May 27, 2021
Listen to Podcast Episode:
On this podcast of Ask Suze (and KT) Anything, Suze answers questions from Women & Money listeners Ralph, Gigi, Lisa, Melanie, Beth, Juanita, Denise, Kathleen and Taiko, all selected and read by KT.
Everyone says we sound alike and that's impossible. Who sounds alike? They say you and me sound alike. that Where have you seen that? And I've seen it. People tell me that. I said that's because we live together for too many years. There is nothing about our voices that sound alike, because I'm not from Chicago. No, because you have this sweet, soothing voice. I have this like scratchy. What kind of voice do I slap down? Suze's a slap down voice. KT's a calming for. Yeah, that's right. All right. Do we begin this podcast, KT? All right, Suze. Let's do it. All right. Do you all like listening to our pre-banter before we start up? We’re not bantering just telling the truth. I'm calming your slap down. Slap down. Down. Down. All right, everybody May 27th, 2021. Welcome to Ask Suze and KT Anything podcast. We love Thursdays, Ask Suze Anything because you get to have KT with her. Sunday lately, Sunday school with Suze has been a focus. You were with us Sunday. But this coming Sunday I was a cry baby. You were and that was ok. Yeah. I just want to say something. Sharon who we talked about last Sunday on the podcast, which is the reason I cried, um, heard the podcast and she wrote KT and she said thank you for dedicating the podcast to that topic. And she was shocked at how many of her relatives and people that she knows are not prepared for the what ifs of life and that she's made all of them listen to the podcast. Her husband is still in critical condition in the hospital, but she and her son have decided that they are going ahead and they are going to sell the house and move ahead with plans. Which I agree with because we're at the top of the real estate market here or we're still doing great in the real estate market. Who knows if it's the top? So, she's doing pretty good. Just so, you know. All right, we'll keep you all posted. Okay. We ready, Suze. Ready to begin? We are. All right, so, my first question is the kind of question that KT loves. This is from Ralph, a man, really smart enough to listen, smart enough to send in the perfect question. Here it goes here, Suze, what can we do to keep our Children's inheritance from their spendthrift spouse? Oooooo. Yeah, I have news for you. If your Children are responsible with money and really care about money and safeguard their money, they won't be their spouses for long, just so you know. But besides that, since there's no way for us to know for sure, you first have to educate your Children and that if you do leave them in inheritance, that they must never, ever put that money in a joint account with their spouses. They must always keep that money in their individual name because as soon as they put it in an account that has their spouse's name on it as well, it is half their spouse’s money. So, you have got to educate them. All inheritance no matter who their spouse happens to be, even if they're not a spendthrift has to be kept in their individual name. Could that be a wish from, you know, the parent can you actually write that? You could say it as a wish? Well you can say it as a wish, but if you really think that your Children will not do that and will not listen to you, you can always just a thing. Leave it via your living revocable trust, to them that has a trustee that is in charge of that money. So, the money isn't given directly to the kids, but every time your kids want to use it, they have to ask the trustee. So that's another way to do it. You can also leave it to them in an irrevocable trust, a trust that cannot be changed, and designate how much money they get at a specific time. Or you could also do that in your revocable trust. But there are things that you can do. You just need to really research them and decide which is best for your particular situation. Okay? There you go, Ralph, now you know what to do. Yeah. Okay, next question. Suze is a little bit complicated from Gigi. I would like, it says hi Suze, I would like to ask your advice. Wait, are you picking questions that don't even say and KT? Not yet. I got some KT's coming up but these I'm trying to mix it up so I have short one, a medium one and a long one. One day, I'm going to have to watch you do this, what your process is Travis. Some of these questions coming in just, you know, our two sheets of paper. Those are my reluctant ones. They go on the bottom of the list. But this one I like, because I wouldn't know what to say. That's why I picked the ones that I need. Duh Duh Duh. All right, Suze. That's not nice. This is from Gigi. But it's true. I would like to ask your advice on my 401K. That I transferred to Traditional IRA in April 2020 after I retired. My financial advisor divided the funds into the following. She put about 300 in stocks, an annuity and a money market account. Now the adviser suggested we replace. How much did she put in the money market account $150,000. How much did she put in the annuity? 