Why Suze Orman is Clueless about the FIRE Movement

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FIRECracker

FIRECracker is Canada's youngest retiree. She used to live in one of the most expensive cities in Canada, but instead of drowning in debt, she rejected home ownership. What resulted was a 7-figure portfolio, which has allowed her and her husband to retire at 31 and travel the world. Their story has been featured on CBC, the Huffington Post, CNBC, BNN, Business Insider, and Yahoo Finance. To date, it is the most shared story in CBC history and their viral video on CBC's On the Money has garnered 4.5 Million views.
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So, lately the FIRE community’s been up in arms over the recent episode on Paula Pant’s Afford Anything podcast.

In this episode, Paula asks bestselling author and self-proclaimed “Money Matriarch of the World” Suzy Orman the question listeners are dying to know: “What do you think of the FIRE movement?”

At the time, while listening to the podcast I was making breakfast.

One second, I’m whistling to myself and flipping eggs, the next thing I’m whipping my spatula across the room.

But before we get into why, please go to Paula’s podcast and listen to the episode entitled “Why I Hate the FIRE Movement.”

To summarize: Suze summed up her feelings on the FIRE movement by saying “I hate it. I hate it. I hate it.” And then goes on a 20 minute tirade why all of us don’t know what the Hell we’re doing and need to get back to work ASAP.

So have a seat, get comfy, and put on your rain gear because my truth-hatchet’s coming out and she’s looking mighty thirsty today.

But then again, when is my truth-hachet ever NOT thirsty?

Bad Things Could Happen!

Suze spends a lot of time on the episode listing out all the horrible things that could happen to you over the course of a 50+ year retirement. You could get cancer. Your parents could get sick. A mudslide, or a tornado, or a forest fire could destroy everything you own. She’s been in the business a long time, as she repeatedly reminds us, and she’s seen it all! The world is a scary place, and it could happen to YOU.

We know.

We realize that the world is a scary place and big, expensive disasters could swoop in and decimate our life savings. But the solution to that is not to never retire, the solution is to buy insurance.

If you own a home, we absolutely agree that you should insure it. If you live near the water, get flood insurance. If you’re older and live in the States, get Long Term Care Insurance, as Suze herself recommends. And never, ever go without sufficient health care insurance, as we write about here.

Suze’s concerns have nothing to do with the FIRE movement, they have to do with insurance coverage, and on that point the FIRE community actually agrees with her. Make sure you’re sufficiently insured and budget for it properly in your annual expenses.

You’re Losing Out on Compound Interest!

She then spends another big chunk of time lecturing Paula on this magical thing called “compound interest.” Money, you see, invested at an early age will grow exponentially over time, because there’s this magical thing called “compound interest” that will make it grow beyond your wildest dreams!

We. Know.

Does she think we made it to millionaire status by not understanding how compound interest works? And does she think that the moment we retire we’re selling everything, putting it all in a suitcase full of cash and then just spending it down?

We’re investing it! We invested it in a balanced diversified portfolio when we were working, and we’re still investing it in retirement! The vast majority of our money is still invested, it’s still compounding, and that’s why 3 years after retirement our net worth has gone up rather than down. We’re richer now than when we retired, all thanks to the magic of compound interest!

Again, the FIRE community is not in disagreement with Suze on this. So why does she think we don’t understand such a basic principle of money?

Doing Nothing Will be Super Boring!

She then spends another insanely long time explani-bragging about her life after she left her show. Sitting on a private island, flying around in her private jet, and how the boredom eventually drove her to return back to the air, on the Oprah Winfrey network no less! Retirement, she explains, is boring and pointless. Why would you want to do that to yourself at such a young age.

WE. KNOW.

We tried it, we tested it, and we reported back on how important it was to create a new identity. You can’t just retire to get away from something, you have to retire to something, and that’s why we advocate finding something to be passionate about, because if you choose to leave your job (a completely optional part of FIRE, as we continuously remind everyone) you can actually pursue that passion full-time.

That’s why we didn’t retire and sit on a beach. We volunteer for a non-profit. We started this blog. We’re speaking at Chautauqua. We’re writing a book. We starred in a movie. And we’re loving every minute of it, because FIRE allowed us to pursue something we were passionate about rather than be stressed out of our minds about money. Just like Suze, in fact.

Read the F*cking Blogs

Suze, we appreciate you coming onto Paula’s podcast and talking to us. We really do. Because an idea as radical and important as FIRE needs to be questioned, tested, and attacked from every angle to see if it will fall apart. Only then do we know how strong it is.

But unfortunately Suze, you didn’t do the due diligence. You didn’t read the blogs, you didn’t go onto the Reddit threads. In short, you don’t know anything about us.

Which is fine, but you can’t attack a movement you know nothing about. Your knowledge of our movement seems to be limited to the phrase “Financial Independence Retire Early,” and the misconception that we’re all naive little young people who don’t know how the real world works.

The truth is, the people in this movement have seen some shit, yo! Some of us came from abject poverty, and still made it. Some of us retired right into the greatest financial crisis in our generation, and still made it. Some of us have been retired for a decade, and are now richer than ever. And some of us have been retired for decades, survived cancer in the American health care system, are actually older than you, and have still made it out all right.

Sorry Suze, but we’re not the naïve little snowflakes you think we are. We didn’t just throw up our hands with no backup plans and say “it’s probably going to be fine”. We’re engineers, doctors, lawyers, film-makers, entrepreneurs, etc, etc, etc. We come from all walks of life but the one thing that binds us all together is that we’re smart, we’re good at math, and we’re really, really cautious. We wouldn’t have gotten this far otherwise.

And as we’ve discovered, when we dig into the issues you raise and the problems you’ve identified, we aren’t at odds on the vast majority of them. In fact, the advice you give your audience and the advice we give ours actually matches up most of the time!

But one big point of disagreement we do have is what you suggest we do instead…

Just Get a Job You Like

Just get a job you like.

Boy does this “advice” get my blood boiling.

As Millennials, we are endlessly pilloried in the media for being privileged and out of touch, but the truth is, whenever some Boomer tells us to “just get a job you like,” that is by far the most privileged, out-of-touch statement I could possibly imagine. Just get a job with good pay, good benefits, work-life balance, a cushy pension, and is so secure that it won’t ever be outsourced or eliminated!

WE. CAN’T.

THEY DON’T EXIST ANYMORE.

Don’t you think that if we could have signed up for these fun, easy, enjoyable, secure jobs that will employ me until my 60’s that I would have f*cking done it by now?

We’re not doing this FIRE thing because we’re lazy and hate working. We’re doing this FIRE thing because we have to.

On the podcast, you warn about the coming apocalypse of A.I. making all our jobs unstable. Well guess what, lady? They’re unstable now!

