April 23, 2023
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On this special Sunday episode of Ask KT and Suze Anything, Suze answers questions about Robo advisors, Roths for minors, the real value of a home, resetting a retirement account, plus a heartfelt quizzie and more.
Suze: April 23rd. What year KT?
KT: 2023 Suze.
Suze: You know what's in two days? ,
KT: Your mommy's birthday. We used to celebrate. We had the best parties for her. Should we tell them about some of the parties? Oh, so her mom was in an assisted care home. That was fabulous just about a mile down the road from us in Florida and every year
KT: in April, Suze and I would put, and Lynn... Lynn helped us a lot. We would put on the most amazing birthday party for her mom. And one year my favorite was called Dancing with the Stars. We would invite the entire residency, which was maybe 120 people or so. Anyway, we hired all of these old ballroom dancers, they were old guys, but they were fabulous and women
KT: and they were ballroom dancers and they came in full outfits and this was a time when Dancing With The Stars on television was at its peak. Well, Suze's mom was so proud and she would get all dressed up and she would stand up. She'd get out of her wheelchair and dance
KT: and we just loved it.
Suze: Mommy would have been 100 and eight, believe it or not in two days. So, Mommy, we are thinking about you. But for everybody tuning in, this is the Women and Money Podcast as well as everybody smart enough to listen, KT, are you ready?
KT: I'm ready, Suze. You got some good questions. So the first one I have is from Nick and Nick said, hey, KT and Suze, my wife...
Suze: Wait, why you to laugh?
KT: Because they put KTs T ame first and they know I'm going to pick it out.
Suze: Hint, hint, hint...
KT: Nick said my wife and I are in our early thirties and currently we have Roth IRAs with the local investment advisor paying a fee of 1.25%. All the funds are invested in ETFs with the majority of holdings in the S and P 500.
KT: And then Nick says he wants to switch this because they believe they're paying too high of a fee. But...
Suze: You don't have to believe you are. You are. How dare a financial advisor charge you that much...
KT: Here's the, but here's the question this is and I'm interested in your thoughts as well, Suze, what are your thoughts on Robo advisors?
KT: They charge about 25% of an advisor fee and have auto rebalancing and tax loss harvesting. I have no idea what that means. I'm leaning towards them, but I want to get your advice.
Suze: So, Nick, first of all, let's talk about this fee.
Suze: Yeah, you are paying too much because when an advisor takes your money and they put it in a Standard and Poor's 500 fund or an ETF which is an index fund.
Suze: They aren't doing anything and you're already paying a tiny little advisory fee or an expense ratio within those funds. So number one, you should absolutely get out from being under this particular financial advisor. That's number one. Number two Robo advisors... Ok?
Suze: But why when you can do this yourself, you know, when I was a financial advisor, seeing clients, my goal was to make those people as independent from people like me as possible
Suze: Because you know it, I've said it and I'll say it again. You will never be powerful in life until you're powerful over your own money. How you think about it, feel about it and how you invest it
Suze: and it's so easy and since the majority of your money is already in index funds and things like that, just do me a favor, switch it to a discount brokerage firm.
Suze: What you have will go over exactly as it is to wherever you choose and just try it on your own. You don't need anybody else to do it, especially a Robo advisor. And if you think 0.25% doesn't mount up over 20 or 30 or 40 years, I'm here to tell you, you are wrong. All right. Also one other thing, tax lost harvesting within a retirement account,
Suze: right. There is no tax loss harvesting. Ok. Go on.
KT: I, I never heard of that term. Ok. This next one is and I love this one.
Suze: Well, wait, KT just so, you know, tax loss harvesting is where it's what we do, believe it or not. At the end of every year, I look at everything that we have invested in outside of retirement accounts and I look at what we have losses in
Suze: and I look at what we have gains in and I harvest those losses, meaning I sell those stocks
Suze: to offset the gains of the stocks that we have gains in and I sell those to. So we don't have to owe income taxes on those positions anyway. So I harvest the losses to offset gains if that's what I want to do that year.
KT: So, you're a farmer like me.
Suze: Yeah. But, but I don't grow financial radishes.