100,000. Right. So, we have $300,000 in stocks. $100,000 in an annuity and $150,000 in a money market account. How old is she? She's 69 and she's married her husband 71 but ready for this Suze. Susan the adviser suggested we replace the money market and put 100,000 to an annuity for 1.75 annual Return for three years. And we put 50,000 into a variable annuity. So, we know where this is going. Now, ready for this. Suze. I can I can tell by Suze face what she's getting ready for. That big slap down. The adviser would like me to give my decision this week. And just to get to top it off, Gigi and her husband have not taken any money from these accounts at all. So yeah they don't need it. But there you go Suze. Gigi are you sitting down are sitting down girlfriend? Because here's what I would say to you more than even what the advisor is suggesting at this moment in time. The mere fact that she wants an answer from you within one week, an adviser should never rush anybody into making a decision. And if there is a reason that she wants that decision right away, it very well may be because there's a contest where she's working and as many people has put money into something, she wins the contest. But whatever it is or she herself needs money. Because I can tell you on these annuities, there could be anywhere from a 4-7% sales commission. That's up front. Right? So, let's just say that you have $150,000 and it's a 5% sales commission. Now, she has just made $7,500 in commission Gigi. That is a lot of money. Now, even though you aren't the one who pays for it, so to speak and her firm is paying her to sell that to you. The truth of the matter is all annuities, all annuities have a surrender charge. So, that means if you wanted to come out of that annuity before the surrender charges up and a surrender charge usually lasts about seven years. So, if you came out the first year, you would get a 7% surrender charge. If you came out the second year, maybe it's 6%, then 5%. And the reason that is, is that the firm wants to know that they're going to make back their commission, that they paid this woman to sell this to you. So that's my first red flag. Whenever financial advisor says make a decision within a week, I need to know. Over, it's over, over me. That's number one. Number two, there would be absolutely no reason on any level for you to buy a variable annuity within a retirement account. That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever on any level. And this Sunday, what I'll do is I'll give a Suze school on why that is true because I don't want to take up all the time right here now to explain it. But you will never ever, ever do that. Next, yes, I understand that maybe she wants you to do a fixed annuity for 1.75% guaranteed for three years. Not bad. But what happens after the three years Gigi? What is the interest rate go to after three years and how long is the surrender period on it? So again, I will explain that bottom line here. I would not be doing either of those things. I would be leaving it right where it is right now because if the market were to go down, maybe that would give you an opportunity to buy into more high yielding dividend paying stocks and things like that anyway, don't do it, don't do it. Don't do it. Tune in Sunday. Okay, next question is from Lisa a real estate question. Wait, I have to just go back to this for one second. I know KT, KT thinks I go on too long about all these things but I'm not looking at this piece of paper, right the email that Gigi sent in and she said That we have a moderate variable risk of stocks funds and others of $300,000 with the return of $32,000. What you have to know is that over this past year or whatever? Why you may think a 10% return was good, it actually was not good Gigi. You know even the standard and poor's 500 index funds over years now have averaged 14%. So, 10% in growth over this last year. Even though you may think that was great. I don't know if you do or not. Wasn't that great. Just so you know okay I'm really not liking this adviser am I? No, you're not. All right anyway go on. Okay. But we have some advisers we love, but this particular one. This has nothing to do about all advisers. You know my saying what's my saying KT? When you find a good advisor, they're like finding gold and share them with every everybody. Yeah. Okay. So next question is from Lisa. Hi Suze. I'm writing to request your help. I own a co -op in Port Washington New York. According to the co-op owners attorney. They will not allow me to put my co-op shares in a living revocable trust. I have other assets. She has a condo in Missouri, traditional IRA, Roth IRA and 401b. Could you please advise me Suze how I should proceed? I have all other must have documents except for the living revocable trust because of this glitch. So, she's been a fan for a long time but she doesn't know what to do. So, Lisa what you really need to understand is just because the co-op board won't let you do. It doesn't mean you shouldn't have a living revocable trust. The reason that co-ops do not like the co-ops to be owned in trust is because they don't know who you're going to be leaving that co-op to. And remember Co-ops want to approve the person that's living in that co-op. It's not like you just get to buy and sell a co-op to anybody. They have to appear