The first bit of sophisticated financial advice I received came from a neighborhood friend’s father in the early 1990s. My parents had provided me with the basics, such as saving for big purchases and an introduction into budgeting, prior to my teenage years, although I had no concept of the differences between a lease and mortgage. At least until one weekend afternoon when my friend and I overheard her father explaining to her mother then need to maintain a mortgage on their current home. Apparently they had the funds to pay down the debt, but he had no desire in doing so due to the tax deduction involved. In his opinion, getting the tax break in April offset the value in paying the mortgage off and losing the deduction.