The job market that you grew up in is not the job market we grew up in. Gone are the days that employment was based on silly things like “merit” and “work ethic.” Fun and enjoyable jobs that we “like?” Don’t make me laugh.

For our generation, it’s not uncommon to work your butt off, pull all sorts of overtime, successfully get a project in, and then be immediately laid off the next day.

I’ve seen it happen. I’ve seen people get blood clots from stress. I’ve seen my co-workers collapse and almost die at their desk.

And when it comes time for the company to come through on their end of the bargain, when it comes time for them to take care of us in exchange for all the hard work we put in towards making them rich, they throw us under the bus. Every. Single. Time.

Suze, I know this is hard to imagine from inside the bubble of your private island, but having a job you like that will take care of you is no longer an option. And it hasn’t been an option for some time.

No. We have to find a way to take care of ourselves. “Just find a job you like and never get laid off” is outdated advice. It may have worked for you, but it sure as shit ain’t working for us.

THAT’s why the FIRE movement exists.

Play with FIRE and you WILL get burnt

Suze ends the interview with this line. And first of all, before I fully react to it, let me just say:

Damn. What a great line!

I mean, putting aside my personal opinion about the interview, and my thoughts on the matter, that is a HELL of a line to close an interview on. Truly, if I were some copywriter trying to come up with the perfect tagline to attack our movement, I would be hard pressed to come up with anything as succinct and cool-sounding as that. Bravo, Suze. Bravo.

Here’s the problem.

Throughout all of human history, any idea or invention of any significance, whether it’s airplanes, the Internet, or, as her rather brilliant smack-down suggests, fire (actual fire, not the acronym), can have some serious downsides if used improperly.

If you light a fire and don’t know how to control it, then yes. I agree with her. You could get burnt very, very badly.

But fire is a great example, because nobody can disagree that discovering fire has impacted humanity tremendously positively. How was this possible? Because we learned how to control it.

FIRE (the acronym now, not actual fire) is just a concept. But the FIRE community is the real hero in this story. Because the FIRE community, through its network of bloggers, authors, podcasters, and film-makers, is learning how to control it. We’re learning how to build a Yield Shield, and a Cash Cushion. We’re learning how to build a portfolio that will ensure you never run out of money.

And most importantly, it’s working!

And you know what? Every time a new, possibly dangerous idea, comes out. There’s always a phalanx of the “old guard” that thinks it’s a load of phooey.

But the truth is, history is never written by the cowards. It’s written by the people who saw the challenges, stepped up, fixed the problems, and said “let’s do this.”

Suze has decided to align herself with the cowards. We have decided to align ourselves with the fixers.

So here’s to FIRE and all the revolutionaries in this community who aren’t afraid to make a change and give themselves choices, rather than follow the status quo.

Here’s to helping each other and supporting the movement to enrich our lives with more freedom, choices, and security. FIRE isn’t just an idea anymore. FIRE is a movement. FIRE is about helping each other build a life we can be proud of and find happiness. We’re all in this together.

To wrap up, let me leave you with this quote from famous misfit Steve Jobs.

Here’s to the crazy ones.

The misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes, the ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.

About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things – they push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

I’d much rather be crazy enough to change the world with FIRE, than be scare-mongered into staying with the broken status quo in Suze’s cult.

How about you? What do you think? Let’s hear it in the comments below!



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123 thoughts on “Why Suze Orman is Clueless about the FIRE Movement”

      1. I have to agree that your post here laid out some very real info. I see how things have changed in the workforce as well. Pensions are all but non-existent, healthcare is super expensive, and so is college. The social safety net – social security, medicare, and medicaid – are all on the chopping block or not keeping pace with inflation and the list goes on and on…

        I have seen that it is now your responsibility alone to take care of you. I started blogging as a way to help me express my feelings and share the knowledge of personal finance with others. So, I say if you can, FIRE it up!

        Thanks,
        Miriam

  1. It’s not enough to wreck the system that gave them pensions and healthcare. It’s not enough to claim Millennials think they’re snowflakes who deserve participation trophies, while conveniently ignoring the demographic that gave out those trophies in the first place. It’s not enough to “just get a good career” with a high school degree and then laugh in the face of twentysomethings with graduate degrees, exponentially more productive, who are asking for the same inflation-adjusted starting salary.

    Then they wonder why we’re so cynical.

    Boomers, man.

  2. It was a fun, and sometimes cringeworthy episode to listen to. The thing with compounding is wow… the numbers really start to get big in one’s 40s, 50s, and 60s. But at some point, you’ve just got to give it up and live.

    Confidence and master marketing is what I’ve taken away from Suze. I did sense restlessness and perhaps some sadness in her though. Maybe she just needs a hug or some love?

    If you’re that rich, you don’t need to repeatedly say so. Something seems missing.

    Sam

    1. Totally agree. It seems to me that if she retired and is now back she couldn’t find her purpose in retirement. Hence the constant bragging about her net worth.

      Side note maybe she’s upset at FIRE and talks about AI taking everyone’s jobs because this movement pushes either doing your own financial planning or using robo advisers. Either way financial planners, like Suze, will have to compete for a smaller number of investors.

      1. When you have 30 million and you still need more money, that makes makes sad for her. Maybe she needs things that money can’t buy.

    2. “I did sense restlessness and perhaps some sadness in her though. Maybe she just needs a hug or some love?”

      Maybe some FIRE will warm her up 😉 I hear it’s lonely on private islands.

    3. Yep. Definitely. I think there was also a large hole in the logical consistency of her reasoning that Paula pointed out (very nicely).

      As you point out, by nature of compounding eventually one just had to do something other than chase money. But the self-professed guru dismissed FIRE compounding as “earning dividends or something” in the interview. Perhaps there’s really a lack of perspective around capital appreciation, too?

      Definitely some overboard “I’m great, see?” Going on, too.

  3. GenX here, and this has me fist pumping ‘Hell yea’ at my desk this morning, good luck finding a good corporate job anymore that won’t kill you first. Both my spouse and I work in professional fields, and in both of our fields the trend is moving away from hiring these roles as full-time employees and instead as independent consultants without benefits and lower pay rates. If all goes as planned we are approximately 12 months away from FIRE and we can’t wait. Now if we Americans would just fix our healthcare system. Millennials please get out the VOTE!

    1. I had the same outsourcing and exchanging full-timers for contractors problem as you. After I left, 2 more people got let go (I thought my leaving would save at least one of their jobs–nope) Definitely can’t rely on jobs anymore–becoming FI is VITAL.

      Congrats on being just 12 months from FIRE! Well done!

