses of raising kids, untimely expenses for them)
    3) Completed a significant reno/upgrade of our home rather than downsizing. Includes a basement suite for one son, recreation area for grandkids, and one floor living capability for us when it is needed so we can age in place.
    4) Generously supporting charities that we value
    5) Strategic with decision on CPP/OAS – will start connecting this June – delay means 42/36% increase than at age 65.
    6) Set up RRIF for additional pension splitting and withdrawing to now to offset delaying CPP and limit future clawbacks of OAS.
    7) Benefitted greatly from our indexed defined benefit pension plans (6.9% increase 2023, 3.8 increase 2024)

    Currently enjoying a couple of weeks in Maui and playing golf tomorrow!

    Reply
    1. Bruce, incredible. Thanks for sharing your personal experiences and seems super smart based on the work I do with my partner at Cashflows & Portfolios whereby we take those considerations and more into some personal reports/decision-making for folks.

      I must say, I’m very, very jealous on the golf in Maui!! Did you watch any of the PGA Tour when it was there recently? 🙂
      Mark

      Reply
      1. Yes – on TV before we got here. I live in Abbotsford very close to Ledgeview golf course where Adam Hadwin and Nick Taylor developed their early golf skills. So impressed with all the Canadians on the tour now. Also, appreciate the recommendation of the book Die with Zero – reading it while at the beach!

        Reply
        1. Nice, Bruce. Those guys can really play and as a golf fan myself who used to play in some provincial tournaments when I was younger, those guys are simply impressive!

          I hope you enjoy the book! Interesting read albeit a bit repetitive at times I found!

          Enjoy Maui!
          Cheers,
          Mark

          Reply
  13. Became mortgage free 5 years ago. Didn’t see much change in happiness level. It helps, of course, because we are no longer worried about the mortgage, and we’ll always have a roof over our head. But, having mortgage free doesn’t translate automatically to happiness. I realized that the hard way. In fact, the 2 months after being mortgage free was one of the worst period of my life since buying the house. Happiness is earned by adjusting your mindset and expectations, not given automatically from a materialistic source. That’s what I learned.

    Reply
    1. Very fair, Richard. I would say we are more relived not to be paying other people first, now.

      Essentially, the income we make now is for us to keep/enjoy for the most part. We’ll always have bills: property taxes, cell phones, groceries, etc. but knowing that we don’t have other long-term obligations over our heads is a relief. We can strive to earn the income we need from our portfolio be > expenses and once that’s done, we can likely retire as we wish.

      We live in a modest 2-bed condo and we enjoy it. We don’t have huge materialistic needs and likely never will.

      I appreciate your insights, definitely food for thought.
      Mark

      Reply
      1. Thanks for the reply. Relief is something to enjoy for sure. And, without mortgage, you’ll see money just being saved up without much effort, which is, of course, always good.

        Reply
        1. Yes, I hope so. We’ll see. We need to fund a newer car in the coming years and so we’re considering that in 2024 but we have time and could defer that decision since any capital can be used to generate cashflow and fund that readily in another year. That’s the idea anyhow!
          Mark

          Reply
  14. Congratulations on reaching FULL homeownership 😉 we love to joke around that we don’t own anything as long as the bank’s name is on it. Being mortgage free means your house is YOURS and no one can knock on that door and take it away from you. A tremendous feeling of freedom AND housing security.
    We are fortunate to also be mortgage free which allowed us to catch up and max out our TFSAs in a relatively short amount of time.
    My husband has a future pension while I don’t have a high income, so we don’t focus too much on RRSPs. Instead, I focus on my tax free and he has a new goal for NReg. The sooner we reach those goals the sooner we can go down to part time/gig work and road trip to our hearts content near lakes and trails.
    Our next goal is to find a rental property that could serve as a retirement condo in the future when we are less mobile and less inclined to maintain a home.
    You are so right (along with many of your readers) life really feels like it can snowball into new possibilities when you don’t have to worry about a mortgage payment. Congrats!

    Reply
    1. It all depends on what you spend, and your needs and wants, Alfie.

      I know folks that enjoy and have much happniess with their portfolios + benefits earning/delivering $4k per month. Still, others, want $10k per month to “be happy” and comfortable. It really does and always “depends”….

      Congrats on being mortgage-free back. I also prioritize our TFSAs x2 over RRSPs, although we invest in both.

