January 24, 2021
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On this podcast, Suze reviews some of the new Executive Orders signed by President Biden, and how they relate to your finances, with special attention to those of you affected by COVID-19.
January 24th, 2021. Well, yesterday January 23rd was a really, really sad day in my life and the lives of millions of others because we lost one of the icons of the industry, Larry King. At the end of what I want to tell you, I'll give you some stories about Larry and me. I was on his TV show for at least 30 times, that I can recall and we had quite some interesting encounters. But before I go there, I really want to talk to you about things that we now know that we didn't know when I did the webinar when I did my forecast for 2021. And now we know different things. The very first thing that we now know is that federal student loans you do not have to pay on them until September 30th of 2021. You are essentially one week away from having to start making payments again when this passed. Now, that's great news for many, many people, especially if you do not have the money to pay your student loans, so you don't have to pay your student loans. You're automatically enrolled in that if their federal student loans direct loans and the interest does not accrue because it's 0% interest. Fabulous. However, there are many of you out there that have student loans and you have a job. Everything is great. You have money coming in. I want you to take advantage of this time as long as you have at least in 8-to-12-month emergency fund your investing in your retirement accounts, things like that. I want you to manually contact your lender and tell them that you want to make payments. The reason that I want you to make payments is that 100% of the amount of money that you will be paying during these months until September 30th, 2021 we'll go to reduce your principal because you have to be realistic everybody, these payments are going to come back. Maybe not this year, maybe not next year, but they will eventually come back unless some bill has been passed. That says what student loans are forgiven up to $10,000 under $50,000. There are many bills as I talked to you before that are being presented, but they have not passed. The only thing that you know for sure at this moment in time is that if you have a federal direct loan, you do not have to pay on it until September 30th, 2021 and you're not gonna be paying any interest on it. And I know there are some of you out there that are gonna just gamble and go for it and say, You know what, Suze? What if they dismiss all my student loans? Why should I waste that money? And on and on, remember, it's better to do the known versus the unknown when it comes to investing and moves that you make with your money. If it were me and I was a student and I had student loan payments and I had taken out that money to get my education and I was able to afford to make payments before, I was making payments even during the pandemic, I could have afforded it whatever it may be. Although we're currently still in the pandemic, I really would take advantage of the 0% interest rate where you could continue to make payments, reduce your debt because all money will go towards principal and then just see what happens. Do not forget that for bills to pass, you need a majority in the votes. And while it may seem like the Democrats are in the majority in the house, the Democrats are equal in the Senate, broken for ties by Vice President Harris. You don't know what can happen here. You just don't know what can happen so ethically, just make payments. Pay down your student loan if you can afford it again, meaning that you haven't 8-to-12-month emergency Fund, your out of credit card debt, you're on time with all of your payments and everything. You're able to pay your mortgage, your rent, whatever it may be and you're fully funding retirement accounts. Just something for you to think about. If you have a private student loan, this does not apply to you. But that doesn't mean that maybe there isn't help for you out there. So contact your lender. Ask them for forbearance again. Ask them for help. They may be more willing now to give you help knowing that on the federal side the government gave you help. So just something to think about. As I said, the next thing is eviction notices. Now, again, this is a good thing because so many people, do you know that there are 107 million people who rent in the United States today, and there are so many of them that we're facing eviction. And one of the reasons that I'm not so keen on real estate as an investment because of all of these evictions, but okay, So now evictions have been postponed until March 31st, 2021. Now, maybe they will be postponed again all the way through 2021. But for now, you have been given the gift of time. You have been given the gift of time with your student loans, and now you're being given the gift of time with eviction. So you could just settle down here a little bit and not be freaked out that somebody's going to come and kick you out. However, I have to say there are many places out there that are ignoring this because there isn't as far as I know anyway, legislation that says what can happen to a landlord if they kick you out? So you just need to know that right now evictions have been postponed until March 31st, 2021. However, is it good news for you? Because if you're in a situation where you can't pay your rent, you don't know what to do In order for this eviction of not happening till March 31st, 2021 For it to apply to you, you have got to meet certain obligations. You're going to have to do a signed declaration to your landlord, which states all of the following first, you're gonna have to state that you did everything that you could in your