‘I shaved 9 years off my mortgage’: Simple way finance expert took his family to loan free

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Ken Okoroafor is a financial expert who managed to become financially free by just 34. During the pandemic, he was able to quit his CFO position and focus on living a life he enjoys and running his financial education platform, The Humble Penny.

“I’ve always seen financial independence as aspirational for me because I have an immigrant background in this country when I was 14 years old,” Ken told Express.co.uk.

“So for me, it was a desire to really change my life and not have to work as hard as my parents did, still paying their mortgage at the age of 67.”

He and his wife post videos on their YouTube account educating others. These include the likes of “How to invest £1000” and “How we paid off our mortgage in seven years”.

Being mortgage free is a dream for many Britons, who would love to use the extra income on boosting other investments or just living a life they love.

Ken detailed “becoming mortgage free” was one of the most important goal posts on his journey to financial freedom.

How did Ken work out tackling his mortgage to pay it off in just seven years?

He said: “Because I understood the economics of how compounding works – and this is something I wish they taught practically – I understood that the overpayments coupled with negotiating lower interest rates might have a huge impact on how long it took for me to pay off the mortgage.”

Making a quick call to his bank make a huge difference to Ken’s life.

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He told Express.co.uk: “So a good example is, in one day, making one phone call to my bank, by increasing my monthly payments and changing my interest rates to be lower I shaved nine years of my mortgage.”

While this meant Ken’s payments increased month on month, he spent less in the long run of interest and is now living without a mortgage.

Not all people will be able to afford to do this. It is very important to think about what you can realistically afford before making any changes to your finances.

It’s advisable to consult an accredited financial advisor about your particular situation before making any decisions.

Ken went on: “That did require me to just pause for a minute and just think about what I truly want”

Ken also discussed a way Britons can boost their savings, involving a discussion with their employer.

He detailed how salary sacrifice schemes can boost your retirement pot and beat NI tax increases. 

From 6 April 2022 to 5 April 2023 National Insurance contributions will increase by 1.25 percent, a post COVID measure announced by Boris Johnson.

This can be mitigated, however, by arranging a salary sacrifice with your employer.

This is an agreement between you and your employer to reduce your earnings by an equal amount made to your pension contributions. Then your employer agrees to pay the total pension contributions.

This will reduce your take-home pay, but the money put away with the salary scheme will therefore not be subject to the higher tax rates introduced by Boris Johnson’s Conservative Government.

Ken said: “You might end up with less take-home pay but, in actual fact, it means the sacrifice will lessen the national insurance tax you pay.

“That may be something worth doing, particularly as the national insurance rates are going up by 1.25 percent.”

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