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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. Jim D

    Why havent we heard anything from Alan Greenspan?

    October 8, 2008 at 8:07 pm |
  2. Maggie

    Suze

    Should my husband and I continue to contribute to our 401k or just put the cash in a svings account until the economy improves and we feel safer? Is the saying, "Cash is King" still true these days?
    We have alaready seen our 401k value drop nearly 10%. We don't want to throw good money after bad and lose everything we worked so hard to save!

    Thanks!

    October 8, 2008 at 8:04 pm |
  3. Zahra

    Hi Suze

    I received a letter from my credit card company letting me know if I don't use my card to make a purchase withing 2 months they will close my account since it hasnt been used in 3 years. My question is..if the credit card company closes my account for non-usage will that affect my credit score? Or does my credit score only get affected if I choose to close my account?

    October 8, 2008 at 8:04 pm |
  4. Nathan Foote

    Why is it that only the rich seem to benefit big time from these financial disasters? Look at Donald Trump, one of the fattest cats around, treating this economic crisis as an exciting garage sale where he can buy anything he wants at bargain basement prices. Basically, these wealthy pirates are buying up all the cheap real estate, often other peoples homes, businesses and other hard-earned asset, and then just sitting back and waiting for the bail-out to take effect and steady the markets, so they can watch their profits grow and grow at everyone else's expense. Just witness the accelerating rush on home foreclosures over the past few days! The mad grab for cheap properties is on! Perhaps that old saying is true: "Show me a rich man and I will show you a thief."

    October 8, 2008 at 8:00 pm |
  5. Luigi

    I am about to move to a very small town in Western PA and was thinking about a house. With today's housing market trouble, what news should I wait for to start the process as I will be a first time buyer with my FICO scores around 700?

    October 8, 2008 at 7:55 pm |
  6. Patricia Olson

    I have 168 K in a 401 plan. I don't plan on tapping into "my nest egg" for another 15 years. I asked about sliding the money into a money market fund that was FDIC insured, and was told that I would have to remove my money and go to a bank. Is that something I should consider doing?

    October 8, 2008 at 7:48 pm |
  7. Megan Dresslar (Shoreline, Wa)

    Hellooo Suze!!
    How can I afford to pay rent, bills medicine, and food to find way to save the money? Thank you.
    P.S. I am enjoy your show......... you help people their advice for economy.....

    October 8, 2008 at 7:47 pm |
  8. Connie Boysen

    Suze: I have a 4th and a 6th grader with state sponsored 529s for college in stocks–do I stay or do I go??? (already lost 1/3 of value)

    October 8, 2008 at 7:44 pm |
  9. Nancy Lee

    I read that the CEO for Lehman Bros for 3 weeks until they failed got 19 million. Who knows what other top executives got. The Enron guys got 100's of millions. Why can't the courts or someone freeze their assets, and take the excessive bonuses, parachutes, spa resort, etc. money and distribute it to the people who lost their savings. Until someone pays for their abuses, the economy is at the mercy of these crooks.

    October 8, 2008 at 7:41 pm |
  10. Lila Al-Ghizawi

    I'm currently an undergrad student and I pay for some of my education with a student loan. When my loan dispersed it went straight into my bank account, well, I'm owndering what will happen should my bank fold? Will I lose all my money including that loan? What can/ should I do right now?

    October 8, 2008 at 7:38 pm |
  11. Shirley Beeland

    Hi Suze !

    Love your show – glad you're back.

    I rolled my 401k into mutual funds:Growth Fund of America, Bond
    Fund of America and American Mutual Fund.

    This is money I do not need right away and wanted it to stay in
    these funds for 3 or 4 more years. Will it be safe to keep it in
    these mutual funds? Thanking you in advance.

