Debt, Family, Investing, Retirement, Saving
December 15, 2022
Listen to Podcast Episode:
On today’s edition of Ask Suze and KT Anything, Suze answers your questions about paying off debt with a retirement account, what to do with the money from a mature annuity, pre-paid funerals and more.
Suze: December 15th, 2022. Welcome everybody to the Women & Money Podcast as well as
KT: everyone smart enough to listen.
Suze: She got her que. That was good. I didn't know she was going to pick that up or not.
KT: I'm on it, I'm on it.
Suze: This is the Ask KT and Suze Anything edition. So this morning was early, early this morning I walk into our closet
Suze: and in our closet room we have little things set up or at least I do. And I look at it and I go, oh look how sweet, KT put a flower on my like little altar. I had like this little...
KT: She has this little puja in her walk in closet on her side, which has some of her favorite things in it. So
KT: a while ago.
Suze: So wait, wait, wait, wait.
KT: So so
Suze: then I see KT and I go KT, how sweet of you to put the flower,
KT: Beautiful bright orange flower.
Suze: And she looks at me like I am crazy and she says Suze,
Suze: do you know when I put that flower there? And I went yesterday, today when?
Suze: And I said, Thanksgiving.
KT: So on Thanksgiving on her little puja to I put a really beautiful bright orange chrysanthemum and they last for quite a long time. And we have a little crystal vase and it was in the vase with water and the water was almost gone. And
KT: and I looked at her like Suze that's been there since Thanksgiving. But she did notice it today. So we're working on it, everybody.
Suze: But here's the moral to that story you set up this place or at least I set up this place that I look at that reminds me of many things that I love in my life and people who have been fabulous. And obviously I haven't even looked at it.
Suze: I haven't even really looked at that, which I put there to remind me of really the great things in life. And what does that say about me?
KT: You gotta open your eyes baby!
Suze: Yea, I have to open my eyes... it's like, oh my God, So it taught me a good lesson. All right,
Suze: MS Travis, it's almost over, December 15. You still have maybe a few hours left if you're listening this morning to open up your Ultimate Opportunity. Savings account with Alliant credit union and win a possible $10,000 to do. so you just go to what?
Suze: My Alliant dot com.
Suze: That's A L L I A N T dot com. Open up an account there and you're registered automatically for the Suze holiday sweepstakes where two of you will win $10,000 each. It's over after two day. Okay, KT.
KT: Suze, we have a great lineup today. I have a real variety. A big variety of questions. So I'm happy about this podcast. Are we ready?
KT: What what, what what did I do wrong?
Suze: Oh! KT!
KT: What did I do wrong? I said I'm ready. Are you ready?
Suze: No, it had nothing to do with you.
KT: Are you ready?
Suze: Did you just see everybody? What just happened there?
KT: I said I'm ready?
Suze: No, you said what did I do wrong?
Suze: Why do you feel that way or think that way?
KT: I said, are we ready? Said no like that. No.
KT: Okay, tell everybody...
Suze: All right because I'm not quite ready to answer questions yet this morning.
KT: She's not in the mood.
Suze: No, I am in the mood. There's just so much that I have on my mind that I really want to just talk to you about KT. We should do like a three hour podcast where I just get to tell everybody what's on my mind because it would take about that long actually would probably take longer. But I wanted to let all of you know
Suze: that three days ago
Suze: Mr Dennis Devine
Suze: CEO of Alliant Credit union and Simit Grover who really is in charge of all marketing and a brilliant man. Right. I don't know if he's the CMO or his title but it doesn't even matter. They came all the way from Chicago and New York here to us on our private little island
Suze: and we spent an entire day talking about what can Alliant do for all of you
Suze: to make this really the place that you bring your money home to. And we talked about so many brilliant ideas. I can't even tell you. And so I really hope next year that I and KT can talk to you
Suze: and say this is what you can do at Alliant, this is it. You can do this, you can do that and I want you to so that you have more of a variety than just truthfully the Ultimate Opportunity Savings Account. So I am so excited about it. It's not even funny but what I want to say to all of you is what CEO of a bank of any place really of really any other credit union
Suze: would come all this way to really find out. What is it Suze, that the people who listen to your podcast, what do they really need? What do they want? We want to give it to them. Who would do that?