      A retirement condo sounds lovely. Let me know what you decide. Sounds like you have great options to look forward to!

      I appreciate the wishes,
      Mark

      Reply
  15. In retirement having a paid off home allows you to better throttle your income for Tax Purposes. If we were renting in retirement we would need more income and likely push up to a higher tax bracket.

    What we have found is that the house for when we were working is a bit too small for when we are retired. It is the Canadian winters, unless you can be somewhere else you use your house much more in winter and what worked while we were working is a bit small for all the hobbies. (especially when it is -35c).

    Not sure how we will solve this good problem, travel more and a full house becomes a bit of a burden, but an apartment is really limiting.

    Reply
    1. Totally something we’re thinking about, BK. re: better throttle income for Tax Purposes.

      In the coming years, like 2-3 from now, it is our sincere hope we can travel for 1-2 months per year. Away from some winter but also other calendar travel. I intend to work in some capacity throughout my 50s, just maybe not full-time.

      We’re in a 2-bed condo and we downsized purposely a few years ago to help realize those future travel goals. Maybe this site will turn into a travel blog. We’ll see!

      Thanks for the kind words.
      Mark

      Reply
  16. CONGRATULATIONS to you both. Enjoy your celebration trip and dinner. Being a long time reader, I know you both will not squander your new found funds but will use them wisely. I hope you both get as much pleasure out of being mortgage free as I have done. Well done. 👍🎇🎆

    Reply
  17. Congratulations to you and your spouse Mark. we’ve been mortgage free for 8 years now and there is no better feeling than having that huge payment and potential interest avalanche off your back. We then focused our payments on getting our kids through post secondary, maxed RESP’s do help, as well as getting themselves permanent high demand jobs and established outside our home. Then at 50, I moved to as you call it FIWOOT while still allowing my registered funds and TFSA.s to grow. My wife has 3.5 years left before her early retirement date as she is 7 years younger than myself. By then, our savings should allow us to retire on our reduced pensions, registered plans, TFSA.s and government plans while still living and owning our home and vehicles. I will slowly pull back from my part time work and be fully done when she retires. We will see what the future holds, as I sure am looking forward to it 🙂

    I wish you all the best in your exciting new future!
    Lou

    Reply
  18. Congratulations to you and your spouse Mark. we’ve been mortgage free for 8 years now and there is no better feeling than having that huge payment and potential interest avalanche off your back. We then focused our payments on getting our kids through post secondary, maxed RESP’s do help, as well as getting themselves permanent high demand jobs and established outside our home. Then I moved to as you call it FIWOOT while still allowing my registered funds and TFSA.s to grow. My wife has 3.5 years left before her early retirement date as she is 7 years younger than myself. By then, our savings should allow us to retire on our reduced pensions, registered plans, TFSA.s and government plans while still living and owning our home and vehicles. I will slowly pull back from my part time work and be fully done when she retires. We will see what the future holds, as I sure am looking forward to it 🙂

    I wish you all the best in your exciting new future!
    Lou

    Reply
    1. Congrats back to you, Lou – that’s great!

      Smart stuff, shift payments to kiddos and makes sense.

      Yup, we have designs on the FIWOOT stuff for sure. We absolutely want to contribute to our current employer, hopefully in just a different capacity. They know that. We figure we’re too young not to work at anything, so financial independence, work on own terms (FIWOOT) makes so much more sense to us in the coming year(s). 🙂

      So, I like your idea of slowly pull back from part time work and be fully done when your partner retires.

      Keep me posted, always great to engage with other DIY investors and their stories. 🙂
      Mark

      Reply
  19. I smiled when I read your post because you are doing all the things that we did.
    Every time our household income increased, we diverted the increase to our mortgage. As well, any unexpected windfalls – income tax returns, etc. – we diverted to our mortgage.
    And when our house was finally paid off, we diverted the mortgage payment to our investments. And we continued the practice we had of diverting income increases, but now to investments, instead of a mortgage.
    Last year we retired, and we’re now enjoying the reward of all those years of financial discipline.
    Congratulations on paying off your mortgage! It’s a huge step to your financial independence.

    Reply
  20. Nice work!

    We have lived mortgage free for a number of years and life really does feel like it begins when you are debt free.

    In our case, we both went through divorces and had to start over in mid life, but it’s amazing what you can accomplish when your goals are aligned (both previous spouses were addicted spenders).

