Podcast Episode - Ask Suze & KT Anything: HELOCs, Trusts and Loans

Home Equity Line Of Credit, Home Loans, Investing, Podcast, Saving

August 18, 2022

Listen to Podcast Episode:

On this episode of Ask Suze & KT Anything, Suze answers questions from you all about reinvesting dividends, adding children to a house title, paying for dental work, trusts loans, HELOCs and more.

Podcast Transcript:


Suze: August 18th, 2022. Welcome everybody to the Ask Suze and




Suze: podcast. How are you this morning Miss. Travis?


KT: I feel pretty good Suze.


Suze: Because why? What did you do yesterday?


KT: Fished. But I'm not going to talk about it because Larry didn't like that. We talk about fishing...


Suze: We had somebody by the name of Larry who has been a long-time listener write in to say


Suze: we've gone too overboard with birthdays and fish and things like that. We don't think we did. Many people love it. But for you, Larry will calm it down just a little bit. Maybe. Anyway, before we begin today, I really want to talk about something that I'm so proud of.


Suze: And I'm really proud of the Alliant Credit Union. And let me tell you all why. KT do you remember... it was over a year ago now, that we offered the Ultimate Opportunity Savings Account with Alliant Credit Union and all you would have to do is go to m alliant.com, open up an account, put $100 in every single month, and at the end you would get $100, but even if you couldn't do any of that,


Suze: they were still offering .60%, which was one of the highest interest rates that you could find anywhere.


Suze: KT, do you know what their current interest rate is right now?


KT: It's fabulous Suze.


Suze: Well, what is it?


KT: It's 1.60%.


Suze: So think about that everybody. In a year or so, their interest rate has gone up 1%. It is more than doubled on you.


KT: Way more than doubled.


Suze: Which says


Suze: this is a financial institution that as interest goes up, they are going to take you up with them. So if you haven't yet really opened up the Ultimate Opportunity Savings Account, you absolutely should do. So now there is


Suze: a long explanation at the end of this podcast exactly how it works because so many of you are getting your $100 at the end of the 12 month period where you've put in $100 every month, and you're loving it. I want you all to listen on Sunday because on Sunday I'm going to be announcing another program


Suze: that Alliant Credit Union is absolutely initiating, that I think you might want to take advantage of. And it is another way to get another $100, even if you already have the Ultimate Opportunity Savings Account. Alright let's go KT.


KT: Ok, first question Suze is from Karen.


KT: Hi Suze, I'm a retired 70-year-old woman. I draw my social security and retirement from my employer. I have not yet started taking distributions from my TSP.


Suze: Thrift Savings Plan which means she's a federal worker.


KT: I purchased the max of I bonds for myself and my trust, and plan to do so again in January. That's great. Right Suze, good?


KT: I have about $5,000 I'd like to invest in VTI. and XLE, and or the Devon.


KT: Devon you talked about on August 14. Can I do this online myself, or do I need an agent and broker?


Suze: No, sweetheart. All you have to


Suze: do really is open up an account at either TD Ameritrade, Fidelity, Schwab, any discount brokerage firm, put in your $5,000, and then you could, if you purchase it online, by either slices of VTI, which is the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index ETF, or Devon which is one of


Suze: the energy stocks that I like very much because of the dividend, that it's pain symbol is DVN or I'm not sure if you were referring to XLE . Which was an ETF for energy companies or XP which was an ETF for staples, but I would probably go with XLP/DVN, and VTI


Suze: for some nice diversification there. And if you're gonna do $5,000, I would take that $5,000 and maybe put in like $300 a month. So put in $100 in each one of those and over time, which is dollar cost averaging, and that's what I would do if I were you. I would not put in all $5,000 right here.


KT: Okay good, good advice.


Suze: I love when she says that. She says that at the end of every single question. Is that because you don't know what else to say?


KT: No I just think it's really good when you say something with such clarity. I think it's great advice. Alright, next questions from Lisa. Hi Suze.