KT: Ok This is from Diana. Hi KT and Suze. Can I pay my 12 year old to mow the grass over the summer and open a Roth IRA for him with this money? I can answer that
Suze: Should that be your quizzie?
KT: No, because you told we, we addressed this about a month ago and this was a great question about, you know, when can you open a Roth IRA.
KT: The answer to this is? No, you cannot, you know why? Because it has to be with um... after tax...
Suze: Alright let just get to the point wrong, wrong.
KT: I thought you can't do, you can do that.
Suze: No, you can. However, here is the key Diana,
Suze: of course, for babysitting, you know, mowing grass and things like that, you can use that money as earned income. However, remember the maximum you can put in though on their behalf with the money that they've earned and you should keep a record of you paying them just in case anybody ever challenges it is 100% of what they actually earned
Suze: up to a maximum of $6500 whichever one is less. So if they only earned $400 over a year, babysitting, mowing the lawn, whatever it is, that's the maximum you can put in.
Suze: So just know that and just be careful here. What is that look for?
KT: That just confused me. It said maximum 6500 or less.
Suze: That's right.
KT: So why would that be the maximum? Because that's all they earn.
Suze: That's right.
KT: So you can't, you can't pay at it with a gift or birthday cards or things.
Suze: No, of course not. Remember KT, it's earned income, earned income.
KT: All right, next is from Mike. Suze, Help. Oh, this one's a good one. I love this one, Suze. I want to hear what you think. Suze, help! I feel...
Suze: Wait, what's the date today?
Suze: April 23rd on April 23rd announcement. Announcement. Everybody. April 23rd 2023, Miss Travis wants to know what I think about something.
KT: I'll tell you what I think after you answer it, Suze help. I feel like I made the worst decision of my life. We moved out of a condo last year while the market was hot
KT: and it's currently a rental with a good cash flow. It probably has about 500,000 in equity. We decided to buy a house which at the time we didn't know was at the top of the market and we did a big renovation project before moving in. Here we are a year later and the house is worth less than what we paid for it.
KT: Not including the $150,000 reno cost. I'm 45. I have about 1.1 million in savings, retirement accounts and mutual funds. The reason we bought this house was to put in a pool and now I can't imagine putting another 200,000 in this house when it's not even at the value we bought it for. My husband wants to keep going and make it our home.
KT: I want to stop putting any more money into it because I'm not enjoying the real purpose of why we bought the house. And now I'm kind of resentful about it. Not sure what to do, Suze. It signed "M&M." I like.. you like M&Ms. She loves M&Ms.
Suze: Tell everybody about my M&M ventures.
KT: Well, whenever we did speaking engagements, there's always a rider on the contract that says what the talent likes to snack or eat or have for lunch. And Suze would only write M&Ms and we'd get to these locations and there be piles and bags of M&Ms everywhere.
Suze: What was the one I was on before M&Ms?
Suze: But dark colored ones. And it would be dark chocolate. Yeah. And remember it would be such a bummer when we would get to a green room and they'd have milk chocolate.
KT: She only liked dark. But, but let's answer Mike's question. I think Mike should just suck it up and enjoy the house and build the pool. Look how much we love our pool.
Suze: No. Look how much you love the pool. All right. So here's the thing, Mike, a home I know can be considered an investment. Absolutely. But a home is a home and it's a place where you live and where you enjoy. Therefore, it is absolutely ridiculous because the price of that home has gone down
Suze: that you now don't love a home that you once loved. You had a vision for it and just because real estate went down, you don't love it. If real estate had skyrocketed, does that mean you would love it more? It's still the exact same house that you decided to buy. You decided you were going to put a pool in. It wasn't like, oh my God, we're gonna buy this home, fix it up and then maybe sell it, look how much money we'll make.
Suze: So, no, you are to listen to your husband. And the reason you say you bought the house was to put in a pool, then put in a pool and enjoy it. What do you want to say?
KT: Wait, I have a great idea, Mike. You're 45. Not only put in the pool, make a fabulous
KT: terrace and an outdoor grill and then have a 50th birthday party like you could not believe. And you'll enjoy that house and have the first big event memory of your lifetime. There you go. Make it a great pool. Get some really good furniture.