    Once we were debt free, we continued to live our lives frugally, avoid debt and have; invested in a second property that we can enjoy, topped up RRSPs, TFSAs, and have a substantial cash wedge.

    As someone near retirement, one of the things we would have done differently, is to balance our investments in NREG income sources and to pay better attention to the balance of funds attributed to each partner, so that the income sources and subsequent taxes as a result in retirement could be better managed, but as far as landing retirement is concerned, this is a small problem to manage. We intend to fix the balance by scaling back the wedge to 18-24 months and investing in NREG income sources to balance out the income streams.

    I think people really need to spend the time understanding how NREG dividends, capital appreciation, employment income and registered funds play different roles at different stages of life. Too much of anything is not a good thing and has consequences throughout the different phases of life.

    Reply
    1. Thanks, Tom. You’re another person that has mentioned that re: life begins when you’re debt-free.

      Divorce is not easy, 100%.

      I appreciate your experiences: “one of the things we would have done differently, is to balance our investments in NREG income sources and to pay better attention to the balance of funds attributed to each partner, so that the income sources and subsequent taxes as a result in retirement could be better managed, but as far as landing retirement is concerned, this is a small problem to manage.”

      I/we actually started my wife’s NREG account a few years ago, for that reason. This way, a form of future income splitting.

      Curious, are you still trying to even that out?

      I’ve followed the insights from a number of very successful retirees (like you?) and they all have a cash wedge of at least, bare min., one year in cash/HISA, etc. ready to use if/when needed. Some have closer to 24 months with a GIC here and there. It just seems smart knowing markets can and do go down for extended periods of time.

      Might I assume your withdrawal order is likely a blend of RRSPs/RRIFs first, then move to NREG? NREG can be tax-efficient to your point. 🙂

      Thanks for the details,
      Mark

      Reply
      1. Mark,

        In our case 1 spouse is heavy in RRSP/RRIF and modest pension while the other is/was heavy in Real Property. Our Wedge – as I call it – is in high interest GICs until July and results from liquidation of some of that real property. It is far more than we need for a wedge and we will scale that back into 24ish months and invest rest in sector balanced dividend stocks to provide a retirement source of income for the REG lean spouse.

        Reply
        1. Gotcha, that 24-month cash position (i.e., HISA, GICs, Cash ETFs, etc.) seems very wise and I think as I approach full-on retirement I’m very likely to have that ourselves. For now, while working full-time, 1-years’ is enough to cover expenses/modest emergency fund.

          I appreciate those details, nice to learn what others are doing and why!
          Mark

          Reply
  21. We will also be mortgage free this year – YAY! After 23 years (which it was sooner but kids, RESP’s, bills, a bit of enjoyment along the way) made it difficult to pay down quicker.
    I cannot wait until July when our mortgage renews. We could pay it off today but I prefer to wait until renewal and use the extra cash i have as my emergency fund (everything in my house needed replacing/fixing this year, so thank goodness for the emergency fund)!
    I’m so glad we don’t have to renew at a higher rate this year – we are coming off a 2.89 – 5 yr fixed rate mortgage.

    We plan to invest the extra cash (in diversified ETF’s) and pretend we still have a mortgage – mainly so that i’m not tempted to spend and take vacations – although i plan to take a few vacations 😉
    my concern is that some of this extra $$ will be eaten away by inflation and rising property taxes, rising car/house insurance. These are the only things that concern me going forward…
    I also have 2 kids in or going to University so we plan to help them pay tuition (RESP’s are minimal).

    We only began self directed stock investing at 44 yrs of age so a bit late in the game.
    prior to this, we only invested in mutual funds – yuck! and GIC’s. We’ve done ok but the dividend growth in just the last 4 yrs has been unbelievable, so we plan to continue on the self directed path.

    My only advice to you is – DON’T LEASE a car – money pit! Buy a good used vehicle and save the rest. Avoid this additional payment now that you no longer have a mortgage.

    Best to you and keep up the great work! Thanks for sharing your journey with all of us!

    Reply
    1. Thanks, Angie!

      Congrats on your upcoming plans!

      Life always gets in the way…we moved, incured more costs/debt over the years as well. Just part of life. 🙂

      We could have paid ours off in 2023 for sure, maybe even 2022, but with our borrowing costs at just 1.69% it didn’t make sense – we preferred to invest (TFSAs, RRSPs, etc.).

      I’m very happy you won’t have a higher rate. Smart!