in front of the board, they have to look at their finances, everything. So, they do not like when a co-op is owned in trust because you could very easily then transfer the ownership of that co-op to somebody else, even while you're alive and they don't want that. But that shouldn't prevent you from doing the living revocable trust and put in your house in Missouri in it and your other stuff in it. Just because most co-op boards refuse to allow you to own it in a living revocable trust. Okay, that's good advice, because that makes sense. Yeah. I have to agree with the co-op board on this. The truth of the matter is I don't like co-ops. You never did. But we did have one. Yeah, we sold it because you know, because you have to get approval. Who do you rent it out to? Maybe they don't like the person you want to sell it to. We wanted to sell it to our niece. I just don't like them. They are a place to assure security and everyone's wishes that live there, but they can also be very biased and very racist. Yeah, I don't like them on any level. All right, go on. Okay. Next one is from Melanie. This is another great question. Hi, Suze and KT. Finally, we got a KT, four questions when you finally got one. Hi Suze and KT. My children are 12 and 14. Should I freeze their credit to protect them from fraud? Good question. Why is that a good question? Because most people don't know. I'm also thinking what credit 12 and 14? That's my girl. That's my girl. Whose credit? Mommy's. So, here's the thing, my dear Melanie, which is do your kids have credit cards at 12 and 14? I doubt it. But maybe they do. What do they have? Is there anything to protect? However, with that said they do have identity. You know, they have a Social Security number, they have all those things. And that doesn't prevent somebody from establishing credit cards in their name by falsifying certain, you know, certain facts about them. So, if it's possible for you to freeze their credit and freezing their credit would have to be done with Experian, Equifax and Trans Union. So, if they happen to have a credit report at this point in time and you should check to see if they do, then why not just freeze it? There's, you know, there's no reason not to, but I'm not exactly sure they have credit at this moment in time. Okay, Suze. Next one is from Beth. This is a Suze and KT. Her questions very, very relevant to today's environment and I think this will help a lot of parents. So, Beth said, my son is about to turn 18. All right. I want to be able to give him some solid advice about investing. So, she's raised him as a single mom and she herself has made many financial mistakes throughout her lifetime. But here's the deal. His generation is all about instant gratification. He just wants to make money and make it fast. And what happened, what's happening is that he and his friends have become what Beth calls mini day-traders, they're buying into crypto and other trendy stock flavors of the day and selling went high. They're using apps like Robinhood, dropping hundreds or thousands and pulling out when they hit big. What does that mean dropping hundreds and thousands, well listen to this her hundreds of dollars, thousands of dollars. So, her son comes home and says, Mom, mom, you know, my friend is really hitting big, he put $100 in something and he made $3,000 in one day. So, she's really worried that they're running their lives like little mini casinos is what she calls it. They're getting huge hits of dopamine, I get it. So, what's your question? The question is, how can she explain the risks of this impulsive instant gratification, investing trend to her 18-year-old son. She's trying to get him interested. KT, I got, what should she do? So, Beth needs some good advice. Beth, I think both you and KT are going to be surprised at my answer as well as everybody else listening, He's 18. You yourself said that you're now 48 years of age and that that you made many mistakes but that you're doing essentially really well right now and whatever. And it's very possible Beth that the reason that you're doing well now, is because you learned from the mistakes that you made in the same way, you never listen to what your parents tell you. You always want to be on your own. You always think that you know better than your parents. And then once you find out that you made a mistake, you learned the hard way. He's young enough right now. He's still young enough, 18, that he will make mistakes. I mean if people just looked at it, what happened with Bitcoin this last week? I mean a lot of money was lost. So, are you sure that he's making money? Did his friend reinvest the $3,000 and now it's worth nothing. You never know. But the best way for him to learn is to lose money and he's not going to be losing that much right now. If he invests $100 here or $100 there, he makes money, he thinks he's doing great and then all of a sudden, he loses it all. Oh, he'll learn. So let him learn and let's see where he goes. Because he's not going to allow you to teach him, not at the age of 18, he's going to want to be like his friends. The other thing you can do is you can say to him okay let's make a deal, right, you have $1,000 maybe that you can invest. Let's