This one, I gotta say, was new, so this even blew my mind because I did not recognize this. But did you know 39% of undergraduate student loan borrowers don't graduate with a degree? Like, we know we have a student loan issue in this country, but did you recognize 40%, almost 4 out of ten, start the journey, take out loans, incur debt, and don't actually get the degree? That's a double whammy of unfortunateness. Yeah, this is one - I mean, everybody in the content team (I was even talking to my mom this morning; you know she's a retired school teacher), and I love education. But I feel like the state of education now is a little in disrepair. The fact that I feel like that ought to be a truth in education disclosure for anybody and everybody, because we have these 18-19-year-olds; when you're barely - they don't even let you drink; you don't get to rent a car, buy a car, or get a hotel room. But yet, we're gonna let people go and take down six figures worth of debt. It's crazy on something that you know is sold to you in a different way. It bothers me. And what makes it even worse is to know, as you said, four out of ten people who take on student loan debt, there's a good chance they might not even get the actual degree because that's what you make this investment in yourself.
There's no better investment than an investment in yourself if you can increase your shovel, your income, and your ability to have a lifetime of success. But if you're actually sold that dream but then you get the debt but not actually the tool that's going to increase your income, you've actually just compounded your trouble and your financial woes. And that troubles me greatly that we've gotten to this place. And then it makes me even sadder for even a lot of the people who graduate with a college degree. When you find out that only 27 percent of Americans actually work in their field of study, meaning they got the degree, but then only 27 percent, so a quarter of them, work in the field of study, that's sad. That means that they're still, once again, there is a disconnect from what the dream and what is being sold versus what is actually connecting and being, you know, in the real world. We've gone beyond the brochure of what's actually happening in reality. We need to really have a conversation about how do we fix education. What I think is so interesting is when you look at the flip side of that, you know, we do this annual survey of our money guy clients, of all the folks who we have said have attained a certain level of success. They're the opposite of this. 73 percent of our clients said, "Hey, I actually work in a field of study." So it seems like maybe this is just correlation, not causation, but if you can make the decision to get a degree in the field of study inside the work you want to do, there's a good chance that financial success might follow that. And yet, when they interviewed, respond to the survey, 44 percent of folks, almost half, said, "I regret my field of study. Man, if I could go back, I wouldn't have done that degree or maybe I wouldn't have gotten that or maybe I would have studied something else." How frustrating! One of the most expensive things they buy until they buy a home is their education. And one out of two folks, man, I wish I wouldn't wish I would have done. Now, I want to make sure because we're optimists. I want to make sure we give a spoonful of sugar here to help people figure out what's the takeaway. How do we make actually pay this forward so people cannot make this mistake? The first thing, if you treat student loan debt, even though it's a noble thing to invest in yourself, debt is dangerous. So if you're using it and you're not scared to death, like chainsaw scare, then you're using it wrong. And I think that's the thing; you go beyond the noble cause that's been sold out there, and it is, education is great. I attribute education for getting me to where we are. But just make sure that that tool of debt, you need to be very fearful and scared if you're using it. And then do a little due diligence. Be diligent about the major that you choose. You know it's no surprise your universe has added thousands of majors over the years. But perhaps the majors that the university has added are not majors on which jobs are waiting for the graduates when they get there. So make sure you do some ROI calculation. Okay, do I need to pursue this degree? And if I pursue this degree, what institution do I need to pursue it? And do I even need to go to a four-year school? Do I even need to send my kids to a four-year school because it may not actually be necessary for the vocation that you want to go? Just like most things, if you're willing to do a little bit of extra research on the front end, you can set yourself up to have significantly more success on the back end. Yeah, and then I think it's important to understand the student loan rules and the fact that first, here's some basic benchmark guidance. If you can understand there's nothing - I mean, I think there is a good portion of the population; you might need some debt to bridge on this cause. But keep it under control to where it's hopefully less than your first year out of college income. This will keep you because, I mean, colleges have gotten where they're almost like country clubs. I mean, where people, housing can be expensive. I mean, I knew people in college that were using student loan money to buy cases of beer, pay for, um, great dues. Yeah, I mean, there's - don't do that stuff. Be very scared when you're using this. And if you do have student loan debt, we even think that, especially with interest rates being where they are now, there's nothing wrong with paying down some of those student loans, especially the ones that are over six percent if you're in your 20s or over five percent if you're in your 30s or if you're in your 40s and over four percent. Get out of debt.
