January 21, 2021
Listen to Podcast Episode:
On this podcast, Suze presents the webinar she gave last week, which is a 2021 Action Plan designed to teach you how to be a Financial Warrior.
January 21st, 2021. I know, I know today it's supposed to be ask Suze and KT anything but just let me tell you what happened. So after we watched the inauguration after all of this stuff and I thought yesterday was absolutely fabulous on every single level, just so you know. But that's besides the point. And as KT was going through everything getting ready for today this morning chat. Suze, we have a problem. I said, What's the problem? She said everybody is writing in a twist. The majority of people and their question is this Suze, can you replay the webinar that you did last Thursday? We didn't get a chance to watch it and now it's no longer available. I thought, Oh uh, what can I do? So I thought, I know we'll just make it a podcast and we will replay it today, So that's exactly what we're going to do. Just so you know, as you're listening to it, you're going to hear a man's voice. That man is Reid Tracy, CEO of Hay House Publishing, who has been my partner for over 20 years now. The publisher of the ultimate Retirement guide for 50 plus and I just love the guy. So that's who that is. So take a listen and just know this coming Sunday, I'm going to be going over all the things that got signed into legislation yesterday and possibly today and tomorrow, who knows, and give you a total update now, now that we know exactly what is happening. So enjoy the webinar, I actually think it was the best one I've ever given. And you will, in my opinion, learn a lot hope you enjoy. Hello, everybody. It's Reid Tracy, Welcome back to another edition of the Suze Orman Webinar. Suze's been guiding us through 2020 and she's done a great job helping us get through this difficult year. But now we're into a new year, and there's more, crazy things happening in the world and I just am wondering, Suze, what do you think 2021 is gonna bring for us? You know, Reid, first of all, Hi, everybody. 2021 was a year that I know everybody was thinking, Oh, my God! Thank God. 2020 is over 2021 is gonna be absolutely fabulous. And I hate to say it, and I'm not being pessimistic here, everybody. I'm just being realistic. I think 2021 could actually, in its own way, present a whole lot more problems, Believe it or not than 2020 did. And this is the reason why. In 2020 when this first started, and we first we're doing these webinars Reid, I was saying, Put your cash in. Call your creditors. You're not gonna have to pay your mortgage. You don't have to pay your rent. You don't have to pay your student loan car. Moments are being postponed. Life insurance is being postponed. All this stuff the government and the private entities were standing behind everybody saying, You don't have to pay us. You have nine months of a moratorium, so you didn't have to make payments. All of those things are gone. Here we are in 2021. And now unless something changes, you could be evicted very shortly. Your student loan payments are gonna be due again. Your mortgage payments are due. The unemployment is less than it was a year ago. So we have less money and less outs to really do anything with the money that we do have. But we still have 9.2 million people in the United States that are out of a job, and most of those jobs are not going to come back. So we don't have the leniency or we don't have the support anymore to be able to get by like we did a year ago, so that seriously concerns me. And I understand very well that we have a vaccine and that's great. But you're all seeing right now that there's no way to really get vaccinated at the rate that we need to get vaccinated. So when will that come into play? Will we have jobs? Will we be able to be vaccinated? What's happening in the government? I mean, we saw what happened last week. We saw what happened yesterday. I mean, these are historic times. So I think what we really need to do is understand What do we need to do to help ourselves because I'm not sure that the government's gonna be able to help us at all. I don't think corporations are going to be able to help us. So we're going to have to be financial warriors, in my opinion, Reid, and make the right steps, especially in the year 2021. So as we head into 2021 what are the top couple things that we really need to look to do, like in order to secure ourselves? I agree, like so many things have changed and the government has to stop helping at some point. And we just don't We can't depend on the government, I guess, because it's up and down, and one minute we're getting $600 the next minute, $2000. Now what, What do we do in these crazy? These times, these unpredictable times really is what it is. So it depends who you are. And it depends the situation that you're in, you know, because there are millions of people who are living with nothing, absolutely nothing. And then there are those out there, and I'm sure many of them are watching right now that they still have their job. They still have income coming in. It's costing them less this year and last year to work because they don't have to pay to go into work. They don't have to buy clothes to go into work, so there's almost like there's the protected and the unprotected. So we have two different groups of people now, Reid that we really need to address those that are the have nots and those that are the haves. And then the question becomes, Can the haves help that have not’s? now, that's an interesting thing that I think we should explore as well, Right. So let's start with the haves. What should the haves do? Like, how should they look at investing? How they should they look at, You know, their 12 month emergency fund to make sure that they have that in place. I know that you upped it from 8 to 12 months. Is it still 12 months or or where are you are 12 years now? What is it? Years like What? What is it? First of all, why did I up it from eight months to 12 months? Because eight months wasn't long enough. Think about it. All of you, write me and you tell me Suze we followed you forever. We had an eight-month emergency fund and now it's gone. We don't have any emergency fun anymore. If only we had had just a little