    October 8, 2008 at 7:36 pm |
  12. Elizabeth in California

    Hello Suze, I am a big fan. I am wondering if the current economic situation changes your general advice to YF&Bs (Young, Fabulous & Broke). I have not been effected by the stock market becasue I don't have anything, so there was nothing to loose. Last year was a struggle to make ends meet due to my very large amount of student loan debt ($150K) from undergrad and law school. However, my student loan debt is really my only debt, and after a raise, things are getting a little easier. I am just beginning my career and have been considering opening a Roth IRA soon and contributing a little bit each month. Is this a good time to do so since as people say "stocks are on sale"? Also, I will qualify for my employer's 401(k) in a few months. I plan on contributing the max, per your advice, but I am wondering if I am actually lucky to catch the market so low?

    October 8, 2008 at 7:34 pm |
  13. Kari Hurd

    Suze,

    I have a two-part question.

    1) If my mortgage rate is fixed and I put money in escrow for my taxes, is it still possible that we have to pay out at the end of the tax year? I know taxes will increase in this kind of economy and I am just wondering what to expect.

    2) We have an 80/20 loan for our home. We have only been in it a year and are wondering if we should try to refinance for a lower rate. Is that even possible? If so, is now the time to do so with the way the economy is?

    October 8, 2008 at 7:32 pm |
  14. David- Florida

    Dear Suze:
    I am very interested in your views on the retail industry right now. Do you think this bail out is going to trickle its way down to retail after black friday? With stocks so bad I am not sure if a dept store sector goes bankrupt if another is going to be able to acquire them like Macys did with May company. I would love to hear your feedback with this industry.

    You are the best!

    October 8, 2008 at 7:24 pm |
  15. Gwynn

    I need a new car. Should I buy now or will the deals be better in December?

    October 8, 2008 at 7:23 pm |
  16. Becky W. Lee

    Suze, Is whole life insurance a waste of money? I'm trying to pay off all my credit cards, should I consolidate them? THANK YOU!! EVERGREEN, NC 28438

    October 8, 2008 at 7:21 pm |
  17. Judi Smith

    Suzie I think that it should be illegal for credit card companies to charge annual fees on their credit cards I had one paid it off and closed it up within 2 years I had to fix my credit up after a bad divorce and greedy ex. At the time I knew thier was a charge of $79.00 on a charge limit of only $400.00 but at the time I did not realize that the fee was going to be forced upon me annually! Suzie do you feel this should be illegal? I do! Thanks, Judi Smith = From Warren, Michigan

    October 8, 2008 at 7:20 pm |
  18. Michael

    Why was short selling ever made legal?

    It has nothing to do with INvesting in the market, and everything to do with DIvesting the market. Short sellers borrow other people's shares of stock and maniputate them by selling them, forcing the markets to lower levels than they ordinarily would go, and then they give back the pieces to the poor investers would didn't even know their shares were being borrowed. It would be like me going into someones house (without them knowing) and stealing their plasma TV, and then later bring back a piece of junk in it's place. In this day and age of day traders paradise, why does the government allow this practice? The short sellers have NO interest in investing in a firm-they only want to suck the value out of the market!! It's like a parasite! I can garantee you that if short selling was not allowed, that the markets would NOT be suffering like this. Short selling is the purest form of greed-which is what this whole conversation seems to be about, isn't it?

    Thanks, Michael

    October 8, 2008 at 7:15 pm |
  19. Jessie

    Hi Suze and Anderson love you both!

    My fiance and I currently have our home on the market. It is only worth about 110,000. It will never be worth that much more than that even if we wait out the market. We are trying to buy a larger home that fits our needs now, while it is a buyers market. Unfortunately I do not have great credit and we are going to have to use an FHA loan to purchase the home. We are torn between waiting out this market failure and hurrying it up and getting into a new home, in the fear that the FHA loan will be gone and that banks will require great credit to secure a home loan by spring. Is it wise for us to get into a better home for ourselves now while the loan options are still available to people with less than perfect credit? Is now a good time to buy a home?