Suze: So let's see what happens.
KT: Yes they really honored Suze as well. Everybody they really really said Suze we would like to work with you to make your dreams come true. Your dreams for the people that you know you're
KT: helping. It was
KT: really very very inspiring day, incredibly inspired.
Suze: And they were here maybe for five hours and then they flew out right and so I just want all of you to know
Suze: next year. Right let's look forward to what Alliant can do for all of you.
KT: Lots of surprises!
Suze: All right now I'm ready.
KT: Okay Suze. First question is from Lori. She said Suze I'm at a loss regarding what to do. Unfortunately I have about $25,000 in credit card debt. I am doing my best to still contribute to my 401k.
KT: To receive her employer match but I don't have any extra money to pay down debt. I have about $35,000 in the 401k. Should I either loan or cash out that fund to pay off my debt. I'm paying way more in interest than I'm earning. Doing this would free up about $1000 a month. I feel so confused and stuck. Thank you for taking the time to read my question.
KT: Suze, the only problem I have with Laurie's question here, she doesn't tell us how old she is at all.
Suze: That doesn't even matter KT, how old she is. That that wouldn't come to play in a question like this. So Laurie, first of all, what you need to know is if you have $35,000 in your 401k. You absolutely could take a loan out if you wanted to. But the maximum they're gonna let you take out is $17,500. That's number one.
Suze: So that's going to pay off the majority of the $25,000 of credit card debt but not all of it. However you need to know if you take a loan from your 401k plan and for whatever reason then you lose your job. They do a downsizing anything like that happens then that $17,500 will be due and payable back to them
Suze: within a very short period of time. Usually within that month. If you do not have the money to pay them back, you will owe ordinary income tax on that money plus a 10% penalty if you're not 55 years of age or older in the year that you lost service. Alright.
Suze: So I wouldn't do that if I were you. What I would do however, is to please contact N. F. C. C. dot org. That's the National Foundation of either consumer credit or credit counseling. One of the two, I can't remember what those letters actually stand for. That's what happens when you become 71. But that's besides the point... and contact them and set up a program with them
Suze: where you go on a payment schedule where they take over the payments to this credit card or credit cards for you. And because they're paying it to the credit cards they actually usually have a deal with all credit cards that will lower the interest rate from whatever you're paying down to usually 0%.
Suze: And the reason that the credit cards and NFCC do that deal is that the credit cards rather be paid back something than nothing at all. So you pay NFCC, they pay the credit cards, they will put you on a five year payment program. Maybe that will cost you a few dollars a month to do that with them. But that is a way that you can lower your payments.
Suze: Where you say it would free up $1,000 a month. It most certainly would and therefore you would be okay. I just think $1000 a month on only $25,000 of credit card debt is a whole lot for that to be the minimum payment due.
Suze: And KT, I'm going a little bit more in detail on this question, only because there are so many people right now in Laurie's situation. if you have a high FICO score,
Suze: which is your credit score, you could check to see, do you qualify for a balance transfer card at 0% for 21 months there out there everybody. You could just go to bankrate.com or any of those places and see what is the best balance transfer card out there.
Suze: Then you wouldn't be paying any interest on that $25,000. And for 21 months,
Suze: if you put $1000 a month into there, you would almost be paid off because that would be almost, you know, $21,000 towards the $25,000 debt. That is another way you could handle it. But for some reason I have this gut feeling, you don't have a very high FICO score because it seems like your interest
Suze: rate to be paying $1000 a month and only $25,000 of credit card debt is a lot. That's why it is really, really important. Everybody that you do whatever you can do to get a high FICO score, which is your credit score. Next question, my dear KT who puts a flower on my puja
Suze: that I don't even notice in almost a month. What is wrong with me?
KT: It's romantic. All right. This is from Kitty.