bit more. Here's the truth, everybody. You can't have too much money in an emergency fund. You can't because you don't know, Forget the pandemic. Forget the the economy. What if you, yourself and many of you it's no secret. You know, I had a major operation last year and thank God that I have and have the money to get through, even if I never worked another day. But I was thinking, as I was at the doctor's really just yesterday. What if I didn't have money? What if I couldn't do everything that I need to do? What would I do? Especially if I didn't have income coming in? So 12 months is the new target. That's all I want you to do is at least strive for now. I know a lot of you are going to say, Suze, there is no way that I can save 12 months of in an emergency fund. I can't even save $50. Something is better than nothing. And don't you ever forget that your thoughts create your destiny. If you think you can't, you never will. So it is important that the words that you use our words of encouragement to yourself are positive words. I rather have $100 than 50. I'd rather have $50 than 10. I'd rather have 10 than five. So just go into it with that attitude. Something is better than nothing. So the very first thing for the haves Alright, you've used up your emergency fund maybe, you have money coming in now. You still have to be very, very careful. This is not the time. Just because everything is going great for you that you think it's always going to go great for you. This is the time that you really cut back everybody. You do live below your means. You save this much money as you possibly can, you fund your retirement accounts to the max? You make sure that your retirement accounts are Roth retirement accounts. You really don't spend the money just because you're making money. So this is the time. If you have money coming in, you cut back as much as you possibly can so that you can build up your coffers to way beyond 12 months. So you have fully Max your retirement accounts and everything. So that's what I would be doing Reid if I had money. Right, and so let me just ask you one more thing about the retired. I mean, the, um, the emergency fund. So, like, I'm saving and I know that it's probably gonna take, maybe, like, if I had to draw down its gonna maybe take a year, two years, maybe even three or four years to build it back up. Should I keep that money, like in a savings account? Should I invest it in the stock market? Where should I put that money? Well, there's actually two questions there Reid. It's not only where should you put it, which I'll answer in a second, but it's How much should you keep in there? Because the truth of the matter is, when I say an emergency fund a lot of people go. Well, what is that? What do I have to pay for like Well, what does that mean Suze? I want you all to go through your bills, and there are bills that you have got to pay. You've got to pay your rent. You have got to pay your utilities. Maybe you have to pay your phone bill. Whatever it is, your student loan payment, your car payment. There are bills that you have got to pay. No matter what happens, you don't have to go out to eat. You don't have to go and buy new clothes. You don't have to go to the movies if they ever open up again. You don't have to do any of that. But what do you have to do? List them? You don't have to go on vacation. You don't have to give gifts. You don't have to do any of that. How much does it cost you every single month to live that you have got to pay its 12 months of that amount Reid. Now, next. You know, you know, and I don't even know how to say this. But what's so sad today is because interest rates are so low. There's really no place that gives you an incentive to really make you want to save. And so I don't know if you remember Reid, but back in 2007, 2008, when we were going through the crisis back then, I had decided, I know I'm going to create what's called the Save yourself Account where people were paid to save. And 150,000 people took me up on that. Never made a penny from it, but it gave them incentive to save. And I thought to myself, I have to do that again, oh, my God. This is a situation where if you don't have an emergency fund, you really want to start one or you have one and you don't know where to keep it. I'm going to tell you what I created. You have to know I am not making a penny from this. Hay House doesn't make a penny from this, but this was created to help all of you. So I want you to just think about this for one second. Yeah? What if I told you that we created a way for you to be paid to save? Now listen to me closely, everybody. I formed an alliance with Aliant Credit Union. All of you know, that banks are not my favorite entities. And I really like credit unions. But I needed a credit union. That was number one, the best of breed. It was rated the best credit union. So if you were to Google Best Credit Union, it would come up. CNBC named it the Best Credit Union, Nerd wallet Best Credit Union, Kiplinger's Best. All of them. It's the best credit union out there, and I needed a credit union that was available to everybody in the entire United States. So Aliant Credit Union is one of the largest online credit unions in the United States, and every single one of you can apply to be a member off this credit union. Number one number two. Currently, they are giving the highest interest rate 0.55% that you're going to find almost anywhere. But here's what's different if you just put at least $100 a month every single month into the Alliant Credit Union account and we're calling it, by the way, the ultimate opportunity savings account. Because this absolutely is the ultimate opportunity. You are ever going to get anywhere. If you just put $100 a month at least into the ultimate opportunity savings account at the end of 12 months, Aliant is going to give you $100 in a bonus. Now Reid Do you know that you would need over $18,000 today in a savings account to get $100 of interest here in this account, all you really need is $1200 and you're going to get that $100 bonus, and you're still going to get 0.55% on that money. No fees, nothing. So if this is something that interests all of you, you should go to myalliant.com. Go there and you can apply toe have the ultimate