The Money Class: How to Stand in Your Truth and Create the Future You Deserve

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The Money Class: How to Stand in Your Truth and Create the Future You Deserve

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Revised & updated
What does it take to create the future you deserve?
First, stand in your truth.
Second, understand the power of cash.
Third, keep your eye on the road ahead, not on the rearview mirror.
It all starts with getting honest about what is real today and taking control of our present—right here, right now—in order to build the future of our dreams.
Home • Family • Career • Retirement
In nine electrifying, empowering classes, Suze Orman teaches us how to navigate the complicated mix of money and family, how to avoid making costly mistakes in a volatile real estate market, and how to get traction in your career or rebuild after a professional setback. With her trademark directness, she tells us what institutions deserve our faith and trust when we’re no longer sure where to turn. And in what is the most comprehensive retirement resource available today, Orman presents a bulletproof retirement strategy for every reader, at every age. The Money Class is a master class on personal finance for this critical moment in time from the nation’s most trusted source on money matters.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Our wide-eyed, skies-the-limit dreams of unlimited wealth and ownership have collided against the hard realities of today's economy. Financial guru and bestselling author Suze Orman is here to tell women and men how they can retool the American Dream to fit realistic expectations. In her view, our goal should not be accumulating the property and possessions that buffered us from our true needs: The need to take control of our present in order to protect and ensure our future. Like Orman's other books, The Money Class deals with both personal finance specifics and the mindsets behind our decisions. Invaluable advice. (P.S. Orman was a hit at last month's District Managers' Conference.)

Publishers Weekly
With a clarion call to "stand in your truth," Orman (The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke) re-engineers much of the advice given in her previous works for her latest volume. Chock full of financial advice pertinent to the post-2008 economic landscape, the book addresses every age and stage of life. Organized into nine "classes," with each class/chapter further divided into related lessons, Orman's effort is characteristically upbeat and no-nonsense, offering lessons on family matters, homeownership, saving for college, emergencies, retirement, and more. Orman firmly guides readers when dealing with parenting issues or underwater mortgages. Orman declares herself "vehemently anti-allowance," opting instead for paying children to do household chores, and she explains how to implement such a policy. A class on careers gives honest advice for anyone facing continued unemployment or thinking of taking a lower paying position. And three of her classes focus on financial planning for the future and how readers as young as 20 can begin saving for retirement. After finishing Orman's book, and completing her exercises, readers will have a very clear sense of how they can achieve what she has rechristened the "New American Dream."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
From the Publisher
“Suze teaches readers how to transform their thinking and reimagine the American dream.”—O: The Oprah Magazine
Library Journal
★ 12/01/2013
American financial guru Orman (9 Steps to Financial Freedom) gives readers a comprehensive guide to managing their personal finances with recommendations that are straightforward and tailored to America's current economic climate.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400069736
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/8/2011
  • Pages: 281
  • Sales rank: 630,995
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Suze Orman
Suze Orman is a two-time Emmy Award–winning television host, #1 New York Times bestselling author, magazine and online columnist, writer/producer, and one of the top motivational speakers in the world today.

Orman has written eight consecutive New York Times bestsellers and has written, co-produced, and hosted seven PBS specials based on her books. She is the seven-time Gracie Award–winning host of the Suze Orman Show, which airs on CNBC, and of the forthcoming Money Class on OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network. She is also a contributing editor to O: The Oprah Magazine.

Twice named one of the “Time 100,” Time magazine’s list of the world’s most influential people, and named by Forbes as one of the 100 most powerful women, Orman was the recipient of the National Equality Award from the Human Rights Campaign. In 2009 she received an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and in 2010 she received an honorary doctor of commercial science from Bentley University.

Orman, a Certified Financial Planner™ professional, directed the Suze Orman Financial Group from 1987 to 1997, served as Vice President—Investments for Prudential Bache Securities from 1983 to 1987, and was an account executive at Merrill Lynch from 1980 to 1983. Prior to that, she worked as a waitress at the Buttercup Bakery in Berkeley, California, from 1973 to 1980.

