A few weeks ago, Suze Orman’s team reached out to me and asked if I’d be interested in chatting with Suze on my podcast.
“Duh,” I replied.
Suze Orman is one of the most famous voices in the world of personal finance. From 2002 to 2015, she hosted The Suze Orman Show on CNBC. She’s the author of 10 mega-bestselling books, she wrote a financial column for O, The Oprah Magazine, and she’s made multiple appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show.
I read her latest book in preparation for the interview, but I felt at a loss for what to ask her. So I turned to my audience, knowing that many of the people who read my blog and listen to my podcast are also Suze fans.
I headed to Twitter and Facebook and asked this community, “What would you like me to ask Suze?”
Dozens of replied flooded in, but one question stood out far ahead of all others in popularity: What does Suze Orman think about the FIRE movement?
I opened with that question. And Suze’s response shocked me.
“I hate it,” she replied. “I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. And let me tell you why.”
That’s a direct quote. (Really.)
She spent the next 30 minutes explaining why she thinks pursuing FIRE could be the biggest mistake of a person’s life.
Yes, she actually used the words “biggest mistake.” That’s also a direct quote. She claimed that you need “$20 [million], $30 [million], $50 [million] or $100 million dollars” in order to retire early. She cited $10 million as a minimum. She said you’d need to plan to live on at least $350,000 per year.
“Two million is nothing,” she said. “It’s nothing. It’s pennies in today’s world, to tell you the truth.”
Why does Suze Orman hate the FIRE movement?
Why does she think that retirement expenses would need to be so sky-high?
And how can the average middle-class person prepare for retirement, given that the majority of Americans don’t make six figures, let alone have portfolios in the multimillions?
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