Podcast Episode - Best Of: Ask Suze Anything Live From The Apollo Theater

Home Buying, Insurance, Life Insurance, Must Have Documents, Student Loans

August 06, 2020

Listen to Podcast Episode:

For this Ask Suze Anything, we present the question and answer part of Suze’s appearance at the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem, NY, as part of the Women of The World Festival on March 16, 2019.

Podcast Transcript:

Suze Orman's Women and Money podcast is proudly sponsored by credit unions; a safe home for your money, rain or shine. Suze O. here. Now, listen to me, everybody. While I am healing, Sarah and Robert are going to present the following "Best Of" episode of the Women and Money podcast, as well as the men smart enough to listen, and briefly explain why they chose it for you to hear. So, everybody, enjoy the "Best Of" podcast. See you soon. Hey, everyone, this is Sarah, and I'm Robert, and today is Thursday, August 6, 2020. Well, let's get right to it today, Robert. I can't believe it, but it's actually been two weeks since Suze's surgery, and you know what? She is doing really well. I know you've been texting with her, haven't you? I have, yes. And I know our KT has been doing everything she possibly can to make sure she's resting and eating well. I just, it's fun to watch and see what an incredible team they are. I believe the phrase that I hear people say is, "couples goals." Is that what it's called? Yes, so I understand. I just love the two of them together. All right, so, as you all know by now, from listening to us for these past few weeks, that Suze's private Women and Money community, which you know you can download for free on the Apple App Store or Google Play has been where Suze's been sharing her personal updates and, of course, sharing her famous financial advice because she hasn't been able to help herself while she's recovering. Although she's just doing a little bit of that. That's where we've been getting messages for Suze and KT from all of you. So, please continue to do that, we love to share them with Suze, she loves to hear them. And I found one today, from a woman called Suzanne Mo and, she says, continued prayers for healing and comfort for Suze and KT. I'm glad to hear she is recovering nicely, though I know recovery takes a lot of hard work on everyone's part, and it's not always a linear trajectory; one day at a time, Suze. It's great. It's a nice message, it really got me thinking, um, I thought this was such a great message, particularly for this special time that we're in, I guess special is what you'd call it. There are so many caretakers out there who are front line workers battling COVID, to those of us who may be personally caring for somebody who is ill or needs extra help. And it's a lot of work. And I'm just so thankful for all the people who step up into those roles as caretakers. I think it's one of the hardest things you can do. So this week, Suze in the community, you know, she was talking about, and it kind of leads into one of the messages that Suze had for everybody that we should all be taking care of each other and treating each other well, and I think it's important for us all to remember. So with that, Robert, should we get to our "Best Of Best Of" for today? Hit me with what you've got cued up. All right, so this was part two of the great sold-out Live at the Apollo event that happened in March of 2019, and we originally ran this highlight on April 11, 2019. There's a part that I really want everybody to pay attention to, as people were going up to the microphone to ask Suze questions, a woman went up and thanked Suze for ministering to us. And when she said this, a lot of things clicked for me. Remember, I'd only been working with Suze for a few months. What I realized in this moment, even more so than before, is that Suze Orman does not simply give advice, she takes the time to hear what we are saying is individuals and answers us as individuals, and gives us exactly what we need to hear. So, this is very powerful, very exciting, very emotional, very inspirational, all of those things. I could go on, but I won't. Here now is the Ask Suze Anything, live from the Apollo Theater. Now, before I go to questions, there are two things that I have to say to this audience. And it's this: My whole life now, I don't know if many of you know, but at 65 I decided to retire. And I decided to retire because I wanted to know who I was if I didn't have standing ovations, my own TV show, writing for Oprah, having this, and having that. Who was I? Because eventually, that would all stop, and when that stops, what happens in your life? I sold five homes, I got rid of all the employees, five cars. I stopped going on QVC, told Oprah I'm not going to write for her anymore, told CNBC I'm shutting down my show. And, I moved to a little private island in the Bahamas where I still live today, really. And I decided I was going to learn how to fish. And now, last year, I won the fishing tournament for the entire island. But I'll tell you what's great about that. I don't think a woman has ever won it before. And the men that are in this tournament have all been fishing for 30 years. A woman can do anything when she wants to, ladies. Anything. But then, what happened? Then the Me Too movement started. And Times Up started. And I'm listening to this as I'm on the island, and I'm thinking to myself, why isn't anybody talking about the role that money plays in this movement? Do you really think that the majority of those women said yes just because they did? Or did they say yes because a woman will do anything to take care of her family? She will do anything to take care of her family. So, while it's okay to say Me Too, Me Too, Me Too, we needed to talk about why was this happening? And