By Ryan Velez
Money can’t buy happiness, right? Not so fast. Celebrity Net Worth recently shared a story from Town and Country, where experts came together to try and find the “happiness number,” the amount of money required to comfortably afford a particular lifestyle without worrying about finances, of a fictional – and very well-off – New York family would be.
To paint the picture, this hypothetical couple would be in their 40s, with two teenage children enrolled in a Manhattan private school. The provisions? This couple resides in a Fifth Avenue apartment, don't work, invest in art, take private jets, donate to charity, have a household staff, and own two vacation homes. Plus, the couple is aiming to put aside $25 million for each child to inherit.
In order to live this lifestyle, a U.S. Trust analyst estimated the duo would need to have accumulated a net worth of $190 million to live to their liking. This is a minute percentage of Americans. 5% of Americans are millionaires, and only about 0.09% of all millionaires are worth over $100 million. Here are some of Town and Country’s breakdowns of the various costs of living.
Real estate: $18 million apartment overlooking Central Park on Fifth Avenue, $2 million for furniture and decor, and $20 million for a Hamptons weekend home and a Caribbean vacation spot.
Education: $1.7 million per child for an expansive educational experience—this stat includes private school and tutors, music lessons, sports, trips abroad, and the cost of a four-year Ivy League college.
Philanthropy: $25,000 annually to sit on the board of a museum, and another $15,000 per table at charity events.
Household staff: $190,000 annually for a driver, a chef, and a housekeeper.
Art: $20 million to $100 million in a seven- or eight-piece collection, which would be about $1 million annually.
Health and beauty: $150,000 annually for wardrobe, grooming, physical trainers, and cosmetic procedures.
Other experts estimated this "happiness number" may be closer to $100 million for the family of four.
According to Richard Kirshenbaum, the author of Isn't That Rich? Life Among the 1%, billionaires "view $100 million as the starting point for real money. They call it a hundy. Like, 'Oh, they made it, they have a hundy.'" Granted, your average person doesn’t have these type of ambitions. What we can take from this is the massive gap in wealth and exactly how much goes into fueling the lifestyles that we may see on T.V.