Marsh Teaches How to Balance Checkbooks and Choices



    The line stretched from the Varsity Theatre, out the Wilkinson Center doors toward the parking lot as Education Week patrons waited to hear how to obtain more money than they will ever need.

    The class called “More Money Than You’ll Ever Need- Discover the Happiest Income in America! Living an Abundant Life While Developing the Tools of “Eternal” Prosperity” was given by Scott C. Marsh, a part- time faculty member in the Marriot School, at 12:30 p.m. on the first day of education week at BYU.

    Scott C. Marsh is also a financial adviser and owner of the Scott Marsh Education Institute.

    “This class is all about happiness,” Marsh said. “I want you to reach the point of choice in your life where you can work at what you want with no thought of money.”

    The “point of choice” is when your financial assets will provide enough income for the investor to pursue other dreams without any other earnings. This goal is to reach retirement where the point of choice will allow an investor to go on a mission, develop new skills, etc.

    A Harvard Research group surveyed 10,000 people and found that the happiest income in America, or the income level from which the happiness level did not increase as salary increased, was $40,000. Yale University conducted a similar poll, which defined the happiest income in America as “more than your nearest neighbor and closest relative.”

    In his career, Marsh helped four people who had the following incomes: $1 million, $750,000, $650,000 and $450,000. All of them were LDS bishops, and none of them were saving any part of their income.

    “There are only two ways to save money,” Marsh said. “Earn more money or spend less. Each of the people with the incomes I mentioned could not figure out how to spend less.”

    The single, biggest problem about their income spending, according to Marsh, was “economic out-patient care” or giving money to adult children. The speaker asked the audience to consider whether supporting adult children was enabling or disabling those children.

    Marsh gave the class specific steps to achieve their point of choice.

    The first step is to purchase a home. The average price of a home on the Wasatch front is $250,000. According to the recent trends in real estate inflation, 40 years from now an average house on the Wasatch front would cost $2.5 million.

    “Our current prophet has advised us to purchase a modest home and pay it off as soon as possible,” Marsh said. “Follow the prophet. That is my first suggestion to you.”

    Invest in a 401K is the second step.

    “Your work takes money out of your paycheck before you see can see it,” he said. “If you don’t see it, you don’t miss it.”

    Investing in a 401K is the largest liquid asset you will have at retirement, says Marsh. He urged the audience to have a goal of contributing 10 percent of their income to a 401K fund. A 20-year-old who begins now to invest 10 percent of his or her income in a 401K and buys a home, will have more than $18 million at retirement at age 65.

    Citing the LDS pamphlet “One for the Money,” Marsh explained the Debt Elimination Calendar which allows people to accelerate their debt reduction, the third step to having more than enough money.

    “The average person can pay off their mortgage in six to eight years,” Marsh said. “My wife and I paid ours off in about four years. She said I was obsessed.”

    From “The Millionaire Next Door book,” Marsh said the single, most common factor that millionaires attributed to their financial success was marrying the right person.

    The fourth step is to make one of the “million dollar choices.” These choices are smart investments that will be profitable. Marsh will teach a follow-up class on this important step.

    Some other steps that may suit specific individuals include owning and renting real estate, and owning your own business.

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