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Living the good life on just $483,800 a year
April 25, 2006 7:43 PM   Subscribe

What it costs to live well in the United States. According to Forbes, living well for a family of four in New York City requires an annual income of $483,800, compared to $189,923 in Wichita, Kansas. Of course, living well, according to the methodology, involves a vacation home, a BMW 325i and a Lexus RX 330, weekends at the Ritz, and almost no savings, so you might want to skip one of these things if you are a few bucks shy. Also worth noting, the most expensive ZIP codes and houses in the United States (and the world). Are you living well?
posted by blahblahblah (83 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
It's funny how we define living 'well'. What about being happy, having a fulfilling job (including no money stresses, I acknowledge), being healthy, having enough leisure time to do some hobbies.

The cheapest housing in that Forbes survey is $600k in Fargo, ND, while the New York realestate is $3.9M. I've ehard that US house prices were high at the moment, but are you sure you're buying a comfortable house, or are you really buying prestige and self-image.

It's pretty sad.
posted by wilful at 7:50 PM on April 25, 2006


Oops, forget to include it in the main post, but don't forget the What it Costs to Live Well Calculator.
posted by blahblahblah at 7:55 PM on April 25, 2006


We did not find any cities in which you could live well with your chosen expenses.

*sob*
posted by IshmaelGraves at 8:01 PM on April 25, 2006


Like I really give a "s" what forbes considers well. Fuck them.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:01 PM on April 25, 2006


hrrrmmmmmmmm.... according to forbes, if i dont eat, drive, travel, or educate my children, i can do alright for myself in okalahoma city. alas, i'll never live up to the expectations. poor me.
posted by puddles at 8:01 PM on April 25, 2006


or what parisparamus said
posted by puddles at 8:02 PM on April 25, 2006


Ok, let me nuance that. Materialism run amok is for losers. And suburbanites.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:03 PM on April 25, 2006


LIfe ain't worth living if you ain't got car on cinderblocks in your yard.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:05 PM on April 25, 2006


For me to live well I'd have to mind-ray my Senatorial robots into raising taxes. The strain would give me a months-long migraine. It just ain't worth it.
posted by davy at 8:06 PM on April 25, 2006


I hate these damn Forbes lists where you CAN'T SEE THE FRIGGING LIST. Am I just missing it? Do I have to wade through the different views to see the most expensive zip codes 1 by 1 (fuck that), or is there an actual list somewhere?
posted by jcruelty at 8:09 PM on April 25, 2006


jcruelty: The closest thing I can find is going to the map view and clicking on a state. That brings up a list for all the expensive places...in that state. Whole country, I don't think so. Bastards.
posted by danb at 8:13 PM on April 25, 2006


I don't understand the calculator!!! I entered some numbers to find the minimal amount you need to live anywhere comfortably with nothing checked off, and it's exactly $30295. Even a dollar less gives me no place to live, this is the lowest amount, and it gives a whole list of places where I could comfortably live without a house.
posted by easternblot at 8:17 PM on April 25, 2006


At least I've only lived in states that are actually on this map. What if I lived in a gray state? Quelle horreur!
posted by IshmaelGraves at 8:19 PM on April 25, 2006


I live comfortably by attaching pillows to my buttocks.
posted by cellphone at 8:23 PM on April 25, 2006


LIfe ain't worth living if you ain't got car on cinderblocks in your yard.

and a fenced-in area to obsess on!
posted by joeblough at 8:23 PM on April 25, 2006


Most expensive zip codes, eh? Does someone have the sex-offender by zip code map thinger handy?

(parisparamsus - heehee, any reason to self-sensor "s" and let the fucks fly?)

Our fictional clan has two houses--one in a nice neighborhood and one in the country or at the beach.

I always thought that the american dream was 2&(somefraction) kids, a dog&1/2, white picket fence, &c&c.

