.
February 10th, 2009
11:58 PM ET

Suze's back, and taking your questions!

Program Note: Suze Orman's on AC360° to discuss how to keep your money safe.

Suze will be back on AC360° on Wednesday night to answer your economic questions? Do you have questions about the continued economic trouble and how President Obama's economic plan will change the market; affect your stocks, mutual funds, 401(k)… your job?

Suze's book, " Suze Orman's 2009 Action Plan," is currently number one on the New York Times bestseller list and she answers these questions, and many more!

Submit your financial questions here for Suze Orman and watch AC360° to get them answered.

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Filed under: Economy • Suze Orman
soundoff (154 Responses)
  1. Joanne, Solvay, NY

    We were told by our financial advisors that a 4% growth was the average to be expected during the 20 years that I have participated in 401K and IRA, and Annunity programs. I have lost half my money which was 20% of my gross income. Am I to believe the advisors when they assure me that "the market will come back?"

    February 11, 2009 at 10:27 am |
  2. charles

    Nice blog.Keep it up.

    February 11, 2009 at 10:24 am |
  3. Rasputin

    keep it.Best blog in the network.

    February 11, 2009 at 10:21 am |
  4. roland

    nice blog.keep it up.

    February 11, 2009 at 10:17 am |
  5. Michelle Fonthill,Ont

    Suze
    My question is the $ 827 billion is to help the banks or people?
    and how much of this money will be used to create new jobs?
    What jobs are in demand right now ?

    Thanks Suze
    Michelle D.
    Ontario ,Canada

    February 11, 2009 at 10:08 am |
  6. Perry

    Suze

    How will the stimulas package help people whoms credit score has been destroyed due to the economy? Does the stimulas package have any details regarding peoples credit?

    I worked hard to clean my credit up, buy a home, and now with the layoff I was not able to pay my mortgage on time. I called the mortgage company, they set me up on a loan modification, only to find out that it was denied 5 days before I was to start making my new payment.

    February 11, 2009 at 9:54 am |
  7. Bianca cunville Rochester; NY

    Hey Suze um......
    listen see i am a single mother earning 1600$ per month having 4 kids (15, 16, 18, 20) the 18th and 20th year olds are in college but the college fees seems more than i can bear.
    Me and the other kids are living in a small apartment + we need bigger space so i'm planning to buy a house.....
    It's really hard, what do you think the type of house should i buy that may not cost so much beyond my salary?

    with best regards,
    Bianca

    February 11, 2009 at 8:36 am |
  8. Jan

    Hi Suze,
    My question is related to all the "jobs" that are suppose to be created by the new ecomomic plan.
    How will those job positions be filled? i.e. first looking at the people that have been layed off and desperately need the jobs ? I believe the jobs that will be created may not be filled by those that REALLY need a job i.e. the Americans that have been layed off and are older or "over qualified" and cannot find a job, or get turned down because of thier age ! I understand employers are not suppose to discriminate, however, we ALL know it's an everyday event. So, how can these new jobs be fairly filled to get the best results for Americans????
    Perhaps the Government should look a little deeper into your motto ....."people first" and think about how the job filling process should be handled ! !
    Thanks Suze and keep on doing what u r doin' 'cause Americans need your guideance ! !

    February 11, 2009 at 8:33 am |
  9. Gail Ellis Duncan

    What about medical assistance for the mentally ill? A close family member of mine could not take the mental pressure, lost her job, apartment and jumped from her 4th floor apartment building. How will the growing number of people experiencing mental breakdowns and others with bipolar, schizophrenia get the treatment they need and what about the impact it has on family members? I still am trying to handle this situation and it puts a strain on my work perfomance and personal life. Do see an increase and psychological disturbances?

    February 11, 2009 at 8:16 am |
  10. Julie

    Hi Suze,
    I was married for 22 years before getting divorced. During those married years, my Ex-husband was the main income for the family however, after our divorce, I did very well in my career and I make substantially more than he did (he is currently unemployed due to economy). I unfortunately, 😦 have never re-married – he did, but ended in a second divorce. My question is: can my ex-husband, collect from MY SS benefits when he retires? If so, does that reduce the amount of SS I would receive when I retire ? We are both in our 60's.
    Thanks Suze !

    February 11, 2009 at 8:11 am |
  11. Elba

    Hi Suze,
    Two months ago I stopped contributing to my company's 401K plan. Th company does not match. After so many months of losing money I decided to take that money and put it into my online savings account that has been paying more that 2%. I am very diligent on taking that money every month and transfering it to my savings account. I also have about $1,000 more that I deposit into my savings every month.
    I don't have any debt, except for a $127,000 in mortgage. I have more that my 8 months of emergency fund as well. I was planing to wait until the economy starts giving us positive signs to start contributing again.
    Is this a good idea?