nobody likes to talk about money, it's all for all these other reasons. And then I got invited by Avon and the Domestic Violence Hotline to do an interview with seven women who were survivors of domestic violence. And you can watch those interviews by the way on www.thehotline.org, which is their website, and you can also listen to them on my own podcast, and every single one of you should be listening to the Women and Money podcast. It is fabulous. So, there I am and I'm doing these interviews with these women, and one after another I'm saying, oh, you suffered from financial abuse. And one after another they all said to me, what is that? I wanted to do a segment on financial abuse on the Today Show. And do you know what both producers asked me? What is that? One out of four women in the United States today suffer from financial abuse, and you don’t even know that you're suffering from it because nobody is talking about it. Financial abuse is when you are in a relationship and you all of a sudden find that your credit cards are being maxed out by the person that you're in the relationship with. You find that you're not allowed to have credit cards in your own name. You find that the paycheck that you are earning, you have to bring home and give over to your spouse or your partner. Little by little they are moving you away from your parents, from your friends and everybody. And now they have you, and when you no longer have any money to yourself. Now find natural abuse turns into physical abuse, turns into emotional and verbal and psychological abuse. And you cannot leave because you don't have the money. And every one of these women left that situation some after a few months, some after 22 years, with their kids in their arms, sometimes. In a taxi, going to a shelter or a friend's house with nothing else to their name. You want to make sure, every single one of you, that you have credit cards that are in your own name. Because why? What are you declaring? You are declaring your independence and you cannot be an independent woman if you do not have credit cards in your own name, your own savings account, your own checking account, in control of your own money. And if you are ever in a situation where you have to ask permission for money, get out of that situation. You do not need permission to do anything in your lives. You should be with somebody who wants you to be an independent woman, who wants you to have whatever it is that you need, and not have to be a little girl that says, can I have some money? So that's number one. And number two, just the other side of it. One of the calls that I would always get on the Suze Orman Show. “Suze, I'm the only one making money in my family, and my family keeps calling me and asking me for money. But Suze, I have credit card debt, and I don't have any money in retirement, and I don't know what to do. And Suze, I'm drowning, and they're not even working.” Sound familiar to any of you? Today is the day that you are going to declare your independence, and what that means is that you are going to say no to others, out of love for yourself. Versus yes, out of fear that they won't love you or like you anymore, because if they don't love or like you anymore because you aren't giving them money, what does that say? It says they are not good company. But you all have to stand in your truth. You all have to stand up for yourself. And it is your obligation to tell your family members, listen, maybe I am making money, and maybe I'm making more than you since you're not making any, of course I make it more than you. But I have credit card debt. I'm not saving for my own retirement. I want to buy a home one day. I want to send my kids to college one day. I have things that I want to do. And so, your problem is not my problem. Now, sometimes in life, helping is hurting, and sometimes hurting is helping. Because when you say no to somebody, then they have to dig deep within themselves and become the man or the woman that they were meant to be. Don't stand in their way of them gaining their own strength by just funneling money to them and keeping yourself weak, and then you all go down. Now there's just one exception to this rule, and that's with your mama and your papa. OK? If you've had parents, or you have parents, and they've been responsible parents, it doesn't mean that they've made money or whatever, but they've loved you and they've tried their best. They have tried their best to make it, and now they're getting older and now they can't work anymore. And I'm not talking about a mom that’s 50 years of age. I'm talking mamas that are now 70, 80, 90. Maybe it needs to be 80 and 90 given that my next big one is 70. But whatever it is, that really can't work anymore, and they've tried, and now they need your help. So rather than thinking about Mom, I want to save for my own retirement, I want to make sure that I'm OK. Not at the expense of your parents, ladies and gentlemen, not at the expense of your parents. Because all the money in the world will never replace the guilt that you will have if you are not there for them. And when you have that guilt you have shame. What are the three internal obstacles to wealth? Fear, shame and anger. Yes, ma'am. What is your question? “Hi. First of all, I want to thank you for all that you've done over the years, and I watched all your segments. And you have said something briefly that we need to probably not listen to others, but I've been listening to you for years, and your advice has been phenomenal, so…” But I want to say something about that to you, which is, I don't want anything from you. I only want something for you. I have nothing to sell you tonight, I don't want you to become my client. I am going to give you gifts before this is all over so that you can