Money Mistakes

      In case you missed it, “American Lawyer” went into Buzzfeed mode for some reason and offered the “Top Ten Money Mistakes Boomer Lawyers Make.”
     Sounds like good, fun clickbait, right?
     You’re probably guessing that I’m going to say “wrong,” and you’d be right. The list is very weird and couldn’t possibly be the real Top 10 lawyer money mistakes.
     It contains sentences like this one: “Retirement advisers acting under a fiduciary standard must work solely in the best interest of clients.”
     Bet you’re glad to know that.
     But I quibble. What’s really wrong with the “American Lawyer” list is that it seems to be the legal-world equivalent of a list of “First World problems.”
     If your Top 10 includes phrases such as “Many partners don’t even know the fundamentals of their pension” and “You can’t spend the way you were spending in the past when you were highly compensated,” you’re not thinking about most lawyers (boomers or not).
     There’s probably no scientific (or truthful) basis for any Top 10 list, but I’m absolutely certain the following should be on any list of lawyer money errors:
     Going to College: This is a common but terrible financial decision for obvious reasons. It’s expensive, you run up student debt that you may never repay, and you waste a lot of time in classes when you could be partying.
     If you’re going to run up all that debt, why not retire right away?
     The Series of Spouses. Why did you keep marrying those people? Why did you let them know you had any money?
     The Trump Condo in Mexico: This one requires no explanation.
     If You Build It, They Won’t Come: I know you know lawyers who did this — got out of law school, decided to go it alone or with some pals, and rented a fancy office in some place like Beverly Hills that would surely lure hordes of clients.
     It didn’t.
     Taking on Contingency Cases and Then Finding Out Your Client Refuses To Settle — Ever: It’s a big mistake not to test contingency clients for flexibility if you want to avoid ending up poorer than the client — while being stuck prosecuting the case a decade later.
     Buying Artwork for the Office: You’ll lose business from prospective clients who hate it.
     Having Children: If you can’t pay for your own education, why would you support some other freeloader through school?
     At the very least, charge them rent for living in the basement.
     Betting on a Sure Thing at the Track: You win, but then lose it all and more on the next seven races.
     The Expensive Wine Cellar Filled With Rare Collectible Vintages: This might have been a good idea — until that party when you ran out of wine upstairs …
     Investing: Any stock that I buy immediately starts tanking and I’m sure that’s true for all of you too.
     Never invest in anything.
     Putting Money in the Bank: You might as well stick it in a mattress.
     Sticking Money in a Mattress: And then there was the fire.
     Failing To Buy Homeowners Insurance That Covers Fire Damage: See above.

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