    2. Great points. I think healthcare has it’s own heroes, but it won’t ultimately be the government. I think Dan Buettner and his Blue Zones project is the way to go. 70% of our health care costs are driven by lifestyle issues. The world’s healthiest populations don’t use nearly as much health care as Americans do, yet they live longer and healthier. Dan Buettner shows how this could change in this video. Even countries with guaranteed health insurance could learn from it, because their health care costs are going up, too:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=so_1etvOJiw

  4. I recommend just reading a transcript of the interview. Her voice and cadence makes me want to stuff carrots in my ears. Besides that, I was just yelling ‘DUH’ at her the whole time.

    I took care of my Dad as he was dying also. It didn’t cost anywhere near the numbers that she threw out there. It cost even less after social security, veteran’s benefits, long term care insurance and non-profit aide chipped in. If I had been FIRE at that time, it would have cost even less. I could have been there with him the whole time, which would have meant more to me and him.

    1. Well said and thanks for sharing your experience. I thought her numbers were also grossly inflated. It was really hard to listen to the interview and remain calm–even though some of her points were valid. Can’t believe she actually said “I’m the Money Matriarch of the World”. WOW.

  5. First, I had much the same take as Sam above.

    Second, Paula did a brilliant job of letting Suze state her case. I’ve heard some have criticized her for not arguing some of the points. We know those arguments. Better, as Paula did, to let her say her piece.

    Third, I am in awe of Paula’s patience.

    Fourth, I just finished recording a ChooseFI podcast on this. (See, I have learned from Suze to self promote) 🙂

    1. Totally agree with you Jim on how Paula conducted the interview. She did the right thing in just letting Suze state her case and showed patience and persistence in the interview.

      My favorite part was when Paula tried to pin Suze down on the ‘enough’ question. $5, $10 million? How much?

      It became increasingly clear that Suze is on the opposite end of the spectrum from Jack Bogle, the author of such books as “Enough: True Measures of Money, Business, and Life”. Maybe Suze’s next book can be called “Never Enough”.

      Looking forward to hearing you back on ChooseFI.

    2. I feel the same way about Paula’s patience. No way I would’ve been able to stay so calm.

      Looking forward to your ChooseFI episode! (at least Suze taught us all about self-promotion!)

    3. Yes, Paula let her do herself in, and I think we can read between the lines, of course she wants to promote the “Get Rich Quick” scheme, as that is what she sells. I especially love the part Paula asked, should kids take a year off after school.. NO WAY, start making the money right away… this chick worships money, and thats not a good thing.

  6. Hi FC,

    I am with you on the FIRE. I think that it is the sense of helpless which prompted the suggestion of the status quo. I can sense that this has stroke fear into the mind of many ppl and keep them in the salvery on the hands of the employer.

    There are so many unforeseeable circumstances which one might encounter in the course of their life journey. The thought of no
    tommorrow will go to great extent to alleviating such fear. So, I do not see the need of fear if the unpredictable circumstance of no tmr enhance the urgent need of one embracing FIRE movement.

    Such circumstance triggers me to take necessary action to realise FIRE dream in my own circumstance as per my perspective.

    Ben

    1. Yup. Fear is never helpful in solving problems. That’s why her fear-mongering won’t work on the FIRE community, because we are all curious and willing to solve problems. Yelling and trying to scare us won’t work.

  7. Hey Firecracker, I had a quick question. I noticed that in your blog post concerning health insurance, you mention Cigna. Are you no longer using World Nomads?

    1. We used World Nomads for the first 2 years of travel–because travel insurance is for those who have insurance back home to cover the cost of repatriating. After that we had to switch to expat insurance since we’ve been away from Canada too long. Right now we’re using IMGlobal. Cigna is one of the ones we researched and also has a good reputation.

  8. “Just get a job you like” .I honestly would punch her in the face right now if I even knew how the Suze is. Never heard of hear and happy I didn’t.
    Just ignore this crap people who would think you don’t know anything !!
    #FIREFOREVER !

  9. “For our generation, it’s not uncommon to work your butt off, pull all sorts of overtime, successfully get a project in, and then be immediately laid off the next day.” – in her generation too. What simply is not an option is “to find a job that you love”. There are just a handful of people that managed to do that. Find a job that you’re good at is a better advice. Then save, invest, FIRE. Done. Regarding black swans like cancer or tornados, they could endanger anyone´s finances, FIREd or not, so who cares, just get insurance. If you cannot afford that insurance, don’t FIRE. I guess Vicki Robin, ERD and MMM are there to prove that FIRE is possible regardless if you have a family, kids, a market crash or a serious disease. Just math the shit up as u guys say. Cheers!

  10. Perfectly said.

    I hate, “just get a job you like.” Its outdated and old.

    What if you love painting or collecting stamps or what ever else that doesn’t pay the bills? That just doesn’t work.

    It’s a copout from folks who made it rich by doing something they enjoy. Good on them but there are millions that doesn’t work for. Nice pipedream.

    Regardless… keep up the good fight.

    1. Exactly. Having tried to make money in the writing industry, I know first hand that “just find a job you like” doesn’t work. Unless you want to be eating cat food all day.

  11. Haters gonna hate babe. Maybe someone with a private island is unhappy they missed out on the FIRE movement idea and hence all the trashing. Sour grapes I say…

    1. On the plus side, she’s giving the FIRE movement a lot of publicity 🙂 So there’s that. Gotta love the haters.

  12. Yeah, she’s not worth listening to. Fear mongering to keep people buying her books is a dumb move. Smart people can see through all that BS.

    The world is a constantly changing place and she’s losing her ‘guru’ status. Of course she’s going to attack the competition.

    1. That’s definitely a shtick for her book sales. But also good for spreading the FIRE. So she might be helping us more than she thought 😛

  13. Dear FIREcracker, Loved your response to an overrated financial advisor.
    You have exposed Suze’s misconceptions and canards about the concept of FIRE.
    The FIRE community has decimated the need for overpaid financial advisors like her.

    1. Thanks, MM. Yeah, I can see why overpaid FAs are trashing the FIRE movement. We make them irrelevant. Hope they’re FI, because they’re about to learn that “jobs you like” don’t last forever.

  14. You were much less diplomatic (and awesome) than my post about Suze. Ha. Nice job! More than anything, Suze (and anyone else) should do their homework before lecturing us.

    1. Thanks, Chad! Just read your piece and it’s great! We completely agree on the point that she needs to do her homework before burning us. Learn before you burn, Suzy!

  15. Well written article, and way to hit on all the key points!

    After listening to the podcast and reading several comments about it, I’m kind of surprised so many are shocked by Suze’s answer about FIRE…Haha! Back when she had her show, there used to be a segment on it called “How Am I Doing?”. The segment was an analysis on when they could retire based on their personal income statement and balance sheet, almost exactly like what you both do here with the reader case studies. It seemed more times than not she was projecting her guests to retire in their 70’s, give or take. It was one of the things I used to question when I would watch her show, and was one of the seeds that eventually lead me down this path.

