Dave Ramsey has helped millions of people overcome their debt to go on and live a wealthy lifestyle. I have been listening to Dave Ramsey for over a year and I have a deep respect for him and all that he has done. He has shown his intelligence over and over again throughout his episodes and he really does have an understanding of finances and how “normal” people are handling finances in society. But, like everyone, Dave cannot be right all the time. Once people, have found themselves debt free, Dave is missing some key teachings.
Where Dave got it right:
- Simplify – Dave Ramsey’s key principles of the baby steps are so simple that anyone can follow them. Seriously. And he repeats these 7 steps over and over again. This is the clear direction that the general public needs. To be successful, we need to help simplify our lives. We only understand complex concepts when we break it into simpler parts to understand.
- Systematic /Focused – The best way to attack any debt is to be focused and systematic. I think it is when people do not handle money in this way that they suddenly wake up with thousands of dollars in debt. Money goes everywhere unless you take control of it.
- He yells at stupidity – I wish we all could do this more freely. I already yell at people from my car when no one else can hear me, but what if we could help stop stupidity as it happens. Of course, in a respectful way. For instance, I went to dinner with 4 of my girlfriends the other night. I simply asked them, what their plans were for money and retirement? I had two girlfriends who said, “I have no idea, my husband takes care of all of that.” Are you kidding me? No, you should be involved. I did have the courage to tell them so. But, that is a much harder conversation to have sitting around the lunch table with colleagues. But, Dave Ramsey can yell at anyone. He has shown patience and restraint, but he is willing to cut people off tell them they are being stupid.
Where Dave got it wrong:
- His way is the only way – I don’t always agree with him, but he really does stick to his plan. I guess you have to when you have millions of people who are following you. I think it shows great strength to never waiver, but I also think that sometimes you have to learn something new and that could alter your path.
- Retirement Age – With every caller, his view of retirement is at the approximate age of 65. I just have to respectfully disagree. It is time for society to start thinking differently about retirement.
- Never speaking on Financial Independence – I have listened to approximately 1000 hours of Dave Ramsey, and I have only really heard him say the words “Financial Independence” one time. It was a situation where a woman wanted to quit her job in two years and after many minutes of trying to help her understand what that means, he said, “I don’t think you will be Financially Independent”. He then had to explain that to the caller and hopefully she understood, but I hardly believe she did. She was thinking that if she got rid of debt, she could stop working. This is a disservice to our society. We really need to be speaking about Financial Independence more often. People do not understand what this means. Society understands working, earning a paycheck and someday retirement. They do not understand what needs to happen to make retirement actually happen, and how they need to be involved.
If you are in debt and need to straighten out your finances, Dave Ramsey is definitely a great place to start. As mentioned before, his plan is simple and it motivates you to become “gazelle intense”. Once you are close to paying off your debt, then it is time to graduate into some other thought processes about retirement and wealth.