Thread: The Blacklist
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Old October 30 2013, 05:02 AM   #38
IndyJones
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Re: The Blacklist

stj wrote: View Post
IndyJones wrote: View Post
stj wrote: View Post
*Strictly speaking, the Keen's ability to keep a house while losing Tom's income and paying their share of his medical bills is a red flag for chicanery. Particularly since elementary school teachers are not especially well paid. (I have my doubts about low level FBI agents too.) But in all probability it's just Hollywood's idea of the ordinary lifestyle.
He probably has insurance and a number of paid sick days, and his wife is working as well. Were you expecting them to be evicted from their home after a week or two?
Recent family experience with major medical expenses may be affecting my view. Twenty percent copay is pretty standard, and deductibles so far as I know run about one thousand dollars. Fifteen days sick leave per school year would be pretty generous I think, so yes, I think they would have been down to one income pretty fast. The hospital and physician expenses would probably be limited to out of pocket, maybe $10 000, but meds and PT may well be separately handled. Her employer (is it still the FBI?) may have been generous on paying her for any of her time with him (if she took any?) but there are very often official limits on employees taking paid leave for sick family members.

An elementary school teacher with only a few years experience in a metropolitan area might be pulling down something like 60K, leaving a take home less than 40K after taxes, federal and state. The house payments might be as low as $2 000, but could be as high as $4 000. No, I don't think they could live on her income.

As a matter of fact, I wouldn't expect them to be evicted, but to downsize. If they're taking all their savings, sucking out any equity in the house, selling assets or what not, I'd expect that still to be a source of worry, even strife. Major medical expenses are a major cause for bankruptcy, which should an option on the table for them, given the marital problems.
That's assuming an awful lot about their personal finances, and I don't think it's justified. I'm well-aware that medical bills are the number one cause of bankruptcies in this country, but at the very least this is a family with dual earners, and he would have had at least some sick days. Maybe they watch Suze Orman and had an 8 month emergency fund that they dipped into, maybe they're diligent about contributing to their Roth IRA's and are pulling some money out, maybe they inherited money, etc.

I'm not saying that a family couldn't be wrecked by that type of situation, I just don't think it's so likely as to be strange that it hasn't yet been brought up in these episodes.
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