Sunday, May 15, 2011

Money lessons from The Naked Gun

Something light for Sunday!

My S.O. and I were feeling wiped out and brain dead the other night so after doing the dinner dishes we cuddled up to watch a movie over Netflix.  While looking for something lighthearted, funny, and not intellectually challenging in the instant films we found The Naked Gun.  We'd both heard of it, never seen it and were in the mood for a blast from the past so on came the film.  Our movie decisions are rarely this smooth. The movie follows police detective Frank Drebin as he tries to uncover a plot to kill Queen Elizabeth.  Heavy on slapstick and puns the movie also offers a few lessons in financial planning:
  • Use your family connections - The director's mother played the role of the bad guy's secretary.  She did an excellent job and it probably saved them money on casting and kept more of the film's money in the family.  Plus who doesn't want to turn their mom into a hypno-assassin?
  • Have appropriate disability insurance - O.J. Simpson stars (pre-murder trial) as a cop who's shot numerous times while trying to conduct a heroin bust, has attempts made on his life in the hospital, and falls down the bleachers in a baseball stadium at the end of the movie.  If you have a risky job you need to be extra sure to have good insurance if your employer doesn't provide you with it.
  • Have a medical care directive - While O.J. is in the hospital, near-comatose, Detective Drebin interviews him to try to figure out what happened.  Afterwards, he tries to comfort the cop's wife by telling her he will likely die or if he doesn't he can't return to the police force as a vegetable.  The wife can only cry.  If something happens to you your family will be a mess and onlookers won't be much help, plan ahead so if something terrible does happen you have a clear plan that will make decisions easier.
  • Buy property insurance if you can't replace it - During the film the villain's penthouse apartment is set on fire and all of his priceless, carefully procured treasures are destroyed when detective Drebin breaks in to look for evidence.  A fugitive crashes a car into a gasoline truck, a missile transporter, and, riding the missile, a fireworks factory.  The fireworks factory explodes leaving only wreckage behind.  Unexpected catastrophes happen, take reasonable steps to prepare for them and buy insurance where you can't afford to self-insure.
  • Have a big emergency fund - Detective Drebin is nearly fired (or put in jail) numerous times during the film.  Though bumbling, Drebin isn't completely inept and he is committed to his work.  You could be fired or laid off at any point, have several months of living expenses saved to get you through.
  • Save for the future - At the start of the film Drebin is convinced that women and cops don't mix and it sounds like his only love will be his job for the rest of his life.  But by the end of the film he's madly in love and proposes with a sparkly engagement ring.  You never know where life is going to take you, but you want to be in a good financial place to take advantage of it.
 Have you seen The Naked Gun?  What did you think?

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