When did owning a second property (which's sole reason is as a secondary residence) enter conciousness as something to strive for? Also - is that own, or have a mortgage on?
posted by PurplePorpoise at 8:31 PM on April 25, 2006


I'm pretty sure that if I were a billionaire, I'd build and live in a tens-of-millions dollar house, not for prestige, but just to sort of fulfill the idle daydreams of myself as a child. Am I the only person here who would want a really cool, really big house?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:32 PM on April 25, 2006


Vacation home? Who the hell has a vacation home?
posted by luckypozzo at 8:34 PM on April 25, 2006


Am I the only person here who would want a really cool, really big house?

I would definitely do that. I might also add a whole wing just like the set of The Shining, in case anyone decided they wanted to stay over for a while.
posted by Godbert at 8:35 PM on April 25, 2006


If I won big on the lottery I'd live comfortably -- not outrageously -- and support lots of people I like. Kinda like The Farm.
posted by davy at 8:40 PM on April 25, 2006


De-selecting "Vacation Home" and "Private School," my fiancee and I are STILL thousands away from "living well" in Detroit. And we have a household income that's much higher than any of our acquaintences our age, and probably higher than most of their parents.

The American Dream is already fucked. According to globalrichlist.com, based on my salary alone I am in the top .563% richest people in the world, and I can't even afford to "live well" in Detroit.

To put things in perspective, let's keep in mind that Detroit is the nation's poorest big city, with about one in three residents living below the federal poverty level. As of 2004, the average household income in Detroit was $19,157. Granted we're talking about the city vs. the suburbs here, but still--this is DETROIT. While Oakland County here is among the wealthiest counties in America thanks to auto execs and such, there is plenty of "value" in the surrounding counties because of the city's influence, and the disparity in real estate value--even amongst extremely nice neighborhoods--is enormous from county to county in the Tri-County Area.

Taking these things into consideration, and that according to Forbes the only city I CAN live well in is fricking Boise, this begs the question, where the hell IS the middle class, exactly? I contend that there isn't one. The middle class isn't deteriorating--It's already gone. There's only the upper class, the lower class, and poverty (the lower-lower class). The illusion of the middle class is what's driving our debt culture. Rest in peace, standard of living.
posted by fusinski at 8:43 PM on April 25, 2006


My definition of living well involves an island with an underground submarine base. I will not be satisfied till I have that.
posted by brundlefly at 8:44 PM on April 25, 2006


No laser-equipped sharks, brundlefly?
posted by PurplePorpoise at 8:49 PM on April 25, 2006


Thank you Forbes, for clarifying who has the money I need to concentrate on stealing, and where they live.

I should probably get a subscription or something.
posted by bhance at 8:49 PM on April 25, 2006


Are you living well?

By Forbes' silly standard, no. But I have no complaints.

PurplePorpoise asks: When did owning a second property (which's sole reason is as a secondary residence) enter conciousness as something to strive for?

I grew up in a blue-collar town, and I knew several families (supported by single-income factory-job breadwinners) who had an 800-sq-ft house in the 'burbs AND a 200 sq-ft cabin on a lake an hour or so away.

I grew up fully expecting to be able to afford some similar arrangement when I got out of college, but the price of American real estate seems to have changed a bit since I was a kid. One change: no 21st-Century American family would feel fulfilled living in those relatively tiny houses of my far-away youth.
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 8:56 PM on April 25, 2006


It's true that you might have to bend the rules a bit to "live well," but have no fear! Just check out the Forbes guide to Best The Best Places to Go to Prison
posted by donovan at 9:00 PM on April 25, 2006


Here's the list, in sortable form. It takes some digging to find it on the website.
posted by brain_drain at 9:12 PM on April 25, 2006


What is best in life?

To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women.

That doesn't take much cash, surely.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:15 PM on April 25, 2006


The most expensive house on that list looks like an average Meditteranean-ish McMansion supersized. With a golf course. And its own pro shop. Wow, like I've never experienced what it's like to be the only customer in a pro shop.

