Unsolicited Advice FOR A DESPERATE HOUSEWIFE
Lynette gets a financial plan free of unwanted plot twists
(MONEY Magazine) – Lynette Scavo can't be too desperate--her husband Tom recently returned to work. But raising four kids isn't cheap.
• EMERGENCY FUNDS To come up with the "donation" that got their twins into snooty Barcliff Academy, the Scavos had to sell Tom's sailboat. In fact, they should have had six months of expenses socked away for times like this, says Cary Carbonaro of Family Financial Research: "Normally, three months will do when both spouses work, but because they have the same employer, they could lose their jobs at the same time." They ought to cut expenses, then deposit part of their pay in money funds.
• EDUCATION If they skip pricey suits (hers) and golf clubs (his), the harried Scavos can fund 529 plans with age-based portfolios, where managers regularly reallocate so that an infant's money is mostly in, say, growth stocks, but a high schooler's may be more in bonds and money markets.
• INSURANCE They should spend a few hundred dollars a year for a $2 million personal-liability umbrella policy to cover unexpected legal costs. Says Robert Pagliarini, creator of the Desperate Housewives Financial Profile Quiz (dhquiz.com): "Everyone is suing everyone for everything. Especially on Wisteria Lane, they've got to have umbrella coverage."