Escaping a Culture of Poverty

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I was recently interviewed by the Washington Post. The Federal Survey of Consumer Finances had just released their 2016 report, showing the rising number of white millionaires in the last 25 years. The first question the Washington Post reporter had was why?

I told the reporter that many of the individuals who became millionaires over the last twenty-five years were baby boomers. Since most of those boomers were white, naturally there would be a greater number of white millionaires over the past twenty-five years.

Simple enough, right?

But the follow-up question the Washington Post reporter asked was really the more important question:

Why wasn’t the black community seeing a corresponding increase?

I told the reporter that we did not have a wealth gap in America, we had a parenting gap. Sadly, there is a culture of poverty in the black community and at the heart of this culture of poverty is one very alarming statistic – 72% of black children are raised without a father.

Why does that statistic matter?

According to my Rich Habits research, our daily habits are the reason why we are rich, poor or stuck in the middle-class. And where do we get most of our habits?

According to a study by Dr. Pressman of Brown University, we pick up most of our adult habits by the age of nine. And for most of those formative years, it is our parents who teach us those habits. Most of the self-made millionaires in my study confirmed that they were taught certain, specific habits by their parents that enabled them to succeed in life.

Children raised in single-parent households are at a clear disadvantage. And it’s not a 50% disadvantage, it’s a 100% disadvantage. Single-parents are the sole provider and this often means working long hours or taking on a second job in order to earn enough money just to survive. This leaves little to no time to mentor their kids for success by teaching them good success habits. This 72% single-parent statistic represents a culture of poverty. And until that culture changes, or until that one parent becomes a success mentor to their kids, children raised in single-parent households will forever lag behind children raised in two-parent households.

This single-parent statistic, along with the story of Ben Carson, motivated me to write my book Rich Kids, a book which shares the success habits self-made millionaires learned from their parents. It is also why I spent the past six years speaking to close to 2,500 high school and college students, specifically in lower-income school districts in the New York metropolitan area.

Dr. Ben Carson was raised by a single mother in the ghettos of Detroit. Concerned that their sons, Ben and Curtis, were taking the wrong path in life, Sonya Carson made a fateful decision that altered all of their lives forever. Sonya Carson, a single mother with a third grade education, turned the T.V. off for her kids, limiting them to only two hours of T.V. a week and forced her two young boys to read two books every week and then write a summary of what they read and what they learned from their reading. Each week they would hand their mom this summary for her to review. Sonya would mark up the summary with notations and hand the summary back to her boys. Reading for learning, soon became a daily habit for Ben and Curtis.

What the boys didn’t know until they were in high school was that their mother, Sonya, was illiterate. She could not read their book summaries. But intuitively Sonya knew that reading for learning was a way out of the ghettos. Sonya did not believe life was hopeless. That belief was pulled, like a weed, from their lives. Hopelessness never had a chance to take root in their family household.

Ben Carson went on to become a world famous neurosurgeon and recently ran for President of the United States. Curtis Carson went on to become a senior mechanical engineer with Honeywell, specializing in developing braking systems for aircraft. Sonya went on to get her GED, went on to college and in 1994 received an honorary doctorate degree from Spalding University. All of Sonya’s grandchildren attend college or graduate school in prestigious higher education institutions.

One good habit, reading, taught by one parent, literally lifted Ben and Curtis out of poverty. So, there is hope, even in single-parent households. The cycle of poverty can be broken, even in single-parent households. But only when that single-parent becomes a success mentor to their children. And in order to be a success mentor, you must teach your kids certain, specific habits that will help them succeed in life.

It’s Not How Much You Make – It’s How Much You Keep

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Conor McGregor, one week after receiving $30 million in winnings from his very lucrative loss to Floyd Mayweather, bought a super yacht reportedly worth $12 million. That’s on top of the multiple Lamborghinis, BMWs, Rolls-Royces and Range Rovers he owns. I’m not done. He also owns a 12,000 square foot home in Las Vegas worth $20 million and a mansion in Dublin, Ireland worth in excess of $2 million. Still not done. He has a luxury watch collection worth over $300,000. And, unless he finds some financial religion, his want spending will continue to get worse, until he finds himself one day sharing a room with M.C. Hammer.