opportunity savings account. I just want to say this briefly. So you know, we do check your credit scores the Trans Union credit score because we're giving away $100 a lion is giving away $100 and we can't afford to be scammed by bots. So if you frozen your credit, unfreeze your credit, go and apply again. It's a soft search. It's not gonna hurt you. Just go ahead and do that, and then the account can be yours and just follow the directions right there. There you go. That's amazing. That's unbelievable. So they just put $100 every month, and then at the end of a year, they're going to get 100 extra dollars. Just what? What's important to, you know, Reid that if during that year they need to take some money out so they could take it out. Not a big deal. As long as you leave at least $100 in there, you're going to be making 0.55% interest or the current rate, and as long as you have $1200 at the end of the time, you still get the bonus. So it's not like and put it there and not take it out. You're allowed to take out withdrawal six times a month. They have over 80,000 ATM’s fabulous, fabulous company. I love them, and you should continue saving with them because they'll always give you the highest rate. Alright, go on, that's awesome. So that's where we start just keeping our emergency fund, or at least the part that we really need to save and keeping cash or or if you're going to get your stimulus check or if you're going to get a tax refund, that's where all of you should be keeping it. Even if we didn't have this opportunity for you, Reid if you were to ask me where is the best place out of all the credit unions? All the banks out there for somebody to open up an account, I would have told you, Aliant Credit Union. That's awesome! So as we were getting our emergency fund in place, we we've discussed the haves. But how about the have nots? So, like the people that can't afford to save because they don't have a job or their job hours or reduced or that kind of things is there's something, they can do to kind of prepare themselves for what's going on. Yeah, Now, this is going to sound very harsh everybody, But I just want you to stick here with me for a second. If you're one of them, because I'm being honest with you. Isn't that why you loved me? So maybe you don't love me, but that's besides the point. But here's the thing. If you're somebody who is living day to day, you don't know where your next dollar is coming from, and now you're going to get the stimulus check. Maybe you're going to get unemployment. Whatever it may be. I want to make sure that you always have food in your home because it's too heartbreaking for me to keep seeing all of these images that you're sending me off empty refrigerators with your kids staring into the refrigerator and there's no food in there. So it least do yourself the favor when you get this money that you did not expect to get stock up on canned food. Stock up is if this is a financial hurricane that you may be facing so that at least you know, for the next month or two you will be able to eat just that simple. You know, a lot of times Reid, I get emails and people ask me the question. Suze, I am behind on my rent. I am going to be evicted. Should I take the stimulus money that I'm going to get and should I put it towards my rent that I owe so that maybe I could negotiate with my landlord, so I'm not evicted? And I have to tell you the answer to that is no, because how much time is that really going to buy you? I would really rather you stand in your truth, and rather than turn over 3,000, 8,000 whatever it is to your landlord, just so you can stay in this apartment. But you can't pay the rent in the next month or two. This is the time that you say goodbye to this apartment and you move in with your parents, a friend, a brother, a sister. I don't know who, but this is the time that you have to do that. But you have to do it with joy. And I'm sure you're saying, Oh, that's easy for you to say Suze Orman, listen to me. I have gone through hard times. Don't think that I haven't done a lot of stuff. I lived in my car for months. I've faced times in my life where I did not have a penny to my name. And I was in my thirties when that happened to me. So I get having to give up something. But don't hold on to that which drags you down. Say to yourself, I'm gonna be a warrior, and I'm going to get rid of that which I can't afford, that which I don't need. And I am going to create a life that at least I can be stable, and I know I'm not going to be kicked out because you're always just running your on this like rat race, and that's not gonna help you. So I'm asking all of you the true have nots out there to get honest. And I know you're getting honest with it, but honest with the things that you have to do to make this be okay now, I just want to say one other thing Reid. Let's go back to the haves for one second. There are many people out there that are going to be getting a stimulus check. And the truth is, they have a job. They're getting the stimulus check because they make under $75,000 if they're single, 150,000 if they're married, Finally, jointly, they're they're having, they have money, they're fine. They maybe have a 12-month emergency fund. Whatever it may be, I think those people that are getting a gift from the government, if you know somebody who is suffering, they really if three or four of you have’s got together and you could help the have nots to maybe pay they're back rent or whatever it may be, that's what we need to do to help one another. So if you're a have and you're getting stimulus checks that you could really do without help somebody one of the have nots, where they have no place to go to get money, help them out because we have to help each other. We have to help each other right now because I'm not sure that the government is really going to be able to do so. Just my thought. That such a great idea on, uh, it's wonderful if you can help someone else in these tough times, that's for sure. And it will make you feel really good, too, for sure. So let's move back to the haves and talk a little bit about, like investing ideas. So there's the stock market everyone's talking about Bitcoin. Um, I know that in your women and money podcast, you recommended Bitcoin