Monday, November 27, 2006

Advice to young Chiropractor: Just Make More Money

Unbelievable. Do these financial advisors really believe that money grows on trees?

From the article:

•Earn more money.

Schopp simply has too much debt, Cook says, for how much money she makes. She works full time as a chiropractor and part time as a personal trainer at a local gym, earning about $44,000.

"Her ability to generate more income from her W-2 job (as a chiropractor) probably isn't here," he says. But she could add personal-training clients. Schopp agrees that's a good idea.

But Cook warns that to cut expenses and increase her income, Schopp must stay focused for several years to dig herself out of her debt.

"Heather needs to be a 'no' person," Cook says. " 'Want to go out to dinner?' 'No.' 'Want to go shopping?' 'No.' She needs to have two things burned into her brain every day: watch my spending, and get a new customer. Don't spend. Get a customer. Don't spend. Get a customer."

Now get this: this is in response to a woman who works two jobs to pay her basic living expenses. TWO JOBS! Why is she in such financial trouble?

Chiropractor works 2 jobs to chip away at $165,000 in school debt.

Yea, that's living extravagantly. NOT. (Remember, this is southern California -- where living expenses are much higher.)

Has anyone ever thought about the fact that we are creating too many Barriers to Entry for the middle and lower classes to achieve financial success in life? Isn't the whole American ethos supposed to be "work hard and you will succeed?" I almost get the feeling that the amount of student loan debt that is required to get through college is becoming a kind of debt peonage system whereby here in America, the land of the free, we are devolving back to the days of slavery, but simply in a new form. We seem to be raising the cost of a degree so high that middle and lower class people cannot afford to take the risk. Ultimately, this will lead to a society that will be less competitive.

Also, has anyone thought about the policy of not allowing student loan debts to be dischargeable in bankruptcy? This also adds to the argument that student loans are becoming America's debt bondage. People are stuck owing a debt they can never hope to pay back, and yet unable to earn enough money, without some great deal of luck, to get past it.

Is this really the America that we want?


teripittman said...

Better yet, they can garnishee your Social Security money. Imagine what that will be like.

teripittman said...

What I like in the article is this:
"My first priority would be paying for my child's college education," Schopp says. "I'm just not in a position to do that now."

If she is not able to make a living with a college education, why would she expect it to do her children any good? She's got $13000 in killers too, with the credit card debt and the car loan. I would sell the car and buy a cheap beater. I would move out of So. Cal. I would have taken a long hard look at going $165000 into debt for ANY kind of job.

Student loans suck but you also have to be very careful about debt.

Nicola Cairncross said...

What this woman needs to learn is that she's doing it all wrong. She's trading time for money and there will always be a ceiling on what she can earn, while doing that. She needs to also learn the "secrets of the rich" also known as leveraging other people's time and other people's money. I would start by reading "The Money Gym: Wealth Building Workout" then "Rich Dad Poor Dad" then "Rags To Riches Through Real Estate" by Russ Whitney and educating herself about the other ways to make money - property and the internet. The internet requires a very tiny investment to get started and if she educates herself as to what makes a GREAT property deal, there are investors that will pay 1% upwards of the purchase price. That is the tragedy of our education systems - they teach us how to have a job not how to make money. Nicola (

OkieLawyer said...


Thanks for dropping by and posting a comment.

However, I want to make sure the point is not lost on you: the need for social justice. Not everyone can be a "Chief;" some people will need to be "workers." Let's not forget that not everyone aspires to own a business and entail the risks of owning one. The fact is that you can do everything right (applying those principles that you hawk on your website) and still lose everything.

By the way, I just purchased Donald Trump and Robert Kiyosaki's new book, and I will be making some comments on its contents in the future. If no one ever lost in this world, my business (bankruptcy attorney) would be very slim indeed. But people who go into business for themselves do fail. This is the part of the risk (downside) that those "happy talk" books never talk about. People fail at enterprises through no fault of their own.

Now your website indicates you are from Britain, so you would not understand the economic forces at work here (like not having national health care, for one). The number one cause of bankruptcy is medical bills. You probably don't have many of those in Britain.

I also have some trouble with emphasizing "leveraging other people's labor and money." Using leverage increases your risk. Using other's labor or credit (particularly worker's credit) could be called "exploitation." See some of my previous articles about litigation (Wal-Mart, et al). Yea, that kind of exploitation can make you extremely rich, but there is a concept called "Justice" that says it is still wrong.

Anonymous said...

I'm a lawyer and I owe $180K in undergrad and law school debt. I unfortunately didn't secure of the big law firm jobs upon graduation (oh-so-few do!). Now I'm horribly in debt and I pay about 48% of my take home income towards my student loans. According to my calucations, I'll have my loans paid off in another 16 years. I've bee paying for 3 so far. I'm paying a significant extra towards my principal too but $180K is a lot of debt.

I come from a poor family and I got no financial assistance. Sure, people tell me that I could have gone to community college, or not have gone to law school, etc. But in today's world, a degree from a community college isn't worth the paper its written on and when it comes to law school, you go to the best school that accepts you.

Anyway, I got myself on this tight tight budget. I have a spreadsheet setup in Excel that tracks every transaction I make. I mean every transaction from now until Q2 2007. So I know where every penny of my money goes and how I can repay my loans.

Folks, the middle class is disappearing. It really is. The country is going to the haves and the have-nots. We're not totally there yet but its coming in the near future i.e. 15 to 20 years. i'm hoping that my debt reduction/income producing scheme puts me on the side of the haves instead of the have-nots.

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