Suze: That was romantic. Wait KT. Were you hurt that I never said anything about it?
KT: No, because it didn't matter to me whether you noticed it or not. I just wanted to also honor your little favorite things. So this is from Kitty.
KT: Suze. Can you please help?
Suze: I thought she was going to say from Kitty, do you think I can afford to buy a kitty cat?
KT: Kitty said Suze, can you please help? I can't find any answers online. This is why I'm reading this. I'm thinking whoa If she can't find the answer to this online, I don't I don't know what what the question was. I'm 37. I just surrendered my annuity that my father got for me at the age of nine. Can you
KT: imagine? I'm
KT: sure I'll qualify for the 10% penalty. I'm only 37.
KT: But after I received the distribution to my bank, can I still roll it over to another annuity if it's been less than 60 days or should I take the 10% hit? Not rolling it over and continue contributing
KT: into a Roth IRA for my husband and I since we're still so young? Any help is appreciated. The amount was 32,000 overall 22,000 was the gains.
Suze: So Kitty. The answer to this question depends on what is the goal of this money.
Suze: So it looks like you did really great. Obviously if you have $32,000 in there, the gain was 22,000. That means your father put in $10,000 28 years ago. So what return did you get on this money over the 28 years? You got approximately a 4% return on your money. Now. That's not bad.
Suze: But Kitty. If your father had simply put this $10,000 in a Standard and Poor's 500 index fund or whatever it may have been at that time.
Suze: And you averaged an annual average rate of return of 10% which is what they did over 28 years. You'd have $144,000 today. And not only would you have $144,000 today, you would pay capital gains tax on that money. If you wanted to take it out, there would not be a surrender charge but because your money was in an annuity and you are not 59 a half years of age.
Suze: When you take any money out, when you surrender the policy, you will pay not only ordinary income tax on this $22,000 of gain, but you also have a 10% penalty tax on anything above the $10,000 that your father put in.
Suze: So that's why I don't love annuities when you are younger and you want to build money for the long term. Sometimes they are fabulous. Sometimes they are not. At the age of 37 would I still want you to have your money in an annuity? I would not.
Suze: I would rather see you truthfully take advantage of Treasury bills and investing this money dollar cost, averaging it for the long run in dividend paying stocks or dividend paying E. T. F.s or things like that. Your question, however, was you already surrendered it And now the bank is waiting to receive this distribution.
Suze: And your question is can you roll it over to another annuity? Annuities don't roll over like I. R. A.s do, where you're going from a 401k. to an IRA rollover. What you should have done if you wanted to keep this annuity or another annuity, but why you would give up this annuity when you were out of the surrender period to go into a new annuity is beyond me. But that's besides the point.
Suze: Is this. Right... you would have done a 1035 exchange.
Suze: That is how it is done where you go from one annuity directly to a new annuity. You exchange them and the form is known as a 1035 exchange. So in my opinion, you are too late to do that. Plus I wouldn't want you to do that. I'd rather see you
Suze: pay the tax on $22,000 now, when you're only 37 maybe not in that high of an income tax bracket and invest by doing what? Funding your Roth I. R. A s. KT next question.
KT: Next question is from Lisa. Suze, this one is just not even a question. Just set Lisa straight.
KT: I attempted to open an Alliant account but do not qualify under the membership type. Please confirm there is no alternative to opening an ultimate savings account. Membership eligibility was not clear on the podcast.
Suze: Lisa not your fault. You don't understand if I didn't make it clear, bad on me. Listen this is all you have to do is understand
Suze: that, yes it's true that all credit unions you have to have certain qualifications to become a member of that credit union because credit unions are far better in every way than banks. So they set it up so that they really gear everything towards their members. And all you have to do is go to my alliant dot com and then go just scroll down and go to where it says frequently asked questions
Suze: and you'll see a question that says, am I eligible for Aliant membership? And the answer there reads exactly like this because I'm looking at it as I'm reading this to you. Almost anyone can become an Alliant member. You can be eligible for membership through your employer by where you live or by becoming a member of ... And this is what applies to you...