    Suze Orman definitely had an early impact on me from a personal finance perspective, and I am grateful for it otherwise I would have never found this blog or community. However, over time I moved and grew past her advice. Your blog and the FIRE community overall are much more inspiring (and positive) anyway 🙂

    1. Thanks, Danny! I don’t think all of Suzy’s advice is bad–but they’re more like “money 101” advice. The FIRE community is full of smart, curious, resilient people understand the math and aren’t willing to challenge the status quo. Glad you graduated from her money 101 advice to veteran level FIRE advice.

  16. Wowzers! I listened to the podcast…stunning! I think Suze missed something really important. Looks she planned the money part ok for herself but she forgot to focus transitioning into retirement and finding interests and hobbies to support her.

    Overall, she’s nuts. Can’t live on $80,000? Seriously??? How many people even make that much working a job? Maybe I didn’t understand what she was saying because it appears I’m too dense to follow her high intelligence. Having a 7 figure investment portfolio doesn’t qualify me to have an opinion or be able to ask questions.

    “Be our money matriarch!?!?!” “They were excited to see me in the halls of NBC and MSNBC and everywhere I went this past week!” Does someone have self esteem issues?

    All she was on there for was to push her new book. I don’t think anyone should waste their money on that.

    FFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!

    1. Yeah, the Money Matriarch of the World comment made me almost laugh myself into a seizure. When you need to brag about yourself that hard, your advice is likely not that special.

  17. “Play with FIRE and you will get burnt.” Lovely line, exceptional straight line; what a softball!

    As an engineer, I do not play with things: I direct and harness them. Tame FIRE, live better!

  18. I agree with you and many of the comments on here: Suze is an excellent marketer.

    Knowing how intelligent she is as a marketer, I am sure she knows exactly all the nuances of the FIRE movement. I am sure she did as much research into the movement as she could. So much so that she is using the one thing the FIRE community fears, uncertainty of risk (in the form of unforeseen health issues, natural disasters, things you can’t 100% plan for, etc.), as a way to persuade anyone who has/had an inkling of doubt in the movement into buying her teachings.

    I did not get the feeling that Suze Orman was willfully ignorant. She came across to me as a highly intelligent salesperson who knew exactly what buttons to push.

    How do you market your product? By creating a controversy that gets great media attention and spread.
    How do you sell your product? By making the other option(s) look bad.

    1. She definitely knows how to push buttons–but I’m not sure her marketing message is all that great. She’s selling “never retire and work forever, or at least until you’re 70.” Don’t know about you, but I don’t need a book to tell me to change nothing and continue working. I can do that all by myself.

      On the plus side, her attacking the movement is actually bringing FIRE into the mainstream. So it might just have the opposite effect of what she’s expecting.

    2. There’s definitely merit to the point of view that Suze was preemptively pursuing a strategy to generate the buzz to ensure people ‘subscribe’ to her teachings/principles for the rest of their lives. The FIRE community is the most potent threat to ‘overpaid’ financial advisors like her, as they have and are demonstrating that there are simpler, and cost effective ways to ‘FIRE on all Cylinders’.

    3. Great comment. I agree with you. She would have had a lot of spare time on the island and she’s interested in money and personal finance. FIRE would definitely have come across her radar before now. Her people approached Paula Pant, remember?

  19. Bravo, perfect response back to Suze and Paula’s interview. And kudos to Paula for the way she handled the entire interview. It’s all about education which is what all the FI blogs out there are preaching. Learn about personal finance, learn about savings, learn about investing, learn about budgeting and you’ll see a path to FI is within reach for many of us. Unfortunately Suze did not truly educate herself on FIRE which was evident in the interview but is a master marketer. It’s nice seeing many FI bloggers out there reacting to the interview and getting their take on it.

    1. Yup. Kudos to Paula for being so calm. If it were me, I wouldn’t have been able to keep my cool. Good thing I’m not a journalist 🙂

  20. This is just noise amoung the signal. FIRE is catching and can’t be put out this easily. Keep stashing cash and reach FIRE for whatever reason is important to you!

  21. i never have given a rat’s ass about the orange woman. i will say this from experience. i started really working in 1993 in stable businesses with stable pensions and great insurance, etc. it was hard to get canned even as a professional for awhile. usually the company would find you a more suitable spot for your skill level and you might get crappy raises but still have a job. i can’t put my finger on when things changed but my work life spans these two opposites and it certainly is real. i just watched about a dozen good engineers get tossed out the door of my job in their mid-50’s after doing good work for 25 or more years. it’s great to recognize this and quietly show as much loyalty to employers as they’re showing to the workforce. it’s sad when you’ve been on the other end of it when loyalty did exist

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience, freddy.

      “i just watched about a dozen good engineers get tossed out the door of my job in their mid-50’s after doing good work for 25 or more years.” –> This is exactly what I saw in my last job. Can’t rely on the company to be loyal to you anymore, no matter how hard you work. Getting laid off as a techy in your mid 50s is agonizing–hard to find work aftewards. This is why we need to become FI to protect ourselves.

      1. Many employers today are only truly honest with their employees when they are laying them off and they tell them “it’s not personal”. That’s right, it’s not because they never thought of them as a person!

        Indeed, companies now call employees “Human Capital”.

  22. I understand that Suze Orman is actually going to be on an episode of The Fairer Cents, according to Tanja from ONL, and that her take in that interview is supposed to be both less defensive and a little more nuanced. I’d be interested to see if Orman’s understanding of the FIRE movement changes at all as she’s exposed to more of it.

    1. Good to know and thanks for sharing! I’ll be interested to know if her knowledge of FIRE has improved as well. Guess we’ll see!

  23. I used to be a big Suze Orman fan. She really did lay the foundation for me to now be close to FIRE. Seems like she’s trying really hard to sell more books, attacking FIRE was her attempt at ratings and she got it. Probably not good ratings though. Her self glorification was sickening during that podcast.
    Anyways, I loved your article above. It had me bursting out laughing. My favorite part was: “Don’t you think that if we could have signed up for these fun, easy, enjoyable, secure jobs that will employ me until my 60’s that I would have f*cking done it by now?”

    1. You’re right. She’s definitely using the FIRE community for ratings and to sell books. We’ll see if it back-FIREs (pun intended). Not sure her intention was to get derailed and forced to talk about FIRE every time she promotes her book.

  24. So glad you took her on. She’s been bonkers for years. I always thought she was a bit off. But once I saw her “Fake it till you make it” advice, I knew she was not worth my time.

