Suze on FIRE . .

She is welcome to her opinions. I will not argue. Find myself in one of those 1% categories, though, and did not require Suze’s kind of money “back in the day” to pull it off. But that was long ago. Have to concede things likely are different today.

Suze on FIRE


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Well, it all depends on one lives. For some people, yes, but she doesn’t give much context it. I did enjoy the “Can I afford this” segment back when she had the show. I think some people just write in to gloat about how much $ they got.

$5m to retire before 60 doesn’t seem that crazy to me. I’m expecting health costs alone to be over $1m for two of us after age 60.

Of course, we have 30 years until then, and $1m isn’t going to be the same in 30 years.

Also, people are living longer and (it appears) having kids later, so may be paying for kids colleges in their 60s.

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Suze is an idiot. She didn’t research any of the readily available information before going “on tour”.

I never really understood her appeal.

Found this recently. I have no idea how much of it is true, but videos like this don’t exist for most people on TV, so I figure there has to been some reason someone put this much effort into portraying her as a fraud.

Fair, but the best care still generally demands a premium. I also have no desire to sit around in a waiting room for the whole day to get free care, when I could pay and get better care quickly. There are a lot of things you can get for free, but sometimes it still makes sense to pay for them.

I should add two things: 1) obviously it’s a personal decision. In school I spent 3 hours in a waiting room to get a cavity filled because to go elsewhere would have cost $300 and I wanted money for beer. I liked beer. I still like beer.
2) I’ve never heard of Suze Orman (though she does look familiar) so I’m not in favor of or opposed to what she does/ has done/ said.


Suze is similar to Dave Ramsey. Both are mostly OK for people who are financially uneducated and struggling. neither are good sources for investing advice and both are fundamentally just TV personality entertainers rather than actual financial gurus.


I never understood the FWF hate for these two. It’s 100% true they don’t teach people the most optimal financial strategy but that’s never their audience. Both of them basically says spend less than you earn and figure out the wants vs needs, which is quite a start for a large portion of population. I see no harm in that.


I think Ramsey says to never borrow money, regardless of purpose. Not even for a mortgage.

Orman has said and done a few dumb or terrible things too, including her prepaid debit card mentioned in the video posted upthread.

They are actors pretending and claiming to be experts and too many people believe them and pay for their services/products/books, even though much better advice can be found for less (or free, ala FWF and FD).


My favorite post today


I’m smiling writing this. I’m not angry or upset. And I do not mind.

But I note with interest that responses here, WITH important exceptions duly noted, are focusing more on the Suze side of the subject line and far less on the FIRE aspect.

As a FIRE participant I suppose my own leanings are to that side. And I offered my views, and noted my situation, in the OP. This has been good for me personally. We one percenters lose track too easily of other folks. And note carefully, reference here to 1% is not a reference to wealth. It is instead with regard to the retirement timing chart shown in the article.

My own early retirement predated Suze’s emergence considerably. My mentor back then was a guy named Bob Brinker. Bob taught me about (what he calls) “critical mass”. It has all worked out. :grinning:

The $5M figure seems absurd out of context. It really depends on the lifestyle you want/need to support. If you’re single and plan on retiring in an area of the country with low cost of living and don’t have expensive plans for your retirement days, there’s no way you need even half of that. At 4% withdrawal, a middle of the park (in midwest) $50k/yr income would require only $1.25M. Wouldn’t be luxurious but still sustainable. But yeah if you want $200k/yr lifestyle, her $5M is standard 4% withdrawal rehash. It’s just not the goal most people choose to set for their early retirement. That’s all.

I’m not a fan of hers at all but I don’t hate her either. She’s addressing a segment who don’t even get the absolute most basic financial strategies. In broad lines, her message of don’t live beyond your means, stay away from high-interest debt, pay yourself first to build savings, fund needs, not wants, etc. would keep a lot of people out of trouble if they stuck to it. To me, she’s like a TV version of personal finance 101 for dummies wrap into pseudo entertainment package.


This is very well taken. We all are different from one another. My own focus has always been on retirement itself, this from an early age. I am respectful other participants here would never consider my brand of unadorned retirement. They would prefer working to provide money for a more luxurious lifestyle, whether in retirement or not. And that is fine.

