Photo credits: Suze Orman by Marc Royce

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If you're nearing 50 and intend to stay in your home forever, then try to get the mortgage paid off before you retire, even if that means scaling back your 401(k) contributions. The logic is pretty simple: Your biggest cost in retirement will be housing, but if your mortgage is paid off before you retire, then you will have reduced your income needs and won't require such a fat 401(k) to live off. Scaling back 401(k) contributions to boost mortgage payments doesn't have a downside. It's a home run.