Monthly Archives: August 2014

What Suze Orman Doesn’t Know

I admire Suze Orman. She’s one of the best writers about financial information. Her writing is clear and conversational; the information accurate and easy to understand. I recommend her books to the women who take my seminars. I’ve included her books as part of the suggested reading list in my book “Don’t Worry about a Thing, Dear “- Why Women Need Financial Intimacy.

However, Suze, by her own description, is a lesbian and has never been in a relationship with a man.  She’s never been held hostage by the cultural forces that millions of women experience in relationship to their husband. She’s never been legally bound to a man who raises his voice in anger, or stonewalls his wife, or refuses to share financial information with her or blocks her access to marital financial records. Suze is never in financial danger because someone else is making financial decisions without her knowledge.

Suze never raised children; her nurturing instincts as a mom weren’t tested by children whom luck or life dealt a raw deal and now they expect mom to bail them out. She is a free agent, unencumbered by the cultural and emotional baggage that millions of women experience as wives and mothers.

It’s easy for Suze to provide financial information and millions rely on her advice. What’s harder is for married women to act on her advice, especially in the nine community property states, where a woman’s financial well-being is legally and financially entwined with her husband. Few things will stop a woman from asking for financial information from a husband who refuses to share financial information and snarls, ‘Why do you want to know? Are you planning to divorce me?’

That’s when you need advice from women who have been there. Find out more at

Marrying for Money

Is there anything wrong with marrying for money? Few women I know will admit to it, but after meeting their mate, I can’t help wondering if they think anyone is fooled. For example, does anyone think that Anna Nicole Smith, a model for Guess and Playboy magazine married 89-year-old oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II for love?

At least the practice isn’t the dirty little secret it used to be. If you google ‘marrying for money’, dozens of pages of articles and websites encourage you to do just that. Daphne Merkin, writer and journalist, is honest about  her refusal to marry for money. She writes “If the man is rich enough, one overlooks everything. He can be bald, hairy, have a stomach that hangs like an apron and be really under-endowed.”

I have met many women who won’t admit that they married for money, but freely confess that they stay married because of the money. A woman in one of my seminars said “Am I happily married? That’s beside the point. I know what I’ve got – and at least he has money.”

Many of the other women agreed with her. One woman said  “Don’t you feel like you sold your soul just for the money?” Hey, souls are sold for lots of other things as well.

Is there a difference between going into marriage for the money and staying married for the money? Is it wrong to believe that money makes someone more interesting? If marriage buys you a lifestyle you want, are you selling your soul by opting for security and stability over romantic love and passion?

The statistics on love and passion aren’t that impressive. Presumably passion evaporates within the first two years of marriage. There’s no guarantee that love will last, but having money is a good diversion. How would you advise your daughter?

Check out the other blogs about love, marriage and money at

When is Old too Old to Drive?

A driver in his mid-nineties was trying to parallel park on a busy street in Palo Alto during the height of the lunchtime hour this week. The driver hit the accelerator instead of the brake and slammed into a pedestrian and four people seated at tables outside of a restaurant. Two of them needed surgery, the others had cuts and bruises. The driver could just as easily have killed them all. The police are calling this a tragic accident and, pending further investigation, don’t plan to file criminal charges.

The DMV requires that the driver take an ’emergency retest’ to see if his license should be taken away. Really? If he passes his retest, will they let him out on the road again? He wasn’t drinking. He could have been doing drugs, perfectly legal drugs that impair his ability to respond quickly, to coordinate his eye, hand and foot movements, to judge distances and inhibit his responses.

Actually, what he was doing is criminal. He shouldn’t have been driving in the first place.  The people he injured may suffer permanent health problems or be disfigured. Our collective insurance rates will rise because his insurance company will have to reimburse the people he injured. If he had killed the five people he injured, their families would have suffered serious consequences.

The Department of Motor Vehicles should draw a line in the sand. No matter how well a 90- year-old sees or how many questions he answers correctly, he’s too old to drive. No matter how sharp his memory or what a good dancer he still is, behind the wheel of a car, he is a potential menace. If he hands in his keys voluntarily, let’s give him a medal. If not, let’s deny him a license.

Ninety is not the new 70. The body and brain that worked well two decades ago isn’t doing so well.   Don’t endanger the rest of us in the name of beating the aging game. If you’re in your 90s, hand in your keys. If your parents are in their 90s, for your sake and theirs, take the keys.It’s time to draw a line in the sand.