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Money Lessons You Don't Need To Follow
What used to be bedrock advice for your parents' generation might not be the best strategy in the 21st century. Here's how to keep pace with the brave new post–piggy bank world.
money advice
Old Lesson: Pay Off Your Mortgage ASAP
Here's what I've been taught about money: It's not good to be in debt, and therefore it is good to pay off debts as quickly as possible, including a mortgage. Turns out, this conventional wisdom is a holdover from a different time.

Carmen Wong Ulrich, the president and co-founder of ALTA Wealth Management, told me: "People think that it's a good idea to pre-pay a mortgage and/or pay a mortgage off ASAP." What's wrong with that? "This advice comes from a previous couple of generations who had horrible interest rates on their mortgages—in the 1980s, the average mortgage interest rate was in the teens. Imagine—my dad, who had great credit, was paying 17% on his mortgage. That's expensive. Today, mortgage rates are at incredible lows—you should be in no rush."