Buying a Home
In Terms of Loan Term, Don’t Just Think Payment Amount
Most people decide whether to get a 30-year, 20-year, or 15-year home mortgage based on the amount of the monthly payment: The shorter the term, the higher the payments.
But don’t think only in terms of payment. Also consider your age and stage of life. For example, if you are fifty years old and plan to retire in your sixties, a 30-year loan may not make sense: You will still be making payments into your seventies, and the tax benefits of home ownership will be somewhat reduced since in all likelihood your total income will be lower than it is while you are still working. While a lender may not offer a 30-year loan in that situation, take the time to decide whether the slightly higher payments that come with a 15-year loan are offset by having the loan paid off on or near your retirement.