The financial guru offers a clarion call to women nearing retirement in her latest book.

By Adam Auriemma
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Financial guru and author Suze Orman
Marc Royce/Courtesy Suze Orman

For nearly 30 years, you’ve been able to count on Suze Orman for a lot. Solid money advice. A willingness to speak hard truths, even when they’re uncomfortable. A kicky jacket.

But one thing she’s never been good at is sticking to any kind of script.

So, it’s no surprise that the brassy financial expert tends to veer off course when reading the audio version of her latest book, The Ultimate Retirement Guide for 50+. While the paper version is slim, the audio is 12 hours long and packed with jokes, asides and other ad libs. A paragraph about her first job becomes a long spiel about her early career, including the egregious investing mistake that put her on a path to financial empowerment. The written reference to the stock market becomes an extremely specific recession prediction.

The additions are just proof that this title comes straight from the heart.

Courtesy of Suze Orman

“The book is so important to the millions of people who aren’t getting the good financial advice they deserve—at a time in their life when they cannot afford to make a mistake,” Orman says.

Her message is embedded in the title: Age 50, she says, is a make-or-break moment for retirement planning, the point at which every financial decision you make becomes critical. And women over 50, a group nearly 60 million strong, face an unprecedented set of challenges. Pensions are basically gone, health care costs are outrageous, and, in 2020, the market may well take your 401(k) for a ride. Ultimate, which is also the basis of a PBS special, lays out strategies for tackling it all. (As a bonus, those who choose the audiobook get a digital copy as well.)

Orman has written plenty about these topics already. But this time it’s different. Semi-retired and on the verge of turning 69, the author says she finally has the emotional maturity to speak to this audience as a peer—to confront the psychological richness of life’s last phase together with traditional money tips. “I’ve been there. I get it, people. I’m not talking out of my age bracket,” she says.

And if you’re under 50? While this book isn’t for you, it will still hit close to home. One of the most common questions she gets from young people is about how to support their financially strapped parents. “There are things you have to do today to protect your tomorrows,” Orman says. “And the problem is, you don’t know what those are.”

To receive a free sample of The Ultimate Retirement Guide for 50+ audiobook, go to SuzeOrman.com/Millie.

This story originally appeared in the Spring issue of Millie magazine.