Can I afford it? Ask Suzie Orman!

Suzie Orman is an American TV host who runs a very successful program on personal finance. She runs one section called “Can I afford it”? Needless to say it is very popular.

So popular that it has, obviously, triggered a few Indian equivalents in the television space. Nothing much in the print or web – which is quite surprising.

Typical questions and answers are so hilarious – it is not funny- because they are serious!

Let us look at some questions:

I am 53 years of age. I have 5 lakhs in the Provident fund account. I live in a rented house with my 79 year old father, my wife, a son in school and a daughter who has completed her graduation. She wants to do her MBA. My father has been diagnosed with cancer. I have no mediclaim, no other savings, and my retirement age is 58 years. I am a factory worker earning Rs. 12,000 per month, net of all deductions.

Should I spend on my father’s cancer treatment?

Second question: I have Rs. 80 Lakhs in equities, 40 lakhs in equity mutual funds and about Rs. 16 lakhs in ppf, savings bank account. My wife also owns one house (loan fully paid off) with a market value of Rs. 40 lakhs. I will inherit Rs. 5 crores from my father’s landed property in Gurgaon. Is there someway I can keep this away from my wife and share it with my girl friend – she is married and wants to take a divorce from her husband. She is insisting that I should keep that land in her name.

What should I do?

I only hope these are not treated as finance questions!!

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