THE COST OF LIVING EXTREMELY WELL

Time for anther peek [Lifestyles theme] into the “Lifestyles of the Rich… and Cranky.”

Time for anther peek [Lifestyles theme] into the “Lifestyles of the Rich… and Cranky.”

The vast majority of Americans – those making $50,000 a year or less – are stretching to make ends meet these days, but I’ll bet they never pause to think about how hard it is for their fellow citizens who’re immensely rich. Luckily, we have Forbes’ magazine’s “Cost of Living Extremely Well Index” to inform us about this hardship.

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Yes, the über-rich are getting ever more über, but what you probably don’t know is that the cost of their lavish lifestyles is increasing astronomically. Were you aware, for example, that the price of a catered dinner for 40 of your closest friends jumped 31 percent in the past year? You used to entertain them for $7,500 – but now it’s nearly $10,000 for a catered dinner party. It’s enough to drive you to McDonald’s!

Also, while some families worry about the increase in the price of home heating oil this winter, few of them ever think about the fact that the price of a Russian sable fur coat is up 18 percent, now topping $225,000. But if you want to run with the big dogs of wealth, you really have no choice but to pay the price. Being super-rich, after all, is about saving face with your peers. Speaking of which, did you know that a face lift that cost some $14,000 last year now will set you back $17,000?

Sometimes, you just want to get away from it all, which is why so many of the swells are moving into double-wides. Not house trailers, darling – double-wide private jets! They only cost $150 million each, and they’re said to be as comfy as mobile mansions.

The good news is you can still get a 45-minute session with a New York Upper East Side psychiatrist for $300. Now that’s a bargain that every stressed-out rich person should jump at.

“The Price of Living Well,” Forbes, October 8, 2007

“Rich hit as cost of lavish living soars,” www.reuters.com, September 24, 2007

“The cost of living extremely well,” www.economist.com, September 25, 2007

“The cost of being wealthy,” The Washington Post, October 13, 2007

“Battling the bastards is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.”

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