Suze: by becoming a member of Foster Care to Success, which is Alliant's partner charity. They will pay the $5 membership for you that it costs
Suze: for you to be able to be a member of Alliant Credit Union. So there isn't one of you, if they can verify your identity and things like that, that cannot be a member of Alliant Credit Union. It will not cost you anything and in the meantime...
KT: You're donating to...
Suze: ...to Foster Care to Success, which takes care of people as they get older and come out of the foster care system. So it's fabulous. We've raised so much money for them. It's not even funny. So you can do good by being good with your money. Alright,
KT: so the next question following
KT: because this next question is like, whoa So Suzie, this is how do you feel about how do you feel about prepaid funeral arrangements? What are your thoughts on this
Suze: is such a waste of money? And I was going
KT: to say the same thing because no, I agree. I would not. I would not ever
KT: recommend a prepaid funeral arrangement.
Suze: Now I if we weren't running out of time
KT: already, I
Suze: know that's why we have to. All right. So I would ask you why but Fran here is the reason so many reasons is number one. If you pay money today for your funeral arrangement and now you live another 10 2030 years, which is possible. Maybe you're in your sixties, you didn't say
Suze: You are paying so much for that funeral. It's not even funny because that money that it would cost you for your funeral today. If you just put into a Treasury bill or something like that, even the Alliant credit union because they're paying 2.6% right now and I'm sure we'll be going higher. Think about how much money you would have there at that period of time.
Suze: Also, what if you want a different type of burial meaning you don't want to be buried at the place that you paid for a pre paid funeral? Maybe you moved in these years and you went somewhere else and on and on. And there are many things within that arrangement, that contract that you have to read very carefully. It doesn't quite work the way that you think
Suze: I wouldn't do it if I were you. Alright.
KT: Okay. So Suze. This next question is from Jeff. He said, hey, KT and Suze. It sounds like you both have separate trust. Me and my husband have a combined trust. Is there any advantage to having them
KT: separate? If
KT: so, how do you treat joint assets like the house or joint bank accounts.
Suze: So here's the thing you need to understand. When KT and I first
Suze: created our trust, we legally could not be married. Remember that didn't happen until 2015 here in the United States. And so we had to have separate trusts at that time. If however I was going to do it all over again, I have to tell you for us, I would do it the exact same way and...
KT: Meaning separate?
Suze: Separate. And the reason is this we don't have children.
Suze: We don't have to really worry about estate taxes because why? The majority of our money is going to non profits to charity. So we don't have to worry about estate taxes. That's number one.
Suze: If in our situation, I was worried about estate taxes, then we would have a marital tax planning trust where we could essentially give at this point in time, $24 million dollars tax free via the trust. If we died to our beneficiaries that were not charities. But that's not our situation.
Suze: So a single trust. A separate trust works very well for us. The way that all our assets are titled is that they're titled in
Suze: Kathy Travis trustee for the Kathy Travis trust. Suze Orman trustee for the Suze Orman Trust as joint tenancy. It's just that simple. Rather than our individual names being on it or being held in a marital trust. That's how we hold it. It's not a big deal on any level.
Suze: But you have a marital trust, you can keep a marital trust if you want no big deal. Most people who are married have marital trusts. And so really you can keep it exactly like it is, There's really no advantage except for one.
Suze: Let's just say you have your individual trust and now you have a parent or somebody who dies and leaves you a substantial sum of money.
Suze: And you want to make sure that it's always yours.
Suze: And you want to make sure that it's always yours. Because if you ever put it in a joint account with your spouse, for instance, that inheritance now becomes 50 - 50 there's and maybe you want to make sure that it's always yours because just maybe your relationship isn't as great as you wished it could be or it's a second marriage
Suze: and you want to make sure that that money, that inheritance goes to your Children and isn't part of anything else. That's another reason why you might want a separate trust. Just saying. KT, was that clear?
KT: Yeah, I think that was very clear.
Suze: Alright, good. Alright.
KT: This is from Karen Suze, Hi Suze, thank you for all the laughs that you and KT bring while educating us
Suze: Now, all of you.