take $500 and put it in a Roth IRA. And let me make the investment decisions for you with that money. You can do whatever you want with the other $500. And in three years from now let's look who has the most money and let money teach him. Not mommy teach him. Let money teach him because money is the greatest teacher of all. And when it doesn't do what you think it's going to do, oh you'll learn the lesson you need to learn, just that simple. So don't worry about it my dear Beth. That was great advice because I was, I was thinking the same thing. Do a 50/50 do it mom's way and your way. And if he decides to get in even after a year and if he decides that he doesn't want to and fine, but he will learn, trust me, people who are investing for the quick dollar, oh, they will learn. And if he doesn't and he makes a lot of money, well either way he came out, okay, what else you got for me? Okay, this next one is from Juanita, wait those are the cutest little shoes that you have on. What are those? My sister Barbara turned me on to these, oh my God, KT, they’re like slippers. They're very comfortable. They are orange, everybody, I'm wearing orange, like little duck feet, but they're very comfortable to have like little duck feet. You do! Alright, So cute. My sister Barbara, the little sister had these on when she was here for her birthday. So, I said, oh, I like those. Okay, ready? So, this is from Juanita. Hi KT and Suze love listening to you both while walking. So, she said it makes her walk much more enjoyable when KT is on. Wait, does she really say that? No. She said it makes it more enjoyable because she walks faster when she's listening to us, you little liar. Alright, go on. I opened a Roth IRA with TD Ameritrade with $500 cash. Then I purchased the NOBL ETF. Do you know what that is, KT? This is the standard and poor's aristocratic style. How do you know that? You just told me because I asked you noble or NOBL. So, you're supposed to say NOBL. And the other reason you should know it KT, is maybe a month or two ago on the podcast. I told everybody that I thought that ETF would be a great ETF to purchase. Especially because it was giving about a 2.5% dividend yield at the time. And since then, it's also gone up quite nicely, especially in these crazy markets. But anyway, go on. All right. So, is this how I continue to fund the account? Put cash in and then by the desired ETF or stocks? If I'm funding with cash, is there any taxes I have to pay? I'm 62 working full time as a nurse. I have no plans to retire yet. Juanita, I just have to say, please don't retire. We so need every nurse America can have right now. We're going to need you for a long time. Juanita both KT and I, I know I speak for her here. Thank you for your service. I'm sure you saw it all over this past year. So, our love to you. So, yeah that's how you do it every month you put $500 in or you could put $6,000 in or even more because you are 62 years of age. So that means you could fund a Roth IRA with $7,000 girlfriend. So, you very well could put like $582 I think it is a month or $7,000 all at once and and then every month call up and invest that amount of money that you want to invest into the ETF NOBL. That's the symbol. There are no tax consequences because you've already paid taxes on this money. Remember a Roth IRA is funded with after tax dollars. So, you've already paid taxes on them. The tax benefit obviously is when you go to take this money out, it is absolutely going to be tax free. Pretty good. Anyway. God, next one is from Denise. Hi KT and Suze, Denise is a quick learner and she's also said she's a new listener to the Women and Money podcast. So here you go. My question is do I keep paying annual fees on three unused zero balance credit cards? Or should I ask to have them closed? I've often heard from you Suze that if you close a credit card it could reflect poorly on your Fico score. Yes. So, here's what you need to understand. The largest part of your Fico score is determined by something called your debt, what you owe, to your credit limit ratio. They call it credit utilization rate. However, it's how much you owe on all your credit cards, in comparison to how much credit limit you have on all your credit cards. You never want more than 30% of your credit limits to be used by the amount of debt that you have. So, let's just say you have a $10,000 credit limit. You do not want more than $3,000 of debt on all of those credit cards because that will hurt your Fico score. So, if you did owe money and you then close down some of your credit cards, your debt to credit limit ratio would go up because you have less credit limit because you close down your credit cards. Did that make sense, my dear Denise? However, let's just say you don't carry a debt balance at all. You pay off your credit cards in full at the end of every month. Then it doesn't matter If you don't owe any money, it doesn't matter if you have a $10,000 credit limit or a $3,000 credit limit, you still have a 0% debt to credit limit ratio. So therefore, especially if they are charging you a fee, you absolutely should close them down. However, the decision is do you carry a debt? Do you carry a balance on your credit cards or not? If