October 8th, 2008
02:31 PM ET

Suze's back, and taking more questions

 [cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/30/art.vert.suzeorman.jpg width=292 height=320]

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 continued economic trouble and today's surprise Fed rate cut will change the market; affect your stocks, mutual funds, 401(k)... your job?

Submit your financial questions here for Suze Orman and watch AC360° tonight 10p ET to get them answered.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Bailout Turmoil • Economy • Suze Orman • T1
soundoff (103 Responses)
  1. dianne uno

    Suze, I have just recently been reading about the "No bailout Act" I'd like to have you give your expert opinion on this subject. I was struck by the common sense of it all. I survived the S&L failure back in the 80s. Congresswomen Marcy Kaptur from Ohio is one of the sponsors. And it begs the question why didn't we have a choice in this most serious matter instead of just rushing ahead, especially since so many Americans had voiced their objections to the Bailout. The Kaptur, DeFazio plan has been done sucessfully, why are we not hearing about this. What do you think Suze, I really respect your opinion.

    October 8, 2008 at 6:01 pm |
  2. poe

    I have only been contrubuting to my 401k for about a year and a half now and had just over $3,000 saved at the end of August. Between
    August 30th and today I have already lost $750. I know the rule is to leave the money there, especially since I am only 35, but I cant help thinking that the way things have been going in the last month, I will be lucky to have anything left by the end of the year. What do you advise?

    October 8, 2008 at 5:50 pm |
  3. Yolonda

    Hi Suze,
    My husband and I currently have a 7/1 ARM loan at a rate of 5.875%. Our loan does not adjust until 2014, while it is a very good rate and a fairly stable ARM product, we would like to refinance to a fixed rate loan before our loan adjusts. Our problem is current market value. Our home is only 3 years old and was until April 2007 in a very thriving market. Since the bubble burst, we have seen our home value depreciate. Do you expect the housing market to begin to regain that value before 2014? We have excellent credit, a reasonable amount of savings (liquid and stocks), and what used to be a thriving 401k. I am a stay at home mom and my husband has a solid career in the pharmaceutical industry. So other than the value of our home, I can't see any other hurdle, barring any major changes in my husbands career. With the economy in such crisis, I would really like a believable timeline for us to have to work with. Thank You.

    October 8, 2008 at 5:49 pm |
  4. Diana Bregman

    What is the best way to invest money , (in my case specifically 25,000) that I have in a "risk free" CD at this scary time? I am 39 years old, I have an IRA and I do not need this money right away but I am weighing investing it into either real estate or the stock market and wonder which seems the better way t create wealth. With a real estate investment I would need to take out a mortgage, but with a stock purchase, I would just put it into a dividend producing fund like like you mentioned on your website and be willing to hold it for several years.

    October 8, 2008 at 5:48 pm |
  5. ken morris

    should'nt the taxpayes now own aig ? 100+ billion shoud but it for the taxpayers.What did we get for our money?

    October 8, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  6. Judy

    When I bought my house I put down 10%. I was told I had to pay mortgage insurance because I had less than 20% down. I'm sure all the people who lost their houses to sub-prime loans had to do the same. It was explained to me that I was paying for insurance on the loan in case I defaulted on the loan. What happend. Who are those PMI companies and where are they now? Is it still required to purchase this "insurance"?

    October 8, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  7. yolanda c.

    I see what is happening with the volatile stock market and followed your advice. I shifted 90% of my 401(k) to government -backed securities, but left 10% in stocks. I'm only 34 and have had my retirement fund a short time. Is this a wise ratio?

    October 8, 2008 at 5:43 pm |
  8. Barb

    Hi Suze!
    LOVE the shirt you have on in the picture above. I would ask you where I could get it but I am keeping my money in the bank per your advice! 🙂

    I'm in my 40's and have or should say had approx $245K saved in a combination of my 401K, Profit Sharing & MLynch Investments etc. which has now dropped closer to $210K . What criteria do I use to ensure that a mutual fund is "good".
    Your're the best!

    God Bless You

    October 8, 2008 at 5:36 pm |
  9. gayle s.

    suze, we are a mess, we had to do an ARM refinance on our house because of an IRS audit that went back and snowballed into a huge mess... result we ended up paying them over $100,000.00... now we can't get the house refinanced at a lower rate (housing drop, things have been harder financially for us, we're self-employed) and we are in a really bad situation... we've lived in our house for over 30yrs. and now are between this and having had to use our credit cards for business reasons (like making payroll when things were really slow and paying taxes) we're in debt to the tune of 378,000. No matter how hard I try to figure out what to do I can't figure away out of all this... No one will touch us... I always pay everything on time, so that's not an issue, it's just everything has spun out of control... And selling our house wouldn't even help and that would hurt the worst because this is where we raised our 5 kids, we took a little cabin and made it a home for us all. No matter how hard my husband works, we seem to get futher in debt, we don't do anything, except home and church, it's crazy and I can't figure away out of all this mess... I have put some of the cards at 0intrest but I can't do it with all of them, and the banks won't work w/me... We're in our mid 50's, I just about feel hopeless. I don't have a clue who to talk to that can really help, I look at these "debt reducers" and don't feel good about them, and I haven't figured anyone locally who can help... Our house payment is over 2000. and that is crazy in itself, but it's our home...

