September 30th, 2008
06:12 PM ET

Suze Orman Takes your questions

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Program Note: Suze Orman will be on AC360° tonight at 10pm ET to discuss how to keep your money safe.


Have questions about how the breaking news will change the market; affect your stocks, mutual funds, 401(k)... your job?

Submit your financial questions here for Suze Orman and watch AC 360’ tonight 10p ET to get them answered.

Filed under: Bailout Turmoil • Suze Orman • T1
soundoff (221 Responses)
  1. Nancy

    Hey Suze! (and Anderson:)

    With evrything going on financially in the world...
    All i want to know is should we all keep our money in our Roth IRA's and 401K's and continue to contribute OR do we take the money out and put it elsewhere?? Possibly the bank..or even fireproof safe in house!! What to do???
    Appreciate your input.

    Rockland County, New York

    September 30, 2008 at 5:33 pm |
  2. maryle blanck

    Should I purchase a home now or wait?

    I have been shopping for a home for about 3 months. I have a stable job, i think as a RN for Health Partners X 8 yrs

    I have no debt, except my school loan that is 60,000 with a $454 per month pmt.
    I think I can afford a home and have the means to provide for my two children without stretching myself to thin.
    However, If I am able to buy now should I WAIT and see what the economy does in 6 months? (currently living with my parents to save down pmt, all is well there, I could stay there forever if my teenagers would agree)

    thanks for your time,
    I love your books,
    concerned republican

    September 30, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  3. RJ, MBA, CPA retired from Exton, PA

    Why don't you suggest ways for people to avoid probate, and use the laws that most lawyers use, such as:

    1. Add : the following POD (payable on death) to each checking, savings and all accounts so they stay out of probate and the money is not frozen if the owner of the account passes, and the money goes directly to the person listed as beneficiary.

    2. Use: Revocable Living Trust naming your beneficiary and put everything you own in this Revocable Living Trust, and everything stays out of probate.

    ----Isn't it great to do everything to avoid probate and thereby only hiring lawyers @$300 to 400 per hour unless absolutely necessary?

    September 30, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  4. Lori

    Suze – My husband and I have credit card debt worth $20,000 and a home equity line of credit with a balance of $40,000. We have no emergency fund in place. Is it ever a good time to take from our (retirement) IRA to pay off this debt during the current economy crisis? We have 20+ years until retirement.

    September 30, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  5. Delane Pickering

    Since the "Bailout Crisis" I have heard so many opinions and so many solutions from financial heads. They always say we need this and the taxpayers will pay for it. They also say that when we recover from it, the tax payers will be paid back, maybe even get more back. This may be a dumb question, but why doesn't anyone ever tell us how we will be paid back?. It seems odd to me that no one has ever told us that.

    September 30, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  6. Cathy, NY

    hi , just wondering how if at all this mess will impact the house my husband and i are about to close on (hopefully). we have credit scores in the low 600' s. We have contracts signed and pre-approval, are we in danger of suddenly being told no. we don't have a closing date yet, just waiting for all the paperwork to be processed. we have to leave our current residence by november.

    September 30, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  7. Nicholas Chilton, Buffalo NY

    NO BAILOUT!!!! I understand that without the bailout people will not be able to get credit, but what put us in this position in the first place?? TAKING OUT TOO MUCH CREDIT. The government made it too easy to borrow money and not be able to pay it back. And does anybody realize that if we print this so called 700 billion probably a bit more in when it comes down to it, but this will devalue our money big time so yea if the bailout goes through you will be able to borrow money but lets not forget that money is not going to be worth much, and this will devastate the middle and lower classes and the upper class will feel a pinch, this is all in an effort of the war on the middle class. Greed has taken over and this might just be the final blow we are now at a lose lose situation. what do you think???

    September 30, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  8. Jennifer

    My 79 year old father has a pension he receives from his 45 year career working for a telecommunications company. Should I be concerned that the current economic crisis will adversely affect his pension? Is it possible he could entirely loose his pension benefit? This is his primary source of income.