educate yourself and do other things that you need to do. So, when somebody has your best interests at heart, however with that said, you still have to trust yourself more than you trust others, and that includes me. If I tell you to do something and it doesn't feel right, in your gut you are not to do it. “Suze, and that's exactly what I did. You're right. And I took your advice, and what did not work for me, I did not use.” That's my girl. Do you know that every day before I come on stage or do something, I pray? And one of the parts of the prayer, because it's about a 20-minute prayer, God is like, can you just shorten it? He’s like, really Suze? But one of the parts of the prayer is that may only the people who will benefit from my advice and products ever buy them. May you know it’s just that simple. If what I say isn't going to benefit you, may God let it go in one ear and out the other. If ever you see me on something saying, this is what I think you should have, if it doesn't feel right or if it's not going to benefit you, don't buy it. Because don't do that to me. OK, so what’s your question? “Being that I practice everything, and now that I'm at a point in my life that everything did work, I had the savings, investments and all of that. But I fell on hard times for me, I'm no longer at a six-figure salary. It has been reduced to less than half that I am actually living off. And I'm still living. OK, because I'm practicing what you said.” Well, I know you are because you're standing here asking me a question. (audience laughing) “OK. But now, what I want to know Suze, is how do I actually, I guess, reinvent myself and do the things that you have taught me to practice? And I've lived off of what I've learned from you over the last five years, savings, investments, and everything. But what do I do now? I need to know. What do I do now?” I got it, girlfriend. All right, does anybody relate to this question? You're making less, how do you make more? How do you either go back to where you used to be or how do you go there for the very first time? And the answer to that question, you don’t have to write it down, shut that damn book. Because it's not in the words that you write. It's in how the words make you feel about who you are. And if you are busy writing, you cannot feel. All right? Preach Suze! No, but really, here's the thing. You have settled for some part of your life as to where you are now. You have settled, and you are not a warrior like you used to be. So, my mantra for you would be, to be a warrior and to not turn your back on the battlefield. Right? If you were doing it once, you can do it twice. If you did it twice, you could do it three times, and you are the only one that is stopping you from going out there and going for it. Because when they reduced your salary, you reduced your self-esteem, and when you reduce your self-esteem, you reduced your self-worth. And why would anybody want to hire you if they don't feel your power? Like the power that's coming through me right now! That. I'm so glad I told her to shut her book, how would she have written that down? But do you understand what I just said? Listen, there is a law of money, and the law of money is this: Power attracts money, powerlessness repels it. Why is that true? The reason that is true is money flows through people. It is people who go out and make a paycheck. It is people who take that paycheck and they invest it, they spend it, they waste it. It is people who hire you, it is people who promote you, it is people who go into your store and buy what you are trying to sell. When you are powerful in life versus when you are powerless, when you are powerless in life, you repel people. Since people control money, when you are powerless you repel people. Therefore, you repel money. When you are powerful, you know who you are, you are strutting your stuff, you know your own thoughts, you know your own feelings, you are out of debt, you have control over the little amount of money you have, if any, and you are feeling powerful. When you are powerful you attract people. People control money, and therefore you attract money. If you don't have the money that you want in your life right here and right now, what is running you powerless to repel people and therefore money? I'll tell you, it's your damn debt, people. It's your debt. You have a closet full of clothes, you have all of this stuff, but you don't have money, and then you don't feel like you're worth anything. And then everybody else is better than you. Nobody's better than you. Do think when you die and you're at God's door they're going to say, he's going to say, can't come in here because you have debt? You are not a bad person because you don't have money, or because you have debt. You are simply a person who has managed your money, your capabilities, and your future, badly. That's all you are. And you can change that, but you have to want to change it, and you have to feel like you're going to change it, and you have to not be afraid. I sued Merrill Lynch because I wasn't afraid, and if I had been afraid, I wouldn’t have sued them and they would have fired me. And what would I be today? But because I had courage, because I had courage, because I wanted to be more, I didn't want to be like my mother and my father. That's why I'm here. That is the message today. That is a priceless message, everybody. A priceless message. Yes, ma'am? “Suze, I just want to thank you for ministering to us today, and really including God in the conversation, I really appreciate it.” Well, you know why I include God in the conversation, because the only time when it comes to God and money, do you know what the conversation always is? God, I wish I had some more. That conversation has to change. God's given you everything