    October 8, 2008 at 5:34 pm |
  10. What should I do?


    Love your show. I have a question, what should I do in these crazy economic times. Here is my plan, I have a luxury vehicle that has a high monthly payment and is costing me, but it is not my only car. My other vehicle which is paid off and I make a decent salary +$100K. I am in the financial sector and I want to be prepared for the worst case. I have a decent 401k and an emergency stash (which I would like to continue to grow to at least 12 months) It would be difficult to sell the car in this environment so should I trade it in along with the car that is free and clear and buy a replacement with a much lower monthly payment to free up some cash flow. I could also foresee payng it off in less than 2 years. The excess cash flow will go to payoff some minor additional debt along with the new car and then start to reinvest in the market when it stabilizes.

    Your thoughts?

    October 8, 2008 at 5:34 pm |
  11. Emma

    I had $200,000 in a Vangaurd Prime money market account. I have recently transfered this money to a Vangaurd Treasury money market account. Is this safe or should I put this into a FDIC insured bank?

    October 8, 2008 at 5:32 pm |
  12. Terry Toomey

    Dear Suze,
    I too am one of those average Americans that bit off more than I should have with a morgage. My anual income is about 34,000/yr with a morgage of 1250/mo. I sold my home at a loss, but I was falling behind on my payments. Escrow closes on the 7th of Nov. I will have about 15,000 left after everything. I have paid off all of my outstanding debt except for the parent plus loan I took out to help my youngest finish his last 2 years of college, and my own student loan as well. Payments are together 400/month. I am at a loss of what to do next, have no 401k, am 54 this year and need help with a plan. I am terrified of even investing any money, even in a 401k. My income has increased recently as I have traveled down to California to be with family and work there as a nurse. I am hoping you have some ideas for me. Sincerely yours, Terry

    October 8, 2008 at 5:30 pm |
  13. Mona

    Hi Suze,

    I earn just over 98K annually. As a fed govt employee, I put away 15% of my salary into my TSP (which is diversified). I am not as disciplined when it comes to saving additional cash, and I have no credit card debt. The only debt I have is a mortgage and a car payment which has about 10 more payments. I am considering buying US Savings Bonds? Is this a good option, and if so, which series would you recommend? How can I save more money for my retirement? I am currently 35 years old and single.


    October 8, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  14. xtina, chicago IL

    response to Indianapolis Sharon:

    want to lower property taxes? vote in Conservatives !

    October 8, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  15. Bob

    We'll be retiring within the next 10 years (we're in our mid-50s). Do we ride out this crisis, even though we watch our money in mutual funds and 401K drop daily? We own our home and have no credit bills (pay them off each month). We've always been great savers and we just don't know what to do now.

    October 8, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  16. Lorie Ann, Buellton, California

    Hi Suze,
    If it's a possibility that everything we throw at the crisis doesn't work, what will that result look like. Breadlines or something less frightening.

    Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif.

    October 8, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  17. Celia

    I have an annuity currently worth $470,000 in the name of my 91 year old Mom's revocable trust with 6 beneficiaries that matures in 5 years. The nursing home clause allows early withdrawal of the entire amount. Because of high medical expenses, she receives no benefit from the current 3% tax deferred interest, which changes yearly in May.

    I have 2 questions: 1) How safe are Annuities in this current economic climate? 2) Am I better off withdrawing the entire amount and depositing it in an FDIC insured CD, which I'm assuming is the safest investment vehicle nowadays?

    October 8, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  18. Allie

    I'm 70 years old and I am in a panic! I've lost more then a third of my IRA and don't dare to stay in the market any longer. What should I do with the remaining money in my IRA?

    October 8, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  19. Christina, Cali

    Suze, my husband and I have a 1 year old daughter. We looking at starting her college fund but we are unsure how to proceed, especially in this economic crisis. What is the smartest way for us to prepare for her college years?

    October 8, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  20. Anne Davison

    Last week you said on Oprah, "If you need your (401K) money in less than 10 years, take it out of the market and buy Treasury Bills, or Treasury Money Market Accts, or CDs." Two days ago, a financial TV host said the threshold is 5 years and said, "Get it out of the market, THIS WEEK!!! My husband is 70 and still working. I am 61 and not working. As of today we each have a little over $5K left. My practical consideration for taking your advice is that I have no healthcare insurance & this could create an emergency fund. I feel it's a gamble to lose what little we have. My advisor says, "ride it out." My CPA recommends taking out from 50-60% and leaving the rest in. I'm confused and hesitating. I think I should take 60% out and put it into a savings account until I figure out where to put it. Please, help!!!