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Table of Contents

How to Enter The Classroom xv

Class 1 The New American Dream 3

Making Change

The Dreams of Tomorrow Reside in Today's Choices

The Money Class Curriculum

Class 2 Stand In Your Truth 11

Lesson 1 Finding Your Truth: A Personal Financial Accounting 13

Lesson 2 Living Truthfully: How To Stand Tall In Your Reality 15

Focus on What Is Real Today... and What You Will Need Tomorrow

Live Below Your Means but Within Your Needs

The Pleasure of Saving Is Equal to the Pleasure of Spending

Define Yourself by Who You Are, Not What You Have

Lesson 3 The Foundation Of All Truthful Living: The Power Of Cash 21

Debit Card Rules

The "Life Happens" Fund

Credit Unions: A Great Place to Save

Safety First with Your Savings

Saving for Big-Ticket Items

The Truth Will Indeed Set You Free

Class 3 Family 28

Lesson 1 How to Build Honest Family Relations 31

Opening the Lines of Communication

Lesson 2 How To Raise Young Children To Stand In The Truth 34

Your Priceless Legacy

Set the Right Tone

Imparting Good Values When It Comes to Money

Money Lessons for Children

Money Lessons for Tweens and Teens

Money Lessons for Teenagers Heading to College

How to Handle Money Gifts and Savings

The Three-Option Approach

Lesson 3 How To Create a Financially Honest College Strategy 48

Who Should Save for College

The Best Way to Save for College: 529 Plans


Coverdell Accounts

How to Invest Your 529 Plan

The College Talk Every Parent Must Have with a High School Freshman

Borrowing Rules for College Loans

The Risks of Private Loans for College

Stafford Loans

PLUS Loans

How to Choose the Right School

Lesson 4 How To Help Adult Children Facing Financial Challenges 64

How to Handle Student Loans That Are in Default

How and When to Help Independent Children Who Are in Financial Trouble

Lesson 5 The Conversation Every Adult Child Should Have With His Or Her Parents 69

Building Family Financial Security Under One Roof

Updating Legal Documents

When a Parent Remarries

Lesson 6 Advice For Grandparents: How to Build a Lasting Legacy 73

Follow the Parents' Lead

Pay It Forward

Give Experiences, Not Things

Class 4 Home 77

Lesson 1 The Truth About Home Values 81

A Decade of Extremes

A Home Is a Savings Account, Not a Hot Stock

Financing Is Cheap, but Not Easy

Lesson 2 When It Makes Sense To Rent 84

The Math of Rent vs. Buy

Advice for Owners Who Now Want to Rent

Lesson 3 The New Rules Of Buying a Home 87

Set a Budget That Satisfies Your Needs

Know Your Income Limits

Aim to Make a 20% Down Payment

A Special Note About FHA-Insured Loans

Special Rules for Buying Condos and Co-ops

Where to Come Up with the Down Payment

Opt for a 30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage

Understand the Risk of Distressed Property

Lesson 4 What To Do If You Are Underwater 98

If You Are Underwater and Cannot Afford Your Mortgage

Loan Modificaiton

Short Sale


If You Are Underwater but You Can Afford the Mortgage

Lesson 5 How To Reduce Mortgage Costs 110

When It Makes Sense to Pay Off a Loan Ahead of Schedule

The New Realities of Refinancing

Refinancing Rules

Lower Your Mortgage Costs Without a Refinance

Lesson 6 The Dangers Of Home Equity Lines Of Credit 114

The Dangers of Rising Interest Rates and Falling Behind on Payments

Home Equity Loans

Lesson 7 Reverse Mortgages 116

Reverse Mortgage Basics

Lesson 8 Investing In Real Estate 119

What You Need to Know Before You Buy Investment Property

What to Do with an Investment Property That Is Underwater

Class 5 Career 122

Lesson 1 Advice For The Employed 125

Build Your Plan-for-the-Worst Fund

Live Below Today's Means

Grab Your Full Retirement Bonus

Make Your Case for a Raise and Promotion Through Your Work

How to Ask for a Raise

Change Your Attitude Before You Change Your Job

Lesson 2 Advice For The Unemployed 133

Cut Your Spending Immediately

Do Not Dip into Your Retirement Savings

Make Sure Your Credit Profile Remains Strong

Do Not Go Back to School to Avoid a Hard Job Market

Get to Work as Fast as Possible, Rather Than Holding Out for a Better Offer

How to Deal with a Steep Pay Cut

A Special Note for Stay-at-Home Moms

Lesson 3 Starting (And Running) Your Own Business 139

Launching a Business: Can You Afford It?