I'm starting to get worried that the Obscenely Rich People of America have completely forgotten how to inspire envy. It can't be, can it?
posted by crumbly at 9:26 PM on April 25, 2006


Crumby, you forgot the "14 gardens and three ponds stocked with fish." It doesn't sound like much but the fourteenth garden is actually quite nice. And the fish grant wishes.
posted by blahblahblah at 9:31 PM on April 25, 2006


If you have a vacation home and two luxury cars, you are not "living well," you are fucking rich. Deal with it.
posted by aaronetc at 9:42 PM on April 25, 2006


This kind of article always makes me think "pin~ata to the world" or "low hanging fruit" or "trolling for wolves" -- like anything from the late Romanoff or French kingdoms, say.

How deep do you have to be into this kind of life not to have or want or imagine needing a clue how it looks to the hungry world?
posted by hank at 9:59 PM on April 25, 2006


I'd like to point out that, despite what the Forbes list claims, 93108 is Santa Barbara, not Santa Monica! They are not the same thing.

Sheesh.
posted by Justinian at 10:05 PM on April 25, 2006


Since when does living well require (for Charlotte, NC, a reasonably affordable state) a $61216/year house payment (that's $5101.33/mo., and equivalent to almost a million dollars over 15 years), $17,800/year in car costs, $7800/year ($21/day) in restaurant bills, $19900/year in travel costs, or $30295/year in college tuition (not just for four years, but every year, according to this calculator)?

This is nuts. Forbes is nuts. A lot of us are nuts. It doesn't take a million-dollar house to live well. It doesn't take 20 grand to travel. With $17,800 / year, I could buy a decent new car every year. What Forbes is measuring is how much it takes to "live luxuriously if you set no priorities and spend lots of money on everything." Some people can afford to do that, but most of us can't. Fortunately, it doesn't take that kind of outlay to be materially comfortable.



Buy as much house as you need but no more than you will actually live in.

Buy a nice car if it matters to you, but understand what you're getting for your money and what you're sacrificing by dedicating that money to your car. Your car is not an investment. It's a big flippin' money hole and represents a great place to save money if you can put up with a little less swank. If not, hey. That's your priority and you'll have to scrimp a bit elsewhere.

Say you really want a vacation home. Forbes expects you'll go buy a miniature Biltmore Estate for $44,665/year. Unless you've just got money to burn, that's ridiculous. Get a little cabin or something. Get a ski condo on time-share or buy one and rent it out. Heck, you could rent a nice beachfront house in NC for a month for a fraction of the price Forbes lists. I assure you, you can be quite comfortable vacationing in something that's not a 7,000-square-foot behemoth.

Save money and be even richer later.

Get creative on travel. Just because you can spend $20,000 without trying very hard doesn't mean you have to.

Live within your means. Actually, live a bit below your means and save for retirement / a rainy day / whatever. If you don't, it will bite you in the rear. It's only a question of how long you can keep it up before the debt brings you down. Being in a giant house and struggling to make the payments is not living well, it's being comfortably miserable.



The American Dream isn't about having a truckload of money and spending it furiously. It's about taking what you have and being clever with it, parlaying limited resources into a comfortable life, and when you've got more than you need, doing some good in the world with it.



If you've got the kind of money Forbes is talking about, then you can spend it as you will, of course. But if you don't have that kind of cash, or you'd rather save, why would you need to be able to spend that kind of money? You ain't gotta be that rich to be happy, nor have you gotta be happy if you're rich.



Me, all I want is a decent place to live, some decent food to eat, good health, a job I enjoy, music all around, good friends, and someone to love. That sounds just about perfect.
posted by musicinmybrain at 10:13 PM on April 25, 2006


Am I the only person here who would want a really cool, really big house?

Only if it had an elevator that ran all the way from the observatory on the roof down to the secret submarine base in the sub-sub-basement. The submarines wouldn't have to actually go anywhere -- it would be sufficient to have a retired Nautilus from Disney World on a small subterranean track (now that I think about it, that would be fuckin' AWESOME), but my dream home definitely has a secret underground submarine base.