at 11,000, and we know it's a lot higher than that now. Um, also, real estate is going up a lot. Should, what should we do with that? I know that your advice about the Total Stock Index from Vanguard I've been teaching my daughter, who's 21 about investing. And every time we do one of these I said, Well, Susie recommends this and Suze recommends that, and she she's doing her investing and she's doing her dollar cost averaging what you've recommended to people. But I'd love to get your insights on the stock market, Bitcoin and real estate for people right now. Such a little ask Reid, no problem whatsoever. Let me again state that this year is very different than last year, last year during the webinars, What did I tell all of you? I said, stick in the stock market. Do not sell dollar cost average. Everything will be OK. I am not exactly saying that again this year. This year I do think that the stock market will absolutely probably go up between now and maybe March and April. I think we could have a fabulous stock market, but come March, come April, right around there, I'm afraid that we could start to decline. And I hope I am so wrong, people I can't even tell you. But we could start to decline for possibly a year or two. So I'm asking all of you to be very, very careful, right? now I'm just put a pin in that for a second. One of the reasons that I've asked all of you over the past year and before that, if you're going to have a retirement account, I want you to have a Roth IRA. I want you to have a Roth 401k, a Roth 403b, a Roth TSP is because if you have stock in your Roth accounts, really, even in your traditional IRA accounts that if you do and you're in a situation where you're older, you're going to need this money within the next year or two, especially because it's in a retirement account. And especially because some of these stocks are up 100% 300%. There are stocks that are so up it's not even funny. You might want to think about taking some of the money off the table if and only if this is money that you really need to be safe and sound within the next 1, 2 or possibly even three years, that's if it's in a retirement account, because there are no tax consequences if you do it. The reason that I wanted in a Roth retirement account. And I do not care for any of you out there that are saying and writing me and they're saying, Oh, Suze, later on, I'm gonna be in a lower tax bracket. It's okay, my accountant is telling me I should be in a traditional IRA. Take the tax write offs now. I'll be in a lower tax bracket years from now. How do you know? Don't you know I always say to you invest in the known versus the unknown. The unknown is the future. And how do you even know that you're not going to need your money before you retire? What if your money had been in a Roth IRA and now it's this year and you still can't get a job and you have this money there. You could take out any money you were originally putting in a Roth IRA. You could take it out without any taxes or penalties whatsoever. So can you all just do Roths? Can you do that? But again, back to the question about the stock market. If you're going to need this money within the next 1, 2 or 3 years in the next month, two or three, you might wanna think about taking some of it off the table. You could always go back in, but you should be taking gains. In my opinion, for those of you who have 10 years, 15 years, 20 years until you need this money. All right. You can keep what you have there, but as the market goes down, just continue to dollar cost average. This is not the year, in my opinion, where you would take a lump sum of money. Let's say in March you're going to fund your Roth IRA. You're gonna put six or $7000 in there, depending on age that you would put all of it in to an investment at that point in time. No, this is money that you absolutely should be dollar cost averaging without a shadow of a doubt. Got that, Everybody. If you have money in the stock market outside of a retirement account and you have tremendous gains now you need to consult a tax person because you have to figure out our your gain short term, or are they long term meaning that you've kept them for longer than one year. So you pay capital gains tax on it vs ordinary income. So if you're in a high tax bracket and you sell something outside of a retirement account, you might lose half of it. To income taxes anyway, So maybe you just want to keep it. So consult your tax person before you make any moves with any money that is outside of a retirement account that is invested in the stock market. Now, before I go back Reid, you might be saying or thinking, Why do I think this about the stock market? And I just want to give you a quick example. There are stocks currently major stocks on the stock exchange that two years ago were earning a specific amount of money per share. Their earnings. You know how much they made. Here we are two years later, and now they're still earning the exact amount of money that they were earning two years ago. But their stock is 35, 40, 50% higher than it was two years ago, with the exact same earnings. That is not how the stock market works. You don't get paid more simply because you're earning the same in terms of how you're performing. One of the reasons that I believe the stock market has also gone up so high is because you have places like Robin Hood. You have, You know, Schwab, fidelity. All these places that you can buy now with 0% commissions doesn't cost you anything. So you have a whole different group of people buying, selling, buying, selling. Oh, they're speculating. So I think that has driven up a lot of these stocks beyond the price that they should be at. Yeah, And how and what are your thoughts on real estate? I know that it's gone up so much in the last year. I mean, things are, have gone up so much that people keep what they have sell by. What do you think about that? Yeah. A year ago, I was telling you that I didn't think real estate was going to go up and I was wrong. It absolutely did. And the reason that I thought real estate was not going to go up was because I thought a lot of people would be evicted. A lot of landlords wouldn’t be able to pay their mortgages and and really there would go real estate. The reason