Where to Get the Money to Start Your Business

A Few Words About Micro Lending

Running Your Own Business

When to Expand

When to Close

Standing in Your Truth in Business

Closing Down a Business Responsibly

A Note About the Retirement Classes 153

The Money Navigator: A Special Offer for Readers of The Money Class 154

Class 6 Retirement Planning: Getting Going In Your 20S And 30S 155

Lesson 1 Time Is Your Greatest Asset 159

Getting Started Early

With Lower Returns, Savings Are More Important Than Ever

Lesson 2 Retirement Accounts Explained 161

Retirement Plans Offered by Employers

Retirement Plan Withdrawal Rules

Non-Workplace Retirement Accounts

Nondeductible IRAs

Roth IRAs

Retirement Plans for the Self-Employed

Lesson 3 How Much You Need To Save For Retirement 166

The Retirement Formula

The Best 401(k) and IRA Strategy

A Word on Vesting

Where to Open an IRA Account

Lesson 4 Investing Your Retirement Money 173

The Ups and Downs of the Stock Market

Dollar Cost Averaging

How Much to Invest in Stocks

Choosing the Best Options Within Your 401(k)

How to Build the Best 401(k) Investment Portfolio

Exchange Traded Funds

Bond Investments

Retirement Planning Mistakes to Avoid

What to Do with Your 401(k) When You Leave a Job

Class 7 Retirement Planning: Fine-Tuning It In Your 40S And 50S 190

Lesson 1 Deciding When It Makes Sense To Pay Off Your Mortgage 194

Questions to Ask Yourself

The Benefits of Paying Off Your Mortgage

How to Pay Off Your Mortgage Ahead of Schedule

Lesson 2 Have A Realistic Plan For Working Until Age 66-67 203

Your Work-Longer Game Plan

Lesson 3 Delay Your Social Security Benefit 207

Social Security Basics

Social Security Strategies

Lesson 4 Estimate Your Retirement Income: How Are You Doing? 214

Social Security Benefits

Retirement Accounts


Lump Sum vs. Annuity

Lesson 5 Saving More, And Investing Strategies In Your 50S 223

How to Invest Smart

Making the Most of What You Have

Best Investments Outside Your 401(k)

Bond Investments

No Target Funds Allowed

Lesson 6 Plan For Long-Term Care Costs 234

When to Buy

Making the Financial Case for LTC Insurance

Health Insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid

LTC Basics

Class 8 Living In Retirement 248

Lesson 1 Home Finances: Stand In The Truth Of What Is Affordable For You 251

The Affordability Issue

Start the Discussion

Lesson 2 Coping With The High Cost Of Healthcare In Retirement 253

Rising Costs vs. Your Annual Retirement Income

Long-Term Care Premium Increases

Lesson 3 Stick To a Sustainable Withdrawal Rate 255

The Right Rate

How to Make Tax-Smart Withdrawals

Lesson 4 Avoid Long-Term Bonds And Bond Funds 259

What You Must Understand About Bonds

How to Build a Bond Ladder

Beyond Treasury Bonds: Municipal Bonds and Corporate Bonds

Lesson 5 Earn Higher Yields by Investing In Dividend-Paying ETFS And Stocks 264

The Case for Dividend-Paying ETFs and Stocks

Stock Dividend Basics

The Protection of a Stop-Loss Order

How Much to Invest

How to Choose a Dividend-Focused ETF

Tips for Owning Individual Dividend-Paying Stocks

Lesson 6 Double-Check Your Beneficiaries And Must-Have Documents 275

Life-Changing Events

Class 9 The Ultimate Lesson 277

Clearing My Own Roadblocks

The Road Ahead, Not the Rearview Mirror

The Legacy We Create

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 101 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 105 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 12, 2011

    Are you starting out?? This is the book for you!

    Suze offers a great foundation for the young and an excellent path for those of us near retirement and everything in between. Our economy has changed and we have to change our finances accordingly. Her advice on college loans is outstanding. There's something in this book for us all, but if you are a young adult, this book will help you prevent making major mistakes that could effect you for the rest of your life. This book also shows those of us who are not starting out how to change our plan for the economy today and help us to help our children. Suze has been great for years, but this is the best book so far.