ability to get assistance to help you with rent or housing. Next would be that you meet any one of the three income limits. Ready, now, listen closely to this that you did not earn more than $99,000 in 2020 if you were single or 198,000 for those of you who file a joint tax return. Also that you are not required to report any income to the IRS in 2019 or that you received a stimulus check pursuant to what the Cares Act allowed you to get. Okay, you have to do one of those three things, and you have to sign a declaration. You also have to declare that you are unable to pay full rent because you had a substantial income loss, loss of work or wages or out of pocket expenses, medical expenses, whatever it may be, you have to declare that, you also have to declare that you would face homelessness because you would have to move to a homeless shelter or be forced to live in close quarters. Due to lack of housing options if you were evicted because listen, they don't want the virus to spread, so they don't want all of you moving in with one another. So this is one of the things that you have got to declare, and you have to understand that you must still pay rent and comply with any obligations under your lease agreement, right, and that late fees just may be charged on this is well, given that you're not paying anything right now. You also have to understand and state that any unpaid rent may be required to be paid in full at the end of the eviction moratorium and that false or misleading statements may result in criminal and civil fines, penalties, damages or imprisonment. So they are serious about this everybody, If you have money and you're able to pay your rent and you're able to do those things, you have to do it okay. But if you meet those things that I just said and you have to sign a declaration to your landlord that you do great, then you have at least until March 31st of this year, where you can stay in your rental and not be evicted. Now, what's interesting is that you have to know that if for whatever reason and I just want you to know this because I know there are many of you that really try to game the system all the time, right, that if any of you sign this declaration that gives you protection under this CDCs moratorium and you lie, it's not true. Guess what, They can fined you a 100,000 to 500,000 and give you civil and criminal penalties. So this is something they're being very, very serious about. All right, so that's a good thing. What's the bad thing about it? Currently It's only till March 31st, and you have got to have a plan. So you've been given the gift of time till March 31st. But you also have to stand in your truth. Do you think by March 31st your situation is going to change? Are you going to just simply postpone everything until you wait again to see what is the government going to do? Because this is a serious situation, not just for you, but you have to have feelings for the landlord who rented you that place. They're not evil. They too may have lost a job. You know, they may be facing foreclosure on the house that you're living in, and if they're foreclosed upon, you're out of luck anyway, because now it's gone. Do you see what I'm saying? So you have to be careful here. You also have to know that you are required to pay back this back rent to your landlord, and it may be very possible, although I don't think probable, that if you leave still owing your landlord a lot of money, they have the legal authority to come after you and follow you to get that money. So I don't think they're going to do that because they know you don't have any money so I sue you for something that you don't have. So you have to have a plan and really take advantage of this gift of time that you have been given. If you are a landlord out there, you own a piece of property and you're having trouble making your payments. You also can request forbearance. You know the deadlines for you to request additional forbearance if you have an FHA loan or a VA loan or a USDA loan, right is February 28th of this year, and you could very possibly not have to make payments for a whole other year. If you have a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan, you could request for baron. So this is the time that you call your lenders again and see what they are willing to do for you because you may have a right to extend up to another 180 days or more. So it's possible that you would not have to make payments. Maybe until 2022 a whole year from now. So can you take advantage of that as well? Now a few more things here. You're in a situation you don't know what to do. You're like just freaked out. You don't know where to go for help. You can if you want to go to a website by the URL 211.org, You also could just dial 211 on your phone and talk to somebody and ask them for help. If you are going to be evicted, you don't also know where to go or whatever. You could also go to another website that's just shelter.org, just shelter.org and get help there as well. Um, so many things that you need to know here. But this now just gives you We know two more things that we didn't know last time we did a podcast and now we know these things now. How did these things change? What's happening in our economic environment? It only helps you personally, economically speaking, but again for the economy, the overall economy, it's now meaning that we have to take out more debt, make us weaker. It's it's not good for the overall economy. I don't care what anybody says. It's just not. And therefore I still want you all to be careful when it comes to investing, whether it's in real estate or whether it's in the stock market again. I think we have until April of this year and then we'll know even more. But it is very possible than in April of this year markets could take a turn. We'll see what happens with real