I was wrong is because mortgages they put everybody into a moratorium. You didn't have to pay your mortgage payment. You didn't have to pay your rent payment because why you couldn't be evicted. So that was like an artificial holding of the value of real estate. And a lot of people who did have money just went in and they started to scoop up everything because interest rates were so low. I don't think that's going to continue in the year 2021. Everybody, I just don't. I think this is where really the rubber meets the road where evictions. Unless something happens again with the government, evictions are here now to probably stay. No mortgage companies, I don't think, are going to continue to allow people who own the mortgage not to pay it. However, the pandemic is as worse as it's ever been. Jobs still are not coming back, so I think that there are going to be a lot of evictions, which then are going to cause a lot of foreclosures. I think commercial real estate is going to go down dramatically, so I am not somebody who would be investing right now in real estate. I would wait for a while. If you want to buy a home, I don't have a problem with that. But before you buy a home, please make sure that you have at least 20% to put down. You haven't least to 12 month, 8 to 12 month emergency fund that you're going into it with a 15 or 30 year fixed rate mortgage that you can afford not only the mortgage payment, but the property taxes, the insurance and maintenance, and that your job is secure. If all of those things are ticking for you, go ahead and buy a piece of property if you want. But just be careful, because remember, the value of your property is determined by the value of your neighbor's property. If you have a neighbor that has to foreclose, that is in a situation that isn't good and maybe another neighbor down the block that because their tenants couldn't pay and they have to foreclose, and they then sell their homes for far less than what you paid for yours, what they sold their house for immediately transfers over to the value of your home, which is why I want you to have a least 20% down. So you have cushion there in case the value of your house from where you bought it goes down 10 or 20% which is absolutely possible. Right. So one of the things that we talk about every time we do this and this is the fifth webinar we've done is the wills, trust, the durable power of attorney for healthcare, and the power of attorney for finance is what you call the must have documents. And almost every time we do this, we get so many comments of how helpful you've been under explaining these things, how everyone that needs a home, it's important that you have a trust and you put the home in the name of the trust. So I'd love for you just a review with everyone again, the importance of these documents. One of the questions we got last time was Well, I don't own a home. Do I need a trust or how do I transfer my trust? I mean, my home into the trust is another question, but I know that so many people appreciate you explaining why these documents are so important. Yeah. You know, I just want to say before I even answer that question is that, you know, here I am. And really, in a matter of a few months, I'm gonna be 70. Well, can you believe that? One Reid anyway, You right now And I can't believe Well, actually, sir, it was your birthday yesterday Reid. So, yes. So happy birthday Reid over the years or the almost 40 years now that I've been doing this, it's one thing to help people who have a lot of money and make sure it's invested correctly and they have everything together. Great. But it's another thing to really make sure that those that don't have a whole lot of money that those that have debt, that those that have scraped everything they could possibly get together to buy a home, that those that just want to save money and get the highest interest rate, or whatever is it's these past years. Almost 20 years now, I've really dedicated everything that I've done to helping those that most financial advisors don't care about because I'm not here to make money off of you. There's nothing that I'm really selling you today. It's like, you know, the ultimate opportunity savings account. I wanted to create that to help you because you need help. And by the way, now that I just mentioned that there's only a limited amount of these to go around everybody. So do not wait. If this is something that you want to take advantage of, I am telling you, go to myalliant.com right now and do this because they will go faster than you have any idea, however so, But I just wanted to make sure that those people that worked so hard, so many of you I wanted to make sure that you really had the exact same opportunities, that those who had money, they had $2500 to go see a lawyer and get a will in a trust. They had all of this money so they could get $100 in interest, whatever it may be. So that's what this is all about. And years and years ago with Hay House everybody, we realize what a travesty that those people who needed these documents the most were the exact people who couldn't afford to get these documents. And there was just something radically wrong with that. So years ago, and we've been doing this now for 20 years and million's and million's and million's of these have been purchased. And what we did was with my trust lawyer. We created what we're calling the must have documents and the must have documents are good in all 50 states. You could do it on your phone, on your pad, on your computer. You know, all you need is Internet access. And these documents are state of the art documents that if you went to see an attorney, it would cost you at least $2500. And we created these documents so that you could do these in the luxury of your own home. You don't have to go see an attorney. You don't have to leave. So you sit down. You open up the computer, your phone, your pad and literally in less than one hour, you just simply answered questions. And I guide you through it with this little icon. And there you go. These documents are done, and it's just that simple. Now one would have to wonder. Well, those air documents that you want me to do Suze, are these like your documents? If you were to look at my will, my trust, my advance