In Dave Ramsey's baby steps, step 7 is being completely debt free including the house, and being able to fully enjoy your money. It's living like no one else because you are debt free. Wow what a concept!
But I've pondered this and I being a scientifically minded person, I'm not sure if I'll ever convince myself or DH to retire our mortgage early. Meaning I don't know if DH and I would ever prepay our mortgage. We agreed our mortgage would be retired the month we retired, but any earlier is not necessarily part of our long term financial goals. So we might never be debt free until we retire.
But does that mean we won't be financially fit or at peace? I don't know. I have mulled this over a lot, bouncing ideas off of my DH and debating just rushing to prepay a mortgage. And that's how we came up with being "free of fear." What does that mean?
We discussed it, and I think I'll be free of fear when we have enough money in taxable accounts to pay off our mortgage and generate enough income to live. According to my calculations that will likely be by our mid to late 40s. So though we'll still be carrying a mortgage we'll be in a position to pay it off ASAP in case of emergency while still being able to live.
Have I made peace with not being debt free? Definitely, so instead I'm working harder at achieving financial freedom by being financially savvy enough to save my extra mortgage payments instead of spending it.
Most people prepay the mortgage because they lack the discipline to save the the amount and invest it. I could potentially fall into that category, however, I am a firm follower of automatic investing. I plan my budgets backwards setting savings as a line item before any other expenses including my mortgage/rent, etc. So I would do the same thing for saving my "mortgage overpayment" and investing it.