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Financial Planning and Estate Planning Examples from “Mad Men”

MC900438784While experience may be the best teacher, it is better to learn from the mistakes of others. And the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) expounds upon the financial planning and estate planning pitfalls that await some characters on the TV show “Man Men” to help you reflect on your own life. According to the WSJ, “While the show itself doesn’t dwell on financial details, a number of financial planners and lawyers devoted to “Mad Men” have given the potential mistakes of its female characters a great deal of thought…”

After talking with some legal and finance experts, the WSJ offered this food for thought:

Estate planning: While a planned Initial Public Offering (IPO) did not work out this time around, expert viewers think it is important for characters like Joan Harris to work on estate planning before an IPO. For example, “Ms. Harris could put some of her hard-to-sell stock into a trust for her son now, at a presumably lower pre-IPO value, without running afoul of the federal gift-tax exclusion…”

You not only have to be concerned about your own estate planning, if you have aging parents, you also need to be aware of theirs. Astute viewers think that Peter Campbell needs to be on the lookout lest his mother’s caregiver gets control of her finances since, “Financial exploitation costs older adults an estimated $2.9 billion a year in the U.S., often due to fraud or outright theft by paid caregivers and family members, or through investment fraud, according to MetLife…” 

Financial planning and romance: Expert viewers are concerned for Peggy Olson—she  let a boyfriend convince her that instead of buying real estate that is potentially very valuable, she should get a fixer-upper in an unsafe neighborhood.

The experts think a woman like Peggy Olson who has risen to the top of her profession should get a pre-nuptial agreement. And they advise making sure of getting expert advice to make sure that this agreement is solid because just having one isn’t enough–you need to make it secure.