Podcast Episode - Ask Suze & KT Anything: How To Start Saving Money and More

Family, Interest Rates, IRA, Life Insurance, Podcast, Retirement, Roth IRA, Saving, Saving Money

November 09, 2022

Listen to Podcast Episode:

On this episode of Ask Suze & KT Anything, Suze answers questions about the best ways to start saving money, designating a beneficiary of an IRA, life insurance, inheriting from overseas and more.

Podcast Transcript:


KT: Hi everybody. Welcome to the Women & Money podcast with KT in the house and Suze's here too. So


KT: this is November


KT: 9th. It's our countdown. We almost have Thanksgiving around the corner. My favorite holiday. It's the one day of the year


KT: that Suze cooks the entire Thanksgiving meal. At least most of it. The most important are the turkeys.


Suze: And the stuffing...


KT: And the stuffing. But we have two turkeys because we have like 20 people this year. It's our big family reunion. Finally, finally, our first thanksgiving after covid with everybody, right?


Suze: Almost I was liking it with just you, me and Colo. Was that bad?


KT: Colo would gain like ten pounds just from one day. He would eat the whole thing. So now he has to share and he'll stay nice and trim. Okay, ready? November 9th everybody. The first question Suze is from Sarah. Do you want to say anything?


Suze: Well, I'm looking at you and I'm wondering to myself, now let's say somebody


Suze: tuned in or downloaded the podcast for the very first time. How would they even know what today is about?


KT: Today's Women & Money. It's our podcast. If listen, if you're tuning in for the first time, guess what? There's 400 plus of these you can listen to. So just hang in there with me. Here we go!


Suze: Before you start. I do want to say something. Obviously. If you want to ask a question, where we choose it, KT chooses


Suze: it...


KT: Right.


Suze: ...to be answered on the Women & Money podcast. You would send in your question to asksuze, S- U- Z- E podcast@gmail.com. You would think everybody would know how to spell my name by now but they don't. But anyway asksuzepodcast@gmail.com or you could go to the Women & Money app, you could download it by


Suze: downloading Apple apps, Google play and you can ask your question there. Also at the end of every podcast that we list, there people ask questions and when they're on the app I tend to answer them almost right away. So you might want to think about that. But no really KT, I want to say one thing, okay?


Suze: If you write in a question that goes on and on and on and


KT: or has multiple parts


Suze: and I start to read those and my eyes cross and you can imagine that if 1000 of those come in it would drive you a little bit crazy like really.




KT: put them in a pile called rainy day and those are that's the pile where it's way too long to answer on the podcast. And I give these to Suze and when it's a rainy day and she's just cuddled up with her computer, she answers them at her leisure.


Suze: But chances are


Suze: I do personally answer your questions by the way that you write in when they are short, succinct, I can read them, I can answer them, and they're done. When they go on and on, sometimes I'm like and I skip it. So I wish I could be your individual financial advisor telling you exactly what to do in your particular situation.


Suze: But thousands of you write in, and I just can't. So don't feel like I'm ignoring you. You know, just break down your questions. Make them simple. Alright KT, ask away.


KT: First question’s from Sarah. Dear Suze. When I get paid, I pay my bills. But after that, when I buy my groceries, I spend just about every dollar I have. I think it's a security thing with me.


KT: What is your yearly budget plan or ideas on how I can start saving? I know what you're going to tell.


Suze: Well let me tell her first and let's see if you are correct.


KT: Okay I know what the answer is.


Suze: But Sarah you say in your email that besides obviously all your bills and probably what it takes you with your home and everything like that right? You spend every extra cent on food.


Suze: And that is because you said it makes you feel secure.


Suze: Sweetheart. That's not security.


Suze: Food comes, and food goes. And then you have to do it again, and again and again. Security is when you take your money and you put it somewhere, and next time you look at it you have more. And then you put it there again, and you have more.


Suze: So you have to learn to feed yourself what I call true security, and that is called saving. You have got to get as much pleasure out of saving as you do spending on food. So therefore.


Suze: Here's what I think you should do.