that you need. God has given you the ability to be more and have more. You're just spending all your time wishing that it would come your way without you having to do what you need to do to get it! Go on. “So, my question is about people in the audience who are entrepreneurs and the whole conversation about managing debt. When you use money to fund the business, it has to be a God idea. So how do you balance the two?” Here's what you have to balance if you want to be an entrepreneur, you want to start your own business. And all right, you're going to go into debt to create your own business. Fine. But know that you have a business plan. Don't just think because you're opening up a business, therefore you're going to make money. And you have to recognize, do you have a profit and loss statement? Do you have enough working capital to carry you for one or two years, in case we hit another downturn like 2007 and 2008, which is absolutely possible in 2020? Are you willing to stand up for yourself and stand in your truth about if the business isn't working, I'm shutting it down? But no, women, you know what women do? They go, but Suze, I'm responsible for all these people that are working for me, and I know I'm going into further debt, I haven't taken any money for myself. Not your problem. So, if you are willing to stand in your truth, and recognize what you have, what you don't have, you have a business plan you have a profit and loss statement, you know everything about what you're doing. You go for it, girlfriend. But a financial plan is not a wish, and it's not a hope, and it's not a prayer. It's facts and figures and knowledge. And if you have all of that, you're in business. Yes. “So, hi, my name is Stephanie McGraw, and I’m the founder of WARM, which stands for We All Really Matter. It's a not-for-profit organization right here in Harlem. You moved my spirit because I am a survivor. I went to the party, I went to the party at 15 and stayed for 30 years. When I left that abuse I was 43-years-old. No education, no money, because I hustled for Satan for a long time and God said come, you're going to work for me. How do I now? I've been in business for nine years, I'm doing the work, I'm changing lives, and I am not getting a six-figure salary. I'm not getting any money, I'm on welfare, getting $6250, and I'm doing somebody else's job that's getting $100k, and running this organization from my house. Please help. And I want to work with you, because you and I are going to do some work right here in Harlem, and help women become financially stable!” If you want to do something, you cannot use the words, we are going to do it. Wait, let me tell you why. Because God looks down and says, when are you going to do it? So, your words need to be, we've done it, girlfriend. Because God looks down and goes, oh, I forgot to do that, we better do it. Let me tell you what I learned. So now, here I'm hired as a financial advisor for Merrill Lynch. I didn't have the clothes, I had a go and charge $3k on a Macy's card to get the proper clothes to go to work as a financial advisor. I didn't belong there with those men. That wasn't my world. They were making six figures. They were driving BMWs and Mercedes, I was driving a 1967 Volvo station wagon at the time. This is 1980, that I had a park on the streets and get tickets to go do community service afterward because I didn't have the money. So I thought, I know, I'm going to create a new truth for myself, and I'm going to say that truth. Because I would go to work and I would shiver and I would be afraid, and I didn't get why I was there. So, I created this truth, and the truth was: I am young, powerful, and successful, producing at least $10k a month. Now, I was almost 30, not so young. I was not powerful for anything, I was the most powerless thing I've ever seen. I was pitiful and successful? I don't think so. And like I said earlier, $10k a month was more than my father made in a year. But I wrote that truth 25 times a day. I screamed that truth 25 times a day. I looked in the mirror, silently, and I said that to myself 25 times a day. And I did it for six months straight, and before you knew it, that truth became our reality. So, one of the steps of The Nine Steps to Financial Freedom, is you have got to face your fears, but you have also got to silence your fears. Because it is your fears that are rendering you powerless. And when you are powerless, you repel people and you repel money. All of you, when you go home, might want to write down what is your greatest fear in life when it comes to money? And then you need to create a truth that is directly opposite that fear. If your fear is, I will never have enough money, your new truth is, I have more money than I will ever need. Notice, I'm stating it as if it has already happened. You need to make it short enough so that you can repeat it and remember it. And you need to live it. You are doing what most women do, and they work for a non-profit, and yet they stay there because they're helping everybody else. And helping everybody else, not able to take care of yourself and all the abuse that you suffered. So what you were filling yourself up with, was helping other women in that situation. But money was not the object until now. Until now, because you've changed. You've given all you have to give. You have given everything in you to all these other people, now you have to take that exact same energy, (crying) hold her as somebody, you have to take that exact same energy that you have given to everybody else, and you have to give it to yourself. But here's the good news. You have that energy in you to give! If you didn't have it you couldn't have all these people for nine years. All you have to do now is turn it on yourself, girlfriend. “Hi, Suze. I