    October 8, 2008 at 7:12 pm |
  20. Wayne

    My Wife & I will be sixty years in old early 2009.
    Should we stop putting into our firms 401 accounts.
    Move our share of the money into our own Ira accounts that are guaranteed. ( Do we then pay the 10% tax or is it considered a rollover )
    So our losses are stopped in the 401 accounts.

    Thank you

    Wayne

    October 8, 2008 at 7:10 pm |
  21. Laura

    Hi Suze!

    I'm going to be finishing my undergraduate study in May and starting graduate school in the fall. I have a few thousand dollars in cash in a bank account. Should I invest in the stock market while the prices are low? And if so, when exactly?

    October 8, 2008 at 7:09 pm |
  22. greg strehmel, greenville,sc

    I have 26 years until i retire and I have a diversified 6 figure 401k portfolio from my previous employer, but it has taken a huge plunge in the last few months. i started a new job and have another 401k with my current employer. should i roll my previous plunging 401k into my new diversified 401k?

    October 8, 2008 at 7:07 pm |
  23. Brenda O.

    Suzy

    I lost my husband 6 weeks ago. I have two children in there teens. My husband had a life insurnace which I used part of it to pay off our home. I have people making surgestions of what else I should do with the life insurance. I have no real debt and $164,000.00 to work with. One surgestion is to put $50,000.00 into a annuity at a fixed rate. It is not FDIC insured, How safe is an annuity? I can't draw any for 14 years unitl I'm 59 1/2.

    October 8, 2008 at 7:06 pm |
  24. Denise

    I'm 64 years old and my husband is 70. I work part-time ocassionally & my husband still works full time. Our home is paid for. We both have whole life insurance & want to know if at our age we should consider getting term life insurance to free up some additional cash? Thank you.

    October 8, 2008 at 6:58 pm |
  25. Brian Mahoney

    Where should I invest beyond my IRA, kids 529 plans, with a 10 year
    horizon?

    October 8, 2008 at 6:57 pm |
  26. Carrie

    Suze,

    25 years of marriage and 4 children later we have 37,000. in credit card debt. How can we ever pay this off? Some of our friends called and settled their debt with specif companies but this seems unjust. We need a simple plan to follow ny suggestions?
    Thanks Carrie

    October 8, 2008 at 6:57 pm |
  27. Alivia

    Suze Orman was honored the other night at the HRC dinner. Her acceptance speech was absolutely brilliant! She went on and on about how important is is to be out and proud and how proud she is to be a lesbian. She talked about her honesty about her sexuality over the past and her desire for marriage equality. At the end she even brought her life partner, KT, up on stage to introduce her to the gay and lesbian community. It was amazing, you could see how much they mean to each other just by the look in their eyes. It was so inspiring. She had the whole audience on their feet multiple times as she spoke with such power and strength! She said that she was more honored by being recognized by the LGBT community than any of her other awards...
    well...
    After giving such a great speech and being so honest...
    All videos and photos from the dinner of Suze and her partner have been removed from the internet! There was a full video plus many photos from her speech on both the HRC website and Youtube following the dinner. Within one day they had all been removed! I would assume this is at Suze's request. Why is she hiding what she said at the dinner? She says she is proud to be a lesbian, yet only in front of the LGBT community....

    I am a college student and I have idolized Suze for the past 2 years! I want to BE Suze! I want her power and confidence. She has shown me that a woman can have more of an impact than a man in the business or professional world, despite who she loves. I have 4 Suze books, her DVDs, and watch her on television ALL the time..not only for her financial advice, but also for her powerful, strong attitude towards life. But now after seeing her go back on what she said by hiding her speech, my opinion has changed.

    Why is she hiding these videos? I would hope it was not her personal decision and rather a company decision because I look up to her so much, but what possible reason could she have for this?

    I know both the HRC and Suze Orman Media have made statements that the video will not be released again, but please... I hope this is rethought... or at least have Suze make a statement explaining herself. If not, I know she is going to lose fans that look up to her more thna anyone else in the world.. like myself.

