Biggest Halloween Scare: This One Hour Interview With Suze Orman.

After three years of a self-induced retirement, Suze Orman is back on the scene. Yes, after giving up her CNBC Saturday Night Call-In Television show, her radio show, after stopping all her PBS recording lectures, after canceling all of her appearances on the Oprah Winfrey network and after selling her five houses and settling down to just one home on one Caribbean island and fishing all.day.long. Suze Orman has announced she’s done with retirement and is back with a vengeance.

What is the reason for this 180 degree turnabout? Suze Orman has made a great financial discovery and she wants to share it with the world. What has Ms. Orman uncovered?

Retirement sucks!

Take it from a woman who knows. Take it from a world renown financial genius who has made “tens of millions and millions of dollars” (Suze’s words. Not mine) if you have retired before you are 70 years old, or heaven forbid, you are one of the FIRE children (Financial Independent Retire Early) who saved just a few measly million dollars and left the workforce by 30, Suze Orman is going to scare the bejesus right out of your body when you listen to this recent one hour podcast.

When Suze Orman was interviewed by Afford Anything blog author, Paula Pant, the first question Pant asked Ms. Orman was what she thought of the FIRE Movement. Suze answered in three sentences: I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. Orman’s reasoning however, is where the scary part comes in. Rightly so, Suze explained that most 30 year olds do not know and could never know the horrors and the calamities life will have in store for them. In order to be properly prepared for these tsunamis, hurricanes, floodings, mass murders, sickness, life-threatening diseases etc. etc. etc. Ms. Orman recommends having at least $50million dollars in the bank.

Are you scared yet? I was. I didn’t sleep for days after listening to this podcast. By the end of the hour, I felt small. Like the size of an amoeba. Or worse yet….an atom on an amoeba. Better yet, a split atom on the side of a amoeba.

Listen to the podcast yourself. But be forewarned: if you’re retired (and young) leave the lights on and hide all your financial statements. According to Suze Orman, only a laborer who has earned $50K annually in his lifetime, has worked all the way up to 70 years of age, invested in an employer matched 401K all his/her working life, and has a paid off house and a paid for 10 to 15 year old car, can retire properly. Anyone else who was professionally paid, earned millions and saved even more millions will not adequately nor successfully be able to retire. Oh! the humanity of it all!

Your comments welcome below.

25 comments

  1. l Love my life. Our family is moving forward and quit worrying about the past many years ago. Live the life you have and enjoy it. You are doing that well. Suze? She seems to still be scared in her 60’s. Does she still have “bag lady” fears? Seems like it. I know that I will only become a bag lady IF more then half of the country are bag people.Then I will probably be at the local Church making stone soup!

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    • Janette I don’t know why Suze was on a fear mongering rant. Perhaps to sell her new book. Or to end her boredom. When her Island got hit with a hurricane she had enough fish in her freezer to feed the whole island. And she did. That’s a lot of boredom fishing.
      Calamities will befall us all. Best to do our best and have faith and hope all will work out well.

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  2. Thanks for posting this. I’ve missed Suze and I’m glad to see her back. I, too, have been thinking these FIRE millennials, unless they have developed income streams, are not prepared to cover decades of living expenses. Even if you live ultra frugally, life happens, and it’s exoensive.

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    • I’m with you. Stuff happens. Youth think they are invincible. No one is. Almost everyone I know in retirement have side hustling jobs. Us included.
      Thanks for your comment.

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  3. Hi Cindi, I just listen to the podcast and yes it is scary stuff! Not sure if it will impact my sleep too. But there are definitely points she makes that hit home to what I have experienced in my twenty years of retirement and where I am now. It was UPSETTING!
    My DH had eighteen months of early retirement Before battling his final disease. Totally devastating and unexpected. The cost of this and the funeral cost were not in my yearly budget but came out of savings. The twelve years of widowhood have constantly been a real learning curve for me. Financially and emotionally.
    As a woman I have and do put the care of everyone else ahead of me. Right now three and half days of babysitting grandkids. I find my kids have no idea of reciprocity to help me in return on an ongoing basis only that sometime in the future they will have to take care of aging Mom, they hope maybe in twenty years!
    The tornado hitting here and the cost of cleanup was an eye opener. So even though my net worth has continue to increase minimally I felt the urgency to be agressive on increasing it with more dividend producing investments and interest then just CDS. There could be a tsunami of hefty expenses that hit at the same time so best to be proactive, right and increase the savings. I came to this conclusion on my own before hearing Suze.
    And I think Suze is definitely preaching Fear Factor to bring people back to her presentations of how to handle their financial choices. The lower tax brackets just changed allows an opportunity for those already retired to do Roth conversions of traditional Ira at a lower cost in taxes right now. Yes, Taxes brackets will be going up since they cut them, but having not cut government spending, causes our debt to increase dramatically.
    I don’t think you need the amount of money she states if you are already in your late sixties but you do still have to plan for inflation and so some of your passive income has to be put into a compounding mechanism to use in the future. sincerely, Lara

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    • Suze has a new book coming out regarding women and money. I just put a library hold on it.
      I never expected my husband to get as sick as he is now with two anyurisms. This changed everything for us and I’m furious. Not in my planning. And this is what Suze is talking about. Scary stuff indeed.
      I’m back at the drawing board. I’m regretting quitting my own job and retiring at 50. Lost my most productive, compounding years.
      Oh well.
      Thanks for your comment. You speak much truth.

