Suze Orman's Webcast Transcript
Tisha: Hi, Oprah and Suze. Thank you so much for all that you do. My question is, is I was wanting to loan against our life insurance policy. I wanted to know what Suze thought of that. I was thinking right around $10,000 hopefully just to kind of get us back on our feet, our business went under, my husband's been working out of state, actually in Chicago, and so we're trying to get back on our feet and I just wanted to know what your idea about loaning against a life insurance policy.
Suze: Can you tell me the interest rate that they're going to charge you? Is it 8 percent?
Tisha: I don't—I don't know that for sure. I had just actually heard that you could do that. I didn't even know it was an option, and I kind of wanted to get your advice.
Suze: Is that the only option that you have? You have nothing in savings—retirement plans are not an option here. So you have nothing—
Tisha: The only other thing we have is in our 401(k). But what you said last week, it didn't sound like that would be such a good idea.
Suze: You're not going there. If this is a dire situation, you have no money, it's not just to make your life easier. It's not just so that, you know, you have some money around. If you literally cannot pay your bills, you don't know where you're going to be able to get the money to be able to go to the grocery store to buy food, to pay your electrical bills, whatever it may be, oh, you most certainly can make a loan from your life insurance policy. I do not have a problem with that whatsoever.
Tisha: Do you think that's better than taking out, say, like a debt consolidation loan?
Suze: Yes, I do. I have to tell you. I think borrowing from a life insurance policy for these circumstances, there's nothing wrong with doing that.
Tisha: All right.
Tisha: Well, thank you again.
Suze: Don't sound sad about it, though.
Oprah: All right.
Suze: You should sound happy that at least you're one of the lucky ones, my friend. You're one of the lucky ones that have something that you can borrow money from. Do you know how many people are out there that they don't have a life insurance policy, they don't have a 401(k), there is no equity in their home, they owe money on a car, they're underwater in everything, they don't have any relatives or friends or anybody to go to. Oh, you are sitting pretty.
Suze: There you go.
Tisha: Thank you. I'm thankful every day. I have a thankful journal and, you know, I really just keep our vision that all will be well because I truly believe that, you know, that higher source only wants peace in the world. So thank you.
Suze: Yes. But then if you really believe that, I just have to say this. Please watch the tone of your voice. Watch what you convey when you say something because as I've been saying a lot lately, this world needs our laughter. This world needs our positive energy. So when somebody says to you, yeah, go ahead and do something, give it to them. "Yes. Thank you. I can do that." Give the world your power right now because everybody feels so powerless.
Tisha: I will. Thank you again.
Oprah: I like I will. Thank you, Tisha. So Kelly's from North Carolina. North Carolina. A little warmer down there than it is up here. Hi, Kelly.
Kelly: Hi, Oprah. Hi, Suze. Thank you so much for taking my call.
Oprah: There you are.
Kelly: The reason I am calling is I'm in the same boat that a lot of other people were in watching your 401(k) tank, and I'm at about half of what I was when I started the year out and my question has to do with the money that's sitting in my 401(k) right now. I have more than five years to go before I retire, unfortunately, but I thought, you know, based on, you know, everything that you hear that I should just sit on that money where it is and ride it out because of the whole cost averaging. Well, other people are saying to me, "Oh, no, now is the time to actually take your money and move it around into our funds, because you can take advantage of the lower prices and get more shares." So I'm just kind of confused as to what I should do.
Suze: All right. So let's first, Kelly, let me just briefly ask you this. You just said, "Unfortunately," you have, you know, more than five years till you retire.
Oprah: I noted that too.
Suze: Right. That's one way to look at it. But here's the ones that are really unfortunate. The ones that are still down 40 percent in their 401(k)s just like you but they have to retire in one or two years, so there is no time for them to make up the losses that they sustained, and now those are the people that really are in trouble here. You, fortunately, my dear Kelly, have more than five years till you retire and yet you don't see it that way. So first of all, I'm just asking you to just think about what I just said and—
Oprah: Change the paradigm.
Suze: It's fortunate that you have five, 10, 15 years to go because that's what we need to recoup the losses that have been sustained in this market, number one. Number two, if you are invested in a 401(k) plan, you have to know what you are invested in. And why you are invested in the investments that you happen to have. Now, all 401(k) plans usually have mutual funds and/or the company stock that you happen to be working for. One big mistake that many of you make is 100 percent of your money is in the company stock of your 401(k) because you think that's the way to go. You should not have more than 10 percent of your money within a 401(k) in your company's stock. Number two, if you have good mutual funds currently within your 401(k) that are down considerably and you have at least 10 years or more, preferably more, until you need this money, then I don't have a problem with you continuously to dollar cost average putting a little amount of money every single month into those same funds. If those funds are not performing for you because they're just not good funds, they're down more than the overall markets, maybe you want to switch to better funds within your 401(k). Just don't do things because your friends tell you to do things. Do things because it makes sense to you. So my—one of my sayings to you tonight is this: It's better to do nothing than to do something you do not understand.
Suze: So if you don't know what to do, then it's nothing wrong with in this type of a market to put your money in your 401(k) every month into a stable value fund within your 401(k) where it's like a money market so that at least you get an interest rate until you can figure it out. Did that help you?