      Kudos on any part of RESPs to support kids, it can be very expensive now as you know.

      I’m torn on the EV part. We have our charger already bought and paid for. I don’t want to buy an EV outright. Maybe get a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) later this year? Leasing can make sense for an EV these days due to technological shifts, quite a bit can and might change in the coming 5 or so years with cars/EVs/batteries.

      I appreciate the kind words. It’s fun to run the site and interact with other debt-free strivers!
      Cheers.

      Reply
      1. Congrats Mark! What a great feeling. We followed the same steps as you and once our mortgage was paid, about 6 months later, we went back into debt to buy our first rental property. Paid that off and bought another one. Needless to say, if it wasn’t for paying off our mortgage all those years ago, we wouldn’t be where we are today. Granted we were much younger then and real estate wasn’t overly priced like it is today. Always a tough call on what to do, but you’ll make the right decision that works for you.
        Congrats again! 🎉

        Reply
        1. Very kind with your comment, Melissa.

          All good, right? I think to your point you had one property bought and paid for which provided some options in life – which is excellent.

          Continued success in your retirement journey.
          Mark

          Reply
  22. Congrats, Mark, that is very exciting and only the beginning of a new “free” stage of life 🙂

    When my wife and I achieved mortgage freedom a few years ago, we doubled down on retirement savings – maxing out TFSAs, then non-reg, and then RRSPs (only because the majority of our retirement savings are in RRSPs, which we prioritized for many years, and often would direct our annual tax return to RRSPs each year). We are also moving forward with a few “nice to have” renovation projects that we deferred while paying down the mortgage and powering out on savings.

    All the best – please keep up the great work with your blog!

    Reply
  23. CONGRATS!! And NOW the flywheel starts really rolling and your non-registered account will balloon over the coming decades. Nice to see you pause and enjoy this wonderful Canadian moment. We all appreciate you and your thoughtful words on the blog. Congratulations again.

    Reply
  24. Awesome accomplishment, Mark! Congratulations.

    My husband and I were also very motivated to clear our mortgage as quickly as possible. Like you and your partner, we started by not buying too much house. We also designed a fancy spreadsheet to track our payments and the remaining balance, so that we could immediately appreciate the effect of putting all bonuses and extra funds towards shrinking that balance. We were also, admittedly, lucky to buy before real estate prices went completely crazy.

    When we made our last mortgage payment in 2001, we did not celebrate with champagne as we had initially planned, but that is only because I was pregnant with our second child. 😉 But we decided that the amount that had been directed to mortgage payments should instead go to “freedom” and “fun”, with “freedom” being retirement savings and “fun” being family travel. The first allowed us to retire well before typical retirement age; the second allowed us to build wonderful memories with our kids. We have been debt-free since then, never having succumbed to the lure of acquiring a second property, fancy wheels, or other expensive toys, and I have no regrets.

    Reply
    1. I love hearing/reading these stories from others…great stuff.

      I’ve read that from a few others in fact, things along the lines of no debt allowed others to live well, better, and also enjoy time with people vs. things.

      I think our plan, who knows, is really to scale-back near-term in the coming years but continue to work at something. I’m too young just to hang out and blog. I wouldn’t want to get tired of that. It’s fun to engage and support other DIY investors as well.

      I know we’ll figure it out and being mortgage and debt-free offers choices. 🙂
      Mark

      Reply
  25. Congrats Mark.
    In Canada there is a general sentiment that you aren’t grown up unless you own a house. I certainly subscribed to that as a younger man, but ended up renting an apartment in The Glebe for 9 years while continuing to invest in index funds.
    Then my wife and I moved to Saskatoon for work 10 years ago where there is no rent control like Ontario. We bought a house instead of renting, but had no initial desire to pay it off since we knew this was not our forever home. To keep our mortgage payments low in case of job loss, we took out a 30 year mortgage. We had maxed out both our RRSPs and TFSA every year prior and found we had excess cash after we made our mortgage payment so we reluctantly made annual lump sum payments and even started doubling up our monthly payments. Fast forward 5 years and with one final lump sum payment, we were mortgage free and the feeling was fantastic.
    P.S. We’ve since retired, sold our house, invested the proceeds while living and travelling North America full time in our motorhome.
    We may buy another house someday when we are done travelling, or we may not. Great to have choices.
    Enjoy your paid for home Mark.

    Reply
    1. Thanks very much, Carl.