    1. I’ve heard that word “bonkers” used to describe her from multiple readers now. I can see how that’s the perfect description when she proclaims herself to be the “Money Matriarch of the world”. I cringe every time I heard that phrase.

  25. “I’ve seen it happen. I’ve seen people get blood clots from stress. I’ve seen my co-workers collapse and almost die at their desk.”

    Amen. I’ve seen similar things happen to people in my legal career. Avoiding these things is the best reason to FIRE. And Suze Orman thinks that you should put up with this sort of crap because of the risk of expensive future health problems? It’s exactly what’s causing so many of the health problems!

    I, on the other hand, have been working at a temporary gig for the past 5 months, will find out this week whether the gig will continue or end, and because I am already financially independent, I do not give a shit! If I have more free time I’ll just.. work out more…

  26. A’THANK you.

    Walking to work listening to that podcast… I nearly stepped into traffic when Suze started explaining that $1-2 million wasn’t enough at retirement because SHE spent $30k/month on her ailing mother.

    DUDE. Most people will NEVER have $30k/month to spend on even the most beloved ailing friend or relative. Most people (outside the FI community especially) will consider it a runaway success if they have $1 million at traditional retirement age.

    Soooo… by Suze’s logic, what, they should just give up now…??

    1. Isn’t it disturbing that the financial matriarch of the world had to spend 30,000 a month on her mother’s healthcare? I would have thought someone so educated on finances would have made sure her mother was adequately insured? Isn’t that part of financial planning?

  27. Apparently I’ve been living under a rock or something for 28 years. Until this week I was barely aware of the existence of Suzy Orman. All of a sudden I noticed that all my favorite bloggers were denouncing her denunciations. So now I know who Suzy Orman is. I’m always a little alarmed when everyone says the same thing and all of the previous comments don’t agree with Suzy. So either she’s way out of line or free speech is not allowed here. I’m guessing it’s the first option. Alright I guess I’ll go crawl back under my rock for another 28 years and when I come back out my vanguard account should be fat or depleted.

  28. I have to think SaraBee nailed it. Ol’ (as in old) Suze tries to put FEAR in people so she can sell shit.

    My perception is the “ethical hooker” conundrum. Some prostitutes are thieves and cons. So, you may pay your money and get screwed; or, you may pay your money, BUT get screwed (over).

    Sorry Suze, I happen to believe you are too much of the latter. 🙁

    Good job calling Suze out. She’s good for telling idiots not to spend thousands on an “elf spotting certificate,” but real financial advice? Just no.

  29. Where is the clapping gif when I need one?
    Preach sister!
    The world isn’t the same anymore. We are adapting, but she doesn’t have to. She’s already made it.
    I haven’t listened to it yet, but I’ll try to soon.
    $10 million is a ridiculously high bar for regular people. How do regular retirees survive without that much?

  30. OMG I LOVE this blog!! I am a Canadian mom of 5 millennial sons, all born within the years of 1989 – 1999. I am 52 years old and I have been preaching this FIRE thing to my sons for awhile now. Before I knew it was a thing. I am so very happy you decided to put it all into a blog and write about it because it makes my sons realize I’m not a whacko! I absolutely respect what you have done, and admire you to the nth degree for checking out of this sick sick system that sucks people’s souls out. Personally, I’m behind the 8 ball having started over with ZERO net worth in 2004 – to today – working in a soul sucking corporate job. I’m about 6 months away from my dream of taking care of an olive farm in Greece. I just wanted to thank you, a thousand times over for being you and for sharing your thoughts. I wish you nothing but blessings and continued good health and for the love of god CRITICAL THINKING!! It is so refreshing to read thoughts from critical thinkers. Kudos and keep up the good work!

  31. I don’t know if “just get a job you like” is typical advice from us clueless privileged boomers. Personally, I’ve been underemployed, and unemployed, and needed to retrain and switch careers. I’ve never had the mythical “dream job”. This is after doing everything we were encouraged to do: work hard in high school to get good marks, get a university degree, get a technical school diploma for an in-demand field, get a 2nd university degree. I do like the FIRE movement, although for me, it is the FIR movement because I’ve aged-out of the E! After divorcing someone who spent more than we made every single month for 18 years, I finally was able to start putting money into savings and investments. 10 years later, and I have $500,000 more than I did and am seeing I may be able to retire in the next 5 years. I don’t know if I’ll hit a million, but it definitely won’t be 5. That’s just crazy! BTW my kids are millennials, so I definitely know how hard it is out there.

  32. Interesting read.

    I think after reading this I understand once again why your generation gets such a bad rap.

    When you read through your responses, the theme seems to be “there are no good jobs anymore, employers don’t care about us, we can’t afford houses, we are asked to get into debt and work our whole lives, the situation is unfair”.

    I think back to the generations that you seem to feel had it better than you. The “baby boomers” are a group of folks whose parents returned from fighting in the second world war and, overcome with happiness that they did not die in battle and that they would not be living under Adolf Hitler, went to work making babies in a way not seen really since then (other than during long periods of power outages).

    These folks built the businesses that your hated boomer generation went on to exploit (and that your generation is seeking to destroy with its over reliance on others for everything and anything that it wants).

    These folks were very religious. The churches they built are all now being converted into loft condos. The new generations seem to be more focused on blaming fictional “employers” and the generations that came before them, for their problems, rather than blaming a fictional supreme being (and building edifices to pacify that supreme being).

    I know it sounds bad. But you sound whiny. The folks who came back from the war, built businesses. They didn’t have weekends back then (thank the labour movement for that invention) so they worked 7 days a week. They didn’t have indoor plumbing for the most part (go to a house built in the 1940s and have a look at the dates on the plumbing modifications. You’ll see the magic year “1960” on everything. That was the year the toilets were installed. Before that, you bathed in a common basin in the living room and you took a dump in a hole in the backyard).

    What do you think the job situation was like in, say, 1930’s New York? Did everyone have a pension? Could you just go and buy a house with a week’s pay? (Nope, you might not even get paid, that was a luxury, and a house couldn’t be bought by an employee until the invention of the Federal Mortgage Insurance Corp (Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, or CMHC in Canada) and that wasn’t until the 1960s.

    Was going to fight in wars voluntary? Um, nope, they just conscripted you. And off you went. Millions did not come back. They didn’t have an option of not fighting. They didn’t get to work for ten years, save a million dollars and go travel the world, all the time hating the system that made it possible for them to do that.

    Yes, I know, it sounds bad. I get it. I make you sound like whiny little brats who understanding nothing.

    I like what you do. I really do. You’re smart, resourceful people and you have accomplished a very good life for yourselves.

    But please, do not go around saying you have it bad. Please don’t do that. You sound really bad when you do that. Just travel, enjoy yourselves, and remember that the first world made it all possible, and try to remember who built that first world (ie, obviously not you).