Also, I would like enough land to employ Ludicrous Scale siege engines. Just because the medievals couldn't build a trebuchet 200 feet tall doesn't mean I can't. I'd use it to fling old doublewides.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:18 PM on April 25, 2006


There is a mistake in their slideshow, 93108 is Montecito, which they identify as Santa Monica. (#9 #10)
posted by cell divide at 10:32 PM on April 25, 2006


living well has little to do with money. well = rich here.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:37 PM on April 25, 2006


Y'all are talking about living comfortably. Living well is a step up from that. A step way up from that. Forbes is just giving CEOs a way of measuring their schlongs without having to unzip. This is especially handy for female CEOs, as they have no other way of comparing dick size.
posted by kindall at 10:44 PM on April 25, 2006 [1 favorite]


Damn, 100k short.
Time to pick up that third job.
posted by madajb at 10:52 PM on April 25, 2006


Forbes is nuts. But they sure have an ugly web interface. I mean, come on!
posted by keijo at 11:11 PM on April 25, 2006


You want to live well on nothing? Come to Springfield, MO. Sure, you must start your business elsewhere then move here. I admit, there's very little culture to speak of, but there are pockets of people who try and the cost of living is next to nothing.

So I beg of thee, that have utopian dreams and disposable income: Seed your City On The Hill here.

I just may sign up.


(Have you any idea how much property you can get for low six figures in these parts?)
posted by sourwookie at 11:45 PM on April 25, 2006


Had to click through to #134 to find out the most expensive ZIP code I've in which I've ever claimed an address.

Funny thing, I was really unhappy during that six months.
posted by donpedro at 11:56 PM on April 25, 2006


The latest episode of Fifth Gear featured a look at the experience of buying a Maybach limousine - Mercedes' super-luxury brand.

The impeccably groomed sales dude mentioned a customer who had his jet flown in just so that the Maybach people could match the upholstery leather.

That customer is, I'm sure, living very well indeed, by Forbes' standards.

For some reason, the Fifth Gear reporter did not ask the sales dude how often he wants to slam a customer's head in the super-heavyweight door of a display Maybach until a smooth, homogenous pulp flows down onto the $10,000-a-metre carpet of the sales floor.
posted by dansdata at 12:20 AM on April 26, 2006


Apparently Surrey is a suburb of London. News to me.
posted by Huw at 12:20 AM on April 26, 2006


ROU_Xenophobe : Also, I would like enough land to employ Ludicrous Scale siege engines. Just because the medievals couldn't build a trebuchet 200 feet tall doesn't mean I can't. I'd use it to fling old doublewides.

That puts me in mind of this commercial.
posted by Ritchie at 12:37 AM on April 26, 2006


They don't mention Donald Trump's estate, Mar-A-Lago, in Palm Beach. Must not be on the market anymore or not on the open market but it was being offered for 155 million.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mar-A-Lago
posted by BackwardsHatClub at 12:50 AM on April 26, 2006


Just like to point out that the income required is after taxes, so double it. You really need ~$1M in income a year to live well in NYC...
posted by mtstover at 1:48 AM on April 26, 2006


thanks for the good laugh
posted by matteo at 2:23 AM on April 26, 2006


What you have to remember is that almost any magazine pitches this kind of thing right at the top of its readership. These lists are meant to be aspirational, for most, while making the few real "opinion formers" feel good about themselves. And the way they upscale the reader's lifestyle is no different to the way that interiors magazines "assume" that everyone can spend $20k on a dining table. As for the cheesy corporate existence (two cars, vacation homes, etc.) they're just aiming at the goals of largest chunk of their readership. Sure, it's a bit lowest Stepford but if they added things like recumbent bikes and backpacking across Papua New Guinea to their list, they'd just alienate most of their readers. Chances are MeFites are not Forbes's core readership.
posted by rhymer at 3:09 AM on April 26, 2006


my zip's listed as #109 in the country, but it's not even majority residential, nor are there many luxury buildings at all. (and the median income certainly is in no way at all high enough to afford the median price)
posted by amberglow at 3:54 AM on April 26, 2006