    September 30, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  9. Patti Amaya, Austin, TX

    You put it more eloquently.
    Thank you,

    September 30, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  10. Avery O

    Well, since we live in a global economy and big business has no problem sending jobs overseas (to fatten their corporate officer's pockets), the small businesses should do the same. There are plenty of international banks that will love to extend a line of credit to solid small businesses. What would be the reprecussions if small businesses make this move?

    September 30, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  11. Elaine Graziano

    Hi Suze,
    My son graduated from College this May. He has a few private student loans (in addition to his Federal Stafford loans which we are told we cannot consolidate) that he would like to consolidate. His grace period will soon be up. Upon much research we have found that a vast amount of lenders no longer will consolidate private student loans due to the financial crisis going on. We have been told this on the phone, and many websites are posting this message as well. (I have contacted approx. 10 lenders already). We are starting to panic as it is unlikely he will be able to make the separate payments required for each loan. Help!!!! Can you name any lenders who still consolidate? Thank you in advance

    September 30, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  12. Rae, Louisiana

    Hi Suze and Anderson,

    Love the show. I won't waste your time. Here we go.

    My hubby and I are both 32. We've both paid up our cars. Currently,
    the only debt we have is house ($160,000K at 5.8%), student loans (70K at 2.5%) and no credit card debt. We have a savings account that
    holds approximately $5,000 and we have a 401k to which we contribute 15% (employer matches 4%). We have a 457 plan (hubby's) and we have two fully funded Roth
    IRA's and two more which we're in the process of funding. We currently earn enough to max out all of the above. Question is, should we? Or should we reallocate some of the money to other areas? If so, where and why?

    My next question involves asset allocation. Currently in our 401k,
    we're at about 90% US and foreign stock with about 10% in bonds in our funds. Our future contributions are entirely in stocks at this
    point. Should we consider a shift into bonds with these future

    Thanks for the help.

    September 30, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  13. George & Patty

    Hi Suze –

    My wife and I received a mortgage pre-approval last week. This was not a pre-qualification, but an actual pre-approval. Will the current financial situation invalidate the approval or change it in some way?



    September 30, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  14. Glenn Cash

    Economy- Simple soultion.

    Bailout individual taxpayers.

    Take upto 700 billion or less and give it directly to taxpayers. ($500,000 to each)
    What this will do:
    Infuse millions of dollars into the economy. By paying off bad debt, mortgages in or near default. Stimulate the credit market by making individuals and credit markets solid again.
    (taxpayers get money and spend it on debts to financial institutions, taxpayer and institution now solvent) Taxpayer/s buy new products start spending and imagine the possibilities.
    Has anyone thought of this?

    September 30, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  15. Connie

    My husband and I are considering a debt settlement company to help us out of a credit card mess we are in. How do I know if this is a good company and is this a better option than a credit counseling service? The debt settlement company told me that out of an $18,000 debt, we would end up paying about $10,000, of which approx $7000 to the debt and $3000 to the company and attorney that they use. Thank you for all your wonderful advice Suze!

    September 30, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  16. Loni Vossekuil

    Thank you for being YOU and having the knowledge and the courage to speak. I especially liked when you were on OPRAH and made the suggestion that all mortgages be put to 3% so people could stay in their homes. Your points on how this could help in many ways made sense to me. I think we need someone like you without political ties to speak and help all of us understand what really is going on. We also need to educate ourselves. I like the CASH policy. I am almost 64 so I remember life before credit cards. I am a war "orphan" , I cry for the America I am afraid we have lost!
    I am a small business owner (salon/spa) retiring the end of Oct. have 2 grown daughters, 3 granddaughters. 2nd marriage to a retired Col.
    Thank you

    September 30, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  17. Jason

    The current bailout addresses credit default swaps involving sub-prime mortgages. Why is no one addressing similar credit default swap investments involving commercial mortgage debt, debt from mergers and acquisitions, credit card debt, and car loan debt.

    Is this the next tsunami to hit?

    September 30, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  18. Jenny

    I have a CD which is about to mature. The amount is 80K. I am 44 years old owe nothing except for my home mortgage where I have about another 10 years on at a great rate. I have two rental properties where I own the property with no mortgages. Should I use this money to purchase some foreclosure property with the purpose of rent this property too....because I can make more on the rental income than I can on what I get in interest from the banks??

