'There Is No Great Joy Except In Serving' — Man Looking To Retire At 48 Is Stumped By Dave Ramsey's Advice

A man who called in during the Dave Ramsey Show looking for financial advice was stumped by Dave Ramsey's advice. Here's what went down during the call. 

Financial guru Dave Ramsey, known for his honest and often blunt advice, surprised another caller on his show with unconventional yet prevalent advice. During the show, Ramsey received a call from a man looking for advice about early retirement. 

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The caller explained that he and his wife are both teachers. He reveals that by the time they're forty-eight, they'll be able to retire from teaching and live on their pension. The caller adds, "I'm just wondering if I should."

Before sharing his advice, Ramsey asked the caller what he planned for the rest of his life, to which the caller answered, "Whatever makes me feel good, I guess. Whatever makes me happy." 

Immediately, both Ramsey and his guest on the show, Dr. John Delony, pointed out that this is a terrible plan. Ramsey replied, "Hedonism leads to heart attacks." 

Ramsey expressed his disbelief at the caller's plan and exclaims, "You're 48 freaking years old, you have another 50 years on the planet potentially." He added, "What are you going to do with your life?" 

To be clear, Ramsey is not advising people against retiring early. In fact, he has offered some great advice for those who want to retire early while being financially ready. Instead, Ramsey told the caller he needed to do something, as spending his days doing "fishing and golf would lead to poor health. Ramsey explained that this doesn't mean you must work a 40-hour-a-week grind. Instead, he suggested opening a business, getting involved with the local community, and giving back or serving.  

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Whatever you choose to do is great as long as "It's something that you put your hand to the plow," Ramsey said. On X, Ramsey wrote, "Retiring from work just to do nothing is a bad life plan. I teach people to live like no one else so that later you can live and GIVE like no one else."

In his teachings, Ramsey emphasizes the importance of visualizing your retirement dreams. The problem with retiring so early without proper plans is that Ramsey has found that people get bored twiddling their thumbs at home. So, have a clear picture of what your retirement will look like. The choices are endless, from traveling the world to opening a small business or serving the community.  

Delony agreed with Ramsey's advice and explained that this mentality of retiring early to do nothing is a "weird cancer." He said this disease has grown out of the American dream with a mentality of "I want to work real hard so I can do nothing," and this is a recipe for disaster emotionally, physically and spiritually. Ramsey added, "There's no great joy except in serving." 

Ramsey is a big advocate of serving others and believes that giving to others, whether time, resources or talents, is how you can get the most fun out of your money. Some suggestions Ramsey offered include serving according to your strengths, such as volunteering at local organizations or becoming a mentor to teens at a local youth center. In addition to the spiritual and mental benefits of serving, Ramsey strongly believes that serving others is a great way to beat debt, build wealth and secure financial peace while creating a legacy that your family will be proud of.     

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