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Michael Jackson is now the poster child for what not to do with your money.
The whole world was shocked to hear of the sudden, unexpected death of pop singer Michael Jackson this past Thursday, June 25, 2009, at the age of 50.
In the majority of the TV news segments that have run about Michael this past weekend, the comments from the talking heads have included the complexity of his estate and the almost $500 million of debt he has accumulated in recent years. This seems to be a common problem with celebrities that grow accustom to a certain lifestyle when times are good, but as soon as their celebrity begins to fade as well as their income, they make no adjustments to their financial plan. Perhaps, they didn't have much of a plan to begin with.
In spite of his many financial failings, Michael was a giver, and he donated as well as raised millions of dollars for beneficial causes through his foundations and 39 other charities.
So what can we learn from the finances of Michael Jackson?
- Don't do debt.
- Don't over complicate your estate planning.
- Have a plan for your money. Be sure to set short as well as long term goals with your money.
- Budget your money and spend it wisely.
- Be sure your lifestyle does not exceed your income.
- Have an emergency fund for the difficult times.
- Invest your money wisely for the future.
- Be a giver like Michael.