The Netflix show Grace and Frankie chronicles what happens when seventy-something frenemies Grace and Frankie learn that their husbands were not only partners in a law firm but also romantically involved. The two men decide they want to live out their days together so they divorce their wives.
In “‘Grace and Frankie Show Us How to Retire in Style,” financial advisor David Rae looks at lessons from the show. One is that while you can make plans, you should expect the unexpected. Retirement planning is important because you can adjust when something unexpected happens. If you have made no plans and have no savings, it will be tougher to handle the unexpected.
Rae also points out that Grace and Frankie’s living arrangements are becoming more popular. On the show, the two women become roommates when both end up at the beach house they had purchased with their former husbands. Rae discusses the financial, social, and emotional benefits older people can reap when they decided to live with a roommate.
The Huffington Post discussed the show again earlier this year in “‘Grace And Frankie’ Totally Nails What It Means To Be Getting Older.” In the third season, Grace and Frankie decide to market and sell a line of sexual aids designed for older women. The two women are disappointed when they aren’t a good fit for an idea-centric business incubator and a bank denies them a 10-year loan. Writer Ann Brenoff zeroed in on the more obvious reasons that a young banker would not want to give a substantial loan to retirees who want to launch a business: age, gender, and the fact that he probably felt a distaste for the product they wanted to sell since younger people don’t like to think about the sex lives of older people.
However, another important and less obvious factor in the bank’s rejections is this:
“…older business borrowers aren’t great guarantors ― especially if, like Grace, they’ve been successful and are smart. Successful, smart people generally know to tie up their assets in retirement plans or trusts, which creditors can’t touch. If the borrowers die or are disabled, the bank is left dealing with heirs, who know nothing about the borrowers’ business.”
So smart retirement planning may keep you from getting a bank loan but it will make things easier for your heirs.