Simple Intro to Life Insurance

 

 

 

As much as Suze Orman talks a blue streak about not getting insurancen, she’s not against all insurance…and life insurance can been an excellent tool-especially if you have  family or student loans that will not be forgiven.  Unfortunately, there are also some people who will try and talk you into a plan you don’t need or a plan that won’t work.  But if you’re young and healthy, this might be the best time to buy!  So familiarize yourself with the different plans and figure out what works for you and your goals.   

Lifehacker – Life Insurance Primer for Beginners – Insurance.

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$4.1 Trillion…now that’s a number you can really sink your teeth into

That’s how much the IMF says banks will lose by 2010 from the crisis which they are also predicting will be “deep and long lasting”…is it me or does that sound like the tag line for a new ED drug?  So is that the final bill?  It would be nice if the end was in sight…even if the final price tag is the most insane number I’ve ever heard of.  Perhaps the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will be over by then and we can use the Suze Orman method and snowball that money into paying down the $4.1 trillion!

I.M.F. Puts Bank Losses From Crisis at $4.1 Trillion – NYTimes.com.

Introducing the “Snowflake” method

I had never heard of the “Snowballing” method…in regard to paying off debts.  It’s something similar to Suze’s method where once you’ve finished paying off the highest interest rate credit card, you roll the payment you were making on that card to the next, and so on.  The “Snowflake” method is similar but you throw whatever extra money you come into at various debts.  The idea is that it has to hunting down extra money at every turn which IN turn keeps you from spending money.  An interesting idea.

Lifehacker – Use the Snowflake Method to Whittle Down Debt – Debt Repayment.

GurrrrrrlFRIEND!…Suze was back on Oprah and she’s got some new advice!

Actually, if you stalk Suze they way I do, it’s not so new…but for some of you it might be.  The BIG news which I think I previously posted is that she’s telling me people to STOP putting all their money toward their credit card bills, pay only the min. and put everything else towards an emergency fund!  Next, she’s telling everyone to ‘live on half’…if you have a spouse or partner and you’re both employed, put one FULL paycheck in the bank and save it.  If you’re on your own, bank HALF of your paycheck-she says to ‘try it’ for six months.  Then we need to ‘stash or cash’-meaning don’t pay down the bills…stash your cash…but where Suze?  In the mattress?  NEXT she talks about maxing out the Stimulus package-aka using COBRA, tax breaks, etc.  But who doesn’t know about COBRA by now???  COME ON!  What sucks is that you only get the reduced COBRA for 9 months.  And then she started talking about home stuff and car buying and I sorta lost interest.

They open the show with doomsday clips of stories that are actually happening right now (tent cities, bankruptcy, people living in their cars, etc-you know the signs) to stress the importance of following The Prophet’s words (Suze is the Prophet…as O explains, Suze knew this was going down and TALKED about it on the show in October of 2007!  Praise the Great all knowing O!)

Also, truck stops are officially the theme of the day!  The dude in the first depressing Greatest Depression/Recession family they had on totally checked out trucking as an option!  Sadly, he couldn’t do it…didn’t really get the straight line on why not so I’m not going to take it off my list yet…but the thing is, trucking isn’t really a fall back career…it’s a life y’all.  And it is NOT for the week.  Watch a FULL season of cops before you even think about it.

So back to her advice, she goes through the typical crap-get rid of a land line, satellite radio (wtf?  really?  People have satellite radio?  Plus O can’t be please about that…what about the O and Gayle show??), cell phone bills, blah, blah, blah…all the freaking obvious stuff.  Here’s a tip, when you get bills, just go through them all one by one and get rid of everything that you get a bill for…except insurance.  Do people REALLY need these lists?  I’ve SEEN SO MANY OF THEM!  Isn’t it obvious?  Perhaps it’s only obvious to people who get canned and suddenly have NO money…but this really seems like something people should be figuring out on their own.

Anyhoo, there’s some good info in here…and then a lot of the same old bullshit.  I do have to say, The Prophet really comes through with valuable info so check it out.

Recession Rescue with Suze Orman – Oprah.com.

NY Times tackles one of the toughest questions: How to Help a Friend in Need…with Cash

In this day and age, there are more people than ever in need.  There have always been people in need but what is so different about the current situation is that many of these people are neighbors, friends, and family members.  I can’t remember a time when I have known so many people who are laid off, unemployed, or underemployed.  And the numbers are increasing.  New York’s unemployment rate just made a record jump from 6.9% to 8.1%.  We’re now past the national average and it’s starting to show.  Even my neighborhood coffee shop had to lay off some employees!  While some people have been careful with their savings and are better able to cope with joblessness or having one pay check where there used to be two, a great many others have been living paycheck to paycheck or are simply unprepared for a protracted period of unemployment.  I’m not even sure Suze Orman’s suggested 8 month emergency fund is going to be enough for many Americans who may be out of work for quite sometime due to the percarious job market.  Even people who have been diligently saving maybe in financial peril because their accounts were market based and have been greatly depleated over the past six months.  The bottom line is, there are a great many people out there who are in need of financial aid and, if they are lucky, they have friends and family who are inclined to help and in a position to help.  But how do you politely lend or give money to a friend or family member in need without ruining your relationship?  This article provides some inspired ideas-everything from annoynmous giving to paying it forward.  Certainly an article to read or at least bookmark for later…you never know what the future holds.

Your Money – The Delicate Art of Helping Out With Cash – NYTimes.com.

Senate is still talking about Credit Card Relief

 

 

 

 

 

Senate Judiciary subcommittee is going though the proposed bill that Suze Orman has been talking about.  The bill won’t even go into effect until next year but it would give consumers a big leg up when trying to negotiate lower interest rates with credit card companies.  Interest rates on credit cards have become usury.  The article details how Douglas Corey’s interest rate jumped from 13% to 29% when he made less than the minimum on his payment for two months.  Credit card companies have started raising interest rates and crunching credit in a big way…and sometimes for customers who haven’t even had a late payment or less than the minimum.  But just like Suze, I think we need this bill now…now…not next summer. The average family has something like $10,000 in credit card debit-with a high interest rate that total could sky rocket by next summer.  

Senate Considers Relief for Credit Card Holders – washingtonpost.com.

Suze Changes Her Mind

Jump off a cliffIt seems like Suze Orman has been telling the masses 4evah to pay down credit cards and THEN work on building up your savings.  Sound advice…usually…except that the recent credit crunch has credit card companies changing their ways.  Suze’s advice was based on people being able to use some of their newly freed up credit as part of their emergency fund…But times have changed and now credit card companies are slashing credit limits and closing cards left and right even if you’ve always been on time and have done everything right. So Suze has changed her tune.  NOW she says you should pay your minimum payment and put EVERYTHING else towards an 8 month emergency fund. Once you’ve reached your 8 month savings goal, THEN you can make paying your credit cards your number one priority again…start with the highest interest rate, put a little more towards that one…then when you’re done with that one, roll what you were paying per month towards that card onto the next and so on.

I’m happy to see she’s reversed her stance.  It is an interesting and subtle change but it can make all the difference in the world for people in crisis.  I have LOADS of student loan debt and if I hadn’t put some savings away, I’d be up shits creek sans paddle right now.  And don’t forget-you can’t always count on unemployment…there are a number of factors that could exclude you from unemployment benefits.  Unemployment benefits differ from state to state so check your local benefits office to find out what you need to do to qualify.

The Suze Scoop from Suze Orman.