Suze: Sorry, Larry. I don't think this is going to be one podcast that you're going to want to stay tuned for.


KT: Larry. I'm on your side today. Ready? Hi, Suze. Just joined your podcast. Love it.


KT: I just inherited a SEP IRA as a non-spouse. Is that treated the same as a non-spouse traditional IRA?


Suze: Yes, I'm sure she's asking me because I've been, you know...


KT: you've been talking about...


Suze: inherited IRAs. Whenever you inherit a retirement account,


Suze: and you're anybody other than a spouse,


Suze: then you have a whole separate set of rules that you have to follow, and that's what I've been doing podcasts on recently. But again, we won't really know the exact rules


Suze: that have happened now as of February of this year, according to the Secure Act, until sometime at the end of this year,


Suze: as to how


Suze: it's going to work.


KT: And that's exactly what Lisa said. She said as I understand, Suze, we should wait till the end of 2022 to see how this is dealt with.


Suze: Yeah, I got it. Right. But yes, a SEP IRA, 401k, 403B, and you inherit them. They're all treated the same as an IRA.


Suze: All right.


KT: Next question is from Sharon. Hi Suze and KT, you guys are the best! I love listening to you.


Suze: Even though we talk about fishing?


KT: Do you do you have a podcast where you will talk about funding a trust, not fishing a trust, funding and trust. I've been stuck at that point in the Will & Trust kit. I know the confusion is probably in my own mind, but please help me get past it. Can I say something Suze?


KT: Tell people what it means to fund a trust.


Suze: Sharon and everybody else as you know, there is something called the MUST HAVE™ Documents. And these are the four documents that in my opinion you must have. A living revocable trust, an advanced directive and durable power


Suze: attorney for health care, a will, and a power of attorney for finances. And you all should have those. And the problem is that when you go to an attorney to get them, they could easily cost you $2500-$5,000. So over 20 some odd years ago, I decided I was going to sell these documents available to everybody at a price that they could afford.


Suze: And that started on QVC, HSN, and we've sold tens of millions of these over the years, that we allow everybody to share them with your family members, updates are all free. And again, if it's something that you're interested in, they are currently selling for $99 on hayhouse.com, and you can pick them up there. Now.


Suze: We are having an update just so you know, that will come out sometime next year. We're funding the trust Sharon, will all be so much easier, I can't even begin to tell you. But remember I've told all of you that once you buy one of these programs, any update that we have, you get automatically for free, we don't charge you again.


Suze: So I just want you all to know that, because I'm sure this isn't the only person who has problems with understanding what funding the trust is. It's very easy to create a document. You just go through the computer screen, you answer all the questions and everything, and then it prints out for you. It gives you instructions that you should have it notarized as well as witnessed, and then it tells you you need to fund the trust.


Suze: Normally Sharon, you go back into the program after that, and there will be a little section that says funding the trust. You click on it, you then enter what assets you own. Do you own a piece of real estate? Do you own a bank account? Do you own a regular savings account? You click everything that you own, it's very simple, and then you print out the funding documents that are needed for each one of those entities.


Suze: So that's how you would do it. Now, why do you have to fund a trust?


Suze: When you own an asset in your own individual name, I own my own home and it's in the title of Suze Orman,


Suze: and I die, and I leave that home to KT via a will, KT is going to have to go through probate to inherit that. If you own it in the name of the trust, if I die, and KT is my beneficiary, she automatically inherits it. Why? Because when you have a living revocable trust,


Suze: you have to change the title of your assets from your individual name into the title of the trust. So my home would no longer be Suze Orman on the title. It would be Suze Orman trustee, for the Suze Orman Living Revocable Trust.


Suze: When I do that, I have then funded the trust. I have then taken the asset the piece of real estate, and I've transferred it into the title of the trust. Obviously if it's a piece of real estate, I have to go down to the title company, and change it there.


Suze: If it's a bank account, I then take the form that you will print out, take it to the bank, and change the title for my individual name into the title of the trust. You'll have to bring the trust with you, and show them the document. It's really just that simple.