directive and durable power of attorney for healthcare, they're the exact same ones that you will be able to download and do. And you don't have to worry about it because there's a help line you could either call the 800 number you could send in a text, an email, live chat were really there to help you. The main reason that we did this was because if you do not have a living revokable trust, in my opinion, and especially if you own a piece of real estate, you are making one of the biggest mistakes out there. A Will is simply a document that says, Where your assets are to go upon your death? That is all it does. But it does it in the most cost inefficient way possible. My mother has a home in the state of California, Let's say, worth two or $300,000. It has a mortgage on it. The deed is in her name. She dies her Will says I'm to get that house but the title is still in her name. How am I going to get it? I have to take that piece of paper, the will down to court. I'm not going to take it down to court. A lawyer will. The court is known as Probate Court in the state of California. It will take six months to two years. And all that happens is the judge looks at the will, validates that my mother wants me to have the house versus my brothers and transfers the title of the house from her name over to mine. That's it. How much that's gonna cost me in the state of California, where it's statutory probate fees. It's going to cost approximately $20,000. What if I don't have $20,000 to pay? Oh, guess what? The house could be sold simply to pay those fees. Mommy, all she had to do was while she was alive create a revokable trust. She does it while she's alive. Revokable She can change it anytime she wants. Trust is the name of the document. She changes the title of her house from her name, Ann Orman, into the title of the Trust. Ann Orman trustee for the Ann Orman Living Trust. The house is held for her benefit while she's alive. My benefit after she has died. Oh, she gets mad at me. She can change it and give it to my brother. Oh, is she gonna have to pay any more money in property taxes? Nothing changes except when Mommy dies, because she already signed the deed while she was alive and it transfers to me immediately. I get the house in two weeks. Maybe it might cost me $700 in transfer fees. That's it. But that's a big difference between $20,000 and possibly two years. And I could go on and on and Reid you said, Why do I need a trust if I don't own a home? Because in the trust, if you get it through us, it has what's called an incapacity clause. So let's just say you're out there and you're single and all of a sudden you become incapacitated. Who's going to pay your bills for you? Who's going to write your checks for you? Who is going to take care of everything? If you have this version off, the must have documents through us. Once you're incapacitated, you have already named who you want to write your checks, Pay your bills. Take care of your money for you. If you don't have that and all you have is a will, then your people are gonna have to go through probate a court again. To get you declared incompetent. Get a conservatorship assigned to you that will cost you $5000 in the state of California. And from that point on everything that you do with that money, you have to approve it with the court. It's hard to get the incapacity clause. It's not just like they just stamp it and give it to. But in our documents that we created, the trust lawyer created, one doctor has to simply say, Guess what? You're incompetent. That's it. You don't have to go to court, ever. Oh, and maybe you're married. Just let's say you're married or in partnership and one of you becomes incapacitated. The other one then could absolutely sign and do anything or vice versa. If you don't have that, you're gonna have to go to conservatorship again. Don't do that, people. The less money you have, the more you need a living revokable trust. It is just that simple. Listen, it's $69 dollars and not only can you do it for yourself? Because you'll get this activation code. You can share that activation code with, like members of your family, a few other people so that they can do it. So it's like giving your mother a $2500 gift or your daughter or your brother or your sister or your best friend $2500 worth of state of the art documents. And every time you go back by the way and make a change, it's free it It doesn't matter every time you go to a lawyer to make a change $500, 1000 dollars. The other two documents that are part of this are the advanced directive and the durable power of attorney for healthcare in advance of you getting sick unique to give a directive to your medical people, your doctors as to do you wanna be resuscitated, do you not? You have to give them directions, and the attorney for healthcare is who are you going to appoint to make health care decisions for you if you can't make them for yourself beyond what the doctor would do. These are all documents everybody that you must have. And now there's no excuse. There's not an excuse for one of you, number one to sign up for the ultimate opportunity savings account and get that money. Get a great interest rate, have a great place to always keep your money and to get the must have documents. One of the things that we promised Suze was that we're going to talk a little bit about student loans, so I don't. Well, I thought you were gonna say Bitcoins, but way have to go back to Bitcoin to because we brought that up at the beginning. So you get your choice. Do you want to talk about Bitcoin or student loans? But we promise people both, let's do Bitcoins first. Okay, Right now today it's going between 30,000, 35,000. It's all over the place, but it's about 30,000 Bitcoin. I personally think everybody that Bitcoin is the wave of the future. I do think that Bitcoin will probably become our currency and replace the dollar. Now that's a big deal that I'm saying that when that's gonna happen, I don't know. But I do think that will eventually happen. Why do I think Bitcoin has gone up so much? Why did I tell people before? Actually, it was at 11,000 that I thought that they should buy it. Bitcoin's go through a process where they split every once in a while. And when it was it about 11,000, it