    Thanks,
    Elba

    February 11, 2009 at 7:19 am |
  12. Diahann D

    Suze,

    What exactly is the stimulus plan going to do to help the actual homeowner DIRECTLY? We've been riding this out and now finally our home value has dropped below our mortgage. Who determines what the home is worth and why don't I hear this as the second most important thing to creating jobs for people who've been laid off?
    The working class people have to be ABLE to stimulate the economy. But i'm not buying a daggone thing when I'm in a situation like this! My only relief is that I plan to be in this home for at least 10-12 more years.
    Diahann
    Afircan American
    Democrat

    February 11, 2009 at 7:09 am |
  13. Ana Maria

    Dear Suze,

    Since the passing of the stimulus plan this morning, I have heard several comments regarding what most Americans would like to see. I happen to work in customer service and have an opportunity to hear my share of opinions... Thus, I would like to know if the tax cut amounts for families and individuals proposed by the Senate bill have been studied to be enough to stimulate consumer spending? It is my understanding that the last time we had a tax cut, it was found that Americans did not spend it as thought and failed to stimulate the economy as predicted because the money was used primarily to pay bills.

    Most of my customers state they can barely pay their bills now; and are finding themselves falling behind the more scarce incomes become. Because they feel that any tax cut less than the thousands would not be enough to encourage any type of consumer spending, could there be any truth in the possibility of a tax cut over $2000 for families and individuals to be more effective in its objective?

    February 11, 2009 at 2:14 am |
  14. Michele

    I recently purchased my 1st home July 2008. I just had my taxes done a few days ago, and my tax preparer stated that I probably wouldn't qualify for the $7500 because, as he thought that ,if I borrowed the down payment money from the government that's how I'd recieve it. I'm confused, do I or don't I get it, and will it have to be paid back at all? I took the money out of my 401k & it's getting paid back.

    February 11, 2009 at 1:37 am |
  15. James Clarke AZ

    Suze,
    I want to get back into the stock market, isn't now a good time. I mean how low can they go?

    Also, I have my 401k with ING but it is not FDIC even though it is in their money market account, why isn't their MMA FDIC?

    February 11, 2009 at 12:38 am |
  16. Donna Kay

    Hi Suze,
    My sister and I inherited several ira/roth accounts when our mom passed. With the current economic climate, what do we do with the funds? They are invested in some money markets, stocks, etc. How will this affect our taxes? We both have kids going into college. They are planning to apply for financial aid, how will this affect them? So far the statements we've received show a decrease in the investments. How should we invest? Should we pull everything out of the market and invest in cds, gold, bonds, money markets? Thank you for any advice and help you can give us.

    February 11, 2009 at 12:35 am |
  17. Hilda

    Your response will help educators in many states. Question: Upon retirement which is the better option? Taking a lump sum plus monthly pension or fixed monthly pension with higher monthly payout? In my case I would receive $189,000 lump sum plus $45,000 a year or I can receive $56,000 a year with no lump sum.

    February 11, 2009 at 12:24 am |
  18. Jrew Lee

    Dear Suze:

    My siblings and I have a total of $500K for buying a house and for living expenses. We live in Southern California and are all retired so that we can't claim tax breaks for paying mortgage. We need a shelter of our own to live in, but housing is still extremely high here compared to other parts of the country. We've been waited for a long time for the price to go down to what it was at least 10 years ago, but it doesn't seem to be the case yet. Is it a good time or right time to buy a house for people like us now?

    Thank you
    Anaheim, California

    February 10, 2009 at 11:42 pm |
  19. Nancy Montag

    When I inherited 1/2 of my mother's estate in May of 2007, I invested all of that money with Edward Jones...thinking, (as well as being told by everybody) that was what I should do. Needless to say, from the time my money entered the market in August of 2007, I have lost almost half. I never even got the benefit of making a small profit before the markets started falling.

    My investor continues to assure me my stocks are stable and strong and will come back. However, after losing almost $100K, I am freaking out and would like to just take my losses in order to regain my peace of mind.

    Should I pull out and pay off my $88K mortgage, or stick it out? Also, my husband works in the oilfield and could possibly lose his job at any time, so maybe we would be better off just to get out of the market and put the money in an account so that we could get to it if we needed it.