Suze: Wait, I just have to say, remember the very last podcast of the year
Suze: is a podcast that Robert surprises all of us with, including me and KT of all the times we cracked up and we couldn't, you know,
Suze: or whatever it may be and then he edited them
Suze: out. So I hope that that end of the year podcast makes us all laugh because that really is the intention of it. All right, okay.
KT: She says wondering if you could please advise us on some general things to do if we have come into an inheritance. My mother passed away during the pandemic. I am married with a preteen child. I would appreciate some much needed direction in this time of loss and feeling overwhelmed
KT: And she said my mom was my everything and this is from Karen.
Suze: Oh God, here we go. They mentioned the mom and then here we both get teary eyed. Right? It's like stop it. Suze don't get teary eyed. Alright, so why do you think I'm so emotional about my mother? 00:26:22
KT: Because we're getting old? It's true. The older you get, the more emotional you get.
Suze: It dawned on me is that I'm 71...
Suze: I'm old and that I'm not the exact same age that my dad died.
KT: I thought he died earlier.
Suze: No, he died at 71. My Mama was 66 when he died and that it is getting old is so interesting everybody, but that's besides the point.
KT: Okay, so what should she do with the inheritance?
Suze: It's a very funny thing. And it's funny because I just touched on this in my last answer,
Suze: which is first of all, hopefully you have taken that inheritance and it's just in your name.
Suze: Because you never want to put an inheritance in to a joint account. You never know what the future will bring in many, many ways. That's number one, number two, you're married with a preteen child. And the real thing that I'm keying in on is that you're feeling overwhelmed and really in total grief.
Suze: And what do I always say you should do nothing other but to keep this money safe and sound for at least six months to one year after suffering the loss of a loved one. Sometimes it's two years, sometimes it's three years. So at this particular point in time,
Suze: what I would be doing with this inheritance, I would really be putting it in to short term Treasury bills, which you can do at any brokerage firm or at Treasury direct dot gov. My suggestion is you're better off doing it at a brokerage firm
Suze: And I would simply do it every three months, six month treasury bills. And as time goes on and those bills continue to roll over or mature, then you can make decisions. Do you want to take some of this money and pay off maybe your joint debt? If you know that your relationship is really great.
Suze: You know, maybe you want to use some of this money if you already don't have it as a down payment on a home. But then maybe that home would just be in your name. Maybe you want to take some of this money and for your preteen child fund their 529 account so that it can go to college for them. It's hard for me to tell you because I don't know your financial situation totally.
Suze: So therefore my main recommendation would be
Suze: put it in three month to six month Treasury bills earn about 4.5% on it right now. Where nothing can happen to it until you become
Suze: more settled with the loss, you know
KT: of your,
Suze: of your everything. That's what I would be telling you. KT, we are out of time.
KT: What about my quizzie?
Suze: I know. So I was gonna say other questions in front of you. Therefore we're going right to your quizzie
Suze: but really I just want to tell you one other thing. All right.
Suze: I want you all to make sure that on Christmas Day
Suze: you or whenever you can, you listen to the podcast. So I have a surprise... KT and I have a surprise for all of you on that podcast that I have to tell you. You're gonna hopefully love we have a guest and I just know that you will love this guest. Alright.
KT: It's Santa Claus.
Suze: Santa Claus is coming. Maybe you never know.
Suze: KT this is and all of you. This isn't just for KT, this is for all of you. I really want all of you to get to the point in your life where you know how to answer every single question
Suze: that is asked on the Ask Suze and KT Podcast wouldn't that be an incredible goal for 2023. This is from Amy where she says Hi Suze.
Suze: I've listened to your most recent podcast about investing in short term Treasury bills. I'm wondering if I should get rid of my mutual funds and move the money to T bills? I'm recently retired by the way and I want the money to grow. I'm stressed by the market's volatility. What would you recommend? Thank you so very much. KT think about it.
Suze: Let everybody else think about it. The keys to this quizzie for all of you is she is retired
Suze: right? She is stressed by the market volatility.