Suze: Really? That's exactly what not to do, get yourself further in. Mike, but it's not... really sweetheart. Please stop thinking of it like that. You have money. You're young. You don't know what's going to happen to real estate. 10 years from now or 20 years from now. Stop looking at things as to what they are. Worth right now. Right here at this moment.
KT: Party on, party on party on.
Suze: Of course, KT my little party animal over there would say that.
KT: Make a big party. Right next question.
Suze: I just have to stop. KT lives for parties. She loves entertaining, looks for any excuse to invite people over. She loves big birthday parties. She loves all of that. Unlike me...
KT: Today today we have um, the island doctor visiting Suze this afternoon. I know it's still early in the morning. But I said, Suze, let's invite him like for lunch or dinner. She said, why can't he just come and listen to my chest? Why do, why do you have to have a lunch or dinner or snacks or? I said, I don't know. We have company.
KT: I was so excited. Ok, ready next question. Next question from Nadine. Hi Suze. We just recently paid off a car loan with the last two months. But wait, listen, my husband's credit score just dropped 17 points. We're trying to figure out if that drop was due to the car loan.
KT: Thank you for all you do. So what's the answer for Nadine?
Suze: You know, credit scores really are very difficult to figure out because it also depends on when you are checking your credit score or truthfully your FICO score, which is the only one that really matters in my opinion.
Suze: So for instance, let's say you've been charging things on your credit cards that you know, you're gonna pay off at the end of this month.
Suze: FICO doesn't know that you're gonna pay it off at the end of the month. So possibly at the time that you're checking your score, they see that you've charged up a lot, you've used some of your credit limit. So therefore what happens down goes your score, 17 points is not a big deal just so, you know. Most likely in your situation because
Suze: paid off your car loan within the last two months, your credit limit has also decreased. And remember a good portion of your FICO score is made up of your debt, what you owe to your credit limit ratio. So if your credit goes down because you've closed your credit card or paid off a loan and then it's gone.
Suze: That can affect your score, believe it or not. But really Nadine, I wouldn't worry about it at all. KT...
KT: Hi, Suze, I'm a recent widow. I have $200,000 to invest in the current high yield interest rates being offered like a fixed index fund or a CD without a lot of risk involved. What would you suggest? A local bank wants me to call them tomorrow to buy a money market fund? Thank you for being there for us, Suze. So what should she do?
Suze: So, first of all, you know, so, so sorry for your loss, you know, it's just sad. It's just sad. And what makes me sad about this is that your local bank wants you to call them by tomorrow. Like there's a rush.
Suze: You need to listen to me right now. If anybody ever tells you that you have to do something right away, the only thing that you need to do right away is walk away and not do that. You don't have to rush to do anything
Suze: Obviously, you want to put your money somewhere that is absolutely safe and sound possibly liquid for you to get at it. So up to you, you know, you can put it in any money market fund that you want. Money market funds are liquid paying approximately 4% right now.
Suze: If you're looking to put it into somewhere where you can lock it in and get a good interest rate for a while, you should look into treasury bills. And also if you live in a state that is tax free or if you are not in a high tax bracket, of course, look at the Alliant Credit Union
Suze: CDs right now, I'm calling them Ladder up where you would get a six month, a one year and an 18 month, which would average then for you about 5% but I don't want you to rush or do anything that you don't feel comfortable with. And the mere fact that you wrote in
Suze: about this tells me you don't feel comfortable with it. It is better to do nothing than something you do not understand. And please remember this. You are to do nothing other than keep your money safe and sound for at least six months, preferably one year after you have suffered the loss of a loved one,
Suze: you could pay off debt. You can do things like that but no investments other than high interest rates at this point in time in savings accounts. Right. Just so, you know. All right.
KT: All right. Next one is from Diana. I like this one a lot, Suze. And I, I want to hear your thoughts on it. My parents and I are interested in investing in real estate together.
KT: My parents have cash readily available to purchase and my husband and I have the means and skills to renovate, maintain, handle landlord issues. What would you recommend is the best way to handle rental income between the two parties?