      That’s true, re: Canada and homeownership. It’s like an obsession here and while important to us, it’s not a must for us to own long-term. We could rent eventually and invest the 7-figure proceeds. Who knows long-term??

      Your former Glebe is very, very expensive now BTW!

      Awesome: “We had maxed out both our RRSPs and TFSA every year prior and found we had excess cash after we made our mortgage payment so we reluctantly made annual lump sum payments and even started doubling up our monthly payments. Fast forward 5 years and with one final lump sum payment, we were mortgage free and the feeling was fantastic.”

      Where are the travels now? I assume you’re avoiding Canada? 🙂

      To your final point, no debt offers choices. We have a few in the coming years and that has always been our goal once we got to about age 50. Right on time!

      Appreciate the insights, safe travels,
      Mark

      Reply
      1. A wondeful feeling isn’t it.

        Our first thought when we made that final payment was that we should not waste the money that was suddenly now available each month. – it had to go to savings.

        We were already looking towards retirement so we didn’t even consider any get rich schemes and just invested in a mix of growth and income mutual funds (that was back before etfs were popular).
        Looking back at the way property values have soared in the past twenty years, that might not have been a wise move financially but we did not want the hassle of managing rental properties.

        Reply
        1. Absolutely, Richard. I’m still smiling 🙂

          Ya, we’re going to divert mortgage payments we were making to the RRSPs this spring, then saving for TFSAs in 2025, then potentially non-reg. is any $$ is leftover. We also want to celebrate with a nice trip. Life is for the living for sure!

          Hard to predict the future, your decision was likely the best for you at the time, right?

          Cheers!
          Mark

          Reply
  26. Congrats Mark! Well done. Oooh what a feeling!
    Sounds like an extra $1700 a month in your jeans. Take a few bucks for a travel/fun fund but start loading up the non registered account with previous mortgage funds. Before you know it youre dividend income will soar!
    Youre definition of FIWOOT could easily change to include more golf and NO work!
    Enjoy the moment!

    Reply
    1. Ya, at least. 🙂

      We’re planning a fall trip and likely more short-haul trips to come for sure, Chuck.

      I was thinking of a part-time job in a few years at a golf course down the road in the summer…that would be nice. Contribute a few days per week and then play a few days per week spring, summer and fall. I would love to get back to a 2- or 3-handicap like I used to be, but will gladly take most rounds in the mid-70s if I can get there from men’s white tees or blue tee blocks.

      RRSPs to max out in a few months, TFSAs to save for, and then likely spend the rest in 2024 on fun. We’ll see. We need a newer car soon and are tempted to lease that with existing cashflow but not sure yet.
      Mark

      Reply
        1. I was a 2 for sure. I tracked it. I rarely shot over 80 anywhere from about 6,500 yards. I might be a solid 7 or 8 now. I don’t know. I don’t track it. I just know if I strive to shoot in the low-70s anywhere and I end up shooting in the 70s, that’s decent for me playing once or so per week.

          Ha.

          Happy to share any tips. 🙂
          Mark

          Reply
  27. I think it’s great how many people are chiming in here – it’s a wonderful testament to how much everyone appreciates this site, and all your hard work Mark – well deserved.

    It occurred to me this morning – should we consider “FILOOT” soon? (Financial Independence, Life on Own Terms)

    LOL!

    Reply
    1. Ha, maybe FILOOT comes after FIWOOT?! I like it, James.

      Thanks for your kind words. Nice, nice to see a few comments. I no longer care (for the most part unless to help others…) what mortgage rates are. Who cares. I/we don’t owe debt to anyone.

      It’s nice to realize something you’ve been thinking about most of your adult life!

      All my best, thanks for your comments and emails.
      Mark

      Reply
  28. Congratulations Mark on reaching this milestone! Being debt averse, my wife and I prioritized paying off the mortgage as soon as we could rather than using that borrowed money to invest. Maybe not optimal from an investing perspective, but avoiding debt has served us well giving us opportunities we might not otherwise have. Being mortgage free, frees up a ton of cash which can be used for other worthwhile purposes including investing.

    I only hope that the financial climate will change so that new homeowners purchasing today have the opportunity to pay down their mortgages early.

    Thanks for a great blog and encouragement in the investing journey.