    Thanks for any help!

    February 10, 2009 at 11:26 pm |
  20. Jennifer Caskie

    I lost my home and all contents. How long will this be on my credit? I only have about $1000.00 in savings. What is the best way for me to build some financial security, clear my credit of debt and have some retirement. We have 401K but the match stopped. I am 62 and I would like to have a home of my own again. Please help me.

    February 10, 2009 at 11:09 pm |
  21. Sheila Patel

    suze,

    I am recently married and we have a joint bank account. I m always hearing that women should protect themselves and have safety money. If i open a secret bank acount would i need to put it in my taxes? We file out taxes together. How can i keep it a secret if i need to claim it in our joint taxes?

    thanks sheila

    February 10, 2009 at 10:51 pm |
  22. Kim

    Hi Suze,
    My husband and I live in a suburb of Detroit Michigan. We've made alot of mistakes along the way, had some bad luck, and one of us works for Ford. We filed for banckruptcy 2 1/2 years ago. We are almost done paying it off as it was a chapter 13 at 100%. We are essentially starting over in a few months. At 43 with no savings what suggestions do you have to get back on track and start building something for retirement?
    I am scared of the stock market, we lost so much over the last couple of years on what we did have in 401's. Is a money market savings a better route for us? The economy here is the worst in the nation...Help!
    Thanks,
    Kim

    February 10, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  23. Patty Young

    Hi Suze – I have been working on credit card companies trying to get my interest rates reduced or negotiate payments. One of the companies I contacted is willing to reduce a $14,900.00 balance to $7,500.00 if paid today. I did pay the balance of $7500 and they said they will "settle" the remaining $7500. My question is what does this do to a crdit report and score? Do you know how it shows up on the report? They said I will receive a 1099 for the $7500 they have settled, and they have closed the account. Any information is helpful – Thank you. Patty

    February 10, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  24. Tana

    We have put money in a mutual fund for our daughters college fund. We have lost more than half of the money. We will need the funds in the fall of 2010. Should we cash in now or wait?

    February 10, 2009 at 10:00 pm |
  25. linda

    My single daughter,mother of three,very good work history, wants to buy a house.With the perks from the stimulas pkg.,tax credit,hopefully low interest rate,(4%),is this her time to buy?

    February 10, 2009 at 9:50 pm |
  26. Michelle Fonthill,Ont

    Suzy

    Whast is a person do?i'm curently working for a small buisness whose contract is about to expire when the factory closes at the end of October . I have little epxiprence only one area cleaning offices,but am looking for new challenges what's the best option to go into what are the best jobs toi go into?

    Thank you
    Michelle D.

    February 10, 2009 at 9:46 pm |
  27. Terrie

    Hey Suze,
    I invested into a retirement 403 (b) by payroll deduction and the company has converted this plan into a 457 deferred compensation plan. Should I pull out or continue. Iam 38 years old and I have about 3k invested. I work for the city government.

    February 10, 2009 at 9:44 pm |
  28. jess rathburn

    Suze,
    I've been hearing over and over on the news that the government wants to put money into the hands of Americans to get the economy moving, but they're afraid that people won't spend it, they'll just hang on to it. Why doesn't the Government issue each family the equivalent of a "gift card" or debit type card worth $5000. that can only be spent like a Visa at any store? No cash back, only purchases toward food, clothing, gasoline, restaurants, any typical credit card type purchase to get money flowing through the system.
    Thanks
    Jess Rathburn
    Friday Harbor, Washington

    February 10, 2009 at 9:23 pm |
  29. Wei-ting

    Hi Suze,

    Few years ago I opened a Roth IRA account with $4000 but right now Ithe economy is so bad that I have only around $2800 left. I'm very worried that I will end up losing all my money. Should I close my Roth IRA account and take out the rest of the money?

    I'm not rich. It's all I have......

    Wei-ting from NY

    February 10, 2009 at 9:12 pm |
  30. Mike TerBush

    I'm seeing a lot of layoffs everywhere - I got laid off in May - but now I'd like to see some of these knot-headed Republicans lose their jobs!! Just how fast would we get a stimulus package then!

    February 10, 2009 at 8:56 pm |
  31. luke panousopoulos

    I have a theory about the tremendous spending the govt is doing and how it will create jobs: put the country in deep debt, devalue the US Dollar, and in the meantime rebuild the country's infrastructure, creating reverse out sourcing of jobs back to the USA. Think of it, a country with a weak currency, advanced infrastructure, with skilled workers, may be worth the little extra a major corporation will have to pay to make things in the USA. Quality would be better better than anything that could be made in China & India in a Western country, that offers cheap labor & good infrastructure to move goods and services globally! Can't do that if the USD is too strong, so go deep in debt, and devalue the USD by 70 % after this stimulus bill goes into effect. That's how we create jobs-re-outsourcing jobs back to USA.