    October 8, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  21. LeShoya

    Hello Suze,

    I love your show and watch it as much as I can. I sadly got a collection account put on my credit report and in November I will have paid it off (Neary $5000!!!!) since it was first put on my account in April of this year even though this collection was about a late balance that occurred in January 2007 . I have worked hard to pay it off and even my collections manager tells me I'm one of his sweetest and reliable clients yet he says he can't take it off . I also told him the date of the collection was wrong but he told me having it more recent and paying it off this year will help me in the long run since it shows I can pay off my obligations quickly. However, this is still a black mark on my account and was wondering how best to try to get the collection removed off my report. I had a bad period in my life and want to move on and since that time (nearly 2 years ago) I have no credit card debt, I have paid all of my bills on time, I pay low rent, rarely eat out, don't have a car, and the only thing holding my credit score down is this mistake....I'm 23 btw..... What Can I do?????

    October 8, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  22. Caren

    With the market tumbling more & more everyday, what is the best thing to do with my pension portfolio (403B) at age 63 years? I have withdrawn it from the stock market and it is in a money market A/C after loosing approx $10,000 since the market meltdown but I want to know what to do with it so I am not overcharged with tax & penalty.

    October 8, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  23. Melissa

    Hi Suze, I have a 4.75%,15 year fixed mortgage with WAMU which was sold to JP Morgan Chase. I got an email from them saying that intrest rates could rise for some customers. They can't change the terms of my loan that is under contract can they? Or are they just referring to customers with credit cards, ARM's and HELOC's?

    October 8, 2008 at 5:07 pm |
  24. Lisa Knerr

    My husband and I are in a pick-a-pay mortgage from a house we bought 1 year ago (I know). I understand the bank has waived pre-payment penalties so we can refinance, but I'm unsure when to act. Do I wait to see if interest rates drop and/or how the bail out might effect us or our opportunities, or do we act as quickly as possible? We got into this loan because we currently pay $1,700/month in day care and the logic was, after the 3 year pre-payment period, we would refinance as the kids enter school and daycare costs drop. We have very good credit and the home is still worth more than what we owe (but for how long – no clue!). I'm having a difficult time trusting the opinions of lenders, who all seem to want us to refinance NOW.....

    October 8, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  25. Sharon from Indy

    In Indiana, we are facing skyrocketing property taxes and overcrowded schools. Hoosiers feel like we are going to get hit on both sides... federally and state-wise. I don't believe that anyone is going to be lowering taxes anytime soon.

    What can we do to prepare ourselves for higher taxes next year and in the future?

    October 8, 2008 at 4:55 pm |
  26. marcia

    when giving a house back to your lender am i to understand that they auction or resale it and i would still be responsible if there is a balance left? this was with countryside. can they attach your wages for this amount?

    October 8, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  27. joann misuraca

    suze, just the other day i received a letter from sears credit card that they are lowering my credit limit from 15,ooo to 6,000 due to not using my credit card often. my question is my credit score is 770 will this lowering of my credit limit hurt my credit score.


    October 8, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  28. Robin Cerny

    Since I first saw you on Oprah I have switched several credit balances over to 0% lines (almost two years now) and I have been paying down my bottom line.
    I created an awesome spreadsheet with all by credit cards, utilities, luxury expenses, insurance & mortgage. I see at a glance what I owe, when it's due and our monthly income.
    You have made me a fine tuned machine and we have paid off almost $20,000 of our bottom line. In three years we should be debt free.

    Thank you

    October 8, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  29. xtina, chicago IL

    I believe the bank crisis happened because Congress pressured banks to give loans to people who could not afford to pay back the money. If that is true, it is Congress that holds responsibility not President George W Bush, not the Republican Party, not John McCain – which are the three people or groups mentioned most often as causing this downturn in our fortunes.

    Would like to hear Suze Orman's response to this line of thinking. Thanks

    October 8, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  30. Robin Cerny

    I'm 46. Married, three children. 18, 17 & 7

    18 years ago I didn't know it was a bad idea to purchase whole life insurance. Should I cash it in and purchase term?

    Recently purchased whole life for my husband, almost a year ago. When switching it to term do you do it asap or does it matter?

    Thank you

    October 8, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  31. Pam

    Is it better to contribute to a 401k that does not have a company match or to put the money elsewhere.

    I am 53 and as of last look my 401k has taken a 19% dive.

    Thank you.

    October 8, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  32. Pamina

    Hi Suze,
    Can you explain the theory behind the why the bailout package was needed to boost the "credit crunch"?

    October 8, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  33. Rachelle

    How is it possible to create wealth in this current economy?