    October 8, 2008 at 6:52 pm |
  28. Ray from Michigan

    HI Suze:

    I am 54 years old and I would like to know what do you think about
    me buying some stocks while the market is down. I was looking at GM, Ford and Alcoa. I don't have any credit card debt or loans. Just my house payment.

    Or should I just hold on to my money? I have about $30,000 in cash that is just earning less than 2%.

    Sincerely

    Ray

    October 8, 2008 at 6:51 pm |
  29. Russ Williams

    Prove us wrong Suze ! My wife and I both work and have 401k's. We are in our mid 40's. Wouldn't we be better off withdrawing all our 401k money and tucking it into a safe CD at our bank during these tough times ? Considering what we've already lost and will potentially
    lose, it would be cheaper to pay the withdrawl penalty and end of year
    tax on that withdrawl than continue to let the losses build up ! We could always just stick it back into a 401k when the market rebounds.
    Blessings,
    Russ

    October 8, 2008 at 6:50 pm |
  30. Suzanne Shevell

    With these turbulent economic times, is it safe to put my valuables in a safety deposit box at a bank? If so is a smaller bank a safer choice? If the bank was to close will I be given notice by the bank before they close?

    Thank you,

    Suzanne

    October 8, 2008 at 6:46 pm |
  31. harmony eckles-carlstrom

    My husband and I purchased a Shell Vacation Club Time share about a year ago. It seemed like a good idea at the time, we quickly realized it was not the time in our lives for this type of financial investment. We have not yet saved any money for retirement nor do we have any other current investments. We are in the process of "down-sizing" our monthly expenditures in an effort to save for our future. Naturally, the time share, which we have not used, seems like the first thing to go. It costs us $380 in monthly payments, along with $600 a year in owners fees. We have been approached by several different companies offering to help sell the properety, for a 10% sales fee and an amount upfront ($600-$1300). We are worried about of the legitimacy of these companies. It appears that many other people are trying to sell these time shares on-line. How is the best way to sell a time share? Or is it even an option in this market?

    October 8, 2008 at 6:44 pm |
  32. Judi

    I have lost $12,000 on my IRA in this market spiral, am 59 and want to know how long to wait out this downward spin. I can forsee loosing it all in the near future. I heard you say to hold on if you didn't need the cash in the next 6 months to a year. But now I'm wondering if your opinion has changed. Would it be wise to move it to something else? What would that be? How could this be done without paying large penalties and taxes? Thanks for your input.

    October 8, 2008 at 6:43 pm |
  33. Jack

    First off, I love your show.

    I've been looking for a safe place to park my money (exceeds FDIC limits) and in the process learned about CDARS. The yield on CDARS is very attractive when compared to treasuries. What is your opinion of them and is it as safe as I interpret them to be?

    Thanks!

    Jack
    Torrance, CA

    October 8, 2008 at 6:41 pm |
  34. Ann from Denver

    Hi Suze, I am 43, my husband is 53. We don't make a ton of money but we have been trying to do the right things - first, we paid off all our student loans (mine were huge) and we have no credit card debt. We have one car loan ($12k balance). We have been paying extra on the house and should be mortgage-free in 3.5 years.

    We don't have a lot in savings, however. We've been plugging money into our 401ks for the last ten years, and had a balance of about $300k this summer. It's in diversified funds - mostly stock funds, some bonds and tbills. It's gone down a lot. We have emergency cash in savings of about $45,000, that's safe in FDIC. We have good jobs, and a conservative lifestyle.

    My question: we're saving about $1,500 per month or more right now, as we have for the last five years. Where should it go? Into the 401K (my husband gets a 5% matching, he puts in 15%; I get no matching). Or emergency FDIC insured cash?

    Thanks, Suze!

