Now that the Great Recession is in our rearview mirror, financial stability for the nation’s households is improving, right? Nope, in fact, it’s going the other way. Household debt is growing at its fastest clip in 11 years. We are awash in debt, again.

Dave Ramsey, personal money management expert, author of the best selling book “The Total Money Makeover” and popular national radio personality, has some advice on that topic. Having built a $4 million real estate portfolio by age 26 only to lose it four years later and file for bankruptcy, Ramsay has made it his mission to help people get out of debt and on sound financial footing. In this podcast, Ramsey describes the mindset it takes to overcome personal debt and shows you how to conquer the toughest financial hurdles families face. His words are not just illuminating, but inspiring. I listened to this podcast twice just to make sure I took it all in!

Here are the takeaways:

1.) Coming back from high levels of debt, what Ramsey calls a “Depression-era moment,” is possible. He says the trick is to learn your lesson and change your behavior. “Debt doesn’t take you anywhere, it exposes your stupidity,” he says.

2.) Cutting debt gives you the personal freedom to live a life that is more principle driven and less tactically driven. And, even what may seem like small financial decisions can have big impacts on your bottom line. As an example, he says the average American makes a $504 monthly car payment. Were that money to be invested instead in a growth mutual fund for 40 years, those car payments would amount to $5.8 million at retirement.

3.) Parents don’t have to choose between their retirement and funding their child’s education if they choose to keep debt at bay. However, if they are forced to pick one thing to fund, Ramsey says choose your retirement. “Fifty-two percent of kids will graduate from college, but 100 percent of us will retire,” he says.

4.) Buying your own home is a good investment. Fully a third of a typical millionaire’s net worth is their house, and if you retire with your home paid off, you’ve stabilized your biggest monthly cost.
There are many more takeaways in this important podcast and even more inspiration from Dave. Take a listen!

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Bottom line, I want to hear from you – what money issues do you want to explore? Tell me, and we will get it on the podcast. Have a great day and remember, “Rich, is NOT A Four Letter Word!”

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