One thing you have to notice is that the Pattersons are terrible with money. John seems determined to blow his loot on ego-gratifying toys whenever it would be more prudent to save for an emergency. The smug jackass doesn't see himself wasting cash on trivia, of course. All he sees is the little woman yacking about spending his hard-earned dough on stuff he doesn't see as terribly important such as food, clothing, utility bills, and other pointless, nonsensical excuses women come up with to keep his spending his money on cool shit. He's also transmitted his financial savvy to his son who bribes parking lot attendants, spends his dough at Starbucks and points with pride to his inability to balance checkbooks. After all, a Genius Author can't sully himself by understanding financial documents, can he? Elizabeth, too, is gifted with poor money-handling skills since she regards rental agreements, (especially the part about damage deposits and their non-refundability) as well-meaning suggestions. This makes me fear for Elly's future after John dies. She's probably pinning her hopes for a dignified widowhood on death benefits that don't exist. After all, John can't plan further than five minutes ahead so I don't think he knows to make sure that Elly will be looked after after he passes away. My guess is that there may be just enough to give the two of them a dignified send-off because of his silly romantic belief that she'll probably outlive him by a few milliseconds 'cause that's how it works in the movies. Since she can't really live on Social Security and whatever's left over from burying his ashes, she'd end up like a female George Stibbs, desperately trying to sell the place so she can have enough to move into a retirement home with some sort of dignity. After all, it's not like she can depend on Mike and Liz to help, is it?