Financial Lessons from Game of Thrones
Although the era of HBO’s record-breaking TV series, Game of Thrones, is over and our watch has, quite literally, ended, there are a number of valuable lessons – both personal and financial – that we can take with us for years to come. Whether you’re of House Stark or remained loyal to Queen Daenerys, here are a few simple yet powerful financial lessons that we can learn from the show. And consider yourself warned… series spoilers and wicked puns are coming.
BUILD YOUR NEST EGG: Retirement Planning
Or, in this case, dragon eggs. There are multiple situations throughout Game of Thrones that prove the value of investing in your future. One of the most apparent examples in the show is when Daenerys received three rare dragon eggs from Jorah Mormont as a wedding gift and recognized their potential value and power from the beginning. She kept these eggs safe until they hatched into dragons so she could leverage their power to reach her goals. The same goes for saving for your retirement – the earlier you begin contributing to your retirement accounts and saving for the future, the more power you will have to utilize your investments to achieve your future goals.
YOU NEED A DISABILITY CARRIER: Risk Management and Insurance Planning
Before Bran Stark became the King of Westeros (okay, who saw that one coming?!), he fell from the top of a tower and was permanently paralyzed from the waist down, forced to rely on his trusty companion, Hodor, to carry him around and act as his caregiver. Where would Bran be without Hodor? In this lesson, Hodor represents the importance of having disability insurance coverage, which acts as a financial “Hodor” to carry you and protect you from financial burdens should you become unable to work due to a temporary or permanent disability.
CHOOSE YOUR HEIRS CAREFULLY: Estate Planning
As we’ve witnessed firsthand with Joffrey taking the throne when King Robert Baratheon died, things can go badly when you don’t designate responsible heirs ahead of time. Estate planning is essential. We recommend that you have at least a Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA), an Advanced Medical Directive (AMD), and a Last Will and Testament in place, but meeting with an estate planning attorney to build an effective estate plan will ensure that your final wishes are carried out and will bring you peace of mind.
IDENTITY THEFT CAN BE KILLER: Securing your Personal and Financial Information
After visiting the Free City of Braavos, Arya Stark learns to disguise herself using the faces – the identities – of other people to get revenge on and kill her enemies. This serves to be an important reminder of the detriments of identity theft, a threat that grows as data breaches, phishing attacks, and hacking occur with higher frequency. A few simple ways you can protect yourself and your financial accounts from cyber threats include establishing fraud alerts through one of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion), requiring identity verification before sharing any personal information over the phone, and being cautious about the amount of sensitive material your share through online communication platforms. Check out the following articles on our website for more on proactively protecting yourself against fraud.
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER: Financial Knowledge and Awareness
A statement that rings throughout Game of Thrones is, “I drink, and I know things” – famously said by Tyrion, the Lannister misfit, who was able to come out on top despite his physical limitations because he leveraged his knowledge. Sam Tarly was always eager to educate himself and learn more, and without him discovering the key to defeating the White Walkers, the show might have ended very differently. Bran Stark, and his quest for knowledge on his way to becoming the Three Eyed Raven, proves to be yet another significant example of this takeaway from the show. And this lesson applies to all realms, including in the world of finance, as it is important to become knowledgeable about basic financial concepts and to understand the scope of financial decisions before you make them. Learn more about Yeske Buie’s Financial Literacy Program that aims to instill financial knowledge in youth as early as possible.
When it comes to Game of Thrones, the experiences and memories we shared watching the beloved series are incomparable and difficult to match, but the lessons we learned – ranging from financial planning and money management, to powerful personal and life lessons – can be utilized for personal growth and financial wellbeing. If you are interested in reviewing how to utilize these takeaways and continuing the conversation of navigating your finances to achieve your goals, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.