According to Zillow, 37% of Americans own their homes free and clear. The number went up by 5.5% after the great recession. In 2017 41% of baby boomers owned their homes free and clear. For seventy-year-olds, an estimated 68% are mortgage-free.
I have read tons of advice over the years that suggests paying off a mortgage isn’t a good idea. It makes sense that if paying off a mortgage means using up savings and retirement accounts it probably isn’t a good idea. Other debts should be paid off first especially credit card debt.
Wealthy people may have ways to invest money so that it can earn more interest and they may be getting tax breaks by having a mortgage. For the rest of us, homeownership might be the best way to build wealth.
I can see a lot of advantages in not having a mortgage in retirement. The biggest advantage is not having to make mortgage payments which can lower monthly expenses. Homeowners still have to pay property taxes and insurance and all of the other expenses that come with homeownership.
There are some psychological benefits of not having to make house payments. It can be liberating. Something to consider when planning for retirement.