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How Gerry Born Became "The Millionaire Educator"

Updated: May 25, 2022

Gerry's teaching journey around the world:

Gerry grew up playing basketball and his senior year in college his team played in the conference tournament. He then went on to play basketball in Argentina and El Salvador where he learned to speak Spanish.

From there, Gerry became a Spanish teacher and taught high school for 3 years, went to grad school, taught ESL in Saudi Arabia, moved back to the U.S. and began public school teaching. Through using his tax advantage accounts, Gerry has been able to save money each year and in 2016 he crossed seven figures.

Learning to invest

Gerry discusses how he uses the 457, 403b, and other resources to save money each year. Putting more money in a 403b or 457 makes your taxes less and less in addition to the other benefits. It is not just about saving money, it is about learning to invest so you can grow that money.

In the short term, if you are struggling with how to strategize financially, see out a fiduciary advisor.

Gerry does not shy away from talking about the specificities of making money. He goes in depth about how he has accumulated his money and all the advice he would give to other educators, and other people.

Gerry loves working with kids but is realizing he wants to try other things, so he wants to work on pushing his message about strategizing financially as a teacher.


Sean McCormick 0:02 Welcome to another episode of Earn More Tutoring. I've got a legendary guest on today. Gerry Born, aka Ed Mills, he and I are going to talk about how he and his wife have saved over a million dollars on their teaching salaries alone, how him and his family have taken multiple year long mini retirements in other countries. Now he plans to guide his son to earning a college degree for under $6,000. Gerry Born 0:24 And if you know how to use your tax advantage accounts, you can really save a lot of money. And I know that makes me a pariah in the teachers lounge at times. A lot of people they're locked into their belief that we've taken a vow of poverty. Somewhere down the line, I don't recall taking that vow. I didn't really know what I was doing for the longest time financially. I didn't get up to zero until about age, let's say 3522 years later, and we pass seven figures back in September of 2016. Sean McCormick 0:59 Welcome to the Earn More Tutoring podcast, this podcast is all about finding ways to use your education, experience, your educator abilities to earn more, save more and take control of your life. Welcome to the show, Gerry. Gerry Born 1:12 Thanks for having me, I love coming on and talking about money things and, and how teachers can build wealth. It's a passion of mine. Sean McCormick 1:20 So this is this is a bit of a dream come true to have you on the show. Because just a little background, I you know, my background is in special education and teaching. And it was probably around three, three or four years ago, I can't remember exactly when it was but you were on choose fi and I heard your story. And it was just like it was it was one of those moments in life where you'll never forget it because it showed me the possibility of building wealth of using my teaching skills. And then also in such a nuanced, like technical way, like actually, there's these incredible tools at our disposal as teachers to allow us to build wealth, generational wealth, and to to be liberated. And it just, it just flew in the face of all all that kind of cultural narrative that Oh, teachers, you know, they're doing a service, but it's not possible for them to truly grow wealthy from their work. So and I think you know, your story, it was the way you told your story. And also the way that was easy to connect with your story of being a basketball fan, and just having a good sense of humor about all that and loving teaching. There were so many connection points. But for our for the audience listening to this, who may have may have not heard that, or maybe they're coming in, you know, just to listen to this podcast, I would love for you just to tell your story again, because it is just such a powerful story. And and I'd love for you just to kind of start from wherever you feel the best places and tell that that story. Gerry Born 2:51 Great. I've told this thing many times. So it comes naturally at this point. Well, let's just say I'm 57 my name is Gerry Born, I'm married. I have a son, he's 15. I always tell everyone, I'm from the pre internet generation. So we occupied our time with sports. And you know, long story short, I became a basketball player. That was when I was six, seven. So I just gravitated to that sport. And I'm not naturally very aggressive and assertive at times. I'm very easygoing. But on the basketball court, I was kind of like coached up to be very assertive. So I became a D one player I played at Davidson College. We had three losing years there. And my senior year, I had the good fortune we were we won the conference tournament. You'll find this interesting, I hit the shot at the buzzer to win it. That's my lone highlight on the internet. On YouTube, you can find it. I know it's there because I uploaded it. But anyway, we played in the tournament, we lost to Kentucky, they were number two in the nation. They beat us pretty good. But then from there, I played basketball in Argentina and El Salvador. And from that I learned to speak Spanish. One of the great ironies in life I became a Spanish teacher because I could barely pass Spanish at Davidson. And from there, I became either a Spanish teacher or an ESL teacher. I taught high school for about three years, then I went to grad school, promptly built up $20,000 of student loan debt. Went to Saudi Arabia, I taught ESL for five and a half, six years somewhere in there, paid off my student loan. And, you know, got to see some of the world put vacations out of there from say, you know, to Europe, Portugal, India, kind of broaden my perspective. But, um, after that, my wife and I moved back to the United States and started public school teaching, right. The grand plan was we were going to get sort of get her certified and go teach on the International School circuit. Well, let me just say this from the last time I taught previously in the States was about 92. After and then I went to Saudi, my teaching salary is...

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