just wanted to know your recommendation for a person who wants to own a home? I’ve owned a home once before, but recognize that I took on too much for myself. But now, I’m getting back to a point where I want to do that, but now have student loans, and wanted to know, do you think that is a good idea for me to even think about trying to own a home without getting rid of that student loan?” Let me ask you some questions. “Ok, sorry.” Don't say you're sorry to Suze Orman. I hate that word! There's nothing in life to ever be sorry for to another person. Maybe to yourselves, maybe there's something you're sorry for yourself that you did, but not to another person, especially in a situation like this. Do you have eight months of an emergency fund? “I have six months.” Six months. Do you have any credit card debt? “No.” No. Do you have, besides the six months, do you have at least a 20% down payment? “I'm working on that now.” You're working on it. Listen, there's no reason you have to rush into buying a home right now. In my opinion, who knows if I'm right or wrong, I think we've kind of reached the top of the real estate market. I also think that in the year 2020, we may have a very rough year financially speaking. So, therefore, slow it down, slow it down. Just because you had a home, doesn't mean you need to have a home right now. You don’t need to do it right now. I need you when you do buy a home, to make sure that you have a very secure job. You have at least 20% to put down. You have an eight-month emergency fund, besides the 20% to put down, and that you can afford not only the mortgage but 40% above the mortgage as well, to include what? To include your taxes, your insurance, your maintenance, and all of that. Then, then, but don't rush, don't rush to be poor. “Thank you for that.” One other thing, I just have to say this, which is a home doesn't have to be a goal for everybody. It doesn't. Right, a home is just a house. Right? A house that you can move in, you can move out, it can burn down, it could be blown away, it could be in a flood. It's just a house. The home that you all want to move into, is the home of your soul, the home of your mind, and most importantly the home of your heart. Your heart. Do not define yourselves by the things that you have. Do you understand that? Now, if that's a goal of yours, fine. But it doesn't have to be. With that said, I just want to say a few more things about homeownership. For those of you in this audience that own a home that you are going to stay in for the rest of your lives, you need to make sure that home is paid for in full by the time you retire. If you are not going to stay in a home for the rest of your life, do not pay down the mortgage. But if you're going to stay in this house for the rest of your life, make sure you have it paid for in full by the time you retire. Why is that? Because your largest monthly payment is going to be your home, and you need a lot of money and a retirement account to generate the income you need to pay a mortgage. When you buy a home, let's say you bought a home for $200k. Right? But just stick with me, OK? So, you buy a home for $200k and you don't have the greatest FICO score, which is your credit score, so your interest rate is 6%. So now, your monthly payments are going to be $1200 a month, $14,400 a year. Do you know, after paying $14,400 a year for 20 years, you have only paid down $100k on that mortgage? Do you get that? So here you are now, and you're retired. How much money do you need in a retirement account to generate income enough to pay $14,400 a year? At today's interest rates, about $600k. Wouldn't it be easier just to pay off $100k that you owe on this home to get rid of that $14,400 payment per year? But no, your financial advisors will say to you, it’s your only tax write-off, why would you want to do that? Because your tax write-offs are in the beginning years of the mortgage, they are not in the ending years. What is the goal for you to be powerful? Nothing makes a woman more powerful than owning her own home outright. So, you want to own your home outright. Next, life insurance. Do not, and I repeat, do not buy whole life, universal or variable life insurance. It is the biggest rip off out there, in my opinion. The only type of life insurance that you should be purchasing is term insurance. And term is insurance that's good for a specific period of time. You are not expected to die with it, but while your children are younger, you have to provide for them. And the best way to provide for them is with a term life insurance policy. www.SelectQuote.com is where you can go to get quotes, and whatever comes up, the cheapest. That's what you buy. Next. Student loans are the most dangerous loans you can have, bar none. Because 99% of the cases they are not dischargeable in bankruptcy. You can discharge an IRS debt, you cannot discharge student loan debt. And what is so sad about student loans, is they love when you miss payments. They love it because $10k turns into $20k, turns into $40k, turns into $80k, turns into $160k and then they come knocking at your door. Because they have the legal authority to garnish your wages and to do anything they want, even your Social Security checks. So, student loan debt, please mommas, please, I beg of you, you are not a bad mother or parent if you don't take out money and get yourself in debt to send your kid to school. I promise you, I had to do it on my own. Your kids can do it on their own, but you are not to take out Parent Plus loans. You are not to take out private student loans, and your child should only take out as much money in student loans as they are going to make the first year out of college. Otherwise, they are never going to be able to pay them back. And then they're going