I mean, you do not want this stuff hanging around forever. So, um, be very serious about trying to wipe out that student loan debt. Then, again, it's so interesting, Brian, we said that, you know, 44 percent of graduates regret their field of study. And I wonder if that goes right in line with our sixth money mind-blowing money stat that 77 percent of employees - again, this is a poll - that was on 77 percent of employees are not engaged at work. And I think what they say against this is, "I clock in; I clock out." But it's not - I'm not really - I'm not doing my best work; I'm not plugged in; I don't love it; I don't have passion for it; it's nothing more than a job. I mean, I take this stuff; it hits my heart a little bit because I wake up every morning; I feel like I have purpose; I come to work. But I sit in the content meeting, and I see the stat that the team found, and I was like, I was like, "Bo, I know you and I like being here. Does this mean that the rest of the team, everybody's incredibly not engaged?" And then, so I mean, I don't know if, in next year's employee review, if we're just going to be like, "Okay, are you engaged?" You know, or do that anonymous, you know, survey. It's not really anonymous, so, you know. But, but it's, you know, it was one of those things where this made me sad because I want you to wake up. I think a big part when you do studies on happiness and fulfillment, you're feeling like every day when you wake up that you are actually making the world a little bit better and you have purpose with your job; this is going to help. So to find out that close to 80 percent of the people out there are not engaged and not waking up with that type of excitement, we need to work on that. We need to figure out a path. Let's think about the logic exercise through this. So workers who aren't engaged at work likely aren't going to be passionate, likely aren't going to be motivated, likely aren't going to try to do work excellently well. If workers are not doing work excellently, then it's probably also going to be difficult to move up the ladder and advance your career and be able to improve your station in life. So it becomes this vicious cycle. I hate work because I'm not going anywhere, and I'm not going anywhere because I hate work. If you can figure out how to flip that, if you can figure out how to find passion and pleasure and do work well, you might be amazed that okay, this thing that I'm doing from nine to five every day, five days a week, or whatever your hours are, maybe it doesn't have to be miserable; maybe it doesn't have to be something I hate; maybe it can be something like, "Man, I actually enjoy this; I enjoy the journey; I enjoy what I get to do, and I get to do it incredibly well." Yeah, I want to - I want to kind of be a good mentor because not only do we help with your finances, but we help with mindset. The fact that I see so many mid-life crises and other things because people get into their 40s and they realize, "Oh my gosh, you know, I've got kids; I got responsibilities, and I feel like I'm stuck." And if you're waking up every morning not having purpose and feeling disconnected from your job, that's a problem. So I want you - and I know this is very aspirational - but you can be deliberate with this process. Go beyond a job and actually start thinking career. You know, we talk about putting on your 3D glasses when you're starting entrepreneur things or making any big life changes. There's nothing wrong right now if you wake up, and you know you don't have purpose and you actually are chewing on your fingernails every Sunday because you don't want to go to work on Monday. I want you to start planning right now. What's my two-to-three-year plan? And part of that plan is that 3D glasses, where, "Hey, do the dream. This is - I'm waking up every morning; I'm super excited. What are my skills and my talents intersect with this will not even feel like a job anymore?" To the down-to-earth plan, that's the second D. And then the doo-doo plan, you know, is that you make the jump and you didn't actually - it doesn't work out. I'm just telling you, plan, plan, plan, and you can actually improve this. We have proof of this. But look at our firm. We have a lot. If you go look at our planners here at Abound Wealth that work with us, we have a lot of career changes, meaning that a lot of them realize one day, "I don't like what I'm doing," or they had some financial success pretty early, and they're like, "You know what? It's actually different. I want to do something different; I want to feel purposeful every morning." You do not have to be stuck if you're unhappy. I love it. I love it that, what a great line: I would say, you do not have to be stuck if you're unhappy. You can be an agent for change in your life. And if you make those hard decisions, if you make the hard decisions now, there's a good chance that you will be able to make easier decisions later. That's a beautiful thing. For more information, check out our free resources