you carry a balance on them? Do not shut them down. But that doesn't mean that you can't transfer them to a credit card that doesn't have a fee and then shut them down. All right, KT. Okay, so Suze. Next question is from Kathleen. And again, Kathleen is someone that listens to the podcast on her morning walk, so we're going to have to do one for walkers. Alright, so here's the question. She's about to retire at the age of 66 in September. She just refinanced her townhouse for $196,000 mortgage for 20 years at 2.5%. She's got a 401K with $857,000. She has some bank accounts worth $60,000 and she has an Ameriprise with $405,000. Alright, so her Ameriprise Financial Advisor recommends that she transfer her funds currently in the 401K, that's the big-ticket item, Suze. To him at Ameriprise in order to consolidate all of her retirement funds in one place, she said she's nervous about that and she's asking you. What should I do? Hmm, I bet he would love her to do that. KT does it say? Give me, give me her question for one second. I just want to see something. So, her townhouse is worth about $430,000. So, the mere fact that she refinanced it right now, I mean she's going to stay in it for probably the rest of her life in her mind, don't you think? Probably. She is still young. 66. I know, given I'm 70 about to be, just a few days, everybody all right. She's young. So, Kathleen, here's what I would tell you. I would not do it. I would not transfer one penny at this point in time. And the reason is you said it makes you nervous. And what is the goal of money? The goal of money is to make you feel secure and because you have that much money Where you have it right now in the 401K plan, when you leave, you can still leave it there after you've retired and maybe you feel more secure that it's there. You like how it's invested there. So, if you weren't the one who thought about, oh you know, I have $800 some odd 1,000 in my 401K, and I think I should be doing this with it. Versus somebody saying to you for the first time, you know what Kathleen, I think that you should put all your retirement assets in one place and that place is with me and yet that makes you nervous. That's a sign that you should not do it. However, what I do think you should do is given that you have $405,000 and I imagine that's in an investment account, so not a retirement account with this advisor. If it were me and I was going to be staying in my house for the rest of my life or my intent was to do so I would take $195,000 from that account. I would sell whatever losses I have and offset the gains and maybe you could withdraw $195,000 without having to pay taxes on it. Worst case scenario, maybe it's capital gains tax because maybe you've owned it for more than a year, but I would take 195 or 196,000 whatever your mortgage was and I would pay that off in full. What that will save you is your mortgage payment, which is probably almost $1,100 a month. That would be approximately $13,000 a year savings in expenses, that would make your pension that you get. If you get you know whatever you're getting it would make your money go a lot further, so that you didn't need to take out as much money from your retirement account. Or your big amount, which is 857,000. So, if I were you girlfriend, that's what I would do. I bet that adviser won't like that. Uh huh. Suze, this next question baffles me. So, I'm going to have to have you read it. But let me just tell you why I want you to read it. This is the first female I've ever received with so many begging little emojis and signs. Look at, I just want to show you it's going to confuse you too. But wait wait, let me just read the opening and then I'll let Suze explain this because I don't get it. Look it's got another page. I know. Well, the second page is really fun. It says if the question is not picked by you KT, can you please have Suze email me back? As simple answers such as yes or no. All right, so all right, so I kind of found this to be very endearing. This is from to Techo. So Techo said dear KT and Suze, I love your podcast. Hi KT. Please, please, please, please ask Suze for me about the definition of earned income by the IRS, to allow me to contribute to a Roth IRA. Um to Trcho is single. She's 60. She wants to contribute $7,000 for this year. But the problem is Suz3, she was laid off and unemployed. So that's where this is all stemming from. To let Suze, take a pause here and read this and then respond to take Techo. All right. So first of all, what you need to know to echo is that, no that unemployment benefits are not earned income and do not qualify you to contribute to a Roth IRA. So, all of you should know that number one. However, if you have any earned income and earned income really is you have a job, you're earning income just that simple or you had a job a while ago and they're still paying you royalties or commissions on work that you did. As long as the money is coming from work that you did, whether it's this year or in years past, that is earned income. right? You're also asking me that some financial advisor told you that if you convert $10,000 from a traditional IRA to a Roth that that counts as earned income. Therefore, you can contribute to a