estate, but I need you to stay on your toes and to watch everything carefully. And I am going to reiterate this again that I do think we're going to do fine in the market between now and may be the end of March. But if you need this money, if you seriously need the money that's invested in the stock market and you know the tax ramifications if you sell, you know that this money is in a retirement account, so it doesn't matter if you sell and you are in retirement, this is money that you cannot afford to lose. There's nothing wrong with you taking a gain in a month, two or three. Okay, Just something I want you to think about. For those of you who need income, you really need income. The money that's in the stock market, whatever it may be. All right, I get it. But then I need you to look for great dividend paying stocks. That could give you a nice income during the year two or three if the markets go up or down. I also want you to have a least if you're in retirement a 3-to-5-year cash cushion so that, you know, if you stay invested in the market for whatever reason, that you have cash that you can use to get you by. In future podcast, I'll go into more detail about that. Um, I'll go into more detail about why I'm thinking I the way that I'm thinking about, um, the stock market. Although I've given you a little bit of a hint of that a little bit ago, I mean, just look at some of the ETF’s. Forget the stocks right, but the ETF’s that I've just briefly mentioned now, once I mentioned one and it was in, you know, at 100 something and somebody wrote in and said, It's at 102. Do you think it's too high to buy? And now it's at 140 something, so I'll give you more perspective on that, maybe next Sunday. But for now, I just want to really use these remaining moments to talk about somebody who deserves to have him talked about, and that is Larry King. I also want to make a comment on a photo that I posted on my women and money app. And it was a photo off me on December 16th, 2010, which was Larry King's very last show. And it was an incredible honor that I got this call from his head producer saying, Susie, Larry wants you on his show with him, and I said, Who else is on this show? And they proceeded to tell me that Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, Brian Williams, really great people at the time and a few others one known as Donald Trump. Okay, this was remember 2010. And if you remember, everybody was watching The Apprentice. Everybody was liking Donald Trump back then. So of course, he had always been a guest on Larry King. And there was nothing Good, bad, whatever about it. Just these were the people that Larry invited. And Katie snapped a picture of me in the middle of it before the show started. And for me, that was a really high point. And to my right was Donald Trump. Okay, so I posted that picture, a picture that I'm very, very proud of on my app. I posted it on Facebook. I posted it on Twitter and I posted it on Instagram. And then I started to read some of the comments from you, and you could not look beyond the day you couldn't look back to the past that this was a picture off the people that had been on Larry King's last show. You were like, too bad that Trump ruined the picture. Too bad. This Too bad. Bad that what's wrong with all of you? Really? What is wrong with all of you? If you are going to live in a state of hate, then on some level, you are going to be responsible for the downfall of the United States of America. There is enough hate in the United States right now that it could absolutely destroy everything. Just look at things for what they were feel however you want to feel for now. But don't bring your hatred of today into a really great moment of the past. How really, really insulting to yourselves. Really everybody. And I just want to say that because that's not how you wanna honor a really great great man like Larry King. And that's also not how you wanna honor me, because I was really proud off that moment. I was proud of that moment, and that was a moment in time in 2010 when things started to go great again. The market was going up again. Real estate was going up again. Employment was coming back again and everybody was happy. Just remember that, Okay, but what was so fascinating about my time being on the Larry King Show was that for 30 times 31 hour shows, I had the great honor off being with him and he played a game with me all the time and the game was. See if we could stump Suze because people remember it was Larry King Live and they would call in and they would ask questions. And I never had an idea of what the question was going to be and show after show. He was like, I'm going to stump you. We would sit down, get ready and goes, We're gonna take calls this time that's going to stump you, and I never was stumped and he loved that so much I cannot even tell you. During the commercials he would also tell me jokes and he would expect me to laugh. And honest to God, he would tell me the joke and I would look at him and I would like laugh, pretending, laugh. But I didn't have a clue at why that joke was funny and my mother was alive then, and I always would go home and I would say, Mom, why was that joke funny? And she would explain it to me, and it was always really quite something. The highlight off the most memorable thing that happened to me on the Larry King Show was February 27th, 2007. And my book, The Women and Money Book, had just been released. And it was always an honor that when you released a book, there were a few things that you wanted to have happen. If you released a book Number one, you wanted to be on The Oprah Winfrey Show, obviously. And number two, you wanted Larry King to talk about your book because then between those two shows, everybody knew about it and there you go. So it was February 27th. I just