A young couple sits down at the local deli with their baby asleep in the stroller. It is an unseasonably warm day outside with birds chirping, a light wind blowing and barely a cloud in the sky. However, the beauty surrounding them escapes the couple because they cannot decide what to do about their finances.
She says, “Honey, we each have money in our retirement accounts, we are insured through work, and we even have some savings. Don’t you think we should get wills now that the baby is born?”
He responds, “But I got that bonus, so I think we should start to think about putting some money away for the baby’s college education.”
Suddenly, from the next table on their left, an elderly gentleman interrupts. “Pardon me my young friends, but I couldn’t help but overhear your conversation. I am an estate planning lawyer, and I truly believe that your wife is correct. Getting wills is quite important now that you have a newborn. It’s certainly better to be safe than sorry …”
A younger lady sitting with him at his table cuts him off and says, “Oh there you go on again about wills, Dad! Pardon my father, but I’m also an estate lawyer, and this is a point he and I debate all the time. I think estate planning is an excellent idea for you, but I think that a living trust is a more “modern” approach.”
“Excuse me, but I don’t agree with either one of you!” They all turn their heads to the table on the right of the couple, where they spot a young man. “I also overheard your conversation, and I think that permanent life insurance is the way for you to go. Not only will you create protection for your baby, but this will also force you to save. Baby will someday get this money tax-free, and if you ever need the money in advance, it’s as easy as a quick call to borrow against the policy.”
“No, no, no!” chimes a woman two tables away in another direction. “You’re too young to invest in an expensive permanent policy! If anything, you should by a term policy and invest the difference. I’m a financial adviser, and I think you should take a holistic view of your entire financial picture and build a plan. This would not only account for your estate plan and insurance, but also investing, taxes, and retirement as well.”
“Wait a minute!” says another lady at a table adjacent to the lawyer family. “I noticed you two live in that apartment building across the street. Do you realize that mortgage rates are at their lowest point ever and that buying a house now while prices are low during the recession could be a fantastic investment at this point? I’m a realtor, and I know this neighborhood like the back of my hand. I can show you some wonderful buys!”
Her companion quickly responds: “Dear, I’ve told you about that report that showed avoiding home ownership and renting for your whole life can actually save hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
The stockbroker at Table 5 calls out, “Do you two like ‘Angry Birds’? The retail video games sector is just about to rebound* – have I got a stock for you!
The owner of the neighboring electronics store replies, “Wait, plasma TVs are on sale this week! You know what they say about all work and no play…”
“Why would they want a TV if I can get them a used minivan with nothing down and 0% financing for 2 years?”
The baby stirs, and the young couple notice the waitress arriving at their table. “What’ll it be, kids?”
The wife asks, “Do you like the corned beef or the potato knishes this morning?”
The waitress responds, “Both are good, hun. It’s up to you!”
The wife and husband immediately look at each other and smile. They know it is up to them to make their choices.
*– I have absolutely no idea if the retail video games sector is about to rebound — please don’t make any investment choices based on this post!
- 19 Prudent Uses of $1000 and Choosing Between Them (estateplanninginfoblog.com)