Suze: So what should she do? KT, are you ready for the answer?
KT: I am really ready.
Suze: Are you sure? I just have to tell everybody. She just set up so straight. She has a look in her face that she has determined just see look that she knows the answer to this.
KT: I do.
Suze: What is it?
KT: Absolutely go for the short term Treasury bills.
KT: Wait, Suze is giving me a look or maybe you don't do that. Maybe you don't do either one of these.
Suze: Now KT, you are not to base your answer based on my expression.
KT: First of all, if you're stressed, get rid of the mutual funds because they're gonna be reacting to the market going up and down like
KT: roller coaster. But the short term T bills can be three months, six months up to a year, maybe more. Go for the three months. Just kind of watch everything.
Suze: She's saying that because she knows that's what we're buying right now. Go on.
KT: Yeah. And Suze talking a lot about it. So if I have to choose, then go to the short term
KT: T Bills. Is that a yes or a no. Is that a
Suze: Ding Ding Ding Ding. But notice the volume of my Ding Ding Ding.
KT: It's not high because she could do a third option. Right. Is that what you're going to say?
Suze: No, that is not what I'm going to say, you little cutie pie. She knows what I'm going to say.
KT: Short term treasury bills.
Suze: So, Ding Ding Ding Ding,
KT: Come on, give me like a real Ding Ding Ding Ding Ding.
Suze: You're not getting a Ding Ding Ding Ding Ding. No, you're not getting that. And here's the reason why:
Suze: We don't have enough information and why don't we? Because Amy, we don't know is this money, the mutual funds that you have inside a retirement account or outside of a retirement account because if it's outside of a retirement account and all of a sudden you just sell right now, you're going to owe possibly
Suze: ordinary income tax or capital gains tax on that money,
Suze: which is a big deal. So if however, your capital gains tax or your ordinary income tax on these mutual funds is not that large and or this is money within a retirement account,
Suze: then I would be giving KT a Ding Ding Ding Ding Ding Ding Ding. But you always, when you sell any mutual fund any E T F any stock, you have to take the taxation of that equity into consideration. However the market is stressing you out. So if it makes sense, tax wise,
Suze: you're already in retirement. I do not have a problem with you liquidating and going into treasuries where you're going to earn currently now about 4.5% or so. However, I do have to make a statement here. Even if that means we go really long, KT on this podcast.
Suze: Too many of you who are young, you're 20 you're 30 you're 40 even 50 years of age. You are thinking that my message to all of you right now is get out of the stock market and go into T bills. That is not my message on any level. Just so you know.
Suze: Haven't I always said to you that if you have a lot of time on your side you should be wishing a praying and are hoping that these markets go down where you continue to dollar cost average into the markets however you are investing in them as long as they are good quality, no load mutual funds, E. T. F.s and dividend pain stocks.
Suze: I do think your investment exposure now should obviously be diversified but somewhere where it is giving you good dividends. Alright? You do not want to be in Treasury bills with money that you want for your future. Do you hear me unless you are older. You want this money safe and sound and you don't want to be in the market at all for whatever reason.
KT: You don't want to be stressed
Suze: And you don't want to be stressed. That's your keyword there. However, I just wanted to be clear and answer for all of you that are thinking that are 35, 40, 50, you have years on your side. Do not stop right. Do not stop investing on a dollar cost average basis into the market.
Suze: Well, what do you think?
KT: It's over
KT: two more weeks and we have a new year. What do you think of that?
Suze: What I think is great is that we have France and Argentina in the World Cup baby. So, I am rooting for Argentina.
KT: We want Messi to go out on the top of the...
Suze: Yea, even against France. I do want Argentina to win because I want Messi
Suze: to have his first World Cup. I would like that for him.
KT: Yea, he deserves it.
Suze: He deserves it. All right, everybody. Until Sunday when we have Suze School, there's only one thing that we want you to remember when it comes to your money and it is what KT?
KT: We want you to be smart, strong and
Suze: secure. All right, Everybody now you stay safe.
KT: Bye bye.