    Thanks and blessings to you.

    September 30, 2008 at 5:06 pm |
  19. Patti Amaya, Austin, TX

    Hi Suzie
    I know this won't happen, but we have at present 301,139,947 U.S. Citizens. Why not give us each a 1 million dollars. That will help people pay off debt, spend money etc. and get the economy going again.
    Im just asking.
    Thank you Suzie and Anderson,


    September 30, 2008 at 5:03 pm |
  20. Doris Calif

    My mother is 80 yrs old and lives in California. Her home is paid for and is under the Prof 13 tax law. Yesterday, her property tax went up the alotted 2%. Should she get her house reappraised to lower her taxes? Should everyone pay lower taxes?

    September 30, 2008 at 5:03 pm |
  21. Sharon

    My Simple IRA has gone down 20 percent, but I am still contributing each payday. Should I continue to contribute the same amount? Should I contribute half the current amount and put the other half in a savings account or C.D.? My employer does not offer matching contributions, but my financial advisor wants me to stay the course since the contributions are not taxed. Would your answer be different if I were retiring in 10 years instead of 5?

    September 30, 2008 at 5:02 pm |
  22. Claire Connecticut

    I've heard you mention that if you do have cash, that the current market presents a significant opportunity for the future. Can you elaborate on this point, what opportunities you think are best and if you do you have cash how do you know how much to invest.

    September 30, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  23. F Lynn Foltz

    Hi Suze, thank you for taking my question -
    the other morning on the Today show you said there was something that you could purchase that was like a money market account but only better with a guaranteed rate - I couldn't write it down fast enough - could you e-mail me this instrument? - you said it could guarantee a rate of 5-6-7% rate and was insured -
    You made this comment towards the end of your discussion with Matt Lauer -

    Thanks again, Lynn (male) Foltz

    September 30, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  24. Henny Penny

    Tell us how flexible you think the Kuwait Investment Authority and the Abu Dhabi team is going to be viewing balance with OPEC and renewable energy ? Given the collapse of Washington Mutal and that includes Citi Group and Wachovia per Paulson's press conference yesterday.Look out for the yahoo's hill topping and get in your two point position ! Has Washington got control of those banks ? What does regulators have until Dec. mean ? Kick in Wall Street ! BP Capital management ! Watch us take the jump and clear the fence for energy independence and national security ! It's a rebel yell ! "One bourbon,one scotch and one beer..." "Ain't seen no interest on my money since we don't know when ,but we'll watch this one with a grin."

    September 30, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  25. Courtney


    I'm 28 and have always tried to manage my money wisely. My only debt is from a comfortable, 30-yr fixed interest mortgage at 6.29%. I invest in my 401(k) up to the company match and I've already contributed $5,000 to my Roth this year. I have more than six months saved for emergencies and have every insurance I could ever need to protect myself and my income. I recently paid off a school loan and now have some extra money to work with. What do you suggest I do next considering this market?

    September 30, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  26. Daphne, Washignton, D.C.

    Dear Suze,

    Oddly with all this talk about financial crisis I admit that I don't think I'm feeling it directly. I'm 26, not buying a home anytime soon, and just paying my student loans and credit cards off. But I'm anxious, if this financial crisis hasn't affected me now, will it anytime soon, and if so, how and what should I be doing to prepare?

    Second, since ultimately it will be my generation inheriting the nation's trillion+ deficit what should we be doing to prepare? Why does Washington continue to pass the buck to the following generations?

    September 30, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  27. Jill (Oregon)

    Wow, it looks like a case of the "sky is falling" as called by the Wall Street Big Wigs. Looks like you might not need my tax money for the next 100 years in order to make sure the "fat cats" remain fat!!!!

    What do you think Susie. I think President Bush is trying to shore up his own portfolio just in case he has done irreversible damage to our economy.

    September 30, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  28. Lee


    As we have seen throughout the course of history, there always seems to be a small percentage of folks out there who are actually making money off of national tragedies, natural disasters, financial crisis, etc.

    My question to you is this:

    In our current situation, are there people in our capitalist economy who are not only "not" losing money, but actually MAKING money because of our failing situation?? I'd be interested to know who and what types of people/companies are making a killing right now...