The tabloids are replete with stories of prodigious earners who had nothing left after years of excessive spending:

  • According to The Daily Telegraph, the forensic accountant at Michael Jackson’s 2005 child sexual abuse trial stated that Jackson had been spending $20 to $30 million more than his earnings per year.
  • In 2012, the financial advisors of the former NBA champion Dennis Rodman reported that he was broke. Years of extravagances, wild spending was the reason given.
  • Courtney Love, wife of Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain, squandered over $27 million of Nirvana earnings on years of hard partying and wild spending.
  • Thomas Jefferson, founding father, author of the Declaration of Independence and America’s third president, had a half a million dollar a year (in current dollars) wine spending habit that left him penniless when he died.
  • Famed actor, Nicolas Cage, who made $150 million in his acting career, at one time owned a haunted mansion, a private island, a collection of shrunken heads and spent $276,000 on a skull of a Tyrannosaurus Rex. His reckless, excessive spending forced him into bankruptcy in 2009.
  • Johnny Carson sidekick, Ed McMahon, who made millions during his fifty year career, was forced to sell his home, or face foreclosure by his bank. In a 2008 Larry King interview,  McMahon told King, “Well, if you spend more than you make, you know what happens.”
  • Johnny Depp, according to Court documents obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, spends $2 million a month. His reckless spending over the years included $75 million on fourteen homes, an $18 million luxury yacht and $30,000 a month on wine.
  • Then there are the stories of the extravagant spending habits of Mike Tyson, Muhammad Ali, Toni Braxton, M.C. Hammer and many, many others.

This excessive spending is also known as

Lifestyle CreepIncreasing your standard of living in order to match your increased income. Lifestyle Creep is driven by want spending – spending your money on things you want but do not need. Left unchecked, want spending can become an addiction.

And it’s one of those Poor Habits I like to write about.

At its very core, being wealthy comes down to two things:

  1. Making It and
  2. Keeping It

Many ordinary individuals, like our celebrity friends above, are very good at creating wealth but terrible at keeping it.

You see it every day all around you. A friend, colleague or neighbor suddenly comes into money – a large bonus, a big promotion, stock vesting or an inheritance. Suddenly, they are finding novel ways to spend their newfound wealth: super sizing their home, new expensive cars, a vacation home or that boat they’ve always dreamed of.  Or, far more common, you probably know individuals who live beyond their means, relying on credit cards in order to fund their lifestyle.

Sometimes, lifestyle creep can get out of hand. How many of you know someone who has filed for personal bankruptcy? I know a few. Barring outlier causes (failed business, divorce, disease, or chronic disability), excessive spending is usually the main culprit for the vast majority of those who eventually find themselves broke.

According to Census Bureau data, there are approximately 30 million people who make more than they need but who are, nonetheless, one paycheck away from poverty. Far too many regular, ordinary individuals take a page out of the celebrity money mismanagement playbook, spending excessively and living beyond their means for too many years, one job loss away from being homeless.

Being rich is not always about how much you make, but it is always about how much you keep.

Top 9 Money Habits of Self-Made Millionaires

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My Rich Habits research has been covered by the media in twenty-seven countries. I’ve done my best to share that research with over thirty million people around the world through my books (Rich Habits, Rich Kids, Change Your Habits Change Your Life and Rich Habits Poor Habits) my blog and through my TV, radio and various other media outlet interviews. In my books, I go into greater detail on this topic, but below are some of the key points I cover in those books on this topic.

Self-made millionaires fall into two categories:

  1. Savers
  2. Risk Takers

Savers

Self-made millionaire Savers accumulate their wealth by living below their means, saving money and then investing that money prudently. According to my Rich Habits research, this path to multi-millionaire status takes about thirty-two years. Savers typically are risk averse, employed most of their lives and have a low or moderate standard of living. Self-made millionaire Savers were among the least wealthy in my study, with an average net worth of $3.4 million. Being a Saver is the risk-free way to building wealth. It’s the safe path to wealth accumulation. It requires discipline, diligence and adhering to a low to modest lifestyle.

Risk Takers

Self-made millionaire Risk Takers are individuals who take some risk in the pursuit of wealth. They are typically business owners, entrepreneurs, aggressive-savvy investors in stocks or real estate or they create some product or service that is so unique they are able to demand a significant premium in return for the purchase or use of their product or service. Self-made millionaire Risk Takers were among the wealthiest in my study, with an average net worth of $7.4 million. Being a Risk Taker is only for the bold and courageous. It’s the high-risk path to wealth accumulation. It requires courage, persistence, cunning and a hard core work ethic.

This article is devoted to the Savers out there – those who wish to become millionaires with little to no risk.

In my study, I found that all Savers have a specific money mindset. Below are some of the top money strategies of self-made millionaire Savers: [Read more…]

Marry Well If You Want to be Happy, Healthy and Wealthy

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Eighty-one percent of the self-made millionaires in my Rich Habits Study were never divorced. This equates to a divorce rate of only 19%. That’s a staggering data point, considering, in the general U.S. population, the divorce rate, according to data from the National Survey of Family Growth, was somewhere between 44%-48%.