Suze: We created, a year and a half or so ago, something called the Ultimate Opportunity Savings Account with Alliant Credit Union. And truthfully, it was for people exactly like you.


Suze: That didn't have a whole lot of money to save, that maybe you just wanted to start. So if you just started before you went and bought any food, and you put $100 a month away every single month for 12 consecutive months,


Suze: at the end of that period, Alliant will give you $100. Now recently Alliant just increased their interest rate to 2.35%. So not only are you going to be getting that extra $100, you're also going to be getting a good interest rate and Alliant is constantly increasing that interest rate. Also. Very shortly here,


Suze: in a few days, I'm going to be announcing something for all of you that you are going to love. We did it last year, do you remember what that was?


Suze: I'm not gonna tell you.


Suze: Right, but for all of you I'm going to do a fabulous announcement


Suze: again, and you all want to have an Alliant Credit Union account at that time.


Suze: Anyway. Alright.


Suze: Anyway you do so by going to myalliant.com, that's my A-L-L-I-A-N-T dot com. You open it up there immediately, fund it with at least $100, and you just continue and let's see


Suze: if that is the budget plan for you. All right, KT, next question sweetheart.


KT: Okay from Renee. Hi Suze, can you please go over whether to designate a trust as the beneficiary on an IRA or 401k, or just have it go directly to the beneficiary? I think I remember you saying that IRAs don't go through probate so there was no need.


Suze: Yeah. Well it is true that an IRA, when you designate a beneficiary, KT, whether it's on a life insurance policy to pay on death account for a bank account. An IRA, where you designate a person whenever an investment has a designated beneficiary that upon your death it is to go to that person.


Suze: It does not go through probate.


Suze: You


Suze: go through probate, which is a court procedure everybody. after you have died at least your beneficiaries will where you leave your money to people via a will and most wills absolutely have to go through probate. However.


Suze: When it comes to an IRA,


Suze: an IRA works very very differently in that


Suze: if you are married, you always want your spouse to be the primary beneficiary of your IRA/


Suze: If you have a trust as well, and again, all of you you know, I think every single one of you should have a living revocable trust, but anyway.


Suze: Outside of your spouse, your secondary beneficiary, your contingent beneficiary


Suze: should be your living revocable trust, which designates where everything is to go. Now, that's important because let's just say, you designate your spouse maybe as the beneficiary, and then your child who's 18 years of age or older as that beneficiary, the secondary one.


Suze: The three of you are all together and something happens, you're in a car accident, and all three of you now are no longer here. What happens to the money that's in the IRA, who gets it next? Now we go through probate. If you have your trust as the secondary or contingent beneficiary to your spouse, then it goes via the trust, no probate. If you are not married to anybody,


Suze: then you are far better off having the trust as your primary beneficiary. That's how it should be set up. So up to you if you just want to leave it to one person, as long as that one person is still alive, something happen doesn't happen to both of you at the same time, you'll be fine. I always think a trust is far better if you do it the way I just said.


Suze: Are you wondering, KT why a spouse first and not just the trust?


KT: I think it was always like that, that's the plan.


Suze: No, the reason that it's the spouse first, is the spouse is the only person, KT that has the right to take over your retirement account upon your death as if it was your own. You're not subject to the inherited IRA rules like everybody else is. It's just there. If you want to take it over as your own, you can.


Suze: And chances are you should. That's why you always want your spouse because the spouse has far more rights than anybody. That the trust dictates.


KT: Okay. Good, all right, next question is from Pat. Hi, Suze and KT. I'm one of the men smart enough to listen. Yeah, Pat I have 750,000 in an ESOP.


Suze: Do you know what that is?


KT: Yeah, it's an employee stock option plan.


KT: I know that because I used to have that. I have 750,000 and an employee stock option plan that I will need to roll over to an IRA in November 2022. That's just this month. I no longer work for that company. I'm required to take a lump sum distribution.


KT: I'm 54 married. My kids are successfully supporting themselves. I do have an investor I work with, my investor is recommending I invested all in the mutual funds I already invest in, because everything is on sale at this time. Suze, I value your advice. What should he do?