finished a talk at the Barnes and Noble in New York City, where we had a massive crowd massive, and I ran out of there to make it to the studio. The CNN Building go up to the seventh floor, and now I'm sitting on stage with Larry and KT is in the Green Room and we're about to begin. And Larry would always do appreciate opening and all of a sudden I hear Larry say this, “and coming up next a 55 year old virgin worth $25 million”. Now, before I go on everybody, the reason that Larry said that was that that day there was an article in The New York Times Magazine by a woman by the name of Deborah Solomon, who was supposed to be writing about my new book, Women and Money, but knew that was not the agenda that Deborah had the agenda that Deborah had was she wanted to make sure that everybody in the United States of America knew that Suze Orman was gay all right, whatever reason, that in my opinion, was her agenda. So she kept asking me question after question, and finally she says to me, She said, Well, Suze, are you heterosexual? Now how was a supposed to answer that? Because I wasn't. And I answered her by saying, No, I'm a 55-year-old virgin because I was already getting upset at her. So that was my sarcastic way. I'll never forget the look on KT's face when she heard me say that anyway. Besides the point, and that's what I said to her, I said, I've never been with a man my entire life. Is that what you want to know Deborah? Write whatever you want to write, but that's the truth. Larry or one of his producers obviously read that and decided that maybe it was funny, maybe it was something, but decided to open up the segment with it, and I just looked at him and he's just chuckling. He thought that was so funny at the time. And within a few seconds the show begins, and now we're sitting there and he's actually showing pictures of KT, National Television Worldwide, and I'm looking at the Monitor and he's showing a picture off a woman by the name of Cheryl Gould, who at the time was one of the vice presidents of NBC News okay. And I'm looking at this. KT is looking at it now. She's running everywhere, trying to find a producer, saying, No, no, you have the wrong picture da da da and she is not happy about this on any level. And so okay, the show goes on, it ends. There you go. And then we leave and I tell Larry the mistake he made and and that wasn't very nice and everything. And when we got home, I remember calling Cheryl Gould and saying to her, Cheryl, yet did you ever sign that prenuptial agreement that I wanted you to sign? And she said, what are you talking about Suze? And I said, Cheryl Larry King just showed the entire world that you and I are together, we're a couple. And she started to laugh. And of course, they changed that picture out for future earrings and everything got settled. But the next day at the apartment came this incredible bouquet of flowers from Larry saying, I'm so sorry, Suze. I didn't mean to insult you or upset you in any way. Now I'm telling you this story because that just shows what a great man he really was. He was a great man because he was able to admit when he was wrong, he didn't get stubborn and say, Well, it doesn't matter that Suze didn't like it this is my show. I could do what I want. I can say what I want. It doesn't matter. But to Larry, it mattered and it mattered a lot. And it was like that over and over again. He'd always be sitting in the green room watching baseball games before we would go on the air. That man loved baseball more than anybody else I can even begin to imagine. So I have stories that I could go on and on and on about Larry. Right again I've posted a picture of me and Larry and his last night on the women and money app that you could absolutely download by going to Google play or apple apps and, you know, join the women and money community simply by searching Suze Orman. So that's the show today, the gift of time. We've now been given the gift of time to have less fear about being evicted, paying student loans, possibly paying our mortgage things such as that. But for me, the gift of time really is all about today. The time that I got to spend with one of the greatest gifts to the United States of America. And that gift was a man by the name of Larry King. I'll miss him very, very much.
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Answer Yes or No to the follow statements.
I pay all my credit card bills in full each month.
I have an eight-month emergency savings fund separate from my checking or other bank accounts.
The car I am driving was paid for with cash, or a loan that was no more than three years, and I sure didn’t lease!
I am contributing at least 10% of my gross salary to a retirement plan at work, or I am saving at least that much in an IRA and/or regular taxable account.
I have a long-term asset allocation plan for my retirement investments, and once a year I check to see if I need to do any rebalancing to stay on target with my allocation goals.
I have term life insurance to provide protection to those who are dependent on my income.
I have a will, a trust, an advance directive (living will), and have appointed someone to be my health care proxy.
So how did you do?
If you answered yes to every item, congratulations. If you are working on improving on a few items, I say congratulations as well.
As long as you are comitted to truly creating financial security, I applaud you. If that means you are paying down your credit card balances, or are building up your emergency fun with automated payments, that’s more than fine. You are on your way!
But if you found yourself saying No to any of those questions, and you’re not working on moving to Yes, then I want you to stand in your truth. No matter how good you feel, you have some work to do before you can honestly know what you are on solid financial ground.