Suze: Otherwise, you have what's called an empty trust. So you have to fund your trust to make sure all your assets pass without probate. Okay.


KT: In essence it's a name change.


Suze: Why didn't you just say so?


KT: I think I think people get mixed up and they think funding means they put money in a trust. You don't you change the title, you change the name. And that's called funding when you simply change the name. Alright, here we go.


Suze: So smart, so smart.


KT: So this is from Andrea: I'm getting close to the age where I will need to start withdrawing RDMs from my 403B and traditional




Suze: One more year for both of us.


KT: Should I buy an index annuity with enough of my IRA funds that will generate enough lifetime income to cover all of my traditional IRA RMDs


KT: or number two, I am planning to withdraw RMDs from my 403B which has a fixed interest rate of 4.5%.


Suze: My goodness. Andrea.


KT: What is your recommendation Suze?


Suze: Yeah. If I had a place that was guaranteeing me 4.5% on my money, okay. And I knew that was true, and I could take out any amount of money I wanted during that time,


Suze: I would not be doing an index annuity at all to guarantee me income for the rest of the time, because there's no way they're going to be able to guarantee you right now 4.5%, and it may be as interest rates go up, that Andrea maybe your 403B will absolutely offer you a higher interest rate than 4.5%. So right now, I would just leave it exactly like it is.


KT: Here we go. Next question is from Linda.


KT: Hi Suze and KT, do you recommend reinvesting dividends for ETFs and stocks? I'm 65. I don't need to draw any income from my portfolio until 72. Or, should I be putting the dividends into cash?


KT: Good question. That's a good question.


Suze: Well Linda, I love Dividend Reinvestment Programs. They're called DRIPS. I love when I'm invested. Yeah, dividend reinvestment program.


Suze: We did this podcast before.


KT: I remember DRIP.


Suze: DRIP. She likes that DRIP.


Suze: So I really like when dividends get reinvested because for instance, if something is paying you, let's just say 5% of the dividend and now they paid you that dividend and you put it back into the  ETF, or the stock then that starts to earn 5% as well, so your money starts to compound at 5%. Obviously, the value can go up, the value can go down, depending on the stock market.


Suze: But overall, I think it's a really good time to be doing that. Especially if you have 5,6,7 years till you're going to be using this money. Okay.


KT: Good. This is from Blanca. Hi Suze and KT, I hope you're both doing fabulous. My parents have told me several times they want to add my sister and I to the title of their house. They live in Miami. Do you think we need a lawyer for this?


KT: I'm not sure where to begin to help my parents. And this is from Blanca. What should she do?


Suze: You should convince your parents to absolutely not add anybody's name to the title of their home.


Suze: And I've told you all this over, and over again. Remember when you add the name to a title, you're gifting them your cost basis in that house as well. If they bought that house a number of years ago, for $300,000, then your cost basis would be $300,000 on that home.


Suze: As time goes on, let's say that house is now worth $1.3 million, which it absolutely could be. If they were to die, and you inherited that home, you would get a step up in basis on it of $1.3 million, you turn around and sell it, no income tax whatsoever. If they put anybody's name on that house, you get the cost basis on that house as well. And you don't want that. Also,


Suze: if they add your name and your sister's name to that house, and one of you is in a car accident where you have seriously injured or killed somebody, it's public record that you own that house. Don't think a lawyer won't come and sue you to get the value of that house that you own. So therefore, the best thing you can do for them, is set them up in the living revocable trust, the Must Have documents that Hay House sells,


Suze: and put the house in the title of the trust. So it's for their benefit while they're alive, your benefit after they've died. They die, you get a step up in basis. It doesn't go through probate, you get it two weeks later. It's fabulous. And if they become incapacitated, you can sign for them. You can help them. It's really what you need to do. Putting your names on the home is the biggest mistake they will ever make.


KT: Good Blanca. You got that right. Okay. Next question is from Barbara. She said Susie, I have three kids ages 12 through 16.


