Ed McMahon Story
Everybody is talking about the story of Ed McMahon facing possible foreclosure on his multimillion-dollar home. And the typical reaction is, "If it can happen to Ed McMahon, it can happen to anyone."
I like Ed McMahon and I sympathize with his predicament, but I disagree with the general notion that he is simply "caught up" in the housing crisis.
Just listen to his own words:
"If you spend more money than you make, you know what happens. You know, a couple of divorces thrown in, a few things like that. And, you know, things happen. You want everything to be perfect, but that combination of the economy, I have a little injury, I have a situation. And it all came together."
He lives with his relatively young third wife in a 6-bedroom, 5-bathroom, 7,000-square-foot house in Beverly Hills with a $4.8 million mortgage. His difficulty is partly due to his broken neck after a fall 18 months ago that has prevented him from working. But that means that his lifestyle and financial wellbeing depend on his continuing to work and generate a significant income at age 85, and not on any savings and retirement planning.
In this housing crisis, there are many sad stories affecting individuals with varying degress of personal responsibilities for their problems. However, as a nation, it might be a good time for us to learn how to live within our means.