> These lists are meant to be aspirational

I'll happily de-select vacation home but I absolutely wish I could afford a private school. The state school my daughter is dragooned into attending by the law--from the Stalinist architecture to the diarrhoea-lite classroom paint to the moron teachers to the low-grade moron administrators to the bearded, furiously anti-intellectual "kids" who shout mu-FUCKA in the halls--is nothing like a school and exactly in every detail like the county jail. It damages everyone who has any association with it. No, more money for the school would not fix anything. Nothing would fix it except eliminating the current occupants and substituting an entirely different set of people with different values, different work habits, and different habits of mind. For any given individual student there is no solution but private school or home-schooling. I am a single parent and for us, sadly, home-schooling is out of reach, or I'd go for it in a heartbeat.
posted by jfuller at 4:31 AM on April 26, 2006


Am I the only person here who would want a really cool, really big house?

How cool will it be once you get the air conditioning bill? And you realize with a huge house, you have to buy a ton of furniture to fill it up, and pay someone to clean it (because let's not kid ourselves that you would clean it yourself).

I'd like a small house, centered around an ovoid library, with shelves and cabinets made from real wood, and those items and the shower head set to the proper height for someone of my gigantic stature.

Frankly, to me, big houses mean someone who thinks they have to impress people, or use more than their fair share of resources. It says "I'm greedy" or "I'm compensating for something" or just "I want to impress people", which are all lame-ass reasons to have a big house.

If you had thirteen kids or something, then a big house would make sense, though, I have to admit.
posted by beth at 5:17 AM on April 26, 2006


All this talk of big houses brings this thread to mind.

A house with a library would be very cool though.
posted by drill_here_fore_seismics at 5:36 AM on April 26, 2006


Let's see: My boss lives in #71 (actually, he's got 2 houses in #71 and one house in #46), and I lived and worked in #212 for 8 years.

Luckily, a year and a half ago, we sold our house in #212 and moved to Madison, WI, which isn't even on the list. Out here, McMansions are a dime a dozen, so we're set up very nicely, thankyouverymuch.

I still don't miss living in #212 while working in #109 and having to deal with those fucks from #50 on the train every morning and night. I hate those #50 fucks.
posted by thanotopsis at 6:19 AM on April 26, 2006


Forbes' selection criteria (four bedroom house, resort home, Beemer, Lexus, etc.) read like an instruction manual for wannabee vulgarians. Am I the only one who came away from this article with the feeling that I was actually reading a sly, subtle parody of the conspicuous-consumption culture?

Forbes Magazine certainly has a rich demographic, but their lifestyle pieces tend to be "aspirational" in nature. ("Aspirational" is a code-phrase in magazine journalism meaning, "This will help us sell a lot of expensive advertising to purveyors of luxury goods, which our grasping readers, most of whom actually don't live like this, may buy from time to time.")

I know what journalists in New York City make - I'm married to a good one - and I will guarantee you that nobody involved in the writing or production of this article is pulling down anything close to that kind of money, outside of members of the Forbes family themselves.

So as the increasingly absurd numbers stacked up (and the point about the 1% - 1%! - savings rate was repeatedly made) I found myself chuckling. And I can't help but think that there was some of that intention behind the way they put this together.
posted by enrevanche at 6:25 AM on April 26, 2006


The state school my daughter is dragooned into attending by the law--from the Stalinist architecture to the diarrhoea-lite classroom paint to the moron teachers to the low-grade moron administrators to the bearded, furiously anti-intellectual "kids" who shout mu-FUCKA in the halls--is nothing like a school and exactly in every detail like the county jail. It damages everyone who has any association with it. No, more money for the school would not fix anything. Nothing would fix it except eliminating the current occupants and substituting an entirely different set of people with different values, different work habits, and different habits of mind.