    Reply
  29. Congratulations Mark! Burning the mortgage is certainly a huge weight off your shoulders, gives you more piece of mind and opens up other options. Having multiple options in life is a great place to be. I’m sure you’ll gravitate more towards what makes you happy and leave the rest behind.

    All the best!

    Reply
  30. Good work Mark, and life should now become much easier. In our case, from the day I married, we never wanted to have debt, and always tried to get out of debt as quickly as possible. Yes we financed cars, we bought houses, taking out a mortgage, and used credit cards, but we never got over-extended. Besides enyoying our new purchase(s), we then started paying down the debt as quickly as possible. It was an on-going cycle, but the goal was to get out of debt, not manage debt.

    Reply
    1. Thanks very much, it should for sure.

      No debt including mortgage debt should open up some lifestyle options for us in the coming years. That’s very liberating and something we’ve been working towards.

      I appreciate the My Own Advisor support over the years.
      Mark

      Reply
  31. Enjoy the mortgage burning party!
    I cleared mine after 10 years too. Once it was done, I maxed out annual RSP and continued to bank the rest as if I was still making the payments.
    This was back in the 90’s so no TFSA then. I kept saving because you can NEVER have too much money, Now those savings have helped me create income streams to support my financial needs. I have enough money to live, and enjoy my hobbies. I have funds to buy things that wear out like cars. I have my own income from my assets. I always felt that you need to save your money because banking on investment returns to fill the gaps, is not a great idea.

    Reply
    1. Ha, thanks. The digital version of burning – off the account. 🙂

      That’s our thinking, John – feed the RRSPs this year and be ready for 2025 TFSA room – a couple of other investing goals and then we’ll see what is next.

      Once our portfolio income > expenses, we can definitely scale-back from work since in the future we’ll have a small workplace pension + CPPx2 + OASx2 to live from as well. For us, it’s about finding the right balance. We are getting there. No debt solves part of the equation.

      I appreciate your suport and wishes!
      Stay in touch,
      Mark

      Reply
  32. Congrats !!!! – I basically took the -> ease-off the work-life treadmill and shift priorities to life-work, via part-time work, work on own terms, scaled back in some other expensive things as well

    Reply
    1. Ya, I could see that. That’s our thinking longer term 2024+. Work on own terms ideally.

      We’ll see. A few moving parts to figure out but very happy we made it and feels very liberating!
      Mark

      Reply
  33. Congratulations Mark! We just paid off our mortgage 2 months ago. We celebrated with a free birthday burger for me. We started spending more on some good meals but we’re still trying to save 50% of our income. Our mortgage wasnt huge but the weirdest part is getting paid and now I dont have to keep the mortgage payment in the account, so I have to think of what to do with the extra cash- great problem to have!!

    Reply
    1. Nice, Geoff. Congrats to you as well. Must feel good??

      Yes, great problem to have for you. We’ll save and invest inside our RRSPs, save for TFSAs in 2025, then potentially some taxable investing if we have some $$ left. We are also planning to take a trip in the fall and maybe some shorter ones to enjoy things a bit more now.

      Keep me posted on your plans, always good to hear from others on what they do!
      Mark

      Reply
      1. To be honest i didnt care that much, my wife wanted it more. I do like having alot more cash for investing though! We’re starting to fill up unused TFSA room and thinking of retirement plans. We take some big trips but I usually work overtime for those so our investing cash flow doesnt take a hit

        Reply
  34. Congratulations! Paying off one’s mortgage is a huge, huge accomplishment. Once our family paid off our mortgage, we were completely debt free. Therefore, we decided to invest our entire previous mortgage payment towards our taxable account. That has set us up nicely towards moving to a less stressful, more meaningful job in the future, if we so choose, by having a large after-tax balance. Our taxable account makes up about 40% of our overall portfolio, which gives us tons of flexibility.

    Cheers!

    Reply
  35. Congratulations, Mark.

    We didn’t change our spending habit, with or without mortgage. With or without salary increase. Which I think, is also a problem.

    Wanted to spend more for past few years, but failed to do so. Need to try harder. Frugal habit can be a bad thing. Our saving rate used to be around 50%, now it’s even higher.

    Reply
    1. Very wise, I think, May. That’s our plan. To maintain the same lifestyle but potentially consider scaling back a bit in the coming years. We are discussing such plans with our employer in fact.

      I hear that such frugal habits can be negative but I have full intention of having our portfolio deliver income > basic expenses and any work/part-time work includes some “extras” in life. That’s the plan! I’ll keep you and others posted.

