Saturday, July 9, 2011

Saving the Moola: Suze Orman answers all my questions in The Money Class

Our favorite way to spend a Saturday night is watching The Suze Orman Show on CNBC. Suze's quick wit and no-nonsense attitude is the perfect duo for a show about all things money. Suze has written many books over the last 15 years, but her latest book, The Money Class, serves as a guide, truly, for my most oddball questions - like, can I collect social security when I'm 67 even if I'm still working (somewhere part-time I would assume at this point!)? What is going to happen to social security in 30 to 40 years? And the most important question of all: My credit union ROTH isn't making any money! Where do I start a ROTH now to earn any interest?

The greatest news I have for all of you is that most libraries have this book (I borrowed mine from the Ypsi library), and Ms. Suze is going to have a new show, aptly titled Money Class, on OWN.

Here's the questions to my answers, as can be found in The Money Class:
  • In a short answer, yes, I can still collect social security even if I'm still making money. The cut-off is somewhere in the $30,000 range, and at that point, my social security would decrease. But, if you can't imagine not working at all (which seems a really strange idea - what would I do with all my time??!?!?!), then working part-time doing something you love - maybe working retail Borders or Joann's, or editing - would be a great way to earn some additional money in my golden years while collecting on social security.
  • Everyone my age is terrified about what's going to happen to social security in 30 to 40 years. While Suze is not the end all, be all of all things money, I trust her judgment and she says what is realistic to happen is that instead of receiving 100 percent of what we "should" receive at our 100 percent qualified age (this is age 67 right now), we would receive 75 percent. So, when you get your social security notice in the mail every year or so that lets you know if you were to go on social security disability at this time, you could get this much money, it would roughly be 75 percent of that instead of 100 percent, as an example. However, laws are being proposed that the age would be 69 for today's toddlers to receive "100 percent" social security - this would mean that people my age (20s and 30s) would probably collect on "100 percent" sometime between the ages of 67 and 68. Also, just as a side but important note, if you wait until age 70 to collect social security, you can get 124 percent of your benefits - a great deal!
  • I have a ROTH IRA with admittedly not a whole lot of money in my credit union, but Suze talks all the time on air about ROTHs earning 4 percent interest as an average rate of return. Well, I have bad news - my ROTH is earning less than one percent! Apparently, I have a ROTH in the wrong place - Suze strongly advises against ever having a ROTH with any sort of bank or credit union. Instead, she advises to open a ROTH at a discount brokerage firm, such as Fidelity or Ameritrade. I will definitely be looking into this as I'd like my retirement money to be earning money!
Each chapter of the book is a different "class" and there are classes for retirement in your 20s and 30s, 40s and 50s, and 60s and beyond. Suze advises to read all the classes no matter your age, and even though I kind of grumbled about it at the time, I'm really glad I read them all. There's a lot of nuggets of information in there, and reading about it myself may help my parents make good choices as they will soon, in the next 10 years or so, be heading into retirement.

This book is a must-read if you want to have a secure, free future. Golden years are called golden years for a good reason - they're supposed to be wonderful! But they won't be if you're worrying about money and worrying that your retirement accounts won't last for your lifetime. I feel like I have a better plan for my future and knowledge to help others.

And don't forget - Suze is on every Saturday night at 8 PM EST on CNBC! I'll leave you now the way Suze leaves all of us each Saturday: "There's only one thing I want you to remember about your money, and it is this: People first, then money, then things. Now you stay safe!"

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