    October 8, 2008 at 6:40 pm |
  35. John

    Hello Suze, thank you for you time. I'm 30 years old and was struck with an extremely rare neurodegenerative disease three years ago. I'm on disability and am unable to work at this time. However, I'm still doing everything I can to progress and push forward by working hard to overcome, and taking college courses online in the hope of ultimately getting a good job that can accommodate my condition. I have NO credit card debt and around 10K in student loans. I just paid off my car loan, and budget to cover the rest of my monthly bills. I've trimmed my budget to the bare minimum and have worked hard to save up nearly $2,000. I've been considering investing in mutual funds (Money Market and Bond funds-less risk), IRA, Roth IRA, or possibly even in the stock market (because it’s down now-in hopes that it will go up). Considering my disabilities, what is your advice?

    October 8, 2008 at 6:39 pm |
  36. Sarah

    Suze, I am eligible to enroll in my company's 401K at the beginning of November. I am planning on attending law school a year from now, which means I'll only be working for the company for another 12 months. Should I enroll in the plan or simply save my money for school?

    October 8, 2008 at 6:38 pm |
  37. D. A. Reuter, Bremerton, WA

    Let me try again to ask my questions, they are important issues and need to be addressed.

    1. I, like many Americans, work for the United States Governement as a civil servants, please advise us in what funds should we have our investments in?

    2. I, like many Americans, have a incurable, potentially life threatening (or life threatening) medical condition. How are we to suppose to prepare (God willing) for retirement and for dealing with what is to come?

    My two questions are for a segment of population who are ignored or overlooked.

    October 8, 2008 at 6:36 pm |
  38. Denise Mister

    I am 38, my husband is 39. We have 2 children, 9 & 4. Are you still recommending sticking it out if long term or should I stop dollar cost averaging into my roth ($416.66/month – which is in Vanguard total stock market index fund)? Would it be wiser for now to pay down my mortgage? I have 160K left @ 6% (orig loan was 188,700) and I am currently paying $150 xtra toward principal. Should I put that 416.66/mo toward my mortgage? I also have about 6 months of emergency savings in a bank money market account.

    Thank you for your help!

    October 8, 2008 at 6:33 pm |
  39. Nicole Johnson

    Hi. I was wondering WHY the government can't do anything to regulate these credit card companies charging me 29% interest rate (Providian a/k/a WaMu n/k/a JPMorgan). I always pay in advance and more than the minimum yet when I ask for an interest rate decrease they say there are no offers at this time. It is very frustrating and gives me no confidence in the credit industry.

    October 8, 2008 at 6:28 pm |
  40. SIlvia Hernandez

    Suze help! I have investments iin my 401and 403B mostly in stocks. I have lost 35% since this free falling started. Where can I move my money as a safer investment option. Bonds, money markets? Which ones. I plan to retire in 10 yrs. Where can I go and get help in making these decisions, I called my management company, but they cannot make any suggestions. I'm afraid that I will lose it all if I just don't do anything and "wait" it out. HELP!!!!!

    October 8, 2008 at 6:28 pm |
  41. Phil

    Suze,

    What do you think about the Fed. giving almost another $40 billion to AIG AFTER it was revealed that some of their top executives went on an expensive trip to California.....AFTER the first $80 + billion they received? How can the government expect the general citizens to exercise fiscal responsibility when the government rewards bad behavior like this?

    October 8, 2008 at 6:27 pm |
  42. sarah.....B

    Hey Suze.......So Very glad you are back on AC360 again!!.......my question is, "How will this "Bailout" and the direction that the Economy is going, effect College funding??".........Pertaining to, Stafford & Private Loans for undergraduate and grad students, and Pell Grants at the Fed. level.

    The college I attend is a State school, now branched under the UNC system (due to need of funds).....NC's Gov. and the General Assembly have Now CUT state college Funding by 2%, that's anywhere from $500k-2mil!!

