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Discussion Starter #1
I've been approached by an organization to teach this course. I've read all the books, gone through the materials, and have a thorough understanding of the process and steps. I also have a lot of experience in teaching personal financial planning at the college level.

There are a few things in this plan I disagree with but I understand why they are there. One example is only saving $1,000 before paying off debts. I believe if someone has no other way to deal with emergencies (Roth IRAs, etc.) most of the time the emergency fund should be higher before the snowball starts. The second thing is I believe in most cases the highest interest rate consumer debt should be paid first. I understand that paying the lowest balance builds momentum and inspires the debtor to keep going with the plan. Psychologically it makes perfect sense but it fails financially. I can get by both of those things and present them as they are outlined in the plan but I do know I will give my opinion as well. I'm pretty good at looking at financials and spotting those who need the psychological nudge and those who just need guidance on how to move forward financially.

The other CPA who was approached refused because he can't get past the "pay the lowest balance" debt first. The organization insists on having a CPA present because they are involved in other financial services and are doing this as a service to the community.

Thanks for your input.

Kim
 

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I think if you take this teaching position you should leave your personal views at the door. They pay for Dave's lessons not yours. If I signed up for FPU and I got opposing lessons I'd most likely become overwhelmed and confused and probably give up. You may help some...but you may contribute to the failure of others. Also I'd be pissed if I paid for it and the teacher couldn't even teach the steps properly without interjecting their opinions.

Btw never took the course but did follow DRs plan precisely for 10 months before getting my bearings and modifying our plans to better suit us.

If I paid my highest interest first I'd still be in debt...probably more in debt. Now..it makes perfect sense for me...but not then.
 

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I think if you take this teaching position you should leave your personal views at the door. They pay for Dave's lessons not yours. If I signed up for FPU and I got opposing lessons I'd most likely become overwhelmed and confused and probably give up. You may help some...but you may contribute to the failure of others. Also I'd be pissed if I paid for it and the teacher couldn't even teach the steps properly without interjecting their opinions.

Btw never took the course but did follow DRs plan precisely for 10 months before getting my bearings and modifying our plans to better suit us.

If I paid my highest interest first I'd still be in debt...probably more in debt. Now..it makes perfect sense for me...but not then.
Yes X 1,000. They paid for Dave's course, not your personal opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks.....I appreciate the feedback and agree.

Just to clarify, I wouldn't impose my personal opinion during the actual presentations and workshops. I would, however, offer my opinion on their particular situation after the classes ended. I do a lot of pro bono tax work with this same population and it would be a big part of their tax planning for next year.
 

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I don't really think you should be teaching FPU if you don't believe in it yourself. Small varying differences in separate scenarios are one thing but it seems like your beliefs are very different then the key principles and ideas of Dave Ramsey.

Its one thing to say "increase your 1k emergency fund to 2k"... and a whole other ballgame to tell someone to start with 10k.

The lowest balance first may "fail financially" for someone like yourself who works with money a lot and has no problem in having motivation but to the novice who feels hopeless it actually does quite the opposite. Now you can recommend that a 18% card can come before a 5% loan if its like less then a 5k differece... but if its only a 1 or 2% interest rate and a big difference then the highest balance first gets very overwhelming very fast. and the tiny bit extra in interest is nothing that will throw you off. I'm speaking from experience. For years I struggled trying to pay a 35k loan first because that loan was 8.5% because that was what the "experts" told me i had to do. i had no hope in paying that off, let alone my 10k loan at 5.5%. But now starting on that little balance... the extra 1k dollars makes a big difference to the small loan and is barely a dent in the big loan....

A lot of people choose to adapt their plans according to their particular circumstance but it seems like you are talking about more then a slight adaptation for certain scenarios.
 

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Years ago I did the snowball thing (Dr. John Avanzini) starting with the smallest debt first and it was a roaring success. They're going to get to all the debt in the end. If paying some extra interest makes it slower, that's better than giving up because the highest interest debt is also so large it looks insurmountable. Now, if the smallest bill was a $500 medical bill with no interest and the largest interest bill was $600 on a credit card, then going for the $600 would feel doable and be a better choice than the $500 bill. Being deep in debt has a lot psychology in it, both in the denial that lets us get that way and in the ways we have to maneuver to get out of it. Sometimes the pure numbers aren't the "real" factors.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Problem solved!

We've decided to separate them into two groups. I found another financial planner who will do DR and has done it in the past.

I'm taking the other group. These folks have high FICO scores and big shovels. I'm guiding them through the process of writing personalized financial plans.

We have fully funded the tuition for the first group with donations from local CPAs and financial planners. I'm doing the second group (only six people/families) pro bono and we will track them for one year with four consulting sessions. This project in going to be integrated into a college project for my students.

Everyone is happy and can't wait to start!

Thank you all for your input!!!!!!!
 

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That's great Kim!

We did take the FPU class. Truth is, you're watching Dave on a screen, so the course teaches itself.

We enjoyed hearing our classmates opinions
 
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Discussion Starter #10
Both classes have hit the ground running. I have so much respect and admiration for all the people who are committed to taking this journey. I think the biggest winners will be the student assistants who volunteered their time and talent to this project.

Bumplett, You're right. Exchanging ideas and listening to the personal stories is very motivating for all involved.
 
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