David Bach in live chat: Pay off debt, retire early

Dec. 1, 2010 at 4:28 PM ET

TODAY Money expert David Bach, author of "Start Over, Finish Rich," joined us for a live Web chat Wednesday morning after the show's Money 911 segment.

Here are two of his answers and a complete archive.

Question from Stephen:

I am 15. Should I start saving now and put money into an IRA?


David Bach:

Stephen you ROCK. Fifteen years old and looking to invest in an IRA! I say absolutely GO FOR IT. And I would use a Roth IRA since you are so young, and your taxes are so low -- if at all. My friend, if you start saving at 15, you will be a millionaire. Get a copy of The Automatic Millionaire, it's my number one book and will show you exactly how to do all of this.

Question from Janice:

My husband is interested in paying down our mortgage. I think we should bank the money for emergency. We have very minimal debt otherwise. What do you think?

David Bach:

Janice, I think you should be thrilled you husband wants to pay down your debt and be free from the mortgage. Being free from debt is the ultimate form of financial security. And those who pay off their homes retire early -- in my experience, five to 10 years sooner. I am all for having an emergency account, and you do need, I suggest, at least three to six months of expense set aside to be safe. Remember even if he pays down the mortgage -- that money can always be refinanced out later through a home equity loan in case of emergency.

Full archive:


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