I was born into very modest circumstances and at one time, after leaving home, I was essentially broke. This did not square up well at all with my belief that work is the curse of the leisure class. Retirement was all that mattered to me, not luxury. So I set aside my preference for sloth, worked my butt off until I achieved (what I hoped was) critical mass, and then retired.

At one point I was saving circa 85%-90% of my take home. I can remember enjoying clipping actual paper coupons of individual muni bonds I bought back then and depositing the proceeds with the assistance of a real bank teller. There was not even, at that time, a bank service charge for processing of those coupons. I remember each issue needed to have its own separate envelope, properly filled out.

Anyway, after what seemed like an eternity, I finally reached my goal. Walked into my boss’s office one day and handed him my (very polite and respectful) letter of resignation. He was quite surprised and I was having fun.

When you are in the 1% (again by the chart in the article) retirement is more challenging because so many years most likely lie ahead. It’s simply not possible to know what circumstances will be twenty and thirty years, or more, in advance. Of course if your nestegg is massive beyond belief the risk is reduced. I did not have that.

Anyway it’s much later now, far fewer unknowns exist because time is (relatively) short, and things look pretty good. But rest assured, if I end up having pulled it off, luck will certainly have been involved!!


For younger participants here, I probably should add this:

My retirement was in my personal plans for a goodly number of years before it happened. I retired PRIOR to the Reagan tax reforms of 1986. And I can’t tell you I had a great advance awareness, way back then, that those reforms were even in the offing. So for anyone unaware of the situation before 1986, I was working far too much for benefit of the government and far too little on behalf of myself personally. Given the extraordinary stress of my employment at that time, I was literally killing myself for the sake of paying tax to Uncle Sam.

Following the Reagan reforms, of course, hard working people were able to keep much more of what they earned. I was already retired. But I can recall wondering from time to time, in the wake of those reforms, whether I might have retired too early. In the end I believe I did the right thing. True, I did incur a setback on the money side. But I totally got it right on the health side. And I think all would agree that without your health, money counts for very little.


Yeah they’re OK for basic “get out of debt” and “spend less than you earn” financial basics that a lot of people can benefit from.

I think the FWF hate on either stems from when Suze or Ramsey would wander into investment advice or complex topics and give truely awful advice. Good example is Daves commission investment fund racket. Both also have personalities that can be abrasive.

So you mean that your’e in the 1% that retire before the age of 50 years old right?

There are actually two categories, both labelled at 1%, shown on the chart. I purposefully did not say into which of those categories I personally fall.:wink:

I think everyone would like to be in the FIRE situation. Of all the unknowns, aside from maybe some bear years in investment returns, I do think healthcare costs are the biggest unknown.

Sure, some say structure your assets so that you can have government healthcare. I guess that is one of the main options.

If anyone has paid attention to the past two years of health insurance, we are seeing newer categories of distinctions and co-pays/co-insurance such as injectables and this is only what we know or understand today. I can imagine this will change in maybe 2-5 years.

Is it okay for FIRE people to decide to live a bright light with a sudden end versus a slowly dimming light in the future? Perhaps. I am still thinking the only feasible FIRE is to move to a low cost country with access to low cost, good care (or government controlled drug pricing). I believe only a small percentage of FIRE folks are actually willing to move out of the US.

In terms of these media financial exercise trainers - I don’t worry so much about their general message.

do me a favor, put me in your will yall since there will be a lot leftover.

Your post is very well taken, rasheed. I mentioned up thread that luck was involved in my FIRE experience. Your reference to health matters loomed large for me in this regard. To wit:

Through all the years, and there were a great many, I self insured for health. I paid my own premiums, never relying on anyone else, and I was never without good health insurance right up until I went onto Medicare. It was all part of the retirement plan, more precisely, nestegg protection. I knew that if my nestegg were wiped out or significantly reduced by a health crisis I would fall below critical mass and be forced to return to work.:grimacing:

But for all those years I was able to purchase affordable catastrophic health insurance. Hence, in a health emergency back then, my nestegg would have been dinged, but not eradicated. And I would have been OK.

I was most fortunate through so many years never to have encountered such a health emergency. And I made it to the safe harbor of Medicare in time. Today, though, I do not know how any person seeking FIRE would be able to handle health insurance as easily and affordably as was the case for me. And therein lies the luck. I guess I was born at the right time.:pensive: