- The article discusses the high-profile divorce case between actors Johnny Depp and Amber Heard and highlights several personal finance lessons that can be learned from the trial.
- Lesson 1: Keep good financial records and document all transactions, particularly in relationships where there is a significant power imbalance.
- Lesson 2: Be mindful of tax implications when dividing assets in a divorce settlement.
- Lesson 3: Have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in place to protect your assets in the event of a divorce.
- Lesson 4: Consider the long-term financial implications of legal disputes and prioritize finding a mutually beneficial resolution.
- The authors also discuss the importance of seeking professional financial advice and working with a financial advisor to help navigate complex financial situations, particularly during a divorce.
The trail between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard was watched around the world and the overwhelming majority favored Johnny for a variety of reasons. This article’s purpose isn’t to take sides but to try and help everyone understand what they can learn from it about personal finance.
Amber Heard was found guilty of defamation of character and it’s going to cost her nearly 10 million dollars. She’s not worth even half that. To add insult to injury, her legal costs ended up being nearly 6 million dollars (which will be covered by her homeowners and umbrella liability insurance, but still… that’s not a small price-tag).
Why Hurting Your Brand is More Expensive Than you Might Expect
This kind of lawsuit could ruin most people’s lives forever but the real negative impact to Amber was that her debatably budding career could be ruined because of public opinion and her getting caught in multiple lies.
As we all plan our careers, it’s important to be aware of the impact that other people’s opinions have on us. Many call it “politicking” but in reality, it’s just being a reasonable, intelligent, responsible and friendly individual with your colleagues and managers. If you’re in a position in society where you’re in the public light like Amber Heard, getting promotions and additional work more depends on society’s opinion of you (your real bosses) because who wants to watch a movie with a possible spousal abuser in it? Not many people. This seems to be society’s opinion of Amber. Her mistakes should be a lesson for all of us.
Learning to be Happy with a Simple Life, Even If You Think You Can Afford To Live Larger
It was in the news that Amber rented a mansion near the court house that cost her $22,500 a month. It was excessive in nearly every way with everything from a jacuzzi, a movie theatre and many other unnecessary luxuries. She’s well known for drinking multiple bottles of high cost wine, nearly every night and abusing expensive narcotics. Excess seems to be a part of Amber’s life. It’s possible I’m wrong but I don’t envision anyone who needs to distract themselves from everything in life so often as a happy person and that’s incredibly unfortunate.
I’ve worked with clients that are worth many times more than Amber and what keeps people wealthy isn’t their earning ability but their ability to be happy with their life as it is. A great example is Warren Buffet. He’s lived in the same home in Omaha, Nebraska for years. He doesn’t own anything luxurious and doesn’t have anything to prove. He lives his life happily exactly as it is without needing distractions. He has his family, his passion (the stock market), his egg McMuffin sandwiches and his bottle of coca cola and he’s a seemingly happy guy.
Even if Warren wasn’t as astutely intelligent of an investor as he is, his life probably wouldn’t be any different and he’d still be fine financially.
The lesson we can learn from Amber’s poor decisions in how she lives her life and the wonderful decisions that Warren’s made throughout the years is that we should all live like our careers may not incredibly successful with the hope that we can afford what lives we live today, down the road because our futures are uncertain and what we know we have today is for sure.
Choose Who You Marry Wisely
This may seem obvious but with only 42% of 62-year-olds being in their first marriage, and close to 9% of 30-year-olds having already been involved in a divorce as of 2022, divorce is nearly as popular as cigarettes in the United States so it seems like either society within the United States on average lacks the necessary skills to have a successful relationship or we just pick our partners poorly (maybe both).
Getting a divorce in Colorado is expensive. It costs roughly $14,500 on average, according to a study conducted by Martindale-Nolo Research in legal costs alone. High-net-worth couples, however, tend to have more expensive processes and end up paying $37,000 on average. This isn’t including the potential cost of what your now ex-spouse may be able to get granted to them as part of the settlement which can be as high (or higher than) 50% of your life savings. Ouch!
Johnny Depp married Amber Heard I’m sure for numerous good reasons but with his net worth being as high as it is, he probably regrets not getting a pre-nup, post-nup and protecting himself better.
This isn’t even considering the impact to his career, his mental health and his physical health which I’m sure were all insurmountable.
What can we learn from their mistakes? I won’t pretend to be an expert on dating or relationships, however, the clients I’ve worked with that have the longest lasting relationships all share a few common practices; vulnerability, respect and honesty.
It seems like, regardless who the abuser was, had the other been more vulnerable and insisted on either a divorce or marital counseling… they probably would have been in a better place sooner.
Liability Insurance is Incredibly Important, Even If You Can Afford To Self-Insure
Liability Insurance is Important, Even If You Can Afford To Self-Insure
Liability insurance protects us from lawsuits resulting from claims that are covered by the insurance we buy. This can be from a lawsuit by someone who sues you for negligence if they were hurt on your property, libel or a number of other reasons.
In this case, Amber Heard had some pretty high liability limits (I only wonder if she foresaw this coming…) so her attorneys fees will mostly (if not 100%) be covered by her liability insurance.
Should she have had more? Honestly, probably not. She’ll likely just file bankruptcy and give up all her funds once the case is settled and have to restart her savings from ground zero. They may try and garnish her wages in addition but it’s also possible Johnny won’t ask for this and will settle for whatever she can pay.
Any Financial Advisor in Colorado that doesn’t review a clients whole financial life is likely missing a lot. This should include all the nuances of your insurance policies (and not just the ones they sell).
Why? Because when you hire on an financial planner, you need to be sure that you’re purchasing a relationship with someone who can help ensure you aren’t making any mistakes in any part of your life. Being underinsured is a huge mistake because there are things in life we can’t afford to have happen. Most people can’t afford to pay off their mortgage, tomorrow or pay for surgery out of pocket (why we have insurance).
A financial advisor’s goal is to ensure that each part of your financial life is managed appropriately (insurance, estate plan, tax plan, retirement plan, investments, employee benefits and earning potential). Like a quarterback trying to throw a pass for a touchdown, if the quarterback only looks at one side of the field, they’re probably missing an opportunity to make progress, faster.
So, What’s Next?
https://progresswealthmanagement.com/our-estate-planning-checklist/At Progress Wealth Management, we seek to ensure that every aspect of our clients financial lives are managed with a science and a process including their taxes, insurance, compensation, estate plan, investments, retirement plan, debt and budget. As a result of working with us, you’d receive a full analysis of each of these areas at least once a year so you know you’re doing the best you can to prepare for you and your family’s financial future.
The best part is that we’re currently accepting new clients in Arvada, Colorado and across the country.