4 Ways to Escape Poverty

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My family struggled financially, while I was growing up. It sucked. No one should have to go through poverty. Unfortunately, poverty afflicts anywhere from 12% to 16% of the population in the U.S.

If you’re stuck in Poverty, how do you escape?

It’s never easy, but for those who escaped poverty, they used one of four strategies:

  1. Formal Education – Getting at least an Associates Degree. Generally, the higher your go (Associates, Bachelorettes, Masters, PhD, etc.), the greater your income will be. The problem with this path is that, when you’re poor, it requires taking on significant student loan debt.
  2. Pursue Dreams, Goals, or a Clear Vision of your Future Life – This path typically involves entrepreneurship. The problem with this path is that not everyone has the personality to be an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship almost always requires taking on significant risk, working egregious hours and being able to shoulder enormous stress.
  3. Exploit Some Innate Talent – You see this a lot in professional sports, music, author business, etc. The problem with this path is that most people do not do enough experimentation during their lives and, thus, never discover what their innate talents are. However, those who do find their innate talent, often devote their entire lives to perfecting that talent and eventually, not only escape poverty, but become wealthy.
  4. Mentored Out of Poverty – This involves finding a successful person who is willing to teach you what to do and what not to do in some particular industry, profession or trade. The problem with this path is that finding success mentors is very hard. However, those who do, not only escape poverty, they often become wealthy.

Tom Corley is an accountant, financial planner and author of “Rich Kids: How to Raise Our Children to Be Happy and Successful in Life”, Effort-Less Wealth, Change Your Habits Change Your Life, Rich Habits Poor Habits and “Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals.”

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  1. Tim on October 5, 2023 at 10:04 AM

    There is very good evidence that an Associate Degree pays the greatest return for your dollar. (I’ll just point you to this claim. You can research it for yourself.) However, going to higher levels tends to get you greater pay, especially in the long term. In other words, an Associate Degree gets you the greatest return for your investment dollar, but because you’ve invested less money, your total return is usually less than getting a higher degree. The advantage of an Associate Degree is that it can often be applied to a Bachelor Degree, even in a different field…and you can wait years to continue to get your Bachelor’s. So, you can make sure you can get work in your field, that you like the work, and that your Associate Degree is paying off … then continue with your Bachelor degree. You can do pay as you go, taking one class at a time. You can maybe work part-time and go to school part-time, or work full-time and go to school part-time — it’s a hard life, but it can be done. I recommend doing it while you’re young and single, or at least with the support of your family so you don’t put your family in such a stressful situation that you end up violating Tom’s very wise “One spouse” rule.

    There are other creative ways to get your education without debt. For example, joining the military or a National Guard or Reserve. Some companies will sponsor your education. And there are scholarships, especially for unique opportunities. Last I checked (sometime in late 2022), the government will pay your full ride + $27K a year if you’ll get a cybersecurity degree. Here’s the quote from one school, “CyberCorps®: Scholarship for Service (SFS) – Administered through [University]’s Center for Secure and Dependable Systems, the SFS program provides tuition stipends through the National Science Foundation of up to $27,000 for to train undergraduates for cybersecurity jobs at federal, state, local and tribal agencies.” And this program will even pay a full ride for your Master’s degree plus an even larger stipend!

    My point is not so much to go get a Cybersecurity degree (which is a great deal and would probably set you up for a career for which you’ll likely have a lifetime of work), but that looking for opportunities and doing so with creativity and persistence — and optimism! — can often come up with surprising and great opportunities. That’s the life skill that brings success.

    • pwsadmin on October 5, 2023 at 11:44 AM

      Tks Tim for you very informative comment. I’m sure it will be of value to our readers