    October 8, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  34. Patrick Mulroy

    Energy - Nikola Tesla had "free energy concept" which noow can be charged minimally for housing and office buildings, etc. and it is not based on fossil fuel. WHy is no one taking this seriously?

    He worked for Edison and got shaft. He partnered with Westinghouse and we got ACDC currentt and energy saving light bulbs. He was turned down by JP Morgan who made a decision to focus on oil...and now we have the oil crisis. So, why not go back to what Nikola Tesla engineerd?

    October 8, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  35. Hakeem

    Is it possible to create Wealth in the given situation were in now?

    October 8, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  36. Patrick Mulroy

    Why is nothing being done about the ridiculously high interest rates on credit cards? If the rates were capped at 10% (no more than 12%), it would ease the credit crunch. Look, a friend of mine has good credit. She was buying supplies to remodel her home on credit at 7.99%. Reasaonable. She did not miss any payments and paid more than the minimum. Guess what? The credit card company increased her interest rate to 24% for no reason except greed. This kind of nonsense needs to cease immediately.

    October 8, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  37. Rebecca

    We have tried to short sale, we have tried to re-work a mortgage with the lender, we have tried everything we possibly could to stop a forclosure. Many phone calls, many unanswered questions, and all we got was false hope. We saved all of our efforts and it seemed like we just kept getting "transferred back and forth". At one point we were told we could not afford a work-out, despite our plea that we could afford a monthly payment just $300 dollars less for 3 years. That was not good enough. So now what? With this bailout plan, and for its "intended purposes", how will this help people who have forclosed on a home within the last 4 months?

    October 8, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  38. Jacque

    Is it a good idea to get my money out of my 401k when my job closes and pay cash for my house and find another job to start saving all over again? My job is also offering a serverence package and we can take this weekly or all in one lump sum which is better to do?

    October 8, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  39. John

    1. Is now good time for me to join my job's 401k plan?
    2. Why didn't the government use tax free United States Notes to bail out wall street?

    October 8, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  40. mildred brown

    should we be keeping a certain amount of cash under the mattress so to speak?

    October 8, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  41. perri pender

    In light of the GLOBAL financial crisis do you think we have had a terriost attack on our financial systems? No one is talking about this, but they once said they would strike from within. In this day and age a run on the banks will be done electronically. I am in the mortgage business and the foreclosure crisis has a lot to do with this but this has been coming down for a while and the emergency and swiftness of this crisis makes me wonder.

    October 8, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  42. Soozie

    I understand that Management; CEO’s/Presidents/Controllers, of the banks and money institutes in Europe, will be held accountable for the losses seen in their businesses. Why is this not being done in our country? Why are the CEO's in this country not being held accountable? Are they not in charge? Are they not the responsible ones?

    Why am I hearing stories of bailout parties and golden parachutes? Where is the accountability?

    October 8, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  43. Bruce Brodowski

    OK, I have seen you on Oprah, etc. Also, I don't have cnn and AC360 on my TV in Charlotte, NC. No one seems to be addressing us 63 year old retiries while we watch our IRA's lose 35% and dropping. Your advice of staying the course long term is getting scarry. I would like to see a recovery before I am 70 years old. Please respond by email.

    October 8, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  44. Tom Marcovechio

    Do you think I might be granted an unsecured loan?

    I just want a little of the 700 billion! Maybe I could have a "junket".

    October 8, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  45. pamela moreno

    Suze, What you would have done differently to solve the Economic Crisis? I respect your opinions and would be curious to know what you would have done.

    October 8, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  46. Jennifer - Michigan

    Hi Suze, I’m worried about my tax-deferred 12yr. Fixed Indexed annuity linked to the S&P – however it does have a safety net 3% minimum guarantee. Was it a huge mistake to buy into this? (bought-2004) It looks like it is not insured with the SIPC – what if they go bankrupt? Huge mistake? After 12 yrs I can reinvest into a different annuity. What do you think I should do? I won’t need the money until retirement – 20+ yrs. Thank you.

    October 8, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  47. Jeanette

    I'm 72 years old and have my IRA in 60% stocks. Should I take them all out and what should I put it in if I do?
    Thanks so much

    October 8, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  48. Lilibeth

    You said that for those who have 10+ or 20+ years before retirement, to ride this out. But I cringe as I see the Dow plummet to 9,500. At what point do you say enough is enough? When the Dow hits 8,500? 8,000? When?

    Edmonds, Washington

    October 8, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  49. Lilibeth

    Since other countries are affected by the U.S. financial crisis, will these countries also have their own “bailouts?” What does this say about the future of the global economy?

    Edmonds, Washington

    October 8, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  50. Andria F

    I have one year left of my undergraduate education and I'm concerned for my future. How will this current economical situation hurt the job market for individuals of my generation?

    October 8, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
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