Breaking Bad's Walter White's Biggest Mistake
For those of you that watched this series, you are familiar with the premise. The show aired for five seasons, won numerous awards, and was touted as one of the greatest television series of all time.
For those not familiar, the show is based in New Mexico. We learn early on that Walter White, a mild mannered high school chemistry teacher is diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer.
Walt's initial motivation for turning to a life of crime in the manufacture of methamphetamine was to provide for his family financially after he was gone.
As the story unfolds, one thing I learned about Walt, was that he was not just a brilliant chemist. As smart as he was, he still fell victim to the same things we all do (other than the life of crime part).
Namely, we all get up each day and go to work. Busy running our lives, taking care of our families, maybe squeezing in some time for exercise or a hobby. Then falling into bed at night and wake up to do it all over again.
One thing many of us don't do (whether we are brilliant or not) is to pull someone in to help make sure all of our bases are covered.
Once Walt was diagnosed, he was not able to put the necessary plan in place to protect his family as well as he could have if he planned early on.
If Walt had sat down with a Certified Financial Planner® practitioner when his son was born some 16 years earlier, he could have purchased enough life and disability insurance to make sure his spouse and kids were taken care of. He calculated he would have needed about $700,000 to provide for his family and pay for two college educations. A simple level term life insurance policy would have done the trick for him.
Some basic estate planning documents as well would have made sure his wishes were carried out in the event of a disability or death.
Instead, he chose not to take action. Was it because he didn't know that there were protections he could have taken? Hardly.
When Lyman and I sit down with a new client, we walk through all of this. Some clients are eager to implement their plan right away and others procrastinate for a bit. It's called human nature.
If Walt had put a plan in place before he was diagnosed, countless lives would have been saved. (if you saw the show you'll know what I mean).
Sure, there probably wouldn't have been a Breaking Bad series if Walter White had visited Financial Planning Solutions years ago (and implemented his plan) as the show would have been as boring as it gets. But you and I live in the real world. Not one of fiction.
Just as a chemist mixes certain chemicals to produce a desired scientific result, having a good comprehensive financial plan with the "right ingredients" can help produce a desired outcome financially speaking.
If you or anyone you know has some loose ends financially, feel free to reach out to us or pass our name along.
I'm here to help.
All the best.
Rick Fingerman, CFP®
Financial Planning Solutions, LLC (FPS) is a Registered Investment Advisor. Financial Planning Solutions, LLC (FPS) provides this blog for informational and educational purposes only. Nothing in this blog should be considered investment, tax, or legal advice. FPS only renders personalized advice to each client. Information herein includes opinions and source information that is believed to be reliable. However, such information may not be independently verified by FPS. Please see important disclosures link at the bottom of this page.