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Old 03-13-2011, 02:27 PM   #81
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Actually I watched an episode of her show last night as we were staying in a hotel. The advice she was giving to the audience who were asking the questions were quite good.

She was telling those who wanted to buy a house by taking a loan from the 401k that they couldn't afford it. She told them their reality was they needed to rent. Don't think there was anything wrong with what she was saying.

She told another couple who earn $6800 a month and spent $7800 they had to budget. She told them where they had to cut the fat from. Think that was good advice as well.

She is not aiming her advice to the likes of the peeps who post on this board. Her audience tends to be the truly uneducated on financial matters. I couldn't believe that peeps were stupid enough to ask the questions they did as the answers were obvious to me, however obviously there are so many peeps out there living in denial that someone has to tell them in no uncertain terms.
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Old 03-13-2011, 03:28 PM   #82
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I watched her show last night. She spent much of the time promoting her new book, "The Money Class". I was happy to hear her recommend borrowing the book from the library rather than purchasing the book for those struggling with debt. Otherwise, she got on my nerves. I don't know how anyone can sit through her show on a regular basis.
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Old 03-13-2011, 08:45 PM   #83
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Actually I watched an episode of her show last night as we were staying in a hotel. The advice she was giving to the audience who were asking the questions were quite good.

....

She is not aiming her advice to the likes of the peeps who post on this board. Her audience tends to be the truly uneducated on financial matters. I couldn't believe that peeps were stupid enough to ask the questions they did as the answers were obvious to me, however obviously there are so many peeps out there living in denial that someone has to tell them in no uncertain terms.
I watched her show while I was in the US last week and agree. While I can't comment on some of the US specific tax and regulatory issues, in general the advice seemed sensible and was clearly directed at people with very limited financial understanding. That said, her manner of presentation was very off putting...I was vaguely reminded of dog obedience training.
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Old 03-14-2011, 10:49 AM   #84
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I think her advice is simple and generally OK. Just remember that she is primarily an entertainer.
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Old 03-14-2011, 12:58 PM   #85
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Her "when to retire" advice is what frustrates me the most. She is constantly telling people to keep working when they clearly could retire. She seems to think you need to accumulate enough money to be able to live off the interest/earnings alone!
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Old 03-14-2011, 01:01 PM   #86
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Her "when to retire" advice is what frustrates me the most. She is constantly telling people to keep working when they clearly could retire. She seems to think you need to accumulate enough money to be able to live off the interest/earnings alone!
IMO a perfectly respectable position.

Is it possible to imagine that some sort of liquidating system is not inferior in terms of robustness to her advice? For me, the answer is NO!

Ha
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Old 03-14-2011, 01:26 PM   #87
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Is it possible to imagine that some sort of liquidating system is not inferior in terms of robustness to her advice? For me, the answer is NO!
Someone please tell me I wasn't the only one that had to read that 3 times.
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Old 03-14-2011, 02:07 PM   #88
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Someone please tell me I wasn't the only one that had to read that 3 times.
Pardon me, it was convoluted.

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Old 03-14-2011, 02:41 PM   #89
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Her "when to retire" advice is what frustrates me the most. She is constantly telling people to keep working when they clearly could retire. She seems to think you need to accumulate enough money to be able to live off the interest/earnings alone!
I think this is good advice for people who want to retire very early, before they can access their 401(k)/IRA/pension/SS without penalty. This is how I planned my ER budget. I also built in a surplus of dividends over expenses in the early years because my expenses are going to rise more quickly than my dividend income, forcing me to probably eventually dip into principal in the few years before I can tap into the aforementioned "reinforcements."

For those who retire only when they can begin to tap into one or more of those reinforcements, they won't need to have dividend income alone cover their expenses, of course.
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:25 PM   #90
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So all in all I applaud Suze for what she is. A great starting point for the financial literate in our society. She has definitely been a stepping stone for me and I am sure there were many others that used her as a starting point.
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Otherwise, she got on my nerves. I don't know how anyone can sit through her show on a regular basis.
Our teen finds her tremendously entertaining and her show is a great springboard for many financial discussions. It doesn't take long to figure out "the rules" for the "Can I Afford It?" segment, and she likes trying to figure out the answer before Suze gives it.

Our daughter knows it's gonna be a serious conversation if I address her as "girlfriend". And "You are so DENIED" is a part of our family vocabulary.
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Old 04-23-2011, 09:22 PM   #91
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I think Suze went over the top tonight (4/23). Mid-50's couple, no debt except small mortgage balance, about 1 million in assets, not including their home. They get a military pension with no survivor benefit, but they do have term insurance good for another 20 years or so. And she told them they need to work until 67 or even 70. Whether they can retire in 3 years as they want may or may not be possible, but they sure as heck don't have to work 'til 67 !
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Old 04-23-2011, 09:31 PM   #92
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I think Suze went over the top tonight (4/23). Mid-50's couple, no debt except small mortgage balance, about 1 million in assets, not including their home. They get a military pension with no survivor benefit, but they do have term insurance good for another 20 years or so. And she told them they need to work until 67 or even 70. Whether they can retire in 3 years as they want may or may not be possible, but they sure as heck don't have to work 'til 67 !

I saw that show too and was STUNNED!!!!!