KT: Meaning pay off parents investment, 100% 1st split income between two parties, et cetera. I think that the fact that at the end she mentions first, 100% paying back the parents for the investment
KT: I, I think they have a good relationship. I like this idea of the...
Suze: You enter money into a relationship and if things go so it goes south. Right.
KT: Yeah. But all right. So what are you gonna recommend?
Suze: But that's why you read me the question, right? So Diana, KT thinks you should do it. She doesn't answer your question at all.
Suze: Which is why you're so lucky that I'm here. Here's the thing when you say that your parents have cash readily available to purchase. It's not just about, do you have enough money to purchase it
Suze: If you're going to set this up as a business, because it is a business, not only does there have to be an amount of money to purchase, whether it's outright or as a down payment,
Suze: a piece of property, but also enough money set aside as working capital to renovate it as well as.. once you now are renting it out, for instance,
Suze: What happens if you rent it out? We have another pandemic. Now, nobody is going to be paying you rent. Is there enough income or is there enough money in working capital to keep it running for at least a year? So it's
Suze: it's not just enough money to purchase a place, it's enough money to keep the place going, to pay for everything to know that inflation is still here. It's really, really important. All right, that's number one. Number two,
Suze: you're gonna spend your time renovating, maintaining this and doing everything. So the thing that you have to decide isn't, do they get paid back first their money and then how are you gonna live? Who's gonna pay you?
Suze: How are you gonna survive? So you really have to sit down look on paper as, all right, if we bought this place, this is how we would buy it. This is how much it's gonna cost to fix it up. This is how much money you and your husband need to get every month to keep your life going. It's far more complicated than just how do you pay off the money? How do you do all that?
Suze: It's a big deal after you've done all that, then you have to decide, is it 50 50 partnership? What is the percentage of the partnership? Who gets the tax write offs and the rental income that comes in?
Suze: It should go to both of you, right? Because you put in your labor and whatever, it's just complicated. So, if I were you seriously, I would sit down with a lawyer
Suze: and I would have a contract drawn up between the two of you and it's a business lawyer and run this as a true business, my friend. Just be careful because you never know what can happen in real estate. I mean, KT imagine.
Suze: Imagine that a little bit ago. A few seconds ago, this person who bought a piece of property, it's down 150,000 from where they bought it, Mike and everything. Now, now, Mike is upset, husband wants to continue to do it.
Suze: You know, real estate doesn't just go up and just be careful everybody because when in fact,
Suze: unemployment goes up, real estate prices tend to go down. So just be careful.
KT: Next question is from Tamarra. Good morning. I hope this finds you well and gets to be read by you. I, I don't know if she means KT or Suze. So you got KT reading it.
KT: I just turned 50. I lost my job in December after 20 years. No more contribution to my 401k, so I closed it and planned to open a CD. I know the fact that she closed it right. So I closed it, planned to open a CD with 20,000 and the remainder 10,00
KT: to an annuity for about 15 years. I'm told, I'll have to pay taxes. Please explain what I've done wrong and could still do right. And how could I still contribute to a retirement plan without an employer? Anyway, she said I just feel nervous about a CD. Would prefer something less accessible where I could forget about it and be safer. Wow. I wish you could turn back the hands of time for her.
Suze: Maybe we can because this was written in on April 19th. I don't know how long ago you closed the 401k, but you have 60 days from the time that you closed it and you got the check. So if you did this within the last two months, you can take that money and open up what's called an IRA rollover
Suze: The reason that you owe taxes on it is, number one, you're only 50 you closed a retirement account at work
Suze: that was pre taxed. You were not supposed to take it out, Number one before 59 and a half, in most cases, or you would pay a 10% penalty on it. So you're gonna have to pay that 10% penalty as well.
Suze: And because it was a traditional 401k versus a Roth, you owe ordinary income tax on that money because you've never paid taxes on it. If you are within the 60 days, take that money and simply open up an IRA rollover with it and then you will not owe taxes on that what so ever. Within the IRA rollover
Suze: there is where you can buy whatever investment that you want to buy. You say that you feel nervous about a CD and would prefer something less accessible where I could forget about it.
