Paid off mortgage and I'm now depressed

First of all I'm not looking for sympathy. I know how this is going to sound. 

Mid 40's. Well paid job. Made some good financial decisions and grafted. Never received a single penny in handouts from anyone. 

Recently we managed to settle the mortgage, the property is worth about £350k. 

All my life I thought this was the end goal. Everything I'd done and all the sacrifices since the age of about 19 had been geared towards this ambition.

Now here I am. I hate my job, but it pays very well. I can't concentrate. I have no motivation. No direction. 

Maybe it's because I now have some scary decisions to make. Do I quit the job I've had forever? Then what... or do I carry on plodding along wasting my life in a job I don't like going on holiday, or maybe buy a second home somewhere hot. 

This was supposed to be a happy occasion, but I just feel deflated and anxious. Is this normal? I hadn't planned for this. 


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Comments

  • Brie
    Brie Posts: 9,214
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    Sounds like the common problem of not knowing what your next goal needs to be.  You've spent so much time and energy on this one goal and now don't know how to fill that void.

    What you need to do is think what's going to bring joy back into your life.  Downsize the job as the bills are smaller and spend time helping others?  Gardening?  Painting?  You (and me too) need a project.

    hope you manage to find your happiness!
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”
  • marycanary
    marycanary Posts: 277
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    Sorry if this sounds harsh, even rude - it is not meant to be. 

    Could you be unhappy because you have never done anything for anyone besides yourself (and possibly a partner)?  You say, "Never received a single penny in handouts from anyone. " Have you ever provided a single penny in handouts to anyone in need? Or given your time, skill or attention. Selfishness rarely leads to happiness.
  • Brie
    Brie Posts: 9,214
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    Sorry if this sounds harsh, even rude - it is not meant to be. 

    Could you be unhappy because you have never done anything for anyone besides yourself (and possibly a partner)?  You say, "Never received a single penny in handouts from anyone. " Have you ever provided a single penny in handouts to anyone in need? Or given your time, skill or attention. Selfishness rarely leads to happiness.
    I think we're both barking up the same tree here!!  I wouldn't however call it "selfishness".  I prefer "goal driven".  But I agree that helping others can be very rewarding.  And if you're not a people person in particular maybe you could help animals, nature, the community in general.
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”
  • edinburgher
    edinburgher Posts: 13,422
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    I think the challenge may be that you have mentally conflated the goal of paying off your mortgage with the unhappiness you have experienced at work. You didn't have to do the job that you hate, but chose to do so as it accelerated your goal. In that respect (and because of lack of a plan for "what's next"), it seems that your achievement is tainted as one hasn't resolved the other.

    I do understand where you are coming from - I have a public sector job that is well paid compared to the private sector equivalent and deeply dislike it on about 50% of the days I'm working. Unlike you, however, my personal financial choices mean that I have another 19 years to go (late 30s). You are in a good position, sounds like you need to relax, give yourself a pat on the back and find a new focus. This doesn't have to be "worthwhile", but it needs to make you happy, we're a long time dead after all  :)
  • powerspowers
    powerspowers Posts: 1,100
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    I think the challenge may be that you have mentally conflated the goal of paying off your mortgage with the unhappiness you have experienced at work. You didn't have to do the job that you hate, but chose to do so as it accelerated your goal. In that respect (and because of lack of a plan for "what's next"), it seems that your achievement is tainted as one hasn't resolved the other.
    I agree with this and can see how having a single goal at the expense of other things in life can leave you deflated at the end. Paying off your mortgage is a means to achieving something else- but you have to define the next bit and like you say, make a scary decision! Who can help you go through your options? 

    Brie said:
    Sorry if this sounds harsh, even rude - it is not meant to be. 

    Could you be unhappy because you have never done anything for anyone besides yourself (and possibly a partner)?  You say, "Never received a single penny in handouts from anyone. " Have you ever provided a single penny in handouts to anyone in need? Or given your time, skill or attention. Selfishness rarely leads to happiness.
    I think we're both barking up the same tree here!!  I wouldn't however call it "selfishness".  I prefer "goal driven".  But I agree that helping others can be very rewarding.  And if you're not a people person in particular maybe you could help animals, nature, the community in general.
    I think selfish is an unfair comment based on one post but I think it is possible you have been solely focused on getting yourself financially independent and that makes complete sense coming from a difficult upbringing. Maybe a point to reflect on as you work out what’s next. 

     Then what... or do I carry on plodding along wasting my life in a job I don't like going on holiday, or maybe buy a second home somewhere hot. 

    I love somewhere hot, but somehow I don’t think buying another property and carrying on the same path is going to help. 

    Please don’t be too harsh on yourself, you’ve achieved something impressive and have worked hard to get there. You just need to work out what you need in order to enjoy it. 
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  • collins74
    collins74 Posts: 49
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    I think your discontent is linked more to your job .  You are in a wonderful position and have worked so hard that paying off your mortgage should buy you the freedom to move to another role albeit perhaps not as well paid but you may well be happier.

    Perhaps you need another financial focus such as a second home or perhaps a target for your pension.

    I remember a colleague at work who paid her mortgage off early 40s in the mid 2000s and she felt she would have this feeling of elation but it was the complete opposite.  She missed chasing a goal.

     I’m late 40s,  with a mortgage and I do envy people who have paid their mortgage early,  I have made some poor financial decisions (cars mainly) and am quite frivolous with money which could have helped me be mortgage free by now.  I have made some overpayments which will help when my current fixed rate deal ends but I am now focusing as putting as much in my pensions as I can due to having salary sacrifice to make extra pension contributions. 

    Hope you make the right decision.
  • Mojisola
    Mojisola Posts: 35,544
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    Recently we managed to settle the mortgage, the property is worth about £350k. 

    All my life I thought this was the end goal. Everything I'd done and all the sacrifices since the age of about 19 had been geared towards this ambition.

    Now here I am. I hate my job, but it pays very well. I can't concentrate. I have no motivation. No direction.
    Now you're secure in being mortgage-free and, presumably, have also made good pension contributions and got a savings safety net, why not look for work that will be rewarding in other ways?
    It may be that you need to retrain or take a lower-paid job that is more fulfilling.  If you do, before taking the plunge, try living for a time on the lower salary (tuck the excess away into savings) and see whether you're happy with the lower income. 

  • isadreamalie
    isadreamalie Posts: 50
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    I'm worried about the same 
    I am due to pay mine off around 40
    Well paid job but the Government are doing all they can to wreck it. Also I'm only getting older... my Dad won't be around forever and I've lost my mum a while back.

    I think just because you're mortgage free doesn't mean you can't be depressed.  I guess you need new goals?
  • Nurse2047
    Nurse2047 Posts: 374
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    What would you like to be doing every day? Is there a job you have always wanted to do but it didn’t pay well? Is there a new hobby you fancy trying? Set a new goal- plans for a new side hustle? Retirement planning? You have done so well, you just need to focus now on yourself and making you happy and finding out what brings you joy? 
    Nurse striving for financial freedom
  • doingitanyway
    doingitanyway Posts: 8,611
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    I felt weird when I  became MF. I. thought, 'now what?' It forces you to look at your life. Sounds like you haven't liked what you saw. So change it...
    If you have built castles in the air, your work should not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.

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