    February 10, 2009 at 8:21 pm |
  32. Lourey McComber

    Dear Suze,

    I am a 55 year old woman whose husband suffered four brain stem strokes and was diagnosed with MS this past June. The problem is that I spent my in herritance and the funds in my bank account to assist us with our mortgage payments when we moved from CA to AZ for his life saving and very expensive drugs. Needless to say, eventually I could not make the payments and support us to. Our Cobra costs were $ 983 monthly and the monthly prescriptioins Medicare would not pay for were an $ 900 per month as well. We lost our home to foreclosure in 2008. The lender bought it back at forecloser for $ 215,000 but the lender then sold it for $ 153,240.00 and then sent me the 1099 with a market value of $ 265,000???

    This was a refi of a $ 200,000 original loan for $ 318,000. I used much of the funds for improvements, ie patio, floor covering, front and back yard that had to be done due to homeowner requirements, what would you do, am I better off with the value at $ 265,000 when the tax form is computed or should I have the lender lower it per the county tax records. Please help me. Thank you, Lourey

    February 10, 2009 at 8:17 pm |
  33. Rodney Foster

    Hey Suze,

    I am trying to get into a Debt Management Program, but if I can not afford the consolidated payments of the credit card debt. What option would you suggestions?

    Thanks
    Rodney Fostert

    February 10, 2009 at 8:13 pm |
  34. Sharee Williams

    rather than my husband being a responsible borrower, who is being affected by this financial crisis in our world today?

    February 10, 2009 at 7:23 pm |
  35. Sharee Williams

    My husband was recently turned down for a Home equity loan for 25,000 for an investment property, that currently has no mortgage he was told his fico score is 547 due to 3x 30day late on our current mortgage, this seems to be the focus of turning him down, when my husband also paid a loan off on an investment property for fifty thousand dollars, the economy was beginning to get bad and that proprty was sold just to payoff the debt, this loan was paid 7yrs into a 30YR FIXED, why is that these lenders are focusing on 3x 30days late

    February 10, 2009 at 7:20 pm |
  36. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    Suze,
    My question is........... I heard that Senators says passed yea 61 and Nay 37 stimulus plan $838 billion already approved to help people and banks. Is that true?

    February 10, 2009 at 7:06 pm |
  37. Mondi

    Suzi,
    I'm trying to negotiate with banks to reduce rates ans may be balances on my revolving line of credits, to start paying off debts.
    Debtors would prefer me to fail first and miss payments and then they are willing to provide assistance rather than from the first place make it possible for the me the consumers to pay off balances. I am willing to pay more monthly balances with lower rates to hopefully pay off my debts. But instead ever since I have contacted them they have increased my rates up to %28 to 34% and make it impossible for me to catch up. I graduated few months ago from graduate school live of credit cards to find job but meanwhile would like to keep my credit in good standing. It seems banks these days prefer you fail than pay offs, Please advice?

    California

    February 10, 2009 at 6:56 pm |
  38. Lindsay Deal

    I just recently decided to become involved with a fincial service group called Primerica. Primerica is am affiliated with Citigroup. I will be an independant contractor for the company. My question is do they help thier clients and would they be good to work for them.

    February 10, 2009 at 6:41 pm |
  39. Barry

    I just lost my job. My Unemployment plus my wifes earnings are barely enough to cover bills. We have $4000 in savings, about $4000 balance on credit cards. My question is concerning my 401K. In Jan 08 I had a balance of $90K, because of poor performance my balance as of Jan 09 is $62K. I am contemplating withdrawing my 401K and move it to savings just so I don't lose any more, which we may have to depend on.

    February 10, 2009 at 6:39 pm |
  40. Sandy

    I am sick (and tired) and would like to quit work. I will soon be 59. My husband just turned 60. We owe nothing. Our house is paid for and we have a little over $250,000 in cash options and IRA's. We net a little over $2200 a month from my husband's pension. Currently we are both working. Our monthly outlay to cover taxes, insurance, utilities, and prescriptions is about $1400. That leaves only $800 from his pension to cover gas, food, clothing, etc. We will be able to draw Social Security in a few years (if it is still funded) and my husband will also have another smaller pension approximately $400 a month at age 65. Do we have enough of a cushion to retire now?

