My first experience as a college student was in 1969, just after serving in Vietnam. I left after my freshman year to begin my career. Having built four businesses in the decades that followed, I reentered college in 2011 as a sophomore in Buffalo, NY. , majoring in Entrepreneurship. In the following three years my wife and I acquired seven single-family homes, held for rental income. Those properties generate in excess of $82,000 of cash flow annually. Our combined income is just over $192k, and we pay no taxes since all our income is either tax free, or fully tax sheltered. I’m now retired, as are my student loans, and we are debt free except for our real estate, which is fully paid by our tenants. That’s what I did while going to college.
In my junior year I had to take a semester off after my third heart attack. I was diagnosed with severe ischemic heart disease caused by Agent Orange (Vietnam). I am now full disabled, and will graduate in June of 2016.
So my advice is this…if you are anticipating borrowing a student loan, have a plan to pay it off before you graduate. There’s no rule that says you can’t add a million dollars to your net worth while attending college. I did, and I would encourage you to. So…
(a) Live below your means.
(b) Have a goal in mind.
(c) Give at least 10% of your income away to your church or charity each year.
(d) Find a mentor – someone who has what you want – and listen to him or her.
(e) Start investing in real estate. We gross 51% on our real estate, and net half of that.
(f) Learn how the tax laws work. Then pay only what you are legally obligated to pay.
(g) Strive to become debt free.
(h) Spend your life in the service of others.