When you marry well, it shows up in the form of a long-term, sound marital partnership. When you marry well it also shows up on the Balance Sheet, in the form of wealth accumulated over many years due to common values and habits concerning money.

When both spouses have similar values and habits, when they are on the same page, so to speak, building wealth and mutual fulfillment becomes much easier. When values and habits conflict, both spouses are not on the same page, and building wealth and securing mutual fulfillment becomes difficult, if not impossible.

SHARED VALUES

What, exactly are Values? [Read more…]

Rich Habits Poor Habits Episode 36 | The 4 Paths to Wealth

Becoming rich means taking risk or making sacrifices, you get out what you put in.

In Tom Corley’s five-year Rich Habits study of 233 rich people and 128 poor people he discovered that your habits dictate your circumstances in life.

He discovered that daily habits dictate how successful or unsuccessful you will be in life.

There are four ways to become rich:

  • Live Below Your Means
  • Expand Your Means
  • Do Both
  • Getting Lucky

1. Living Below Your Means

Living below your means and investing your savings prudently is the only guaranteed way to become rich.

But, this approach requires enormous sacrifices – you must manage your spending your entire life and that requires making sacrifices: small house in an inexpensive neighborhood, no vacations, no restaurants, no kids. lose saving

If you do have kids your kids are forced to sacrifice along with you.

They have to buy their own stuff: iPhones, movie tickets, toys, cars, college education, etc.

Most are unwilling to make those sacrifices.

We want the nice home in the safe neighborhood, we want the nice vacations, we want to give our kids their iPhones and a college education.

So, for the vast majority, living below your means requires too much sacrifice.

But, for those willing to make the sacrifice, wealth is virtually guaranteed.

So, the question is, how bad do you want to be rich? Is being rich so important to you that you are willing to make the sacrifices that are required?

2. Expand Your Means farm seed soil grow wealth

Expanding your means usually requires taking on risk and working long hours, by pursuing a dream or starting a business.

According to my research and many other studies on wealth creation, about 80% of the multi-millionaires and billionaires make their money this way.

The upside is enormous wealth where everyone in your family benefits from your risk taking and hard work.

The downsides include time away from family due to long work hours or poverty, you could fail.

3. Doing Both

Living below your means and expanding your means requires the most sacrifice.

4. Getting Lucky

Getting lucky means you fall into money somehow without any real effort. success

Examples of this are big gambling wins such as hitting the lottery, the slots, horses, etc.

Or, you you inherit your wealth – you’re born into a rich family or inherit money from a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, brother or sister.

The reason so many gamble is because they are unwilling to make the long-term sacrifices required.

Almost everyone wants to be rich, but they want that wealth without having to take on risk, work long hours, or make sacrifices for themselves or their family.

Becoming rich is not easy.

 

 

Rich Habits Poor Habits Episode 35 | ‘Want’ Spending Will Put You in the Poor House

How much are your spending habits affecting you level of wealth?

In Tom Corley’s five-year Rich Habits study of 233 rich people and 128 poor people he discovered that your habits dictate your circumstances in life.

He discovered that daily habits dictate how successful or unsuccessful you will be in life.

There are two groups of poor people.

The first group are individuals who simply do not make enough money to meet their needs. money

The second group are individuals whose income exceeds their needs but who, nonetheless, spend more than they make.

According to Census Bureau data, there are approximately 46 million poor people who cannot meet their needs.

They are forced to rely on assistance in one form or another from federal and state governments.

According to this same data, there are approximately 30 million other people who make more than they need but who are, nonetheless, one paycheck away from poverty.

These individuals engage in something called Want Spending.

Want Spenders spend more money than they make on their wants.

They surrender to instant gratification, eschewing saving in order to buy things they want now: 60 inch TVs, nice vacations, expensive cars, bigger homes and jewelry.

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Want Spenders routinely gamble away part of their income.

They also spend too much money at bars and restaurants.

Worse, they incur debt in order to finance their standard of living.

Want Spenders create their own poverty.

They are undisciplined with their money.

They have been brainwashed by advertisers and a consumerist society into buying things they do not need.

When Want Spenders are no longer able to work due to old age, they live out the remainder of their lives in abject poverty.

They become dependent on family, friends, the government or the charity of others.

Their poverty is the byproduct of a Poor Habit known as Instant Gratification.