KT: They need braces.


Suze: I remember when I needed braces and this was such...


KT: Did you wear braces?


Suze: Yes, I had the little rubber bands.


KT: I never saw a photo of you ever with braces.


KT: We have


KT: hardly any photos...


Suze: I was going to say you have no photos of me as a young child...


KT: Yea, a little child, but not with a braces.


Suze: After five or six or seven, there are really very few photos of me


Suze: existing anywhere.


KT: No high school.


Suze: No, nothing. It's a very strange situation. Anyway.


KT: So my dental insurance at work does not cover this expense. Should I take a loan from my 401k, or money out of my Roth


KT: IRA? Which is better?


Suze: Neither. You are not to touch your retirement accounts. Especially at this point in time. Because if number one you take a loan from your 401k, recession hits, maybe you lose your job. That money is due and payable. And if you don't have it,


Suze: they're gonna charge you a 10% penalty and ordinary income tax. You don't want to take it from your Roth, even though you can take your original contributions anytime you want, the markets are going up, you don't want to miss this, and blah blah. But this is what I want all of you to do.


Suze: A long time ago,  it's been and I don't even remember how long since we've talked about this KT, right. But there is something called a dental savings plan. And I want every single one of you to go to dentalplans.com. And check it out. Because they will absolutely give you a reduction for orthodontists, for your kids, like 10 to 60%.


Suze: And most of you don't know about dental savings plans, but they're offered usually by the exact same companies that offer dental insurance. And if your dentist happens to take a dental savings plan,


Suze: You can save anywhere up to 60%

Suze: on x-rays, on cleanings, on root canals. And when you go there right, you'll see

my little picture. Because I have a dental savings plan, and I have saved so many thousands of dollars, both of us, and we don't have


Suze: dental insurance because we believe that dental savings plans are far better off. So just go there and check it out. And no, I don't make money if you go there and buy it just so you know. Alright.


KT: We love dental savings plans.


Suze: just it's s


omething every single one of you should do.


KT: All right. Next question is from Gloria.


Suze: Reminds me I need my teeth cleaned.


KT: You do. But we've been waiting to go back because of COVID. But you should go now. I had mine done last month. It was like very cheap.


KT: Here's my dental saving plan. It’s incredibly inexpensive.


Suze: Sorry, we won't go on about that. All right. Larry might not like it.


KT: This next question is from Gloria.


KT: Hi, I bought I Bonds this June and July, rate changes in November. Do I get the 9.62 for six months from purchase date, or adjust to a new rate November one?


Suze: So Gloria, the I Bond rate was set in May of this year at 9.62%, so you get six months of that, or 4.81


Suze: from June until December, and July until January. When those six months mature, whatever the new rate is that is set in November of this year, you will get that rate. But remember it's only for six months, because I bond interest rates change every six months. So it is only from the date of purchase. Alright.


KT: Alright next question is from Joe.


KT: Hi Joe. I like to get these questions. Hi Suze and KT. I'm hooked on your podcast and listen every week. I've been a tv and a book fan for years. I have an Alliant savings account and received my $100 bonus. Thank you Suze.


Suze: Perfect.


KT: I have a Roth IRA, I bond, and no debt. Quick question. A few years ago I opened a HELOC which is now paid off in full. I will not need to use it again, as I have a 12-month emergency fund. I have a $50,000 line of credit.


KT: I also pay my credit cards in full every month, so literally I have no debt.


KT: But here's his, he also owns his home outright, but here's his question. Would turning off that amount of available credit hurt my FICO score?


Suze: No Joe. I like that they rhyme together. So Joe just keep your HELOC open. It doesn't cost you anything. You never know in case of emergency that you might want to use it. Who knows what can happen in life. Just keep it open and don't worry about it. Next KT.


KT: So Suze, I have another HELOC question.