What gets me about these "How Am I Doing" segments is that there is no discussion about planned expenses in retirement, so I guess Ms. Orman thinks they all need to live the millionaire life she does.
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Old 04-23-2011, 09:40 PM   #93
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I think Suze went over the top tonight (4/23). Mid-50's couple, no debt except small mortgage balance, about 1 million in assets, not including their home. They get a military pension with no survivor benefit, but they do have term insurance good for another 20 years or so. And she told them they need to work until 67 or even 70. Whether they can retire in 3 years as they want may or may not be possible, but they sure as heck don't have to work 'til 67 !
I am reasonably certain that Ms. Orman would "deny" my desire to quit working when I plan to. I'll do it anyway. Why? Because I have enough confidence in myself to know that I can and will make it work.
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Old 04-23-2011, 09:44 PM   #94
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Yeah, who cares what that old bag says! I saw the part tonight where the 2 USAF officers in their 50's called in, and she tells them they need to work until 67 or 70. Suze never takes time to go into details, she just wants to keep her show moving along. Also, she got some details regarding the TSP wrong.
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Old 04-23-2011, 09:57 PM   #95
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She provides some help to many of those who have not saved for the future. If she can motivate people to take the first step in their financial management then she has done some good. She has her target audience and the people here are just not a part of it.
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Old 04-24-2011, 12:18 AM   #96
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From what I've seen, she's telling everyone to work to that age. She is really hard on some people.
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Old 04-24-2011, 01:32 AM   #97
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I think Suze went over the top tonight (4/23). Mid-50's couple, no debt except small mortgage balance, about 1 million in assets, not including their home. They get a military pension with no survivor benefit, but they do have term insurance good for another 20 years or so. And she told them they need to work until 67 or even 70. Whether they can retire in 3 years as they want may or may not be possible, but they sure as heck don't have to work 'til 67 !
Thanks for posting this!

I think Suze went overboard on the SBP risk and completely skipped the military pension COLA.

We have the episode on TiVo. It's very hard to tell from the screen shots but it looks like they're pulling down active-duty pensions as an E-8 (7? 9?) and O-4 (5?) while working at their bridge careers. They'll retire from those bridge careers in three years. Three kids graduated from college, two weddings paid for.

$6700/month (pre-tax) just in active-duty military pensions. A $116K mortgage on a $360K house. $477K in "retirement accounts" (of which $123K may be the TSP, but I'm not sure of that number), $320K in "emergency fund", $145K in investment accounts. If they paid off the mortgage and lived in their current house they'd have ~$825K in their tax-deferred/taxable accounts.

$6035/month in expenses, which probably includes the mortgage.

Let's say that they quit their jobs, keep the mortgage, and don't change their expenses. After-tax pension income is probably no worse than $5500/month, leaving them with a $535/mo gap. In other words they could withdraw less than $10K/year from their portfolio and be just fine.

I think Suze flunked the whole idea solely on the "What if somebody dies?!?" question. They elected no SBP and appear to be covering the next 15 years with term insurance.

I think (I'm not sure) that their plan was to delay SS until age 70, when their term life insurance expires, and then go uninsured after that under the theory that even her pension + SS (plus portfolio growth, and perhaps with the mortgage paid off by then) could handle his uninsured death (and loss of his pension). It's hard to assess that without actual numbers.

Suze didn't cover their COLAs and the portfolio growth. After 15 years at a 2% COLA, their pensions would have grown by over 30%. The portfolio would have grown as well, perhaps keeping up with inflation. They wouldn't easily be able to tap into the TSP before 59.5, if they even need to, but they could make a one-time rollover into an IRA and start up a 72(t). He's already 54 years old, so retiring at age 55 or later he'd be able to start 401(k) withdrawals (assuming it's indeed a 401(k)).

JoAnn does have a possible issue with long-term care. But she'd be able to buy the federal LTC insurance.

If the SBP someday does its 5th open enrollment (since 1972) then they could sign up and immediately retire. But with their current plans (including three years of additional savings) I think they could survive his death after age 70 without risking her portfolio survivability.

Instead Suze is telling them to use a belt, suspenders, duct tape, SuperGlue, and a nail gun. Spouse says that Suze does not like any retirement that eats into principal... it all has to be covered by pension & SS or dividend/interest income.

In Suze's defense, her shows provide at least an hour's conversation with our 18-year-old every time she's on. Our daughter clearly understands the rules for "Can I Afford It?" and has a big-picture grasp of "How Am I Doing?" Our daughter knows there's trouble when she hears the word "girlfriend", and "You are SO denied" is household vocabulary. Suze also has a tough challenge explaining a TSP and a military pension COLA, let alone a SBP, in 60 seconds. She says that she (and her staff) go much more into depth with each caller and just hit the high points on the show.

But if we're able to pick out these glaring deficiencies on topics we know about, then what other glaring deficiencies are going on in areas we don't know so much about? And if it's difficult to explain Joann's situation in 60 seconds, then why bother? I don't think she should have taken JoAnn's call, let alone stomped on her with those Suze-Smackdown combat boots.

I feel a blog post coming on, definitely a Dollar Stretcher post. So JoAnn, if you're interested in going over the numbers, then we'd like to show you how to make FIRECalc work for you.
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Old 04-24-2011, 01:48 AM   #98
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I think Suze has decided that everyone should work at least until FRA. It doesn't matter what you have, it will never be enough to retire early.
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Old 04-24-2011, 02:34 AM   #99
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Old 04-24-2011, 12:07 PM   #100
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As to Suzie's advice, this is what I think:

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