Suze: Pat. I need you to listen to me. All right.


Suze: I don't know how you pay your investment person to invest money for you. Either if it goes into mutual funds, either they are loaded mutual funds where the advisor usually will get 5% of any amount that you invest. So that could


Suze: be right up front.

So 00:12:48

Suze: That could be 35, or 45 thousand dollars  in your case. Or,


Suze: they work as an investment advisor, and they get 1% or some percentage of all the money that they have under management per year.


Suze: So you give this investment advisor another $750,000 all at once, that gives him what? An extra $7500 of income if that's the arrangement, every year from now on. Depending does it go up more in value? Doesn't go down? That will see how much he gets at that point. But that's a lot of money regardless of what you are paying him or her, okay.


Suze: Under no circumstances would I be taking $750,000 in one lump sum right now, and invest it in the stock market, or mutual funds, or bond funds or exchange traded funds, are you kidding me?


Suze: Just because things are cheap right now, or they look like they're cheap, does not mean that they cannot get even less cheap. And remember within your IRA, you are able to buy Treasury bills, bonds, and notes. Make sure that you listen to last Saturday's podcast.


Suze: Because it was on that podcast that I talked about the brilliance of investing in Treasuries within a retirement account. Are you kidding me? Right, so especially if any of your money can be converted to a Roth IRA, because maybe you're not working anymore, maybe you've left that place of employment, and maybe your taxes aren't as high, oh my God, the brilliance of it is just amazing.


Suze: So therefore. You have to do me a favor and think twice about doing it. I would not be doing it on any level if I were you. If anything, if you want to stick with this person, you want to put small amounts of money in every month or every three months, all right. But I have to tell you under no circumstance would I be doing


Suze: $750,000 all at once. No way.


KT: Alright. There you go Pat. Okay, next question's from Angela. Hello Suze. You talked about bonds and recommended investing in long-term bonds when they were at 5.5%. I would like to invest in bonds or certificates of deposit


KT: as an income generator. Can bond interest be deposited directly into my checking account?


Suze: It can, but I just have to straighten up something about this 5.5%. My hopes is that over the long run, with more increases in the Fed fund rate, and we'll see what else happens here, does the stock market go up or does it go down, no one knows for sure really until it does it. I'm hoping


Suze: that eventually, sometime next year, long term bonds may get to 5 - 5.5% again. What you should see around this time, is that interest rates on bonds, especially long term bonds, are starting to go down. Which is exactly what I expected and I think I said a few podcasts ago. But in the same way that they're going down right now,


Suze: especially the 10 year, I think you will find that over the long run they may go up. When that happens, you obviously want to go into a longer term bond, so that when interest rates go down again, you still have a high interest rate, and your bond will appreciate because when interest rates go down, the value of bonds go up.


Suze: So we're just gonna have to see what happens. Will that be the case, or will it not? But either way,


Suze: absolutely. Your interest rate goes directly into wherever you designate. You know also. And I just have to go back with Alliant Credit Union for a second here. Alliant has some really great rates on three year and four year certificates of deposits. And obviously that interest rate would go immediately into


Suze: to your Alliant Ultimate Opportunity savings account, that's making a great interest rate as well. So all of that compounds, so truthfully, if I were you, I would look at the certificates of deposits that Alliant is currently offering, and I think you will be pleased with those rates.


KT: Yeah, they're, they're great. Okay, Suze this next question is from Becky.


KT: Hi Suze and KT. My mom opened a whole life policy when my daughter was born 21 years ago. A decision must be made by December 12th 2022 to either cash out the policy or keep making quarterly payments of $18. The death benefit value is $15,000.


KT: My daughter will be graduating in May 2023 with an education degree. She has $16,000 of student loan debt. If something should happen to her before she graduates, at least we would have some money for the student loan debt.


KT: Should we keep paying on this policy, or take the payout? I do have a $10,000 term life policy on her through my work. I pay about a dollar a month for this. See that's why you like term.


Suze: Everybody, should this be KT's pop quiz?


KT: Okay I can, I can guess. I think I know what I would do.


