Dear Suze Orman,
First of all, I want to say I am a huge fan…of talking to people like they’re dumb also. But you do it better… AND on TV! Everybody knows that a sizable portion of the populace enjoys being talked down to, but you’ve found a way to monetize it. What a genius power play to capitalize on the fears of aging, greedy people. I applaud your sassy confidence, however I regrettably feel obligated to point out some flaws in your financial planning advice. The biggest red flag I’ve never heard mentioned is:
“What if a person dies before retirement or soon thereafter?”
The Grim Reaper makes no guarantees. That sounds negative and morbid…..just like cable news. It’s a valid consideration.
For argument’s sake, let’s say a person does indeed survive into retirement. How long do they have to enjoy it? The life expectancy of an average American is around 78 years. The average age of retirement is about 65. Your advice calls for people to save their money from age 25 to 65 so they can have more for when they retire? Save when you’re young and able for when you’re old and DIS-abled? That sounds like an awful idea, like buying bulk foods and putting it somewhere inaccessible for a few decades… except in the 401(k) version the human spoils.
What if my dick doesn’t work anymore? Even if Cialis coaxes it upright, what quality of women will have sex with me? Since I will certainly be out of testosterone and adrenaline by then, it’s doubtful I will have the physical ability to pursue action sports as a senior citizen. Probably won’t want to take very many chances period.
Fine, I’ll just relax, drinking and smoking, but how will my body handle intoxicants at that age?
I know you Suze, you are thinking, “But very few Americans lead a life that involves physical agility and risk-taking. We like the safety of being indoors.”
That’s true, but what if your mind starts to go? Then what? I feel sorry for the suckers that save up for three or four decades and upon getting to the finish line are already suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, a stroke, a bad heart, or diabetes, etcetera, etcetera.
How many new nonsensical laws will Congress have cooked up in next thirty years? What shape will the natural world be in? How many more billions of humans will be competing for food and water?
Call me crazy, but when making decisions I pretend the media doesn’t exist. That way I can base choices on my own personal feelings and experiences, instead of what a for-profit business enterprise is telling me. Sorry Suze, but in my brain, the present is way more important than anything that happens thirty years from now. To me, saving for retirement is a fear-based marketing scan put forth by highly educated Wall Street banker-robbers so they have more chips to gamble.
Any extra money I obtain will always be blown on traveling and having fun as opposed to going into business with a bunch of snobby, dollar-crazed, Ivy-League sociopaths.