      Have a great 2024.
      Mark

      Reply
  36. Congratulations, Mark. Well done indeed. You have achieved what many could only dream of. Now you can relax and sit back and dream what to buy next. Get a Ferrari, perhaps or move to a mansion!!!!! Seriously, just book a nice trip to go to anywhere you want. Now, go out and get the best meal you want!!!!!

    Wishing you even more success inn the future.

    Reply
    1. Ha. Thanks, Ken. It feels good. Not sure of scaling up but we’ll see!

      Yes, plans are to take a nice trip somewhere in the fall. Paid in cash of course!

      All my best and thanks for your readership and support.
      Mark

      Reply
  37. My FI journey:
    Moved to Canada at the age of 41
    Bought house at the age of 43 and paid it off in 5 years while investing only in my and spouse’s RRSP and TFSA (90% growth)
    Sold a property in my country of origin 2 years ago and invested ~$825K in 80% Canadian Dividend stocks and 20% US/ROW
    Reached FI at age 55 (in 2023) with yield of 3.2% and PADI approx. $62K
    Moved to a stress free role in my current company at age 55
    Plan to continue working for the next 4 years since I can’t figure out what to do if I retire early
    Many thanks to Mark at MyOwnAdvisor and another dozen or so DIY blogs that I follow and have learned much from

    Reply
    1. Red Panda, that’s amazing. Paid off in 5 years. Kudos!

      “Reached FI at age 55 (in 2023) with yield of 3.2% and PADI approx. $62K”

      Love it.

      Happy to help contribute in just some very small way to your strong knowledge base 🙂

      Onwards and upwards for you!
      Mark

      Reply
  38. First of all congratulations for paying off the mortgage, Mark.

    It was my wife who wanted the house. Not me. I didn’t like the idea of selling all the stocks in our taxable portfolio to have a smaller mortgage when we bought our bungalow in 1999. Bull market in stocks, and house prices hadn’t gone anywhere in the previous decade. Anyhow sell our stocks we did. Of course shortly after we bought house prices started to rise again, and then in the early 2000’s we had an ugly bearish stock market.

    The smallish mortgage was paid off in 2003, and that was the year I started our taxable all Canadian dividend portfolio. We just keep building that conglomerate of companies year after year, through a combination of savings and dividend reinvestment. That and add the maximum contributions to our TFSA’s each year since 2009.

    Oh, and by the way, now I enjoy living in the bungalow along with my wife.

    Cheers.

    Reply
    1. Thanks very much. I always look forward to your comments.

      Yes, I recall those investing years…I was just starting out…

      Now 50, debt-free, that opens up some options for us I believe in the coming years. All TFSAs x2 are maxed. All RRSPs x2 are maxed. We have taxable accounts as well. Maybe like you…. “We just keep building that conglomerate of companies year after year, through a combination of savings and dividend reinvestment.”

      I’m glad you like the bungalow too, even better. Ha.
      Mark

      Reply
  39. CJ (age 57, will retire at 59) · Edit

    Congratulations, Mark! I became mortgage free at age 41. Once our mortgage was done, we did not make any additional purchases, actually didn’t even go out for a nice supper come to think of it! The money we were putting into our mortgage went into investments. I was brought up poor, and live by the saying “the more you own, the more it owns you”. So far we feel that we have not missed out on anything.

    Reply
    1. 41? Impressive!

      I think we would have been 45 if we didn’t focus on investing in recent years – alas, who cares. Done now!

      That’s our plan – mortgage payments will now be diverted to saving and investing this spring. We’ll see about any semi-retirement plans since we’re too young not to do anything. 🙂

      Thanks for the kind words and personal insights!
      Mark

      Reply
  40. Congrats! I am a bit envious, to say the least!

    Had we never re-financed we would have closed out our mortgage after 25 years this past August. Alas, we made other decisions about having a stay-at-home parent, and also invested in our house with finishing the basement and creating an oasis backyard.

    With some aggressive strategies I’m eye-balling paying off the mortgage by 2028, in time for retirement. We would downsize shortly thereafter, pay off the investment / Smith maneuver HELOC and use the remaining funds for our retirement home. Plenty could go right, or wrong between now and then though.

    Reply
  41. Now you use your HELOC to do that big renovation you’ve been putting off!

    Congratulations on the important milestone, Mark. Make sure you do something nice for yourselves to celebrate.

    Reply
  42. Congrats Mark on becoming mortgage free and I can understand the feeling as I went through it long time back but ended up buying additional property.

    But the feeling is absolutely great and I think it needs lots of discipline to achieve that.

    All the best!!

    Reply
    1. Thanks very much, Raj. Nice to be able to consider some different lifestyle choices now because of this. Hopefully more to share later on in 2024!

      All the best back,
      Mark

      Reply
  43. Congrats on the milestone and the unshackling of the mortgage millstone Mark.
    You have been mentioning that 2024 was to be the year for this so coming so early in the year it must almost seem like a Christmas present.
    As to what to do. you have mentioned semi retirement with a draw down of the RRSP’s so the extra cash going in to non-registered trading accounts would help balance things out once those funds are depleted.
    Maybe a little splurge to celebrate the occasion with the missus as well might be in order.
    It certainly frees up opportunities to save/spend.
    I’m sure you are wise enough to avoid the pitfalls that come with the freedom.

    RICARDO

    Reply
    1. Yes, very much like Christmas still in January. 🙂

      We’ll celebrate with a trip this fall, likely to Europe. Paid for in cash and not HELOC. Ha.

      I apprecite the insights. Likely going to max out RRSPs x2 in a few months, if we can, then save for next year’s TFSA – then live our lives to be honest. That’s about it for the saving and investing goals – pretty much done there and not much need to invest more in the coming years, maybe to age 55 worst case but we’ll see. I have no idea what the future holds but being debt-free feels pretty good.

      Thanks for the kind words.
      Mark

      Reply
  44. Congratulations Mark! It is so great to be mortgage-free! Being completely debt-free is even better! That was a MUST HAVE in my retirement planning. At least in my case, it gives me so much more peace of mind knowing the only “creditors” we owe are ourselves! 😉

    Reply
    1. Pretty much! Basically, we work for our lifestyle moving forward – we don’t owe anyone anything. We’ll still have a few personal finance goals for 2024 but after that – just live it up a bit. YOLO!

      Thanks for the wishes MikeyP.
      Mark

      Reply
  45. We became mortgage free 6 months ago. Nothing has changed much? I mean, we still have two teens at home who do expensive activities and we have a fairly aggressive savings goal. I did put an extra $200 in our “fun money” account though. WOOOOOO…as Kim Mitchell would say: I am a wild party!

    Reply
    1. Awesome, congrats to you!

      Ya, I appreciate with teens the money is likely funneled to them – always has!

      Still, a great achievement for you.

      Onwards and upwards in 2024 for you.
      Mark

      Reply
  46. Congratulations 🎊 Does it feel like a huge weight has been lifted off your backs? That’s how it felt for me. I’m doubling down on prepping for retirement, giving more to charity, and helping my daughter with her down-payment, believing that it’s better to give with a warm hand.

    Reply
    1. Yes. It. Does.

      Thanks very much. Hard to believe this decade+ journey is over. 🙂

      Kudos to you for helping your daugther – she must be very grateful and feel blessed.

      All my best to you,
      Mark

      Reply
      1. Congratulations Mark, paying off your mortgage is a huge milestone. When we paid off our mortgage we never made any huge changes at first, but shortly afer we took some of the gas off of savings, while letting the money invested compound at a strong rate. I bought a classic convertible at a great price for a summer fun car, and we take at least 2 vacations per year to enjoy life. You never know what will happen in the future, so the focus can’t be all on savings, but also on life experiences. Unexpectedly i was diagnosed with Stage 3 lung cancer last January (non smoker), and it turned my world around. Fortunately, through aggresive treatment and the grace of God i am now in full remission but there were no guarantees. The truly important things in life are your family, your relationship with God, and your personal relationships. Take time to enjoy the moments and have no regrets.

        Reply
        1. Wow, garth hay, way to put things into perspective. I’m recently retired, and a life long saver that’s having trouble turning spending on. Your note re: cancer diagnosis may very well push me into enjoying some experiences while I can. Wishing you all the best, and congrats on recent remission. Good riddance to cancer!

          Reply
        2. Thanks very much, Garth….and very happy to learn of that remission.

          To your point, you do really never know / could predict what will happen in the future – so we are not focused on just saving money.

          We have some nice overnight trips planned in the area and an international trip planned this fall.

          Thanks for your inspiration. My best to your health moving forward…
          Mark

          Reply

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