Clients who need to improve their prospects for retirement generally have three options: spend less, save more, or retire later. Technically, there is a 4th option - grow faster - but it is typically dismissed due to the risk involved in investing for a higher return. In practice, clients rarely seem to dial up the portfolio risk trying to bridge a financial shortfall in retirement, and taking out a margin loan just to leverage the portfolio to achieve retirement success would most assuredly be deemed imprudent and excessively risky. Yet at the same time, a common recommendation for accumulators trying to bridge the gap is to keep any existing mortgages in place as long as possible, directing available cash flow to the investment portfolio, and giving the client the opportunity to earn the "risk arbitrage" return between the growth on investments and the cost of mortgage interest. There's just one problem: from the perspective of the client's balance sheet, buying stocks on margin and buying stocks "on mortgage" represent the same risk and the same leverage, even though our advice differs. Are we giving advice that contradicts ourselves?