Suze: Alright then. Everybody, you just heard the question that KT read, how would you answer that question? This person's mother has been investing $18 a quarter for 21 years on a whole life insurance policy,


Suze: that now, should they surrender it? If they surrender it, there's only like a $450 cash value, or should they continue paying $18 a quarter, so that if this person's daughter died,


Suze: they would have a $15,000 death benefit to pay off her student loans. KT.


KT: Well then, she said she has $10,000 term life through work. That it's a dollar a month.


Suze: Yes. But so


KT: Personally I would get another term policy. I'd get another term policy. You can have multiple.


KT: Cash


KT: it out. Get rid of the $18, that's almost $100 a year. Well not that much, but $80 a year. And for another dollar a month or even less, maybe she can get a bigger term life, make the term life larger.


Suze: Alright, so that's your answer? Yes and no. The first reason that it's she should absolutely cancel it out.


Suze: Okay. Is this. It makes absolutely no sense. They've been putting in $18 a quarter for 21 years. Even at a 4% interest rate,


Suze: that would be $2,400 right now. But they only have a $450 cash value. Something's wrong there. Yes. But but so listen to that everybody. Even if they put in $18 a quarter for 21 years and they didn't make any interest on that money, that would be $1500.


Suze: And they're only getting back $450. So do you all understand why I seriously, in most cases, hate whole life insurance, it makes no sense. So number one, I will not keep wasting my money on this $18 a quarter. Number two however,


Suze: Becky says that her daughter has $16,000 of student loans.


Suze: Now if those loans, and now I'm talking to everybody here. If you have student loans that are federal loans, Stafford loans, Parent PLUS loans. And if the student dies, those loans are absolutely forgiven. It's when you have a private loan in many circumstances, and you should all check this out before you just go and get a private student loan.


Suze: If the student dies, then usually the parents are still responsible for paying that student loan. KT, do you remember years ago,


KT: Right - that woman from Boston. So sad.


Suze: Right she was paying, her son owed $800 a month on a student loan that was a private student loan.


Suze: He died of cancer


Suze: and


Suze: she, the mommy who really had no money. She was an Avon rep. Had to come up with $800 a month. Now. Thank God she contacted us, and I got the loan dismissed, everybody. But that was Suze Orman doing that.


Suze: So don't get yourself in that situation. Back to the answer to this question. And I think it's really important that we're thorough KT, with every answer. Because so many people are in this situation. So if it's a federal loan, that you're not going to be responsible for, if your daughter dies,


Suze: why have an insurance policy at all to cover that expense? That makes no sense at all. You say that you also have a term life insurance policy on her through your work for a dollar a month. More than you having her be the one who's insured, so you get that $10,000. Becky, I hope you have a serious term insurance policy on yourself,


Suze: so that if you die, your daughter gets a whole lot of money to be able to support herself and continue on, because Mama wouldn't be there anymore. So just make sure that's true. Why you have an insurance policy on her, even though it's only a dollar a month, is beyond me. $12 a year is $12 a year.


Suze: I'm not exactly sure I would be doing that if I were you. Unless you know, your daughter has some illness that will show itself in the next few years. Okay, KT.


KT: Alright, the next question is from Kim.


Suze: Did you notice how calm I am today?


KT: Yeah. Why are you so calm?


Suze: Want to know why I'm so calm everybody? Truthfully,


Suze: because


Suze: KT has been fishing for hours and hours every single day. Which


Suze: for


Suze: eight hours, 12 hours at a time. Which allows me all the time in the world


Suze: to study,


Suze: and


Suze: listen to CNBC, and understanding what's happening in the economy, so that I can give you the absolute best up to date advice.


KT: She studies more than any student I have ever known in my entire lifetime.


KT: It's almost her hobby. She reads, she studies, she watches the news, the reports, all of the financial ins and outs. She studies it like crazy. I always say, what are you doing? Wait, KT give me five more minutes.


Suze: But the reason I do that everybody is I take what I tell you very, very seriously.


KT: This isn't a joke.


Suze: This is your money and this is your life. So I'm calm because I've had days and days and days to catch up on all the reading I've wanted to do. So now I'm just calm.