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      • I read all of her other books, so I will probably get this book from the library too. When is it being released?
        Personally I think we are entering a vicious inflationary cycle. We will make more in interest only to have our expenses increase more. I hope not as badly as the 1980’s. There was a financial guy, that said the smartest consumer was the one who stockpiled their necessities at reduced prices when the last cycle started and only replaced them when they got a great sale. Also those that could tolerate living using less gas and heat or air conditioning. I guess I will have to fill my larder again since I haven’t done this in the past year and it is really low.
        I don’t regret quitting my job twenty years ago because I was able to help my parents when they needed me and share quality time with my DH, help with the grandkids, and follow several passions. I also used my Thrifty habits to live below my means to avoid having to re-enter the job market. The FiRE community has had a long bull market to pad their savings but being our age we got hammered twice in the stock market- the tech wreck, and 2007-2008, and at the same time dismal interest of the last 11 years.
        I wonder what will happen to the FiRE, if we go into a prolonged bear market. I wonder what will happen to all the baby boomers that have no savingsSincerely, Lara

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      • I think her book is either out now or due out on the 16th? In any event, October release for sure. I’m on my library waiting list.
        We started stocking up on things that the tariffs are going to hit, like clothes and sneakers, shoes etc. Whatever we needed, we bought.
        As for me, I’m cutting back and putting money into our savings account. I’m either cancelling things or rearranging them. I’ve just discovered the beauty and cost effectiveness of state parks. They’re priced at only $22 a night vs the $60 to $90 a regular RV park gets. So, starting next year we will only be staying at state parks in Florida, Maine and New York.
        Who knew? Duh!
        As for the young FIRE, they are going to be in for a real rude awakening. The blog author, Pant, is putting ALL her money into rental real estate! How stupid can someone be? Oy vey!

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  4. On a different note:did you hear about retail wants to stop accepting Visa and MasterCard rewards credit cards because they have higher swipe fees? There is a lawsuit. Lara

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    • Ugh.
      Also AI robotics is going to change most everything for all of us. Anyone to ignore the trends will suffer accordingly.

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  5. Hi ladies, thought I would jump in here. Lara, I love your mention of lack of reciprocity from adult kids. Reciprocity? Heck, I would settle for them checking in every few months just to see if we’re dead yet. You can see you touched a sore spot there.

    Cindi, we read some of the same financial blogs as I find your comments elsewhere on the web. I do not know ONE SINGLE PERSON who has anywhere near a million stuck away for their retirement.

    None of us made anywhere NEAR enough money to even think of those lofty heights, and yet we’re all doing fine, better than fine, we’re great. Six of us meet for dinner every two weeks and we all travel. We all have paid off homes and have bought cars in the last three years. We’re having a great retirement.

    The only thing that could really impact spouse and I financially would be major health problems, which will probably come at some time. We have medicare, actually an Advantage plan so we have no supplemental plan. Husband has already had one major surgery which didn’t cost us a nickel. And frankly I’m not sure how this plan will work in case of future needs. AND I’m not going to worry about it. We have what we have in retirement savings. We can’t worry ourselves sick over future health costs. What would be the point?

    Cross that bridge when, and if, it comes.

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    • Anne, I totally agree with you. We did our best with the least we had, right? We don’t need millions of dollars to make us happy or have a successful retirement. My dad lived till 92. The last year or so of his life, as his health failed, my sister hired a live-in caretaker at $600 a week and dad did just fine. (Suze spent $30,000 a month on her own mother) That’s how I want to go out also: in my own home with a hired hand to help out. My kids can handle that for me.
      What Suze lacks is faith and hope. She has no mention of God anywhere. We have to trust in a Divine Being, up above, who watches over us.
      I know I did my best, Anne as I am certain so did you. More people like us need to speak up and show that yes! a happy retirement is possible without a few million bucks in the bank!
      Thank you, Anne for your great comment!

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    • Yep the generations below us are more takers then givers, and many have no problem diszoning their parents.
      You are so right that we could retire with less then million but most of us also had pension to help.
      Health cost will definitely be our wildcard. Lara

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      • Lara, my daughter still owes me around $13K from that $50K I loaned her thirteen years ago! I turned out to be a mortgage holder. She only pays me a few hundred per month, granted yes, on time and DH says I should keep my mouth shut, take the money and be thankful and run! Can you imagine the return I would be getting now on that $13,000!!!!
        Oh well.

