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‘You can’t outearn stupidity’

Despite the vital role they play in society, school teachers’ annual income is unfairly low.

That being said, according to the National Study of Millionaires, a research project by Ramsey Solutions — whose CEO is Dave Ramsey — teachers rank third, behind engineers and accountants, on a top-five list of careers most likely to have millionaires within their ranks.

The top five list came out of a survey of millionaires that drew upon answers from 10,000 participants. The majority — 79% — had not received inheritance. Eight out of 10 had invested in a 401(k) plan. And contrary to expectation, most millionaires surveyed didn’t have high-salary jobs. Instead, 3 out of 4 said they’d created wealth simply by working hard.

“In other words, you can’t earn your way out of stupidity,” Ramsey said of the study results, musing that people in these professions are “systems people” who “don’t have free rein to make up their own rules.”

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‘You’re not bankable’

When 27-year-old Michael from Atlanta, Georgia, found himself at a crossroads, he called into Ramsey’s show to get some advice. He can either continue working for someone else or dive into small-business ownership by purchasing an ice business.

But as Ramsey tells him, he needs to make sure his financial foundation is solid before he can think about building a business.

Michael told Ramsey he was looking for advice on how best to secure the funds to buy out the owner of an ice business he currently works for.

“No bank's going to loan you this,” Ramsey bluntly stated. “You don’t have the assets, you don’t have the income — you’re not bankable.”

‘Momma can't protect you’

More young adults are choosing to live at home with their parents — but many of them are using what they are saving on rent to splurge on designer handbags and expensive jewelry instead.

Personal finance author and radio host Dave Ramsey criticized the trend on The Ramsey Show, calling it “a trainwreck.”

“Momma can't protect you” he said. “The problem is you’ve got debt, you’re not earning enough money and you’re not doing enough to go out and change it. Mom and dad can’t do this for you.”

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‘You don’t get a pass on math’

When a seemingly money-stable man named Robert called into The Ramsey Show to question the host about how to stick to his mortgage advice in pricey metropolitan markets like southern California, Ramsey said: “You don’t get a pass on math because you live in an expensive market.”

Ramsey settled into his argument.

“If you end up with a house payment that is a large percentage of your take-home pay, you’re going to struggle financially,” he said. “We call that house-poor.”

‘Work your brains out’

The 28-year-old newlywed Abdel from Fort Worth, Texas, called into an episode of The Ramsey Show for advice on how to manage multiple debts.

He explained to finance guru Ramsey how his money situation has gotten out of control: an expensive wedding, coupled with the cost of raising a baby, all while living on a single income has resulted in a mountain of debt. All together, Abdel shared he had $20,525 in credit card debt, $22,000 in student loans and a deferred auto loan of $20,211.

Ramsey had some rather harsh words of wisdom, as he told Abde to “work your brains out” to recoup his financial losses, emphasizing that his spending habits indicate he has a hard time saying no.

‘Live on Beans and Rice’

In a popular episode of The Ramsey Show, a 73-year old Arizona resident named Robin shared that she has no 401(k) or mutual funds and more than $12,000 in outstanding student loan debt — but is considering a home purchase within the next three years.

Ramsey then asks, “How would you be able to buy [a house] if you don’t have any money?” Robin says she expects to pay off the student loan by March of next year and is setting aside a modest amount for a down payment every month.

Ramsey suggests she cash in her insurance policy, pay down her student loan faster and maximize her down payment savings right afterward. “Basically, you’re going to live on beans and rice for the next three years,” he said.

‘Honey, it’s always been expensive!’

In an episode of Theo Von’s podcast, This Past Weekend, Dave Ramsey talked about how he believes the American Dream is still alive and well — for those willing to work for it.

Specifically, Ramsey focused on housing affordability, talking about how Gen Z and millennials complain about feeling “hopeless” because “housing is so expensive,” before adding, “Honey, it's always been expensive!”

Ramsey is of the mind that the economic hardships faced by younger Americans today are not unique compared to previous generations, hence the brusk nudge that young Americans just need to be working harder.

‘We’ll call that debt a stupid tax’

Ashley from Jacksonville, Florida, called it to describe how her husband went from owning a fully paid-off modest car to an expensive electric vehicle (EV) that has changed their financial situation and led them into a complete financial dilemma.

Dave Ramsey couldn’t believe how expensive the car was.

“$72,000 for a Kia?!” he gasped.

The purchase left the couple tens of thousands of dollars in debt, but Ramsey thinks this financial situation offers enough flexibility for them to take out a personal loan and buy a cheaper car to get rid of the expensive Kia.

“We'll call that debt a ‘stupid tax,’” he said, “which is what I have to pay when I do something stupid.”

‘You guys need to get off the internet’

Caller Shane from Denver expressed that he and his wife are concerned the housing market in their city is due for a crash in “six months or so.”

He described how he and his wife arrived at their conviction based on online research, citing doom and gloom media headlines.

“You guys need to get off the internet,” Ramsey pushed back.

Instead of getting caught up in online conspiracies, Ramsey encouraged Shane to look at the facts of the housing market.

“There are no facts in the marketplace indicating a housing crash in Denver in six months, absolutely zero facts,” Ramsey said.

‘That’s all just mythology and bull crap.’

Dave Ramsey’s career story is a rollercoaster. He’s gone from millionaire to bankrupt to personal finance celebrity with a syndicated radio show that helps others with their money problems, according to his website Ramsey Solutions.

Along the way, he’s developed his own recipe for success, and in an episode of “The Ramsey Show,” the host shared two of his secrets to gaining wealth that he’s learned from 30 years of working with wealthy people.

He claims the first is hard work, sharing that “almost no one statistically becomes a millionaire from an inheritance,” he said. “That’s all just mythology and bull crap.”

Ramsey is a huge proponent of pulling yourself up by your bootstraps, and this advice is a nudge to anyone out there who thinks they can take the easy way out.

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Em Norton Staff Writer

Em Norton is a Staff Writer for Moneywise. Em holds a B.A. in Professional Writing from York University and has been writing professionally since 2019. Em's work has previously been published by Room Magazine, IN Magazine, Our Canada and more.

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