KT: Alright. Here's another question. If you're that calm ready for this one?


KT: Hi, Suze and KT. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Through your podcast and books, you have changed my financial life for good. Ready? Suze I don't know how much you did because here's the question. Suze. I've heard you talk about annuities, and how they're not always a good fit for some people. I would like to see if an annuity might be a good fit for me. I own my own condo. It's worth about 325,000.


KT: I have 250,000 in IRAs, mostly traditional. I have a one-year emergency fund. I'm 62 and single, and hoping to retire in five years. My Social Security benefit will be about $2,000 a month. So Kim wants to know. Suze, is annuity possibly a good fit for me?


Suze: Boy. So the reason that I say, oh boy, right, is because there's so many different types of annuities. There are single premium deferred annuities which I like very much in certain circumstances, where you put in a single premium. One lump sum of money, and you get a guaranteed interest rate normally for a specific period of time. Just like a CD.


Suze: Where you don't pay taxes on the interest until you take the money out. Okay. That's one. A variable annuity which I seriously don't like, which is a mutual fund held within an insurance company,


Suze: and there's many reasons I just don't like a variable annuity. They in my opinion make absolutely no sense nine out of 10 of the times. So I don't like a variable annuity. Then, there's a single premium immediate annuity, that pays you a monthly income every month for the rest of your life.


Suze: Now. Do I like those or do I not. Years ago when interest rates were at 0%, half a percent, they made absolutely no sense. Are they starting to make more sense right now? They are. Because as interest rates go up, then your income will go up as well. Because you are single,


Suze: and you have absolutely no beneficiaries I'm assuming, because you didn't say that you did, that if you got a single premium annuity based on your life expectancy only, you may find that you have a guaranteed income for the rest of your life, that makes it okay for you along with your social security to be able to meet your bills with taking a little bit out of your retirement account.


Suze: So if that is the situation I don't have a problem. You just need to know that with a single premium immediate annuity, the highest payout life only, you get it. You die two days from now, the insurance company keeps 100% of the money. So you have to be okay with that. There are other withdrawal options. Again, that's a whole Suze School on its own.


Suze: But you have to make that decision. If I were you, I would wait till interest rates went higher and higher, you became older and older, because if that is the case, your income will be more and more. All right.


KT: Oh that's good. So next question is from Adam. Hi KT and Suze. Great podcast.


KT: I've been listening since I was 25, and ever since I feel safe, strong and secure in my financial life. That's sweet. My question is for my mom. So he's the good son. She has a Roth IRA in a really terrible account with lots of fees.


KT: So she he's asking, can she roll over her Roth into an account with less fees, like Fidelity or Vanguard. Suze, how would she be able to do this?


Suze: All right. So first let's go to a really brief Suze School. Sorry KT.


Suze: But Adam. When you have money in one Roth IRA at some brokerage firm, and you want to put it into another brokerage firm in the same type of an account, that's known as an IRA transfer.


Suze: An IRA roll over, is when you go from like a 401k which is one type of a retirement account, into a different type of retirement account like an IRA, then you roll it over.


Suze: So just so you know the difference. You absolutely can do this. What I would do if I were you, I would go to either Vanguard, Fidelity, Charles Schwab, possibly TD Ameritrade, any of those. And I would open up a Roth IRA for mama. Or do it with her, so she feels empowered like she's doing something, take her with you or do it with her online.


Suze: Then they will contact this old brokerage firm where the money is at. And they will request a custodian-to-custodian transfer. Where all the money comes out of her account into the new Roth IRA with them. Within that Roth IRA,


Suze: you absolutely can buy Treasury bills, bonds and notes. And if you listened again to the podcast that I did last Saturday, you'll see why that might be the best thing mom does with the money. Now if she has years and years to go, then that's another thing. But for right now, next few years, I don't have a problem with her doing treasuries. But that's how she would do the transfer.


KT: You're a good son. Good job.


Suze: I'm a good daughter.


KT: You are you were a great daughter. Oh my God.