Roth, even though you are not working. Wrong advice, there's a big difference between converting money from a traditional IRA or 401K, to a Roth and contributing money to a Roth, that's never been in a retirement account. So, to contribute money, that's never been in any type of retirement account, you have to do that with earned income money that is already in a retirement account. If you want to convert it, that has nothing to do with your income at all. It will have to do with taxes because any money that's in a traditional retirement account, when you converted to a Roth, you absolutely will owe income taxes on it. So, there you go. That's just what it is KT. So, the short answer. The short answer is a no, don't do what their with their advice. Right, here's what interested you got to be very careful here, everybody. And just you know, even when a financial advisor gives you information and one hurt you to google it and just make sure that it's correct. All right, KT. Are we coming to a close? We're coming to a quizzie time. Alright, quizzie, quizzie, quizzie. Now because we're we went long here today. A little bit. Right? This will be an easy quizzie for you. They're never easy, Suze. They're always easy. All right. Everybody, because the quizzes aren't just for KT. They are for you as well. This one is from Roxanne and she just has a simple question. If a Roth IRA can be used as an emergency fund, what does it have to always be a roth because they know you hate them. Right. If a Roth IRA can be used as an emergency fund, stop rubbing your head then why would we need a separate emergency account? That's the question. Alright, Roxanne, listen up. Until I give you the correct answer, Roxanne. First of all, a Roth is an individual retirement account. Why? Why would you want to use a retirement account as your emergency fund? The whole goal as I understand it of retirement is to save money, make it grow so when you're retired. So, the question is, why would she need a separate account, KT, if a Roth IRA can be used as an emergency fund? You can use it for anything you want, but why would you I wouldn't. Is that your answer? Yeah. All right. See, I told you, you set me up for these. She can do whatever she wants, it's her money. But why are you answering the question? She should not. Roxanne should not use retirement money as an emergency fund, end of story. All right. All right. All right, my dear Roxanne and everybody else listening. I have suggested that all of you use a Roth IRA as your emergency fund and if you do so that you simply keep that money however in a money market account or a place that it's safe and sound because emergency fund money cannot be invested in the stock market. The reason that I want you to do that is because you can withdraw any amount that you put into a Roth IRA, your original contributions. You can withdraw them at any time without taxes or penalties whatsoever, regardless of your age or how long that money has been in there. So, it's got to be kept safe and sound. But Roxanne, your question was, so then why do you need a separate account? And the reason is this? I want you to be contributing fully to a Roth. And let's just say it is your emergency fund. Then outside of the Roth I want you to set up an account. Let's just say you did the Alliant ultimate savings account and you put in $100 a month so that you could get that $100 at the end of 12 months. Now you have $1,300 in there. That would then allow you to invest $1,300 in your Roth IRA. Because now with the money in your Roth minus that $1,300 plus the $1,300 that you have there. Do you see how now you still have access to all of that money? As time goes on and you keep investing in the Roth IRAs as an emergency fund and you build up an emergency fund outside of the Roth. Eventually you'll be able to invest all the money that's in the Roth. But you didn't miss five or six years of being able to contribute 6 or $7,000 into the Roth. So, the reason that I want you to do that is I don't want you to miss these years of getting money into a Roth, simply because you know you're saving an emergency fund. This way you can have your cake and eat it too. So, did that make sense? Yeah, that made a lot of sense. You are such a liar. No, I thought that was really a good explanation of what you should do. KT, you be honest with everybody. Come on, I know you, Travis. So anyway, that's fine everybody. The point of the matter is all that I really care about is that you understand the answer to that quizzie. All right. So, until Sunday. The thing is I want to do a quizzie I get right. You have got to stop being so attached to being right, Being wrong. What? That's ego, KT. It doesn't matter if you're wrong. You know, I've always worked on my ego, but here's the point. What? At least everyone thinks, I don't know anything. Why are you laughing? She still loves me. I so much. Alright, say goodbye to everybody, KT. Okay, everybody have a great, great weekend. We'll see you Sunday and talk to you later. She didn't know what to say everybody. She just looked at me like, oh my God, she ran out of words. All right, everybody until Sunday you stay safe bye, bye.
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