    1. To truly communicate with someone, we need to first try to understand before we try to be understood. And it seems as though you are projecting your autobiography onto these rocking millennials without really listening to what we have to say.
      Pain and life experiences in general are subjective, so you cannot tell someone who is allowed or not allowed to say they have it bad (assuming you grew up during post-war era, you haven’t really experienced what it’s like growing up and trying to lead a successful life in the new millennium, do you?). We’re just analyzing causes and real issues so as to come up with better alternatives because what worked in the past does not anymore, so your talking about post-war work ethics and values and loyalty sounds outdated (not that they are bad). The system has changed.
      The point is, there’s no need for you to feel you are being attacked or we’re being unappreciative of elders. Because that’s not what we are doing. We’re just simply trying our best to lead a happy, fulfilling life so we can leave a more abundant earth to the next generation and more to come.

      1. What worked in the past, works fine. Just do what those before you did. Work hard, build businesses, make smart economic decisions, invest your money, avoid luxuries, and you are successful.

        These people went to school, got good jobs, worked for ten years, invested pretty much everything they made, and then went off to see the world. Good for them.

        But the businesses they worked for, for that ten years, were not just dropped from the sky, for the benefit of Millennials, and then run by evil “Boomers” who took it all away from them. It’s a simplistic world view. It sounds like something that George W. Bush would dream up to justify a war.

        The world view these people apparently have can best be compared to how a toddler views a refrigerator. Ie, full of good stuff that they can’t have because the evil parent figure is in the way. There is a lot more going on than these folks seem to notice.

        But hey, go travel, enjoy your life, you only get one. I disagree with their outlook on life, but I seriously agree with their methodology.

        1. Hmm.. I smell a typical case of inferiority complex here. What’s wrong with their methodology of working hard and investing early on so they can spend their energy on what’s truly important to them instead?
          Here’s a list of items that can help you with overcoming life’s obstacles (especially when you feel extreme level of jealousy and self-hatred):
          1.Stop wanting to be like others. …
          2.Try not to worry about what others think. …
          3.Focus on your positive attributes. …
          4.Stop comparing yourself to everyone else. …
          5.Don’t think in absolutes. …
          6.Stop negative talk. …
          7.Build self-confidence.
          (https://www.wikihow.com/Get-Rid-of-an-Inferiority-Complex)

          1. I like their methodology.

            I can’t agree with their world view.

            Their FI stuff is spot on. Practiced it all my life, and I’m way richer than them. But I ran businesses (and still do). One day of my life was worth about six months’ of theirs. Business owners make way more than employees, hands down every time.

            I just think their outlook is shallow and not very well read. But they are enjoying themselves and they are good at math. So who cares?

    2. I am grateful for being born in a country were the living standard is one of the highest in the world and were education is free and the student loans ridiculously cheap. You will also never die because you can’t afford health care, although you might die waiting to receive the health care.

      I am also grateful for living in a democracy where I will not be thrown in a jail based on some nutcases whims. We have free speech and I am grateful to my forefathers that fought for that right.

      And after doing some traveling I am also grateful for the showers and plumbing. You know western toilets seats are pretty nice.

      What I don’t agree with your text is that we are some kind of selfish people because we want a part of the benefits of living in a modern society. If we are supposed to compare everything with the thirties or thirdworldcountries and always find that we should be happy because of the indoor plumbing I guess we should just shut up and keep working.

      I get that you didn’t have pensions in the thirties but you had families that lived in one city or village. Your children were our pension. Do we really want to get back to that? In some ways we really are because when I am contemplating FIRE, I am also thinking what if I need to take care of my parents. I don’t know how it was in North America but in my country there were people that owned their houses before the sixties.

      But I guess the main difference is the job markets that are constantly evolving. The job security that previous generations had is gone. I know that I am just a number for my employer and if they need to cut personnel they will do it. One year I had three coworkers that got burned out. It thought me that nobody cares as much about me as I should do. Although my father and mother do but they are not paying my salary. My employer is not worth my health and my health is not worth working for buying more crap that I don’t need. When my grandfather left his job building bridges postwar, he really left the job. In most of the white-collar jobs today, you never leave the job. I have had some really good bosses but I know that in the end they still can let me go.

      We were thought (at least in my country) that if you worked the society would take care of you with pensions and health care. That is not the case anymore and I think that in many cases makes us fedd up and cynical. FIRE gives you the option to take control over your life instead of letting someone else control you.

      1. Two very quick replies:

        1. These folks made a million bucks in ten years, and then went off to travel the world. THAT is a benefit of living in a modern society. Try doing that if you live in say, The Democratic Republic of the Congo. Good luck to you. These folks got the benefit they were looking for.

        2. There is no such thing as job security, and there never has been. I am quite old and have been around a long time. I have watched friends lose their jobs, and have to go out searching for work. Life has always been that way. I watched people who worked for 35 and 40 years lose their pensions in the 2008 crisis, pensions they worked their whole lives for. There is no security in life, period. No matter where you live, or what generation you came from. The only person who cares about you, is you.

        1. Thanks for your contribution. I think one thing that the older generations provide is wisdom from experience and perspective. It is never a bad thing to look outside our bubbles and take a hard look at our own privileges.

          I want to respond directly to something you said about Millennials constantly complaining about not having “good jobs’ anymore and sounding like a bunch of whiners.

          As you rightly pointed out, one generation is a response to the previous generation. We build upon each other. Similar to how those who came back from the war built businesses and thrived, boomers grew up on a time of economic and industrial prosperity, built on the labour of their parents and the previous generation. They grew up in an era and time when going to university was a BIG DEAL. A bachelors degree meant everything. It opened doors, guaranteed jobs etc. And when boomers went on to the job market, they held jobs for 20-30 years, back when outsourcing was not common place and you could earn a good wage.

          The boomers then had kids, the world changed, and what worked for THEM does NOT work for us. Getting a university/college degree is the minimum these days. It doesn’t guarantee you anything. Keeping a job isn’t guaranteed. Earning a good, stable wage isn’t guaranteed when you are competing against cheap labour in China and India. Companies have evolved to become ever more efficient and effective in what they do, and part of that realization has meant moving jobs away from developed countries because our university educated youngsters, and aging middle class simply can’t compete with people living in India who will work 12-14 hours non-stop, no problem, and who are willing to do it for a fraction of the cost.

          These are not complaints by only Millennials. These are deep-rooted complaints that resulted in Brexit and the discontent in middle-America. It is not only Millennials suffering. We are not the only ones being left behind.

          Does that mean everyone should complain? Of course not. We should all suck it up.