KT: Hi Suze and KT. Thanks for giving the regular podcast. I look forward to every Thursday and Sunday to listen. I did put 40K in I bonds, 10K each for every family member. And thanks for the


KT: master class you gave. If I want to put more I bonds of 10,000 as a gift for my minor daughter who is 15 years old, would it be a good idea to tap my HELOC which has an interest rate as of now at 3.25% due to my great credit score, and use that money to buy I bonds where I will be making around 10%? Hmm.


KT: I am not sure.


Suze: Should hat have been your quizze?


KT: No, wait, wait. Well I don't know about this. Suze, I don't, I don't know if you take one out of one to make more interest in another.


KT: So Suze, I can't answer that question. I have no clue whether you should borrow money to then buy money to make a higher interest.


Suze: A lot of people do that all the time. They borrow money from their brokerage account to buy on margin, to make more money or lose even more. So here's the bottom line everybody. You are not and I repeat, you are not to borrow money from a home equity line of credit,


Suze: just in order to buy an I bond. Remember, you cannot touch the I bond for at least one year. From years 2-5, there is a three-month interest penalty. What if inflation does start to go down and all of a sudden the interest rates that we think they're going to pay, they don't pay?


Suze: And with the penalty and everything for the next five years, it's actually under what you're paying on your HELOC because if the feds continue to raise interest rates, I don't care what your FICO score is. It's gonna go from 3.5, to 4.5, to 5, to 6. Are you crazy?


Suze: So no, you are not to do that under any circumstances whatsoever.


KT: So next question is from Robin. Suze, I was curious if you are invested in I bonds, I like this. Actually I don't like this. And the U. S. Government God forbid goes bankrupt,


KT: how safe is your investment then? What recourse do you have? Are these bonds federally insured?


Suze: So that's very sweet.


KT: I mean, this is actually, people wonder about these.


Suze: They should wonder about that. You know, Robin, when you study to be a financial advisor, you're taught that there's only one investment that you can use the word guaranteed with,


Suze: and that is with a Treasury Bill, Bond or note. A Treasury issued by the United States Government. Because it's guaranteed by the authority of the United States Government, or another way to think about it, of the taxing authority of the United States Government. So if the government gets in trouble, they will simply raise taxes on every single person


Suze: to raise that money to be able to pay you back. So all treasuries are the safest investment bar none.


KT: But they're not insured right?


Suze: No, but it's guaranteed. Listen insurance, FDIC insurance, we don't know what would happen honestly if there was a total major, major, major collapse. Let's hope they all have that money there. But if I were gonna pick which is safer,


Suze: right? Insurance or the treasuries, it would be the Treasuries. Alright, KT, this is your quizzie . So this one is from Sarah.


Suze: Very simple question.


Suze: Can I loan a sum of money to family members without charging interest? Think about it everybody. Now remember KT, don't answer yet. This isn't just KT's quizzie, this is all of your quizzies as well. Can you loan money to your family members without charging interest?


Suze: Yes or no?


KT: Well can I answer this?


Suze: Yes or no.


KT: First...


Suze: Start yes or no.


KT: Ask me the question again. Can I loan money to a family member and not charge them interest?


Suze: Or anybody for that matter.


KT: You can you can give someone money. See that I'm saying give.


Suze: I'm asking you can you loan somebody money a family member, a non-family member without charging them interest, yes or no?


KT: Yes. (Suze: Ehhhhh)


KT: So wait because it's a loan versus giving them?


Suze: No. Alright. So when you make a loan, the IRS says not only should you have it in writing, but you have got to charge an interest rate because otherwise it is considered a gift.


KT: What is a promissory note? 00:28:27

Suze: A promissory note says it's a loan document that says, I promise to pay you back in a specific amount of time, a specific amount of money, at this much of an interest rate.


KT: What if there is no interest rate on a promissory note?


Suze: Then it's a gift. Because every single one of us, KT, has the ability to give anybody we want $16,000 a year currently, without any taxes to them,


Suze: and it's not coming off of our estate gift tax, our unified gift tax credit. Above $16,000, it comes off our unified gift tax credit, which is currently about 12 million for each person. But no, you have to charge interest, and if the government finds out about it, they'll consider it a gift. All right. Also, chances are if you're lending money to a family member


Suze: you're giving them a gift whether you know it or not. So my advice to you seriously, would be


Suze: if you're going to give them money or loan them money, I would do it as a gift.