    February 10, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  41. Christine Oppy

    I am planning on withdrawing 1 (of 2) of my IRA's as for reasons that would take too long to explain. So I am beyond being talked out of doing it. I am 50 years old. My IRA that is staying put is $140,000. The other I am withdrawing contains $127,000. How much income tax will I pay on this money? I recieve $2,700 a month in child support for 30 more months. I made approx. $13,00 last year. I will probably make $24,000 this year. I have a mortgage of $127,000 in which I want to use a good portion of this money to use as a deposit and refinance my house. You are the only one I trust. Help me girlfriend!

    February 10, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  42. Mike

    Suze, I know you are not a big fan of insurance, unless it is term life insurance. I am 50 years old, married with 2 children. I do have a $50,00 policy on my job. When I inquired about raising my coverage the lady who handles that suggested I aquire coverage outside of the job, because once I retire it will be harder to receive coverage due to my age, my health issues, (high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetic.
    I recently joined AARP and qualified for $15,000 coverage of life insurance, but I am paying $68 a month(which is kinda high for the small amount of coverage) That is not nearly enough insurance for my family when something happens to me, that is the largest amount I could receive without a health exam. Do you know of any companies that offer better rates, or who are sympathetic to someone with my health conditions. Thanks Suze we watch you faithfully, and value your opinon.

    February 10, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  43. Carla

    My husband and I are 42 & 41 with no debt, just a mortgage. We have two children 18 & 15. Our son will be starting college in the fall.
    We have 8 months liquid and invest 15% in my husbands 401K and invest 12% in his ESPP. We both have IRA's and fund them each year. We also have investments in several Class A Mutual Funds. We have steadily watched our portfolio drop. Do we continue with what we are doing?

    February 10, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  44. Shneen

    Hi Suzy,

    I am a first time home buyer in Las Vegas as of June 2008. I currently qualify for the $7500 tax credit under the Bush stimulus plan. Would I also be eligible for the $15,000 credit under the Obama Stimulus plan? If so, would I be able to claim it on my 2008 taxes? If I have alreaady filed for 2008 what action would I need to take and what are the qualifications of this plan considering I am hearing the criteria is different (1st timers vs. new & existing)?

    Thanks,

    Shneen

    February 10, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  45. Lilibeth

    If you have extra money to spare (besides an emergency fund) and the only debt you have is your mortgage, would you be better off paying down the mortgage or investing the money?

    Lilibeth
    Edmonds, Washington

    February 10, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  46. Kathi

    Suzy,

    I was laid off over seven months ago, I have put my house up for sale and moved in with my sister. My mortgage company has let me go into forebearance for three months. I will have to start paying the loan come April 1. My question is the housing market is very slow right now, when I start to pay back my mortgage I will only be able to pay probably around three months unless I have a job. I am getting unemployment but it would only pay my mortgage, and maybe the water bill, nothing else. I have maintained my credit up until now, so I will have to choose between car, insurance, bills or my mortgage. I would like to know should I try and hang on or foreclose. I have gone thru everything since this was the second time I have been laid off in my entire life. I would appreciate any input.

    Thanks,

    Kathi

    February 10, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  47. George Los Angeles

    Suze ...

    I am close to buying a condo in Los Angeles. I keep hearing about this $15,000 tax credit for home buyers. What does that mean and how would it work?

    I make about $90 – $100K Is there a chance I would go through2009 not owing any tax or could this tax credit end up throwing me or anyone else in the Alternative Minimum Tax category?

    Thanks,
    George

    February 10, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  48. sean brizendine

    suze can a person that has a half million dollars buy two cds with 250k each and expect them both to be covered by fdic insurance?
    "sean in santa rosa"

    February 10, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  49. Ashley - Hamlin, NY

    Hey Suze
    I'm a full-time student who is taking out subsidized loans and receiving financial aid, yet college seems to be costing more than I can keep up with. Any advice on how to stop from drowning in debt as graduation approaches?

    February 10, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  50. Cori

    Just curious why suddenly people are so shocked that our economy has finally collapsed? Did people think it was easier to ignore it? It's been coming for a while now, so it's no surprise, and yet, people seem to be stunned that they've been affected. A lot of people kept spending beyond their means, and I know some were already living within their means and lost everything too, but how can we expect Obama to be a savior? How do we continue the "American Dream" with the crisis we're in, how do we recover? It's impossible to rescue everyone! Suze, what is the answer?

    February 10, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
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