          However, I find it ironic that when a boomer living in the deep south complains of no decent jobs, immigrants stealing jobs, and not being able to take care of his/her family, it is taken seriously.

          But when a young person complains about the plights in their lives we are seen as entitled and whiny.

        2. On your point 1, using an extreme as your example (DRC) is pointless. Lets compare apples to apples. A million bucks saved and invested in Canada is still a fantastic thing that most will never achieve. Lets focus on the positive here. On point 2, I will agree with you and I think most in the FIRE movement will as well. You need to prepare and take care of yourself to make sure you can pass through those unfortunate bumps in life. That’s what FI is all about. Having a safety cushion. When it comes to caring, I think you’re wrong there. I think others care otherwise this blog wouldn’t exist. Sharing how they did what they did is generous even if you might not see it that way.

          And frankly, how they live their lives doesn’t require judgement on your part. It’s unfortunate you want to impose your view of the workd on them. I have a feeling you might be getting the finger back in return.

          1. Hello:

            Anyone can live their life anyway they want. I don’t care.

            I don’t have a world view.

            I am pointing out that their understanding of what is actually going on in the world in which they live, is very simplistic and based on the “good versus evil, right versus wrong” model that is usually adopted in early child hood and abandoned by most thinking people around age 12 or so.

            They are free to work, save, and live off their investments, travelling the world as they please.

            What I don’t understand is their insistence that they are conducting a revolution against something.

            I don’t think they are. The female one has some pretty significant daddy issues, the guy is just having a great time travelling, though I think he also enjoyed working.

            At any rate, I enjoy reading their blog for travel ideas. Just occasionally they say something that is plain wrong (like this entry, where they claim that the generations that came before them, had it better than they do, because they could not find permanent jobs and they felt they were always in danger of getting fired). That is just plain wrong. The generations that came before these folks, had a much harder time. Things are easier now.

            If your answer to someone else’s argument is to provide your “middle finger”, I think you have already lost the argument.

            Cheers!

          2. The modern job market: Never know when you’re going to get a pink slip, never can find an employer who cares about you, worked to death and abused with no reward other than a paltry salary that doesn’t pay your bills, so much work stress all the time, never get a break. No permanent jobs anymore.

            This sounds like someone talking in 1960

            Or 1970

            Or 1940

            Or 1980.

            It’s always been like that people. This is not new. Welcome to life. It kinda sucks.

            Invest, live off your dividends and capital gains. Working people are taxed more than those who don’t work.

  33. While most of the Suze interview was hard to listen to without rolling my eyes since I had no spatula handy to throw, I did think Suze made one point worth considering. It would go in the insurance section above. Many who FIRE have made the comment that if it doesn’t work out they will pick up some income later as needed. But you can’t guarantee you will be healthy enough later. You can’t even insure your ability to work later unless you are working now. I think part of her point to get a job you love is so you can qualify for disability insurance to protect your ability to adapt later. She didn’t seem to care how much the work paid and even agreed with unpaid time to care for family or switching to a lower paid career.

    Her ideas on how much it costs to care for an elderly dementia patient is well over double compared to what we pay for Grandma and seems like another example of things costing more when you have more money to spend and choose a high cost of living area. Or feel guilty for not visiting? She is correct that it is more expensive than you likely realize.

    1. LMAO…”I think part of her point to get a job you love is so you can qualify for disability insurance…”

      In theory, that’s lovely, in practice, depending on your workplace, you may or may not have long term disability coverage. Even if you have supposedly premium coverage, as I’ve discovered listening to my (unfortunately now former friend) rant about the exquisite hell of dealing with our coverage provider throughout her illness…it cannot be entirely relied on as coverage when you need it most. Which is all the more ironic as I’m still convinced that workplace stress played a major role in her cancer to begin with.

      But, as much as things change, there’s nothing new under the sun. My dad (pre-boomer) was (discreetly, of course) canned upon his return to work after a bout with cancer. So no, a ‘job’ does not in and of itself ensure insurance coverage when you need it most.

      My takeaway is this – neither jobs, nor insurance, are guaranteed.

      FI, and good family & friends, are your best downside liability limiters. Having them means you’re way ahead of most. You’re not 2 weeks away from potentially defaulting on a mortgage payment because first the insurance company needs these forms completed properly (oh, so sorry we had to kick them back because of a missing dotted i!), and oh, are you sure that you don’t feel up to a modified work arrangement in between puking up your guts?

      1. “I’m still convinced that workplace stress played a major role in her cancer to begin with.”

        In a few weeks I will be celebrating my tenth year of triple negative breast cancer survivorship. I’m still convinced workplace stress played a major role in my cancer. At the time of my diagnosis, I did everything in my power to reduce my work stress. After I returned to work from my six month disability leave, I continued to do everything in my power to reduce my work stress, and set my sights on living the five years needed to reach “Magic 75” early retirement at age 55. I made it! As someone who has been punched in the face by their own mortality, I say: FIRE on!

        Why toil as an W-2 employee “wage slave” for 25, 30, even 40 (!) years when there are no guarantees your body will still be healthy enough to enjoy (first world) life after all that time?

      2. LMAO…like the only way to get disability insurance, health insurance and save for retirement or FI is to work for a corporation that treats you terribly?

        There is an open market for these things.

  34. Ironnically what struck me the most was how she seem to defend or at least accept the “need” to destroy social security and medicare like policy makers could not do anything about it. I really felt an out of touch old person there.

  35. Besides the good response, we are giving her way too much credit right now. Her publisher & the devil herself are laughing their way to Sunday! All this free publicity is awesome for her book sales, guess we made her at least one million richer by now.

  36. The book, Pound Foolish, dedicated an ENTIRE chapter to Suze and she used to charge 80k for an appearance. That should tell you all you need to know. She’s a one trick pony who is still doing the same thing hoping to sell another book. There was no real advice to follow in the episode, nor any data points to back up any of her opinions. I found it largely self promotional, which makes me think her coffers are running low… sigh. That’s an hour of my life I won’t get back.

  37. Come through Firecracker, come through!!! I loved very bit of the response to Suze’s interview in this post.

    It irks me so badly when people wax on about things they do not understand while simultaneously laying judgement on those they do not understand. I am not here for it.

    The final line was clever, but I say “Come for Firecracker and You Might Get Burnt”!

  38. The biggest problem that these Fire Cracker and Wanderer folks have, is inflation. Their portfolio is not keeping up with it. They have increased their net worth by a fraction of 1% since they retired, and inflation has helped them along by not going much past 1.5% or so.

    Now we have “The Donald” in charge and he is attacking Canada, stoking hyper inflation and running a smash and grab operation trade wise. You are going to see a million dollars CDN being worth $500,000.00 CDN in a few years’ time, and then less than that.

    If I were the Cracker and the wandering dude, I would be very worried about inflation.

