Afraid of making the wrong financial moves during these uncertain times? Well, Suze Orman wrote the book on that ... in fact, many books, and her latest, "The Money Class," is just out. Money is the subject of her "Sunday Morning" Commentary:
While it is true I'm getting a little more optimistic as to what's happening in the economy, it's also true that your future rests on your shoulders and your shoulders alone. So there are certain things that you need to do and there are other things that you must NOT do.
So here are three mistakes you cannot afford to make.
Let's say you're out there and you lost your job and you have been trying and trying to find another job and you just can't do it.
And you come up with this brilliant idea: You think to yourself, "I know! I'm going to go back to school! I'll take out a student loan to go back to school" - even though you don't know what you want to go back to school in - and that will solve your problems.
No, it won't.
It will be one of the biggest mistakes you make. You don't want to go further into debt at a time when you don't have any income coming in.
Also, in most cases, do you know that student loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy?
So what are you thinking? Do not make that mistake.
Next: Real estate.
You do have a job. You do have income, and you think, "I'm going to take advantage of low real estate prices and low interest rates." And you're out there and you're going to do so.
The biggest mistake you will make is if you buy a home and you don't have at least 20 percent to put down. Besides the 20 percent to put down, you need an eight-month emergency fund just in case.
You need to be able to qualify and afford either a 15-year or 30-year fixed rate mortgage.
You also need to be able to afford the mortgage payment, property taxes, insurance and maintenance.
And you have to get a steal of a deal, because real estate prices COULD continue down, and you don't want to buy a home and have a loss on it. So make sure you do all of that.
And last, but not least:
Many of us are gonna spend more years in retirement than we ever did working. Don't make the mistake of thinking that you're gonna retire when you are 59, 62. Chances are you are not.
Perfect retirement age is 67. If you can postpone till 70. That's even better.
If you can wait and take Social Security to those ages as well, that's great.
Don't retire before your time.
Now you know the mistakes you can't afford to make.