was going to split, and that usually takes it up. But the main reason I listen closely that I think Bitcoin increased so is because PayPal started to offer it. Prior to PayPal, making it really easy for you to buy and sell. It was really difficult. You had to have a wallet. You had to had a secret pass code. It was a pain, trust me. But now it's Azizi is going onto a PayPal account. You wanna buy it, you buy it. They take the money out of your bank account or your credit card. Or however you wanna do it. You want to sell it, You push, sell, it goes right back into your account. It is just that easy. And in the month of December last year you were able to buy and sell Bitcoin through PayPal with no commission whatsoever. So a lot of people really got involved with Bitcoin. I do think that is going to continue. Do I think that you should currently have more than 1,2 or 3% of your portfolio in Bitcoin? I do not. Do I think that you could see Bitcoin go from 37,000 again, possibly down to 5,000. Remember, a few years ago it was at 20,000 went down to three or 4000. Now it's back up. I think it absolutely could go straight back down again. But if you're gonna buy Bitcoin, I think you should be buying it for the long haul, not where it goes from 10,000 to 40,000. And no, maybe just by a little by little dollar cost average into it $100 a month, Whatever is money that you can afford to lose. If you cannot afford to lose money, do not invest in Bitcoin. Bitcoin should be invested in with money. That's like Okay, I'd like to make money, but if I lose money, I'm willing to hold onto it until maybe Bitcoin goes up again. Or if Bitcoin never goes up again. Okay, Is that clear? Yup I that was really clear. It's just something that you have a little bit in your portfolio to kind of balance things out. But it could be the future or could not be. We just aren't we don't know. And I think given that it's pretty high right here you know, a week ago it was at 42,000. It's that just go really slowly with it right now. Right now. Student loans, January 31st, the moratorium on student loans not having to pay them is up. Now, Obviously, we have a new president. And you know, President Biden really is keen on trying to do something with student loans what he really wants to do. Well, he has seven different proposals out there, to tell you the truth. But one of his main proposals is that after 20 years of paying on an income based repayment program, possibly he just forgives it, but without any tax consequence, the way student loans work today is if you are on an income based repayment program and which means that maybe your payments on a standard repayment program, which is over a 10 year period of time, which is how most student loans are repaid. So let's say you owed $500 a month on a standard repayment method for your student loan, and in 10 years it would be paid off. And if you can't afford to pay that $500 then you could possibly go on an income based repayment program. Pay as you go. There are different options where, based on your income, maybe all you would have to pay is $10 a month or $50 a month. But what happens is the difference between what you are paying the $50 a month and what you would owe. On a standard repayment method, the $450 a month gets added to the back end of your loan plus interest. So even though you're paying it, the loan continues to go up and up and up at the end of 20 or 25 years, depending on when you started this. Your loan then is forgiven, but the amount of money that is forgiven is taxed to you as ordinary income by the IRS. So all of a sudden, at the end of the loan, you owe $200,000 and they forgive it. You have to pay income tax on $200,000, now listen closely if you're in that situation. Most student loans are governed by IRS laws, and it is said that if you owe more than what you technically have, you are technically insolvent, and the IRS will forgive that in most cases. So chances are you will most likely owe more money than what you are worth. What President Biden would like to do is that the end of that 20-year period, the student loan, whatever the balances, is just forgiven, and you don't have to pay taxes on it. That's what I hope they do for everybody. But I would not count on that because even though the Democrats have the House and they have the Senate, it's by such a small majority that we don't know what's gonna happen. We don't know. Is it going to be for just federal loans? Is it only going to be for people who make a certain amount of money? There's all these things that we don't know yet Reid. So the real thing is just continue to act. Don't stop making payments on it because you think that these laws are going to pass and you're going to get away with it. You know, it almost reminds me when I went to the University of Illinois and I didn't want to take a foreign language requirement, and there were rumors that by the time I graduated, they would get rid of it. Well, guess what? They didn't so after four years, I had to go and take a foreign language requirement and do that in order to get my degree. So don't be stupid like I was. Go with the known versus the unknown. Remember that law I told you about earlier? We know how it works today. Don't miss payments. Don't go into forbearance. Don't go into default because default ruins your credit score. And if your credit score is ruined, good luck getting a job. This is the time that you really need to be responsible with money and you're saying But Suze, I don't have any money. I'm not making any money. Great the perfect time for you to call your student loan people and go on pay as you go income-based repayment. Because if you're not making any money, then your payments may be zero, but at least you're not in default of the student loan payments which are ruining your fico score. Got that, everybody. And who knows, Biden may say, and this is only for people who are not in defaults. He may say that. So what is the bottom line here? The bottom-line is don't wait for the government to change. If you're out of money, make sure you contact your lender in order to go on an income-based repayment or pay as you go system. If you have a high interest rate and you have some income, look at refinancing because interest rates are so