Suze: No, don't go numb on me, sweetheart. You can't ever forget about your money. You can't ever not want to wish to know about it because you didn't know about it, you now are in a situation where you're gonna have to pay taxes and a penalty. So I need you to wake up and really want to touch your money. Be with your money, handle your money and get knowledgeable and powerful with your money. Not tomorra...
Suze: but today you get that little joke. All right. So therefore that's exactly what you should do. So if you want to,
Suze: right? And all you want to buy is a CD. You don't want to be tempted to buy anything else or have anybody else tempt you then go to my alliant dot com. Open up an account where you can then simply do an IRA rollover with it and within there buy their CDs, which are really, really great. Hey, if you don't want to think about it, just buy right now, the 18 month one at 5.15%.
Suze: So that's what you would do again. My alliant dot com and do that. But no matter where you do it, you only had 60 days. If it is past 60 days,
Suze: you owe taxes and you owe a 10% penalty on that amount of money. And there is nothing anybody can do about it,
Suze: but you now can do something about never making a mistake again by getting involved with your money and continue to listen to the Women and Money podcast. KT!
KT: Ok. You know what time it is?
Suze: Right, KT, this is an interesting quizzie right.
Suze: Now, if it's all right, because, you know, I'm still having a little trouble here. I would like you to read your own quizzie. Everybody. What this is, is this is the time that I pick out a question
Suze: and I want KT and all of you to think about it, what you would do in this particular situation and because I still have my little cold here.
KT: This is a long quizzie but it's, it looks really interesting. It's not a normal...
Suze: Do you know, I picked this one?
KT: It's emotional.
Suze: Yes. But do you know why I picked it? Because a Colo, Colo the other day sits down and he says, Suze,
Suze: I really like when you do questions about people's situation because I like hearing about it because then I can relate to that far more than just financial questions. So I thought all right,
Suze: in honor of our Colo, who we miss you. We miss you,
Suze: We miss you, Colo. I hope you're listening, right? He's, he's in Colombia right now, visiting his wife, Annie and Toby and Toby, his little dog and everybody and his three kids. Right?
Suze: And so, you know, he is a family man. He's a big family man. I mean, literally a big family. Yeah, but he really thinks, but we really think he's our family man.
KT: So Colo, we miss you, but listen to this one and then you can help. We'll see if you and I have the same response. Ok. Ready? Help me, Suze. I've lost my best friend. That's the opening line. That's why she picked it.
KT: My heart is ripped out right now. The man I've been with for four years and was making plans to marry, buy a house, et cetera has told me that in the first three years he's been sleeping with an old affair of 10 years.
KT: We weren't sure about our relationship at first, but built an intimate friendship and relationship over the years that we can't deny. He acknowledges, there are no excuses, but he says he was afraid that she was crazy enough to ruin his job and his relationships because he claims he did try to end it many times.
KT: This was him finally coming clean to me because he did not want to marry me knowing that a year ago he slept with another woman.
KT: So this is what she says. I feel as though I could forgive him if he sought help for his alcohol problems and mental health issues and rebuild trust the same way that he's been committed to paying off old debt. I'm young, I own my own home and I'm not afraid of being alone or starting over, but I'm so upset I won't have him.
KT: Am I being naive? Are people capable of forgiving and rebuilding just like a person can rebuild their credit and pay off old debt?
KT: So, Suze, what would be your response if one of you had found out this from the other? When is love strong enough to endure? And when is it too compromising and you have to throw it all away? I can't think straight and I even feel like quitting my job because the woman happens to be a customer at my job and his please help.
KT: And then she said the situation is more complicated but she wanted to keep this simple. So what I just read, in my opinion, Suze is also complicated.
Suze: Think about it, think about it. Listen, there's no way for either KT or myself to know exactly what the outcome would be.
Suze: However, how would you all answer this question and KT, no matter how you answer it. I'm not going to say you're right or wrong. This is just something for all of us because so many people we know have gone through similar things like this and I'm not exactly sure it ever worked out. All right. Go on.