  39. Oh, this was so cathartic. I was chanting, “WE. KNOW!” right along with you the entire time. I’ve had people ask me about my response to the podcast, and I’m just going to send them here from now on. THANK YOU!!!!!!

  40. The intent of her focus on you is to gain attention for herself. Narcissism, text book case.

    Her technique is to put forth a straw-man argument. Reframe your argument and then attack it using misrepresentation and falsehoods, specious arguments, and by appealing to the fears of her intended audience. The attacker is not really addressing your position and in fact they could care less what you think but rather it is the opportunity to put out the “trumped-up” falsehood they have created. And clearly, the more annoying and inflammatory they can be, the more likely they are to distract and annoy you. Yes, I used the word “trumped” for exactly the reason you may think. There are no hidden messages in this comment.

    This technique, older than dirt itself, has been used by Mussolini, Hitler, Trump, and now the “esteemed” Ms.Orman. Actually, it is probably not the first time she has used it. It is one of those basic techniques that are in the bag of dirty tricks that all such rascals seem to have at hand.

    Last observation – in your work through this blog, you have readers whom you could characterize as being thinkers (even the idiot, home-boning detractors). Orman, Trump, and their ilk have fans. I am sure you can appreciate the difference.

  41. We’re not FI, yet, but we’re cruising on our journey to FIRE and loving every part of it. Even though we only know of people such as yourselves through your blogs, we definitely feel part of this amazing community and it’s a great thing!

  42. To echo the frustration over the “get a job you like” suggestion: I tried that so hard in my 20s! And at each of my first three jobs, I was laid off at around the 1 year in mark. I could get nowhere in solidifying my career. And it didn’t help that my career started in early 2008. Suze has no idea what it’s like for people in the current job market. Unemployment may be low, but there is no loyalty to employees, yet they expect extreme loyalty from the employees. Somehow, we, as a society, have allowed this to happen. So, I now work for myself and have taken the reigns in creating the life I want, which includes a healthy dose of FIRE. In part, I have this blog to thank for it. Thanks guys!

    1. I think this is what bothers me most. Why should I be more loyal to an employer than the employer is to me. They pay for 8 hours so that is what they get IF I don’t choose to give more.

  43. This interview made my blood boil. The core message that she has is actually very similar to the FIRE movement – save more when you’re young, spend less etc. But the tone and the condescension ruin it.

    The tone is exactly the kind of tone I get from others when I tell them I’m planning to retire by 40 and it’s the first time they’ve ever heard anything like it. “What are you going to do for the rest of your life?” “Have you thought this out?”

    Seeing as she’s done a kind of FIRE with her own life, I’m surprised at the vehemence. But as other readers have noted, the FIRE movement has essentially pulled the curtain back on the need for financial advisers. Instead of paying 2% of all of my assets yearly to someone to manage my assets, I can come onto a blog like this and just read about how to manage my assets for FREE.

    It’s a bullet right through the heart of her business model.

  44. Glad you mentioned how boneheaded her assumption was that there are jobs out there that are cushy, secure, and enjoyable. Already I get annoyed even sometimes within our own beloved community whenever there is any sort of assumption of employer-sponsored health benefits (I’ve never ever had them) or 401k with employer matching (again, never ever). So you can imagine how hard I scoffed at her suggestion that we stay in a job just so that we could be protected by all that free insurance we are undoubtedly getting! Sheesh.
    Anyway, thanks for calling BS on that.

  45. As I tweeted out, if I got $100 for every Suze Orman FIRE post I see, I’d be a multi-millionaire lol!

    I was scratching my head hard when she said that we aren’t taking advantage of compound interest. I mean, seriously?

  46. Very well-written post; enjoyed reading it a lot.
    But I have to say – loved reading the ‘conversations’ in the comments as well.
    🙂
    Suze Orman is barely known over here in Australia. Guess we’re the lucky ones!

  47. Excellent post. You made all the right points and didn’t even get bogged down in the fuzzy math that Suze requires to suggest 5 or even 10 million is needed to consider early retirement. She came across as the ultimate defender of the status quo: keep paying taxes and social security and you too can retire at 70 with whatever savings you have and all of its compounded interest.

    I’ll also add that I absolutely agree with you on insurance generally, but I’m more reticent on long term care insurance. If you buy it young, you’re depending on the insurer to pay the benefits several decades later and that’s risky in itself. If you buy it when you’re older, it is currently very expensive because the companies underestimated the payouts when the insurance was first offered several years ago. I’d rather keep my investment growing, research where in the country long-term care is least expensive, and move if necessary when the time comes. Others may not want to consider that and for them the insurance may be appropriate.

    Thanks for a great post.

  48. Perhaps Suze fired off a pre-emptive strike against the FIRE movement going mainstream?

    The Movie: “Playing with FIRE : The Documentary”

    Suze: “play with FIRE and you will get burnt” [I didn’t check if this was the exact quote]

  49. Hey all, I’m in fine arts and have a job I like. Pays well for the time and I don’t work much. I also don’t spend much. No pension benefits and job security comes from being good at what I do. Most can’t figure out why someone mid 30’s is working/living the way I do. It’s a choice.

    Some posts here seem to whine…

  50. “As Millennials, we are endlessly pilloried in the media for being privileged and out of touch, but the truth is, whenever some Boomer tells us to “just get a job you like,” that is by far the most privileged, out-of-touch statement I could possibly imagine.”

    YES.

  51. Hey folks it’s all marketing. My product, whatever it is, will make you a happy person. Suze Orman and this blogger are just selling different products. Think diets and dieting.

  52. It’s all marketing – both Orman and this blogger. My “way” whatever that is will make you happier. Both are about making money. Think diet programs…

  53. Another person who retired early and has been doing it for a while: Paul Terhorst. He wrote a book “How to Retire at 35” back in 1988. He retired in 1984 at age 35, so he has been retired for 34 years now ( age 69 ) . He and his wife travel around the world.

  54. All Suze’s reasons to hate the FIRE movement makes it valid argument until she said “get a job that you like” and that killed it for me. I can’t imagine doing the corporate life for another 20, 30 years. You are so right, gone are the days that we have cushiony jobs with a pension and wicked benefits. We are working much harder, longer hours but in turn are dispensable anytime. I am so much more committed for this now than ever because I can finally see a way out of this rat race. Keep on good posts!

  55. It is too bad that an interview with you and Suze couldn’t have happened. Much of her perspective is trapped in her experience and vice-versa.

  56. While it’s understandable that folks here are taking Suze Orman to task for her response to the FIRE movement, it’s NOT ok to downplay her accomplishments. Here’s a woman who went from being a waitress to a millionairess. Not an easy thing to achieve in a lifetime.

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