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  6. Sometimes it seems to me that people like Suzy miss the “celebrity” of the life they had and the attention that goes along with it. Is it really about the money? Look at people who seem to work forever like Movie and TV actors and politicians in their 80’s.To me they can’t let go of the lime light…maybe I am wrong but I bet there are a lot of people who would happy to have the retirement life style of Suzy ( along with the $$$). I am in my mid-sixties and soon to retire due to job elimination. I think the FIRE people have adopted some good money principles to live by if nothing else. Health is everything and if the world was different I would have rather not had to work till at least mid thirties to enjoy life in good health and then work till I dropped. Just a thought…

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    • Hi Steve. Your thought is a very good thought.
      Sorry about your job.
      Happened to my hubby also. Hang in there.
      Suze says the minimum anyone can live on in retirement is $80,000 a year. We never even made that amount when we were working!! Duh?
      We live on about $35,000 now in retirement. Suze probably picks her teeth with that amount. When working we lived on between $56K and $76K. I think one year we almost made $90K due to overtime. But that’s it.
      We can fish for free here in NY. We don’t need to own an island in the carribbean for that! LOL.
      Thanks for your comment.

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  7. I think sometimes that what people need is a sabbatical rather than retirement. Perhaps Suze just needed a year or so to rest and recuperate from her very busy life. Now that she has had time to think and put some new thoughts together, she is ready to tackle the next time of her life.
    IMHO, the best defense against becoming a bag lady, is having no debt, having a solid emergency fund, and living creatively. Stuff happens.

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    • I’m with you, Florence. Suze Orman is the type of person that must keep busy, must keep people feeling terrified so that they buy her books. LOL. Orman certainly created a stir with this recent podcast interview of hers.
      I’m a very creative person. With that and the help of God almighty, I don’t plan on being a bag lady anytime soon. Praise God!
      Thank you for your comment.

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  8. Hi Cindy, I did not watch the film to be honest nor did I want to I do not need to be fearful in my retirement. What will be will be. I don’t know anyone who has that much money saved up and everyone seems to be doing OK. As I mentioned in a previous post several months ago DH and I have some debt in retirement, but I’m not going to worry about it. I don’t like it but if the worst happens I can always pay the minimum every month until I pay it off. Not what I would like to do not what I’m planning on doing but I would in a worst-case scenario. Honestly I hate all these fear mongering types of podcasts. We have live through some terrible times, and I’m sure we will live through some more. But survive we well. I plan on continuing to live the best life I can with the resources I have and not let anyone like Susan Orman scare the crap out of me. Good luck to you remember the future is unknown , we can hope for the best, being mindful of the worst.

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    • Thanks Teri for your encouraging words. I, as a write, had to listen to the podcast. The first time put me in a tizzy, up the whole night worrying if what I have done has been adequate. I accidentally listened to parts of it again the next day and it sent me in a tail spin again. Till I said ‘hey! I’m already retired. I’m prepared for every worst case scenario we can think of and so far I have had the ability to adjust on a moments notice or on a spin of a dime. In other words, we’ll be AOK.
      I don’t live like Suze and she could NEVER live as I do. So, yes, she has a slanted look on life. I’m a bit more realistic. I live beneath my means and within my needs, as Suze points out. I’m doing it, woman! And I also trust in God to see us through.
      Thanks again for your kind encouraging words. We’re all going to be OK! Amen to that! 🙂

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  9. Suze’s “advice”. — I HATE IT I HATE IT I HATE IT! She has very little real financial training and is just a media “star” in my opinion.Many of us have saved, retired a bit on the early side 59 and 60 for me and DH.We’re 64/65 now. We learned to live beneath our means Looong time ago so being frugal in retirement is no biggie. We have always been pretty conservative so never lost $$ in the stock market,never made the big “WINS” of the stock market either but somehow it all worked out. WE’ve travels..a lot when we worked, some while retired, less now..we seem to be settling down to wanting to be at home more..we love our home, our yard, our pool, our friends,church, activities in our town..all provide quite a lot of entertainment and fun. Thought about RV int but decided we did not want to be gone for long periods of time.My husband started a small part time practice a year after retiring so he enjoys that and we have some extra income we did not count on. Me, no more work for me!!! Yes, we made some financial mistakes,too,especially in year one of retirement when we moved up North,Renee dout our house, then decided to come BACK.. had to sell the house we bought up there.. a mess of a 2 years overall.. but hey we managed,we learned, it’s over now! Ther rent we got for our home sort of covered the “mistake” of purchasing the new house and we broke even..just a shit load of packing and unpacking over 2 years! Am very grateful. Also feel like you do,time to stock up on goods and pantry.. with the tariffs etc..although we don’t need much. Glad to see you back blogging.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Madeline. Live and learn. Experience is still the best teacher. We can plan all we want on paper but until we actually retire it’s just a pipe dream.
      We’re gonna do the RVing for a while. Hubby wants to stay home more. I’m still raring to go go go.
      As for Suze, I understand what she is saying but I just don’t think she’s logically realistic. Plan for the best. And let God do the rest.
      Thanks for your comment.

      Like

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