KT: So my gut feeling truthfully
KT: is that yes, you've right now, you're devastated. He is your best friend and here's the bottom line. He was a big enough man to come to you and come clean. But you also have to be a strong enough woman to let him go. I would not only let him go and move on, but I would quit the job and you know what?
KT: I would let a little time pass and maybe still be his best friend. I think it's really, really important that you understand, it's very hard to forgive. It's even harder to forget. You never, I don't believe anyone should ever forget, but it's forgiving isn't that easy. We think it is. We say it is, but it isn't. Those heart strings are in pain.
KT: So I would, I would move on. You're young. Here's what made me say that you are young and four years is not that much time to be with someone.
KT: And for three of those years, he still had the other woman in his life. What makes you think that that's gonna really change? So, if you want to share him, that's another story. But I would just move on and quit the job, start over.
KT: What would you do, Suze?
Suze: My God. Right. This, this really is a hard one that goes truthfully everybody far beyond really this, this podcast in many ways. However, the only reason that I chose this is over all the years I've been doing this. This is not the first time I have ever read this situation.
Suze: I've read about it and talked to people interviewed them on the Suze Orman show. Way way too many times.
Suze: The solution always was to go on and move on. And recently I just got another email from somebody who had to move on and she was thanking me so much that she's finally over it. She's met somebody now who is her best friend. It's an honest relationship. I find it very difficult when it's not just that he slept with another woman,
Suze: but it's also that you say you could forgive him if he sought help for his alcohol problems and his mental health problems, his PTSD issues and rebuilt the trust the way that he did in paying off credit cards. It's not the same sweetheart. It's not the same.
Suze: I've always said
Suze: that somebody never asks a question that they don't know the answer to.
Suze: I would ask you to sit down and really try to think about... Do you really think that you would trust him again with your money, with your money, with your house, with your life? Right? You say love is strong
Suze: Do you really feel that he
Suze: demonstrated love in these four years to just simply because he now admitted it?
Suze: Now, I don't know, maybe the two of you could go and see a therapist, whatever. But I would have to tell you given the fact that you both work at the same place, given the fact that this person is a customer there,
Suze: it's never gonna end, it's just not going to end. So you have been doing really, really great in your personal financial life. You own a home, you're not afraid of being alone, you're not afraid of starting over, but you're so upset that you won't have him
Suze: Him. Are you telling me that you are so upset, not having somebody
Suze: that you call your best friend when your best friend did that for three years behind your back?
Suze: When your best friend is telling you that he is afraid of what this woman may do to him like that's gonna change. I don't think so.
Suze: So I have to tell you if it were me, if you were my daughter,
Suze: I would tell you, please, please move on. There are many, many other people out there that really will one day be your best friend.
Suze: You know KT, that was a hard one.
KT: But one of the things I want to share just between Suze and I that in relationships and at our age, going through many, many different kinds of relationships and then finally finding each other, which we think are per, we're perfect
KT: is that we both look at each other often and we say you're my best friend. But the thing we have together is trust. Suze and I have so much. I mean, 100% trust with each other,
KT: that the heartbreak, if something like this ever happened between us, it would be the loss of trust and I don't think I could ever get it back. You can get that trust is broken, it's broken, it's broken. Glue doesn't quite put back together again.
Suze: So that would be my advice to you. But if you do decide to stay, you two better go
Suze: see a therapist two or three times a week for years to come, you are not to marry him no matter what. For years from now, I would set a five year timeline. Everything should just be in your name and you should not be financially vulnerable to his actions on any level. That's the end of this quizzie.
Suze: All right. KT...
KT: Colo, What would you do?
Suze: Oh, Colo would cry. Cola would cry. I'm sure he's crying. Right.
KT: He's probably thinking about this.
Suze: Anyway. You get to have another Ask KT and Suze anything this coming Thursday because then we will be back on schedule here. So until then KT...
KT: have a great day, everyone have a great Sunday, have a great Sunday.
Suze: And there's only one thing that we really want you to say every single day. And I have to tell you, KT and I do this every day. As soon as we wake up, we look at each other and we say today,
KT: Wherever I go, I will create a peaceful, joyful and loving world.
Suze: And if you do that, we promise you, you will be unstoppable. See you Thursday. Bye bye bye.
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