How much money do people need to be happy? Lifestyle magazine Town & Country recently surveyed experts and estimated what the "happiness number," or 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.
The hypothetical couple is in their 40s and has two teenage children enrolled in a Manhattan private school. They reside 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.
After all factors were considered, a US Trust analyst estimated the duo would need to have accumulated a net worth of $190 million to live to their liking. (To put this in perspective: 5% of Americans are millionaires, and only about 0.09% of all millionaires are worth over $100 million.)
Here's a breakdown of some of the considered costs:
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.'"
Read the entire article here.