Suze: In the hopes that they do pay you back one day. And if they don't, not their problem. You gave it to them. Otherwise, it is going to come between you whether you know it or not.


Suze: And be very careful about lending family members money. We never, ever, ever. Do we, KT, do that.


KT: No, we gift. We never ever make a loan. Ever, ever. Not even with friends. We we never make loans


Suze: period. Somebody really needs money, here it is. If you can pay us back, great.


KT: If you can’t,


Suze: can't so be it. Don't worry about it. If you're not in that position, do not do it. Do not do it. Do not do it. All right. That brings us to the end of a pretty non-fishy.


KT: I'm not telling


KT: you anything Larry. Am I going to tell you anymore?


Suze: Just yesterday


KT: Yesterday we caught 30 fish. It was an all-day event, and we were trying to really gather as much as we could, because we have a big family gathering to feed. So we had 12 Yellowtail, and I think we had like about


KT: 18 Yellow Eye. Right? And a couple of tilefish.


Suze: Yeah, but we don't count tilefish because I'm not sure good to eat or not. But anyway, and when she says we, that's her and Colo. Yeah, I should not be catching fish. And I'm not going to because I pay for it. All right. So until Sunday,


Suze: what do you want to tell people, KT?


KT: Actually Sunday is going to be a great podcast. So listen up everyone. Suze's going to announce some really good news.


Suze: From Alliant Credit Union.


KT: I think they'll love what you're about to announce.


Suze: All right. And I might also do the Suze School on how you calculate interest on I bonds, because a lot of you are really, really confused about that.


Suze: You are writing me saying it's been nine months, I think I should have X interest rate and I don't have that much, why is that? So I think I may do a Suze School on that. But you just never know with me, because we'll just have to see what happens in the stock market between today, Thursday, August 18, 2022,


Suze: all day today, and all day tomorrow, and then what I do. But until Sunday, there's really only one thing that we want everybody to remember. And what is that KT?


KT: We want you all to be safe, strong, and secure.


Suze: and Smart.


Suze: Can we make it


Suze: KT? I want people to be smart, strong, secure and safe.


KT: No. I like my three: Safe, strong and secure. They're smart because they're already listening. You're already smart everybody. Okay. Goodbye.


Suze: See you then. Bye bye.

Take advantage of the Ultimate Opportunity Savings Account with Alliant Credit Union at: https://bit.ly/3vEUTZW

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Suze Orman Blog and Podcast Episodes

Suze's Financial Strength Test

Answer Yes or No to the follow statements.

I pay all my credit card bills in full each month.

I have an eight-month emergency savings fund separate from my checking or other bank accounts.

The car I am driving was paid for with cash, or a loan that was no more than three years, and I sure didn’t lease!

I am contributing at least 10% of my gross salary to a retirement plan at work, or I am saving at least that much in an IRA and/or regular taxable account.

I have a long-term asset allocation plan for my retirement investments, and once a year I check to see if I need to do any rebalancing to stay on target with my allocation goals.

I have term life insurance to provide protection to those who are dependent on my income.

I have a will, a trust, an advance directive (living will), and have appointed someone to be my health care proxy.

I have checked all the beneficiaries of every investment account and insurance policy within the past year.

So how did you do?

If you answered yes to every item, congratulations. If you are working on improving on a few items, I say congratulations as well.

As long as you are comitted to truly creating financial security, I applaud you. If that means you are paying down your credit card balances, or are building up your emergency fun with automated payments, that’s more than fine. You are on your way!

But if you found yourself saying No to any of those questions, and you’re not working on moving to Yes, then I want you to stand in your truth. No matter how good you feel, you have some work to do before you can honestly know what you are on solid financial ground.

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