Suze: I have to tell you that stopped me in my tracks KT. Because whenever I hear you say a good son, it takes me back, what does it take me back to?


KT: To your mom?


Suze: To my mom and how she thought her son,


KT: She thought, Suze, well, let me tell them the story.


Suze: We've told them this before.


KT: Suze's one daughter and she has


KT: two brothers much older. And her mom all her life, thought and felt that she was taken care of by her two sons. The truth is, Suze not only took care of her financially, but also made all the decisions, would tell those decisions to the two brothers, and they would tell mom, and mom felt, oh great,


KT: my boys are taking care


Suze: of me. But


KT: the truth is, it was the daughter that stepped up.


Suze: I loved taking care of my mom by the way. It was the greatest thing I ever did in my life.


KT: It was a great experience.  


Suze: I just can't believe


Suze: that she


Suze: died thinking it wasn't me. Anyway, go on.


KT: That's okay. We know.


Suze: Obviously it's not okay.


KT: It's okay.


Suze: I haven't gotten over it. Look at me.


KT: So I picked this question


KT: from Claudia because this was something that I so enjoyed. It said, Dear Suze and KT. I've been enjoying listening to the podcast and I learned a lot. I also enjoy your turtle dove banter and your fishing stories. I live in Northwest Alaska and partially feed myself by fishing for salmon and dolly vardon. A dolly vardon is a good tasting fish but we've never caught one.


KT: So I totally get the universal importance of fishing. Keep it up Suze. Here's the question from Claudia. My dear old dad, bless his heart, has decided to give my brother and I some of our inheritance while he is still alive. The problem is, my dad is German and lives in Germany where the money sits in his savings account.


KT: The easiest would be to simply transfer it to my American bank account, and the amount would be approximately €100,000. That's a lot of money.


KT: So which of the following options should I take? Should I transfer it now, or leave it with dad until the exchange rate is better? What should she do, Suze?


Suze: Well obviously if we knew without a shadow of a doubt, Claudia that your father would live and live and live until the exchange rate does get better,


Suze: then that is what you would do. But there are people predicting that it could get way worse before it gets better. Right now, the dollar has been weakening a little. So you're maybe $1,000 off parity, 100,000 for 100,000.


Suze: So if I were you, I would just go ahead and bite the bullet and do it. Because interest rates are high right now. They're going high in the United States. You get the $100,000 in. Now that $100,000 is earning 2, 3, 4% whatever it is you're doing with that money. So that's an extra $4,000 a year,


Suze: if you went for like a 4% Treasury note, let's say, that you're giving up while you're waiting to see if in fact the exchange rate changes. So I always say do it now, girlfriend. One last one.


KT: One last one that actually I want you to give to everyone listening. This is a gift to everyone.


KT: Suze. Hi there. This is from Sue. Could you please send me the link to get the must have documents for the discounted price? So we talked about wills and trust quite a bit in this podcast. But give Sue the discounted price link and everyone listening.


Suze: So here you..


KT: If you don't have a will and trust and they must have documents, you need them everyone.


Suze: So just very quickly,


Suze: I believe from the bottom my heart, every single one of you, no matter what anybody says, should have a living revocable trust. A will, an advanced directive, durable power of attorney for health care and a financial directive. All right.


Suze: Those are what I call the must have documents. Very expensive if you go to an attorney, $2500. Almost 10 million people have purchased this over the years. We have never had one complaint. The Must have documents. We've never had one complaint.


Suze: They sell for $99. They are over $2500 worth of state-of-the-art documents. All you have to do is go to SuzeOrman.com/offer


Suze: to get that $99 offer. Otherwise on the website they sell for $198. You can also do it on the Women & Money app. And once you've downloaded them, you can share it with all your family members. And you can update them and change them whenever you want for nothing. So that's how you get them, my dear Sue. All right, KT.


KT: No quizzie. You did it up front.


Suze: I did the upfront quizzie.


KT: But for now, we want everyone to do what, Suze?


Suze: We want you to remember that there is only one thing that matters when it comes to you and your money. What are those three things, KT?


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


Suze: So until Sunday, you stay safe. Bye bye now.


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