low, nobody should be paid 6.8 or 7.1% on any student loan. Really, there are ways for you to get that interest rate lower, especially if you've had these loans for a long time. And remember that I've always said student loan debt is the most dangerous debt currently, than any debt you can have because it is not dischargeable in bankruptcy in most cases, so do not ignore it. You have got to figure out a way to make payments on it. Fantastic. All right, Suze. Well, you've given them a lot of information. Do you have any final things you wanna leave people with today? Yeah, I do for those of you who do have 10 years or longer, you have time. You're young, you're in your twenties, you're in your thirties, you're in your forties, you're in your fifties young, right, and the markets start to go down. Do not stop investing. And all of you, like I've said before, should be wishing and praying and hoping that these markets go down. Because if these markets go down, the prices of the shares that you're buying every month go down and therefore your dollars buy more shares. The more shares you have in the long run, the more money you make. Do not forget that I said that. Do not get afraid. For those of you who want to buy individual stocks. I don't have a problem with you doing that. Especially if you want to buy slices. But if you're going to buy individual stocks or slices of individual stocks, make sure you're buying at least 20 to 40 individual stocks or slices of individual stocks so that you have diversification. If you cannot do that, can you please stick to exchange traded funds? I still like the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index fund, There are other indexes that I like a lot, but that are very high right now, and they're very speculative. But if everything starts to go down and everything you might wanna look into ARKK is the symbol off another exchange traded fund I like. I just also want to address that I do think oil is going to go up this year. So for those of you that are older, possibly and you're watching and you have Exxon, you have excel, which is the F for oil companies. I would keep them. I would not be selling them because they're all giving you 5, 10, 12% in dividend yields. So there are things out there that you can do. I just also want to say Reid, this is not the time everybody to be buying bond funds, especially long term bond funds do not do it, do not do it because if interest rates go up, the value of those bond funds are going to go down. I also just want to say it makes no sense to buy certificates of deposits here. You would be far better off doing the Alliant Credit Union where you can get equally is high oven interest rate without having to lock up your money at all. Are you kidding me? So don't go locking up your money for 1, 2 or three years in a CD ladder or certificates of deposits. And again, just be really, really careful. Reid I just want to remind people insurance. If you're going to be buying life insurance, the only type of life insurance I want you to buy is term life insurance. Be very, very careful of whole life, universal or variable life insurance and variable annuities. And you know, I could go on and on, But that's why all of you really need to tune in every week to the Women and Money Podcast again free, because this is where we talk about all of those things. And this is where you can also write in questions have chosen will answer him on the podcast. You've given them so many different ideas and thoughts I'd love just to end in a summary of where you think it's going and, of course, we’ll do more of these webinars to keep people up to date. But just what people need to think about right now, at least for the next few months. All right, you got it. Here's the thing. Everybody 2021 I think, is going to be a difficult year. I think it's going to be a difficult year financially for many and psychologically speaking it's gonna be a difficult year, and I think there's going to be a lot of anger out there, a lot of disruption. We already have seen some of the wars that have taken place in the capital, and I don't know what that holds. I think it is very possible that you could see the pandemic, believe it or not reemerge again in September. So this is a year where I want all of you to be really, really patient. I want you to pay attention. I want you to live below your means, but within your needs. I want you to start to rebuild that 12-month emergency fund. I want you to have everything in place today to protect your tomorrow. Such as the must have documents. I want you to pay attention, to everything and be realistic. If you can't afford to stay in your apartment if you can't afford your home anymore, downsize. Do what you need to do in order to make the right choices financially for you and your family. Understand that two years from now, three years from now, I think we're all gonna be in such a better place in every possible way. But we have, like, this road that has rocks on it. So we've come off a highway and now we're on this bumpy road and you need a vehicle that can withstand those bumps. And that's you. So you have to be strong. You have to be a warrior. You have to stand in your truth. You have to do that which you can do today so that you're making the right decision so tomorrow are the tomorrow's that you want to have. Don't be afraid to say no to your kids. Don't be afraid to say no to yourself, and just understand these are just things. But if you have faith, integrity and courage, I promise you, and just take every day, one day at a time, no matter what your situation is out there, I promise you, you will get through to the next day. It just depends on your attitude and the fact either you have faith that everything happens for the best or you don't. I hope all of you have faith because that's what's going to take, in my opinion, to get through 2021 for many people. Thank you, Suze. You're welcome Reid. All right, everybody take care. Bye. Bye.
Join Suze’s Women & Money Community for FREE and ASK SUZE your questions which may just end up on her podcast!
To ask Suze a question, download by following one of these links:
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.
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.