Financial Lessons From Disney’s Up

Updated on Aug 08 2018

Disney’s movie “Up” appeals to all ages and has a strong message for Americans: Financial and retirement planning are important. As you journey through the life of an endearing couple, Pixar does a good job personifying important financial lessons in the form of a cartoon.

In the movie, Carl and Ellie meet as delightful, exploring children in a run-down house; the house they eventually renovate as their own. Their love of adventure is one of the traits that draws them to one another as they both love exploring and hope to one day travel to a beautiful South American destination, “Paradise Falls.”

The vivacious duo get married and start to go through the motions of life, including fixing up a house, putting their handprints on their mailbox and going on picnics. They seem to have the American Dream as they start preparing for a child.

Being Financially Savvy Helps Prepare You for Unexpected Life Situations

As life often throws unexpected mishaps, Ellie has a miscarriage and can no longer have children. The “Paradise Falls” fund, which is a big savings jar of coins, gets tapped to pay for a multitude of necessities, including new tires, medical bills, and damage to their beloved house.

If Carl and Ellie had been a little more financially savvy, they would have had more freedom and money to still take their adventure and perhaps live a more fulfilling life. Here are a few key financial planning lessons worth noting from Disney’s Up:

1. Healthcare and Insurance Plans Are Crucial

Life is full of surprises and unexpected accidents. Insurance and healthcare plans are crucial to help you be prepared when tragedy strikes.

Sadly, many Americans are not proactive when it comes to enrolling in healthcare and insurance plans when they’re still affordable. A recent report from Bankrate shows that 62 percent of American families are not adequately saving for retirement or taking measures to prepare for future healthcare or emergency costs.

Think about it: Unexpected life and retirement costs are a lot easier on the wallet if you’ve enrolled in healthcare and insurance plans to supplement life costs. If Carl had a healthcare plan and if they couple had insured their home, they could have kept their vacation savings intact and enjoyed their life-long dream together before Ellie passed away.

An emergency fund protects you from the unexpected, and since life presents many ‘surprises’ it’s imperative to set a financial cushion aside to protect your assets. That way, if emergencies happen, you don’t have to touch any of your investments or the savings dedicated to your travels, adventures or future retirement.

A general rule is to have six months of mortgage saved in case of losing a job or having an accident that isn’t covered by insurance. Having a separate emergency fund not only provides monetary benefits, it also has psychological benefits as you and your family can keep your ‘adventure’ funds safe for life’s special travels and memories; even if the unexpected occurs.

Strategic financial planning with separate accounts for your dreams and your emergency fund, will ensure your money for your bucket list items is still intact. If Carl and Ellie had been more financially savvy, they could have fulfilled their dreams together. This is why many Americans are considering an expert financial advisor to help with financial planning, goal assessment, budgeting, and saving.

3. Stay Educated and Be Ambitious in the Workplace

Ellie and Carl had the same job throughout their entire working career and probably only received the 3 to 5 percent mandatory pay raises over the years. They were living simply, but with the costs of inflation, they were not getting ahead financially.

If they had been more proactive, they might have been given promotions. For example, Carl sold baloons and Ellie was a tour guide at their local zoo; but with an entreprenurial spirit, maybe they could have either found jobs that paid better, received promotions, or climbed the corporate ladder into managerial roles.

They also seemed a little bored with the day-to-day existence and Carl became depressed when he retired, was alone and not engaged at work anymore. If they had tried to start up a business or had just pursued something different, maybe they would enjoyed a more fulfilling life together.

Financial Planning Is Important for Your Future Happiness

Another important message in this heartfelt movie is that it’s important to never lose sight of your dreams. After all, human drive and inspiration provide the motivation to tackle life’s obstacles and continue to push for the utopia that everyone desires in their American dream.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have peace of mind that you can reach your dreams and life goals? Let an expert financial advisor help you reach your goals. You may not want to go to Paradise Falls, but you probably have some items on your bucket list you’d like to achieve. There’s no time like the present!

Watch the trailer of this wonderful movie here:

UP Trailer

Originally published at

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