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Key Words: Suze Orman learns ‘money is worthless’ if you don’t have your health

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Suze Orman learned the hard way to put health before wealth.

The celebrity financial adviser has long preached about taking action to conquer fear, especially when it comes to money. But she admits in a new interview that she put off addressing some troubling health symptoms over the past year — and that almost cost her dearly.

“I’ve been the one that says ‘stand in your truth, don’t deny something when it comes to your money’,” she said in a “Today” show interview on Thursday. “Well, money means nothing if you don’t have your health.”

Orman, 69, was rushed into an emergency 12-hour surgery in July to remove a non-cancerous tumor that was cutting off 80% of her spinal cord. She disclosed on “Today” that she had started struggling to walk up stairs and lost all feeling in her right hand last year, but she was too ready to believe the doctors that suggested she just needed a leg brace to strengthen her quad muscles, or that she was suffering carpal tunnel syndrome in her hand.

What’s more, she postponed getting magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans during the pandemic to see what was going on — something that’s likely relatable to the 48% of Americans who have also postponed or skipped medical care due to the coronavirus outbreak. And when Orman’s symptoms got so bad that she did get those scans, she found that she was “one fender bender away from being paralyzed and probably a quadriplegic.”

“Without your health, your money is worthless.”

— Suze Orman

She encouraged viewers to take action to protect their health — and to prioritize that over their wealth, in fact. “It’s important to understand that as much as I tell all of you ‘money, money, money, money’ — ‘health, health, health’ should be replacing ‘money, money, money,’” she said, “because again, without your health, your money is worthless.”

Orman also suggested that people invest in a second opinion if their primary doctor tells them what they want to hear, versus what they need to hear. “Go to a doctor who tells you what you don’t want to hear,” she said. “Take action, everybody. Don’t just sit by and go, ‘oh, it’s all right. I need to go to work’ … go and see a doctor. And it’s easy now with Teladoc.”

Read more:Will COVID-19 be a tipping point for telehealth in the U.S.?

Orman added that her doctors knew she was on the mend when they caught her giving financial advice to all of the nurses while she was recovering from her spinal surgery in Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital. No matter what time the doctors came in to check on her, she said, there was at least one nurse getting a dose of Orman’s blunt advice.

“I told one nurse she should not dare marry her boyfriend. Don’t touch him with a 10-foot pole!” she said.

Watch the interview below.