Fame. Fortune. Fans.
Think Will and Jada Smith, with their three talented children. Or Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, parents to a globe-trotting band of six adorable kids.
These Hollywood A-listers appear to have their financial acts together..
But what happens when an actor, singer or athlete mismanages their finances or when the seven-figure contracts and blockbuster deals stop coming?.
It's one thing to squander money when you're flying solo. But it's a far more serious matter to ruin your financial house when children are involved..
That's why celebrities with children, like all of us parents, absolutely must think beyond today and start planning for tomorrow. It's not just about planning for what life might be like out of the Hollywood spotlight or without a big check. It's also, planning for what life might be like for the kids without parents around at all..
None of us likes to think about our own mortality. I certainly don't. Still, if something should happen to me, I feel better knowing that the life insurance policy I own would be there for my husband and our three children..
I can't help but suspect, however, that some celebrities — including many who've made millions of dollars — haven't quite taken that all important step of locking in life insurance protection for their families..
With that in mind, here's a look at a handful of high-profile people whose lives — and lifestyles — merit a financial checkup, if not a complete financial intervention..
At the very least, these celebrities all need to make sure they have life insurance as a basic way to protect their children's financial futures.
When former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson bit Evander Holyfield's ear during their epic 1997 rematch, that brawl forever linked these two boxers' legacies. Unfortunately, Tyson and Holyfield each have battled tough financial and personal challenges outside the ring.
Although Tyson earned a reported $300 million in his illustrious boxing career, he nevertheless filed for bankruptcy protection in 2003 and currently has seven kids to support. Sadly, Tyson's 4-year-old daughter, Exodus, died in a tragic accident in 2009. And by 2010, when Tyson made an appearance on The View, he declared that he lives paycheck to paycheck.
"I'm totally destitute and broke," the ex-champ said. "But I have an awesome life, I have an awesome wife who cares about me … I don't deserve to have the wife that I have; I don't deserve the kids that I have, but I do, and I'm very grateful."
His family will be grateful too: a\Assuming Tyson does the right thing and shores up his finances — with life insurance and maybe a few college savings plans.
Evander "The Real Deal" Holyfield banked more than $100 million in earnings over his notable boxing career. But that didn't stop Holyfield's $10 million, 109-room Atlanta home from teetering on the brink of foreclosure. Holyfield was also sued in 2010 by one of his many former girlfriends for alleged unpaid child support. Altogether, Holyfield has 11 children.
With 18 children between them, I sure hope Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield have plenty of life insurance — plus good financial advisers in their corners.
"It's shocking the number of celebrities — and frankly, non-celebrities — that don't do proper estate planning and don't even think about it," says Andy Mayoras, co-author of a book about celebrity financial mistakes called Trial and Heirs: Famous Fortune Fights.
Nadya Suleman took a lot of heat for having in vitro fertilization treatments, which led to her giving birth to 14 kids. But it was Suleman's decision to have eight children at once that made her a household name and earned her the nickname "Octomom."
Too bad that's about all she's earned lately. Long-term television deals, even reality TV stints, and a host of other gigs haven't panned out — except for solicitations to pose nude or appear in pornographic films. Thankfully, Suleman has declined those offers. But she admits she's desperate for money and is now selling her home, which faces foreclosure.
Since Suleman had already been struggling financially, and already had six children before her octuplets were born in 2009, the public hasn't been too forgiving of her dire situation.
Still, here's wishing Octomom a turnaround in her finances and a long, healthy life. Meantime, for the sake of those 14 children, Suleman has hopefully thought to buy life insurance. Even a cheap term policy will do. Just in case.
Jon and Kate Gosselin
Jon and Kate Gosselin, former stars of TLC's "Jon and Kate Plus 8," have learned how fleeting fame and money can be.
Their once-popular TV show has been canceled, prompting Jon to return to his construction job and leading Kate to lament that she's flat broke and scared about her financial future. But with eight growing kids to support, this divorced couple would be wise to put aside their bitter differences do some long-term legal and financial planning for their offspring.
"Two thirds of Americans don't have even a simple will," estate planning expert Andy Mayoras notes. "But doing estate planning and buying life insurance goes hand in hand because you're thinking about what happens to your family if you're not there."
Written by: Lynnette Khalfani-Cox