Show 17 - Becoming a Millionaire Educator with Gerry Born

I talk with Gerry born about how he maximized retirement accounts to become a millionaire only on public teacher salaries.

11/16/20231 min read

1 U.S.A dollar banknotes
1 U.S.A dollar banknotes

It is possible to become a millionaire on a public school teacher’s salary! I know that might sound impossible to you, but Gerry Born is the proof. Together with his wife, also a public school teacher, they accelerated their income, maximized tax advantaged accounts, and have walked away from teaching on their own timetable with well over a million dollars in net worth.

Key Ideas

  1. Don’t be afraid to take massive action to improve your finances. Gerry was in debt after college and wasn’t sure how we’d get out of it on his teacher salary. So, he moved to Saudi Arabia. Do you need to move to Saudi Arabia to get out of debt? Maybe not, but what massive action can you take to improve your life?

  2. Maximize your retirement benefits. Whatever you have in your bank you will learn to live on. Gerry took this to the next level and maxed out his 403b early on. You can do it too if you take steps to maximize your income (for example getting higher education faster to move along the pay scale).

  3. Lobby for better retirement options. If your 403b options are all terrible, lobby your school for better options. Usually, it is as easy as sending a form to the provider of your choice Vanguard, Charles Schwab, Fidelity, etc.

  4. The 457b can be a wealth accelerator account because whenever you separate service from your current employer you can draw upon those funds penalty-free. Gerry would fill up his 457b, then start drawing from it when he changed jobs so he could fill his 457b again. Why does this help? Well, your contributions go in tax-free, but when you pull them out you pay taxes on them. However, you don’t pay payroll tax on them. This is an additional 7.65% (2023) in money in your pocket. Over the years that makes a difference!

P.S. Their combined net worth is now over 2 million dollars, so both Gerry AND his wife are individually millionaires!

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