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- After two catastrophes, Liz Gendroau was ambitious to pay off her family’s mortgage early.
- Her husband lost his job in the Great Depression and nearly died of septic shock after surgery.
- She refinanced and paid off the mortgage in full using a high-yield savings account.
Paying off your mortgage early and being completely debt free is a goal for many people. It’s all about relieving emotional and mental strain and freeing up energy so you can focus on other aspects of your life without worrying about how your mortgage will pay off.
For Liz Gendroau and her husband Todd Gwiazdowski, this is certainly the case. After enduring several catastrophes in quick succession, the couple was motivated to pay off her mortgage 17 years earlier than originally planned. As an added bonus, he saved over $100,000 in interest along the way.
they understood their “why”
In 2009, Gwiazdowski lost his job during the Great Recession. He then went into septic shock after surgery and nearly died. Jandrow said he was 31 years old and had two young children.
After Gwiazdowski’s near-death experience, Gendreau knew he didn’t want to worry about money during hard times.
“We learned the hard way that when bad things happen, the last thing you want to worry about is money,” she says.
Determined to keep the debt off his head if something happened again, Jandrow sought the financial security that would come with no mortgage payments.
they refinanced when it made sense
Gendreau and Gwiazdowski bought the house in 2006 for $345,000 and gave it a 20% discount. In 2013 they Refinance to 15 year loan at a lower rate of 2.75%. This cut the mortgage down to his 15 years, but he knew he could pay it off even sooner.
During most of the Mortgage repayment journeySince Jandrow was the only source of income or her husband only worked part-time, the majority of her mortgage payments came from one income.
The biggest lesson for her was patience. “Her biggest lesson is that goals may seem impossible at first, but if you keep at it, you can achieve them,” she says. “Not having a mortgage isn’t as good as people say. It’s a good thing.”
they strategically used high-yield savings accounts
Jandro and her husband take every financial windfall, big or small, high yield savings accountAdditional salaries, bonuses and tax refunds helped us meet early profit targets.
Gendroau and Gwiazdowski saved a lump sum to pay off their outstanding mortgage balance. They chose to keep their cash in a high-yield savings account because they could earn more interest than a regular savings or checking account, but it was still safe and could go up and down in the market. It is not.
Gendroau didn’t want to keep the money locked in the house if he lost his job, so he kept cash in a high-yielding savings account instead of paying off the mortgage over time. say you chose to Or her husband fell ill again.
They ended up paying $183,000 out of their savings to forgive their mortgage in 2019.
they celebrated and counted their blessings
After the mortgage ran out, the family embarked on a once-in-a-lifetime celebration trip.
“We paid off the house in March 2019 and I took my family on a dream trip to Japan that summer,” says Gendreau.
Then, when COVID hit, they breathed a sigh of relief that they didn’t have to worry about paying for their home.
“We were lucky to be mortgage-free during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Gendroau. Jandrow knew that no matter what happened, her family was debt-free and had a roof over her head, which helped her get through that tough time much easier. .
They also took care of other financial priorities
Jandrow’s last piece of advice? “Make sure you’ve covered the financial basics first, and don’t neglect retirement and other financial goals for mortgage freedom. You need to find the balance that works for you.”