Retirement plans and paying off the mortgage have traditionally gone hand-in-hand as people approaching retirement anticipate eliminating a payment that typically claims the largest single chunk out of the monthly budget.

That idea isn't dead, but it has taken a little adjustment as boomers approach retirement in economically tough times. The good news is many are able to pay off their mortgages more quickly as expenses for raising children are gone, discretionary income has risen and rates are at record lows. However, members nearing retirement saw their stock portfolios shrivel, leaving them with fewer liquid assets to rely on when they wave goodbye to their co-workers.

Enter the short-term mortgage. By putting a few hundred dollars more into a house payment for five or ten years, people approaching retirement can still look forward to waving goodbye to mortgage payments.

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