I think this is actually what drives a lot of the sky-high housing prices in this country. There are a limited number of good public schools, and parents all compete to live in the good school districts. They want their kids to get into a good school, and they probably can't afford a good private school, so they say, hey, a house is an investment, and they buy a nice house in the nicest neighborhood they can find, because that's where the good schools tend to be. And the real estate prices continue to go up.
posted by gd779 at 6:32 AM on April 26, 2006


Our family has two very upscale cars

Well, I have no car, so that's one area right there where I'm living better than these dreadful, materialistic, yuppie motherfuckers.
posted by Decani at 6:33 AM on April 26, 2006


Forbes' selection criteria (four bedroom house, resort home, Beemer, Lexus, etc.) read like an instruction manual for wannabee vulgarians Ha - that made me laugh.

enrevanche is right though. I'm a business writer and these publications contort themselves convincing everyone (themselves included) that their readers are "opinion formers", "key decision makers", "thought leaders", etc. Hell, even the most downmarket tabloid probably has these phrases in its mission statement somewhere.

Which makes me think: surely there's a market for a mag that honestly aims squarely at people who've never formed an opinion, led a thought or made a key decision in their lives.

But then we all like being flattered don't we?
posted by rhymer at 6:37 AM on April 26, 2006


I suppose, on a clear day, I could use some binoculars, strain my eyes and see this secret getaway in Indonesia from my downtown loft here in Singapore. I certainly get their mobile coverage when the phase of the moon is right; always have to be careful I don't accidentally make international, roaming calls from the comfort of my bedroom.

Sigh, so near, yet so far.
posted by the cydonian at 6:39 AM on April 26, 2006


When the revolution comes . . .
posted by washburn at 7:03 AM on April 26, 2006


The people who consider this level of materialism as "living well" are people who are absolutely devoid of an inner life. I've met plenty of people like that. 25 rooms, with not a book or CD in any of them.

You won't find them on this board.
posted by Nicholas West at 7:31 AM on April 26, 2006


I'm not even in the top 500? My life no longer has meaning. Farewell, cruel world. *stabs eye*
posted by ninjew at 7:33 AM on April 26, 2006


This article affirms my belief that each persons mad dash to have MORE, MORE, MORE ultimately lowers everybody's quality of life.
posted by pwedza at 8:22 AM on April 26, 2006


You are $244407 short of living well in NewYorkCity with your chosen expenses.

Awesome.
posted by dame at 8:33 AM on April 26, 2006


This has been already noted by many of you, but the standard by which Forbes defines "living well" is a little, well, exorbitant:
Forbes.com totaled the cost of living well for a city in each state, with a four-bedroom house in an upscale neighborhood; a vacation home in an upscale resort area; a BMW 325i sedan and a Lexus RX 330; eating out at a pricey restaurant once a week; taking three luxury trips a year; and sending one child to a local private school and one to private college.
If that isn't outrageous enough on it's face, the housing costs they list for Houston include a $1.5 million primary home and a $1.2 million vacation home, not to mention nearly $45k worth of private schooling per year. This isn't just living well, this would put you easily in the top tenth of one percent of incomes. To claim that's what you need to earn to "live well" is just silly.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 8:42 AM on April 26, 2006


I like how the Portland, ME vacation home in Kennebunk is worth more than the primary residence. It raises the question, if you can afford a home in Kennebunk, what the hell are you doing in Portland?

My idea home would include a nice lawn complete with 25-foot tall stone titans frozen in endless vigilance over my lands. Late at night you may hear my cackle as I labor endlessly in my wizard's tower to bring my stone creations to life! But the final two ingrediants, the horn of a unicorn and the hand of the last honest man, remain forver beyond my grasp!

What's that, you say? The hero approaches? No matter! My guards shall stop him and his rag-tag band of dredges from my dungeons! He will never stop me! Once I have him in my clutches I will force him to watch me marry the beautiful Princess Izalla and then the rest of the kingdom shall be mine!

Mine, I say! With a vacation home in Kennebunk!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:23 AM on April 26, 2006 [2 favorites]


What it costs to die porr in the united states.
posted by I Foody at 9:28 AM on April 26, 2006


Heh. Some of my parents friends live in Zip code #2 - Rancho Santa Fe. That place is insane - like out of a Richie Rich comic book. There are even "enclaves" crazily enough within Rancho Santa Fe which are meant to be more exclusive.

Who lives there? My dad was once hired on a project to build this enormous house - huge glass windows - it was like an enormous church at the top of a hill. Construction was eventually halted however after the "owner", a drug kingpin, was caught and sent to federal prison...

