AARP holds senators accountable for key bipartisan Medicare vote. Learn more




Use these Small Business Administration tools and tips to build your business.



AARP Participated in ‘Small Business Saturday’

AARP participated in Small Business Saturday on Nov. 29. View a blog about AARP’s role in that effort.  Read

In Search of a Second Act: The Challenges and Advantages of Senior Entrepreneurship

AARP testimony to the Senate Special Committee on Aging and Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship on the challenges and advantages of senior entrepreneurship

Best Employers for Workers Over 50

See the latest winners of this AARP recognition program.

Employer Resource Center

Attract and retain top talent in a changing workforce.

On Your Side

Beware the "Get Rich Quick" Promise

AARP's consumer advocate helps a couple get their money back from a business guru.

The Company: Live Out Loud

The Complaint: Success spiel was mostly talk.

Amount recovered:

The path to wealth is often elusive. Money guru Loral Langemeier, perhaps best known for her appearances on Dr. Phil, says she can show you the way, for a fee.

Keith and Marie Brown of Oakdale, Calif., believed the old adage that says, “It takes money to make money.”
Watching a local TV news report on Langemeier and her company, Live Out Loud, they saw Langemeier go in person to help another California couple start a company. With Keith’s construction business sinking, the Browns felt they, too, could use guidance on getting a new enterprise launched.
They called Live Out Loud and, they say, were told they would get one-on-one help from Langemeier. She claims her programs can make you a millionaire in three to five years. The Browns just needed a credit card with at least $15,000 available to cover the cost of the program. They signed up then and there.

Four days later—one day beyond a three-day cancellation window—the Browns learned that what they’d been promised wasn’t what they were going to get. Instead of a personal visit, the Browns were enrolled in a series of “webinars,” group seminars via online videoconference. Disappointed, they asked for their money back and were refused. “Just try the first one,” they were told. They did. “It was beginner stuff,” Marie lamented to me later. “I’m an accountant. I don’t need to pay more than $15,000 for instructions on building a home budget.”

The Browns again asked for a refund and were denied. They protested to their credit card company. Six months later, when the card company sided with Langemeier, the Browns contacted me.

My first thought was, why would anyone sell a million-dollar business plan for $15,000? When I reached Langemeier, she allowed that her sales force may have overpromised, but also contended that the Browns hadn’t given her program a chance. “Wasn’t that their prerogative?” I asked.
In the end, she agreed to refund their payment, but admitted no fault in the matter. (So we didn’t change the world, but I consider it a victory any time we get money back for readers.)

What’s the lesson here? Avoid like fuzzy pudding anyone who promises an easy way to Easy Street. It just doesn’t exist. Free or inexpensive mentoring programs do, though, such as the small-business counselors and retired executives at SCORE.
Whenever you spend a large sum, make sure what you’re getting is really right for you. Above all, you should always get a written contract and read it carefully to make sure there’s a reasonable refund policy if what you get isn’t what you expected.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Jobs You Might Like

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

UPS Store membership discount aarp benefits

Members save 15% on eligible products/services, 5% on UPS shipping at The UPS Store®.

membership adt

Small business owners save 20% on new installation of any new ADT security system.

Woman holding smartphone in city, Google map tool

Members can find discounts on the go via the AARP® Member Advantages Offer Finder mobile app.

Member Benefits

Renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Advance your skills. Transform your career.

Explore your learning possibilities.