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ATLANTA -- One of the keys to retiring happy is paying off your mortgage, according to certified financial planner Wes Moss.

Moss is out with a new book, You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think.

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Moss sat down with 11Alive's Jennifer Leslie to focus on key decisions in planning your retirement.

"A very good case scenario is to pay off your mortgage the same year you retire," Moss said. "Even better, pay it off a year or five years before you retire. There's never a bad time to get rid of a mortgage."

Moss said it's easier to pay it off if you avoid buying too much house in the first place.

He suggests spending no more than 18 percent of your monthly income on mortgage payments.

He also said you should try to pay more than you owe.

"If you put $200 extra toward the mortgage every month, you can shave off almost a decade of mortgage payments. That 10 years moves the meter to getting your mortgage paid off. That can lead to a happy retirement," Moss said.

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