Want Spenders rationalize their Want Spending in a number of ways:

  • I’ll make more money in the future
  • I’ll get a better paying job
  • I’ll get a second job
  • I’ll get a raise
  • I’ll get a bonus
  • The economy will improve and I’ll make more money
  • I’ll get more clients or customers
  • My children will take care of me in retirement
  • I’ll move to Florida, or some inexpensive place, and live off Social Security

Most people in society do not make a lot of money.

A fortunate few have the Rich Habit known as Delayed Gratification.

These individuals live within their means and do not engage in Want Spending.

These individuals are disciplined savers. lose saving

They diligently save at least 10% of their income, paycheck by paycheck, month by month, year by year.

Their savings grow either by the power of compounding or by prudent investing.

When they retire, they live out the remainder of their lives financially independent, not reliant on financial support from others.

If you’re like most people, you don’t make a lot of money, but the money you do make exceeds your needs.

You have a choice on what you do with this Excess Money.

You can engage in Want Spending, live for today, and rationalize away why you do what you do with your Excess Money.

Or, you can take control of your financial life, by saying yes to saving your Excess Money and saying no to Want Spending.

 

 

Rich Habits Poor Habits Episode 22 | What does it take to be successful Part 2

Is success just a matter of luck?
expert leader chess game strategy business win success lose think mind psychology

Despite most people thinking that successful people just got lucky – the reality is it take much more than that.

Rich successful people have developed certain habits and beliefs that have guided them through their.

In Tom Corley’s five-year Rich Habits study of 233 rich people and 128 poor people he discovered that your beliefs dictate your circumstances in life.

The wealthy adopt certain beliefs that promote success.

In this week’s video we discuss 10 habits that successful people posses

These include:

  1. All success requires an optimistic, positive mental outlook
  2. All success requires the development of processes that work
  3. All success requires adding value to the lives of others
  4. All success requires creating a herd of followers
  5. All success requires stepping outside your comfort zone
  6. All success requires laser-like focus
  7. All success requires developing unique skills and the acquisition of knowledge specific to your industry
  8. All success requires creating the opportunity for luck to occur
  9. All success requires the ability to pivot around obstacles, pitfalls, mistakes and failures
  10. All success requires the ability to survive until you thrive

You can catch up with past episodes of this weekly webcast here Rich Habit, Poor Habits – Tom Corley & Michael Yardney

You may also be interested in viewing:

RICH HABITS POOR HABITS EPISODE 21 | WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE SUCCESSFUL PART 1

RICH HABITS POOR HABITS EPISODE 20 | NO IS A RICH HABIT

RICH HABITS POOR HABITS EPISODE 19 | IS BEING RICH OR POOR A CHOICE?

RICH HABITS POOR HABITS EPISODE 18 | FEARLESS HABITS OF ENTREPRENEURS

 

 

KIPLINGER’S SEPTEMBER 2017 PROFILE – GET INTO THE WEALTH HABIT

Click on the link below to view my profile in Kiplinger’s Magazine titled: Get Into the Wealth Habit:

KIPLINGERS SEPTEMBER 2017

 

Rich Habits Poor Habits Episode 21 | What does it take to be successful Part 1

What does it really take to be successful? What does it really take to be successful

Despite most people thinking that successful people just got lucky – the reality is it take much more than that.

Rich successful people have developed certain habits and beliefs that have guided them through their.

In Tom Corley’s five-year Rich Habits study of 233 rich people and 128 poor people he discovered that your beliefs dictate your circumstances in life.

The wealthy adopt certain beliefs that promote success.

In this week’s video we discuss 10 habits that successful people posses

These include:

  1. All success requires passion
  2. All success requires unrelenting persistence
  3. All success requires taking risks
  4. All success requires action
  5. All success requires hard work
  6. All success requires a team of apostles who believe in you and your dream
  7. All success requires continuous daily self-education
  8. All success requires a leap of faith
  9. All success requires patience
  10. All success requires good daily habits

You can catch up with past episodes of this weekly webcast here Rich Habit, Poor Habits – Tom Corley & Michael Yardney

You may also be interested in viewing:

RICH HABITS POOR HABITS EPISODE 20 | NO IS A RICH HABIT

RICH HABITS POOR HABITS EPISODE 19 | IS BEING RICH OR POOR A CHOICE?

RICH HABITS POOR HABITS EPISODE 18 | FEARLESS HABITS OF ENTREPRENEURS

RICH HABITS POOR HABITS EPISODE 17 | POOR BELIEFS PART 2

 

 

How Intermittent Fasting Works

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Have you ever heard of Intermittent Fasting?

I’ve been studying Intermittent Fasting since 2007. That’s when I discovered that 30% of the self-made millionaires in my study used it to stay lean (thin).

What is Intermittent Fasting? [Read more…]