    – Thanks

    Los Angeles

    September 30, 2008 at 4:55 pm |
  29. Dave

    What does the Wachovia/Citigroup buy out mean for stockholders. What is the stock worth? Do you see this stock recovering in the near future and when?

    September 30, 2008 at 4:55 pm |
  30. Mich

    IHi Suze,

    I'm planning on taking out a loan to consolidate all my bills. Is this a wise move , seeing that the market is the way it is?. Th loanis actually $7000. I'm not able to save anything at the end of the month because i'm so overwhelmed with all my montly expenses.

    September 30, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  31. Stella

    Hi Susie,

    I have about 100K in my 401K. 60% of my 401k in Vanguard International Stock Growth Fund and 30% in Vanguard International Stock Value Fund. The other 10% of the 401k is in money market and Vanguard Total Bond Index fund. I know I do not have the correct mix of asset allocation. The internation stock funds has lost 31% YTD as of 9/29/2008. I am 47 years. I planned to retire at 55. I am still contribute 1K a month to my 401K but the new money is going to money market fund. What should I do with my 401K international stocks? Sell it? Or sell some of it and move it to other fund or just ride it out?

    September 30, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  32. Lee

    I called an ING representative to ask if my ING Annuity accounts are safe. He said I am covered up to 100K by the state of CT for each account. I do not hear much from the experts concerning annuities. Is this true and is there any reason to move the money, although it would be penalized by maybe 10%.

    September 30, 2008 at 4:50 pm |
  33. Alexandra Spyker

    Is buying gold a good idea now? With prices so high, isn't it likely that once the price drops it will be a long time before we see gold reach this price again.

    September 30, 2008 at 4:50 pm |
  34. Kim

    If the bailout is designed to buy bad loans from the banks in order for them to lend again, why is there no provision in the plan that requires that for every dollar of bailout disbursed, the banks will lend x amount back to the economy? If no such provision is incorporated, wouldn't the entire bailout lose its purpose if the banks do not start lending again?

    September 30, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  35. Hakeem, NJ

    All my credit is paid off, Is now a good time to invest in the market, my money is sitting in a high interest saving account?

    September 30, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  36. Siva

    I have been following the market like most people these days. Looking back at the last 7 years, we have had have created credit problems by deception in accounting and cheap money. Right now they big buzz word is "Mark to Market" rules. To me it seems as if they want to allow banks and brokers to let them hide the debt for the future. Are we just postponing issues that need to be more transparent? They tried to keep the market up at all cost during the great depression which prolonged the pain for a decade. Please explain to all of us in common language what they are talking about and explain if you think this is a good thing or not.
    More importantly what are we going to do when the market drops 40%- Recessions are common part of the business cycle.

    September 30, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  37. Pam, Massachusetts

    My husband and I have been maxing out our 401k s since we have been able to (I am 37 and he is 38) and it is invested in aggressive mutual funds. We have no debts other than a mortgage, and we do pay more on that each month. We have been unable to contribute to a roth IRA but my company is now offering a Roth 401K. I have never heard this discussed on your program. Is this basically the same as a ROTH IRA and should I switch anything above my match to a Roth 401K now. More importantly, should I do anything NOW to my 401K at all?

    September 30, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  38. kenn

    All of the news that I've seen today is positioning the day's rise in the stock market as being in anticipation to an agreed bailout by our legislators. Why is it not being discussed that the rise might actually be a next-day relection that not passing the bill was a good thing? IT seems possible...

    September 30, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  39. Jackie Lee

    How does all this affect those of us who have already retired and are drawing social security? Will we still get it? Also I receive a life-time annuity. Will it be affected?

    September 30, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  40. Aaron Davis

    I have a 401k with the federal govt, have strained to put in 15% starting about a year ago because I had heard that was the right thing to do. I can retire in 4 years – should I be putting that 15% in or just do the matching funds which is 6%. If only 6%, what is your advice on what to do with the rest considering I am 62.

    September 30, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  41. larry

    Hi Suze,

    Is the current financial situation having any effect on university endowments?