    13 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2012

    I Value Suze Orman's Advice

    I understand that Suze Orman said that what she told people to do ten years ago is wrong; however, if you paid attention you would see the reason why is the DOWN FALL in the ECONOMY we live in now. Ten years ago Suze Orman gave solid advice to match what was happening in the economy. No one expected that the banks and investors were doing things that were not sound; thus the CHANGE in advice to help those become financially stable in the CURRENT economy.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 23, 2011

    Not worth your time

    I saw Suzie Orman in CNBC recently on this and she stated that the last 10 years of her advice was incorrect and that I should now listen to her and buy her latest book. Let me think about this. If my doctor gave me incorrect advice for the past 10 years, at a minimum, there might be a malpractice suit. Not continue to follow bad advice. Can you ask for a refund for all of her past books. The only financial planning you are doing is lining her pockets with poor advice.

    Go buy another book, which is cheaper and has the same quality stuff. And if you need deeper advice, go to a financial planner and ask questions that make you comfortable in choosing him. Just like you would interview a contractors for a house or look for referral for a lawyer or doctor. But buy another book financial advisor book.

    9 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2011

    The Gall

    Suze Orman recently admitted that everything she told people to do ten years ago was WRONG and put a lot of people in the poor house. What makes you think she's right this time?

    7 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2011

    Same Old Stuff

    I have always liked Suze Orman but she is too funny. She keeps writing the same old stuff but changing the book cover to make it appear that she's doing something new. I guess she'll keep getting rich with her fabulous marketing skills.

    7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 8, 2011

    Minus a star.

    I rank her right up there with CNN's Nancy Grace. Cannot imagine anyone reading this garbage. It is like picking up the Inquirer at the checkout counter. Go see an investment counselor; they are FREE at your local bank. An investment counselor, a good accountant and some common sense is all you need to save and invest; and you won't have to be "classed" to do so.

    5 out of 34 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2011


    Same old thing. Nothing new here.

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 1, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Good Book

    I really like Suze Orman. I appreciate her ability to relate with the masses with her style of teaching. Any person can read and understand the lessons taught by Suze. Another book that I absolutely love is Generational Wealth: Business & Investing Guide to Building an Empire. That's probably the best book that I've read in the last five years or so.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 6, 2011

    Suze is Sizzling Hot

    Suze is great. This is a book that will deliver on the promise for your American dream. She did it and so can we. I also recommend Optimal Thinking: How to Be Your Best Self to develop the mindset to consistently optimize choices in our personal life and career. Read both books!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 23, 2011

    Nothing new... it's like a broken record

    Her first couple of books were useful but essentially there is nothing new here. It's as if she continually re-writes the same stuff over and over in different prose. Come on Suze!!!

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 20, 2011


    We have made our own messes and cant blame anyone but ourselves. I feel like she offers a lot of great advice and we should all consider taking a step back and changing our ways. Good book.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 17, 2011

    Love this!

    For those of you who have had problems with finances in the past, or just questions regarding how to get your finances back in line, this is a great read. Suze is a brilliant woman who really knows her stuff. As a finance professional, I highly recommend this read to anyone.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2013

    Difficult to read

    The financial information that you expect from this book should be easier to understand and retain. Orman goes overboard explain concepts and transferring information in a simple manner.

    In a personal note, I've also recently watched an Orman in a Pierce Morgan segment defending same-sex marriage (as the issue has been brought up to the US Supreme Court) and the unprofessional and childish way that she attacked the men who supports traditional marriage, really threw me off.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 28, 2012

    Great read.....

    My partner and I were surprised with this book. This author successfully conveyed effective principles with ease. I'd definitely recommend this!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2012

    Unable to read revised edition

    Because the revised edition (2012) has the same name as the old edition. The ereader digital software does not recognize the difference between the old and new book and therefore, will not allow the purchase of the new revised book, unless the old book is deleted.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2012

    LOVE IT !!!

    I have learned so much by this book and all of her books and I just love them. She has helped me so much financially also.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2012

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    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2012


    She has alot of good ideas that can help in the economy we are now in

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2012

    A reader!

    I am in the process of reading this books. My opinion on the book so far is that i am learning things i did not know before. I am in my late twenties and i am now looking into getting on track with my finances in my life. The Money Class book explains things from saving for college to teaching your kids lessons on saving for their future. I like it personal.

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  • Posted March 19, 2012


    Suze knows what she is talking about and that is why I got this book. I have already put some of this information into my daily life. This is good for all people, if they are willing to be honest with themselves financially.

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