    So most colleges are "Buzzin" with talk of lack of state grants, scholarships, Banks pulling out of backing Stafford loans, Private Loans, etc. So I went and talked to "Financial Aid", and they stated, "Oh, you do not have Anything to Worry about!"??>> ….with graduation coming closer, and wanting to go to Grad school or Law school, "Will I, or ANYONE really be Able to Afford it?”

    October 8, 2008 at 6:27 pm |
  43. Erik from Boulder

    Hi Suze,

    Small business 401K question.

    My wife is in PR and has her own S-Corp. She regularly contributes to a mini-401K (traditional) plan managed by the business that was set up in 2005. I just learned that a S-Corp can now have a Roth 401K plan as of 2006.

    Given that we're both 32, that I make a good steady salary that will continue to grow, her business is having an off-year, and that the value of the traditional 401K has shrunk with the market, is now the time to try to make the business plan change from a traditonal 401K to a Roth 401K?

    It seems like a good idea assuming we can afford it – the taxes will be lower with the 401K value off and less of a burden with the business down. But I figured I'd ask –

    Thanks
    Erik

    October 8, 2008 at 6:26 pm |
  44. Annie Kate

    Hi Suze,

    For years I have invested each month in US savings bonds Series E to save towards the educational expenses of my two youngest daughters. One is a sophomore in college now and has not needed any of her bonds yet because she has scholarships. My youngest will probably have to use hers because her grades are not going to be considered for scholarships. I had planned that if there was any left of the savings bonds once they were done with school I would convert the remainder over to another series savings bonds and use it for retirement or an emergency fund. What type of savings bond would be best to do this with or are savings bonds even a good investment? Thanks.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    October 8, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  45. Jon - Melbourne, FL

    Suze,

    I asked a question before about buying stocks while the price is low, but now I have another question. I am 28, have no credit card or student loan debt, own my condo, and have a great job that pays very well and I feel very secure about my future at this job. Should I stop spending as much as I have been now that the economy is uncertain, or will that cause even more problems and slow the economy down even more? Should those of us who are fortunate enough to have the means be spending the same way (if not more) in order to keep some money moving into the economy?

    Thanks Suze!! And thank you, Anderson, for having on such a wise adviser!

    October 8, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  46. Margaret

    Hi Suze:

    My husband and I are in our mid 40's and we have a large amount of cash on hand. Is now a good time to put more money in our mutual funds? We already contribute the maximum ($15,500 this year) to my husband's government TSP plan, both contribute the maximum to our Roth IRAs, and our daughter's college education is paid for. My husband is an active-duty Army officer and his job is secure.

    What more should people who are fortunate enough to be in the position we are do to help ensure our financial future?

    Thank you,

    Margaret

    October 8, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  47. Tony Wilson

    Greed has gotten us where we are today. All this quick fix stuff is not going to work. If you want to fix the economy you have to decrease your profit margin accross the board before anything will work.

    October 8, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  48. Clarence

    How much of my money should I be keeping in the bank at this time?

    October 8, 2008 at 6:10 pm |
  49. Chris from PA

    Suze,
    It's nearly impossble for us regular taxpayers to know who to trust to handle all of this economic mess, who would manage it in ours and the country's best interest. Would you consider playing a significant role in the government to get us through this, and help us understand what you're doing in the process? Perhaps you could team up with Jim Cramer! I know you both would have to put your own interests on the side, and that woud be quite a sacrifice, but I think we need you as more than a show host or a commentator. Please consider it!

    October 8, 2008 at 6:09 pm |
  50. Eliza

    Hi Suze,

    I just recently graduated college, have a decent job, low expenses, no debt, no loans, one department store credit card in good standing and $3K in savings. With almost NO credit, what can I do to build my credit in this credit crunch? Do I get a cash-backed credit card? Do I wait until credit lines open? I am a cash-payer for everything, how do I start building my credit?

    Thanks,
    Eliza in Colorado.

    October 8, 2008 at 6:06 pm |
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