to pay it back under what's called, income-based repayment method, where they owe $500 a month, but all they can afford is $50. And they think after 25 years of paying $50, their student loan is gone. No, it is not. If they owe $500 and you are paying $50, the $450 difference is added to the back end of the student loan, with interest. And after the student loan is forgiven, if you owe money, which you will, it's charged to you as ordinary income taxes that year, and you have got to pay it. So, student loan debt, the school you go to, does not make you. You make the school. There is nothing wrong with community college. There is nothing wrong with your kids having to wait but to not get yourself in hock because of a student loan. Now, I just want to get this out. If you go to www.SuzeU.com and you put in the word ‘Apollo’, you then have access to my course where over 300k students are taking it. Normally they pay $54, but you're going to get to take it for free. Take it, go over it, share that code with as many people as you want to. Educate yourselves. Every single one of you in this room needs a will, a trust, an advance directive, and a durable power of attorney for health care. Please know that your minor children cannot inherit money. So, if you have a life insurance policy and you've left it to your 5-year-old, what are they going to do with it? The money goes into a blocked account and your kids cannot access it unless under court order. Now those documents are very expensive to get. Those documents are about $2500, but Apollo, my true gift to all of you is, if you go to Suze at www.SuzeOrman.com/protect, and you put in the access code, you're going to be able to download over $2500 worth of state-of-the-art documents that you can use over and over and over again. And these are all documents that you must have. You must have a will, you must have a trust, you must have an advance directive, and you must have a durable power of attorney for health care. And if you don't know why, study about it in my course. Listen to me on Women and Money podcast. It's there, the information is there for you. So, you now Apollo, you have the tools, you have the tools to stand in your own truth. You now have the inner hopefully inspiration. I have given you everything I have inside to hopefully make you the women and men that you deserve, the type of life you deserve to live, outside here in the world. Not in your own horror chamber inside, because you're afraid and you don't know what to do. We can help each other, we can be there for each other, we can change the world together, but you have got to want to do so. When we come into this world, we each come in with two wings. One wing is the wing of grace, it is flapping by your side 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The wing that you bring to this equation is the wing of self-effort. When those wings flap equally as hard, I promise you, you will have flight into the world of unlimited possibilities, where anything and everything is possible. Ah, the end of another great episode. I just love seeing her live and I'm so glad we've captured that audience so we can continue to share it and listen to it. I love the Apollo, it's such an incredibly special place. Don't you think so, Robert? Oh, absolutely. I mean, I've seen a ton of acts up there. Music acts, but Suze Orman is absolutely one of my favorite people to have ever seen on this stage of the Apollo. It's just unreal, it's and it's electrifying. So with that, I hope you all head to the women and money community. App, which is, you know, is free. Share messages for Suze and KT. Request your favorite best of episodes so Robert and I can pull those and share those again here. Remember, downloaded on Google Play or Apple App Store. Again, the Women and Money Community is 100% free. Well, thank you very much for listening, and we will be back in this feed on Sunday with another "Best of the Best" episode. Hi, I'm Sarah, and I'm Robert, and we're from Suze Orman's Women and Money podcast team here to tell you that Alloya's member credit unions are so proud to have brought you this episode. You know, Robert, credit unions live by people helping people philosophy. Absolutely, Sarah. And that means when you bank with a credit union, you can trust that they have your best interest at heart. The fact is, regardless of circumstance, a credit union will have your back and keep your money safe, that's the credit union promise. Go to www.MyCreditUnion.gov to find a credit union that fits your needs. That's MyCreditUnion.gov. In providing answers neither Suze Orman Media nor Suze Orman is acting as a Certified Financial Planner, advisor, a Certified Financial Analyst, an economist, CPA, accountant, or lawyer. Neither Suze Orman Media nor Suze Orman makes any recommendations as to any specific securities or investments. All content is for informational and general purposes only and does not constitute financial, accounting or legal advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and financial advisors regarding your particular situation. Neither Suze Orman Media nor Suze Orman accepts any responsibility for any loss, which may arise from accessing or reliance on the information in this podcast and to the fullest extent permitted by law, we exclude all liability for loss or damages, direct or indirect, arising from use of the information.

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Suze Orman Blog and Podcast Episodes

Suze's Financial Strength Test

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.

I have checked all the beneficiaries of every investment account and insurance policy within the past year.

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.

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