I hate big houses. Give me a small apartment in an interesting city, anyday. Or, perhaps several small apartments in different interesting cities around the world. The only extra space I'd need is maybe a separate room to function solely as a library - to hold books.
posted by vacapinta at 10:02 AM on April 26, 2006


rib, I love you. I too would labour with you to bring your stone creations to life as your evil familiar, who harbours a secret, hopeless love, and who at the last minute terribly sabotages your wedding to the Princess and frees the hero to triumph. Of course, as at last I embrace you, your castle collapses in a well of fire, and we fall, entwined, to our deaths as the hero gallops out of side, the Princess seated behind him.
posted by jokeefe at 10:25 AM on April 26, 2006


In my excitment I forgot how to spell "sight". Oh well.
posted by jokeefe at 10:26 AM on April 26, 2006


Vacation homes? I inherited one and wish I didn't.
posted by kozad at 10:27 AM on April 26, 2006


Do people really spend more on vacation houses than their actual houses?!
posted by matkline at 10:50 AM on April 26, 2006


I prefer to invest my money in poker. DON'T TRY TO CHANGE ME, WOMAN!
posted by Marnie at 11:15 AM on April 26, 2006


People like Heaven's Gate and the Dukestir, lived in Rancho Santa Fe (#2). Fuck yeah they were living well!
posted by afx114 at 11:38 AM on April 26, 2006


jokeefe, I can forgive your misspellings and eventual betrayal provided that 1) you clean the litterbox of the horrible army of batwinged harpies (whose iron teeth and coal-colored talons can shred even the strongest chainmail to tatters) that lurk in the shed behind the koi pond, like you promised and 2) survive the implosion of my tower, retire to Kennebunk, and work tirelessly to bring me back from the dead for the sequel. You should find everything you need in the tool shed.

Thanks, dear. You're a peach!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:45 AM on April 26, 2006


("Aspirational" is a code-phrase in magazine journalism meaning, "This will help us sell a lot of expensive advertising to purveyors of luxury goods, which our grasping readers, most of whom actually don't live like this, may buy from time to time.")

Yep. Glossy magazine such as Forbes = vehicle for adverts = glorified catalog.


Completely irrelevant: I once thought it might be nice to live in the Bay Area, and so I did a search on realtor.com for properties under $450,000, and precisely one listing came up: a boarded-up building. So I guess I'm living pretty damn well here in 10710.
posted by scratch at 12:24 PM on April 26, 2006


If you lived in Portland, ME, why on earth would you want to even visit Kennebunk, let alone buy a vacation home there?
posted by rusty at 12:34 PM on April 26, 2006


To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women.

That doesn't take much cash, surely.


About 5.8 billion a month, dude.

That said, all you freaky "I just want a library" people should grow up and invest in some real toys. Like a batpole hidden behind some shelves in that library, leading to secret passages galore and huge cavern complexes resembling Collosal Cave, some with slides like in Thunderbirds. With Rube Goldberg as architect.

"I just want a library" = I just want to imprison books so no one else can read them. Fascists. Information wants to be free! Fly, my pretties, fly!

/tosses book in air.

klump
posted by Sparx at 2:49 PM on April 26, 2006


I never thought I wanted a library, then when my wife and I bought our house it had a spare bedroom (well we only need one), so we put two moth-eaten (but comfortable) old arm chairs in there and all of our bookshelves. At night we'll sit and read and drink excellent scotch. Good times.
posted by markr at 9:46 PM on April 26, 2006


Living well to me is money in the bank. If I was making 25x what I make now I’d still be driving the same POS BTS pick up truck I have. (It runs good).
posted by Smedleyman at 10:49 AM on April 27, 2006


Aspirational?

I knew an asp-irrational lady once, name of Cleopatra. She had an expensive house too, I recall, and wasn't happy either.
posted by hank at 11:43 AM on April 27, 2006


You deserve some mild kudos for that.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:06 AM on April 28, 2006


Metafilter: mild kudos.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:58 AM on April 28, 2006


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