    September 30, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  42. Michael Pitzer

    Don't you think that what we all need is another “Surge”, this time on U.S. Soil! I know, let's attack Wall Street with a massive infusion of cash. Our numbers would have to be so unimaginably great that Wall Street would have no choice but to capitulate to the sheer economic force it would face from the constant, unrelenting “surge” of money the American public could throw at it. Sure, Democrats will want an early withdrawal before the job is finished, but the beauty of the “Financial Surge” would be that there would be no money left for anyone to withdrawal - from anywhere. We would replace millions of bullets with billions of dollars. We would replace smart bombs with bailout bonds. And then, when Wall Street and the banking industry had recovered, like all great nations, we will forgive their debts because we are the greatest nation to ever exist.

    Oops, I got to run to the bank and withdrawal some cash before this thing goes nuclear.

    September 30, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  43. Matt

    Unlike most of your listeners I'm a model of fiscal responsibility. My wife and I have great jobs, zero debt other than our fixed low rate mortgage and student loans, and significant cash savings. I feel even in the worst case scenario we would come out OK in the end. What's the incentive for me to spend my tax dollars bailing out people who are irresponsible? Is my sense of security a false one?

    September 30, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  44. Deborah

    Recently on your show you told a viewer how they could talk to their creditors and get a settlement without showing as settled or a bad debt on their credit score. Can you give those steps again? Also, is using a home equity loan to pay off debts a bad idea?

    September 30, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  45. Mike Talbert


    i have a small bussiness meaning 35 employees and 7 million a year. It's a 3 year old bussiness and we have a 750,00 dollars equity line and good credit. my bussiness has droped a little but material cost has gone up about 30%.which effects my profits.
    so how is this bailout going to effect my company in the near future. i think it's a little to late most companies are already in trouble and because the banks have money they are going to lend it to bad credit companies. we all know thats not going to happen on houses our bussiness. these are the people that need it first.
    maybe this should happen we have been overspending in this county for 10 years and now money is not so cheap. is this a bad thing now everyone has to leave within there budget. when we put money in stocks and 401k's isnt it a gamble.
    how about giving new companies starting all over the states an incentive plan that will create more jobs and put a bigger inport tax to even the playing feild.
    at the end of the day this is the first time in 8 years that i stopped using my credit card and started saving. not such a bad thing.

    thank mike talbert

    September 30, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  46. AJ

    The government cant fix social security, they cant fix healthcare then why in the world would we be turning to them to fix the financial markets.

    Competition is what makes this country great. Let the banks fail that made bad judgments in lending. A new bank will be born tommorow. Most of the people being foreclosed on couldnt afford the house in the first place.Having our do nothing congress and inept president try and help is only a band aid on a larger problem. More regulation of the industries is whats needed.

    The government created the mess in the first place by asking Freddie Mac and Fannie mae to be more lenient in their lending practices. other banks just followed suit. Corporate greed will always exist. A public companys officers should only be paid on a 5 year return on profit. Not on a yearly basis. The rich get richer and the middle class gets screwed... The golden parachute days are hopefully over.

    September 30, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  47. Lloyd


    How do you see the affects of this fiancial disaster on Canada if at all??

    September 30, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  48. Betty Ann, Nacogdoches,TX

    I am going to ask you the question that I hear all over.
    What are people who don't have a 401k going to do?
    What about great credit card debt?
    How is this all going to affect those who are already barely hanging on by a thread? I am worried about a lot of people here not just those who have the means.
    Thanks Suze, you're the best! 🙂

    September 30, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  49. Karen Lenter

    My husband & I are both retired. We have a diversed portfoilio, but have lost around $80,000 over a period of a year. We have $2,500 each month coming to us that is suppose to be coming from interest. My question is should we pull this money out into something safer or leave it. I am afraid that we will lose everything

    September 30, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  50. Michael Cordy

    I am 42, have (or had) $130K invested in mutual funds (401K, IRA etc). I have 16K in cash savings and a 12K credit card balance that I just transfered to a no interest card until October 2009. Credit score of 780. I just purchased a home and have a hefty mortgage. Should I take the 16K out of the mutual fund to pay off the credit card and start paying more more money down on my mortgage or should I pay off the credit card in installments before October 09 and keep the cash in savings?

    September 30, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
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