(engines whirring) - Good morning, everyone, and welcome aboard flight number 913 with service to Kansas City.
As you come on board the aircraft this morning please make sure you stow your larger items in the overhead bin.
So I've been a flight attendant for three years.
Three years this month, actually.
I've been a chiropractor for 11 years last month.
- [Philip] Courtney is one of approximately 13 million Americans who work two jobs.
Managing her schedule can sometimes feel like a job in itself.
- I fly Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and then I'm in the chiropractic office Thursday, Friday, some Saturdays.
I feel like I'm busy, but not in a negative way.
I feel like I'm busy, I always have something going on, but I like the business of it.
- For a long time, it was presumed that anyone who worked two jobs must be doing it out of economic necessity.
- And while that's certainly true for some, there's a growing trend of Americans working multiple jobs by choice.
Take Philip and me.
We're full-time financial advisors and host a YouTube show.
- As a flight attendant and a chiropractor, Courtney has a packed schedule, and is still dealing with a sizable student debt obligation.
And yet, her reasons for pursuing two careers are not entirely financial.
(soft music) - Right now my schedule is pretty rigid.
There have been times where I've missed birthdays and graduations and things like that.
You really, really, really have to be flexible.
I get paid about $29 an hour as a flight attendant, and then the entire time you're on the flight attendant trip you get paid per diem.
I have a 19-hour overnight here, so it's pretty long, so I don't wanna just be in my room the whole time.
I think I'm gonna just do a workout in my room and then go down there and lie by the pool.
As far as my dog, I do have to ask my friends and family to watch him because I was boarding him at one point, and even with the discount it's just way too expensive.
(Courtney laughs) I make money as a chiropractor by being an independent contractor.
An office or a doctor may call me and ask me, do I have availability on these dates, I say yes or no.
I charge anywhere from $350 to $375 for a full day.
- [Patient] Oh.
- [Courtney] And then a half day is anywhere from $175 to $250.
- Although she regularly works between 60 and 70 hours a week, Courtney believes that splitting her focus like this may actually be costing her money.
- I think that with either one of my careers, I probably could make a pretty decent amount of money.
If I did one separate only, I could make more money than working both of them together.
- [Patient] Ah, man.
- [Julia] So then, why does she do it?
- I am headed down to South Georgia.
My dad, his name is Charlie, he is 83 years old.
And I have not seen him in over a year, prior to the pandemic.
My dad, I guess you could call him retired.
I mean, he still works on the farm, we still have cows.
We still farm pine straw for the state of Georgia, so he's out there doing that.
- All that straight back there by that gate, where I showed you?
- That go back there by that gate, all that mine in there.
I got 80 acres right there.
- He works at the automotive shop that my cousin owns.
He's slowed down a lot in his older age, my dad has, but he's been busy.
(laughs) Same as me, yeah.
Do you think working is easier or harder for my generation?
- It's easier.
'Cause the type of work we did when I come along is not here no more.
We got to work in some kind of factory or some kind of a plant.
And they moved all the plants.
Left Georgia, they ain't got no plants... And your mama and them was sewing- - Yeah, I remember she was sewing factory.
- Sewing factory, they don't even got none of 'em around here now.
If you ain't got no education, you ain't really got no job.
- What kind of education?
You mean like high school or college?
- You need high school and some college degree.
- My mom and dad both pushed it heavily.
They want us to have an education so we could have more opportunity versus you accepting whatever anybody gives you because you don't have a degree.
I don't know anybody that paid for chiropractor school while in chiropractor school.
(slow music) The majority of us, we have six-figure chiropractor debt.
- Chiropractors have one of the highest student debt to income ratios of American professions.
While established chiropractors can make around $100,000 a year, the starting salary is closer to $40,000, and it's during that pivotal time that interest on the loan begins accruing.
- I was making some loan payments and it just all went to interest.
Not even a pin prick of dent in it.
11 years later, and that's 11 years since I've graduated, my debt is probably closer to $400,000 at this point, in 2021.
It's a lot.
(chuckles) Every time I check my credit report, it's there, so when I see it, it is very sad.
- Courtney's dilemma is not uncommon.
Americans collectively $1.7 trillion in student loans, more than double what it was just 10 years before.
This has caused many millennials to delay big life milestones, like marriage, family, and home ownership all because of a financial commitment made at a very young age.
- I was 25 when I graduated from chiropract school.
So after I graduated and I started working, I got into the field, I'm like, well, what else?
Am I supposed to just do this one thing until I'm too old to do it anymore and just die?
It's the same neck pain, same back pain, same sciatica, same (laughs) disk injuries that I always experience.
And I'm just like, okay, it has to be more to life.
(upbeat music) Let me take a little bit more control of it.
Instead of letting the careers control me, let me choose what I personally want to do.
- [Announcer] Boarding for all passengers.
(indistinct) - I really like being a flight attendant.
I like going to different places.
You rarely fly with the same people.
It's just fun being a flight attendant.
(laughing) Great benefits, the healthcare plan is amazing, profit sharing is amazing, the 401k matching, it matches up to 10%, and then we have flight benefits, we can fly on domestic carriers for free, international trips, it's literally pennies on the dollar.
I don't think I could get everything that I'm getting out of it in anything else.
But as far as my debt, I don't have a plan to pay it off.
I do have a plan to maintain it so it's not a huge major burden on my life.
- For many millennials like Courtney, the goal of full repayment seems all but out of reach.
Instead, they're trying to find a way to live with their debt as a potentially permanent fixture of their lives.
- Besides the obvious financial burden, this can make them feel emotionally obligated to a career they may no longer want.
- Within the next 10 years I definitely don't see myself working as much as I work now as a chiropractor.
And when I do think about that it's like, (sighs) you know, it kinda sucks with me having the debt and having a degree, but like I said, I earned it so early on.
So as I've gotten older and matured and the world around me is changing, that's changing with me as well.
(soft music) (bright electronic music)