The offbeat personal finance blog for responsible people.
Im certainly not afraid to admit I occasionally wonder how it would feel to be independently wealthy.
The other day I was reviewing alist of the worlds billionairesand I saw that Amazon-founder Jeff Bezos is at the top to almost nobodys surprise, Im sure.
Another billionaire in the rich-guy Top 10 is somebody named Amancio Ortega. I know. I had never heard of him either, but it turns out that Mr. Ortega is the founder of the worlds largest clothing retailer, Inditex. Ring a bell?
By the way, did I mention that Inditex runs a very popular clothing chain known as Zara? They do. In fact, there are more than 7400 of them worldwide. Even so, Id never heard ofthatstore either.
But back to Mr. Bezos.According to Business Insider, the man earned a whopping $78 billion in 2018. For those of you counting at home, thats approximately $215 millionper day. Putting it another way, thats almost $9 millionper hour. Yes, that assumes he works a 24-hour shift but I strongly suspect that is indeed the case for Mr. Bezos. After all, anybody who earns that much cash in a single dayhasto be superhuman. Right?
So Have you ever wondered what it actually feels like to be a billionaire? Well, Im going to show you.
The US median income last year was approximately $62,000. Thats just 0.00008% of Mr. Bezos 2018 income. With those figures in mind, and ignoring the effects of inflation, heres a very close approximation of what most people would experience give or take a few cents if their modest wages had the same purchasing-power as the Amazon billionaire:
A four-year stint at a private college would set you back 13 cents, assuming annual tuition and other expenses of $40,000. Just bear in mind that
when tuitions increase, youll have toshell out a few cents more.
The average home in the United States could be purchased for 22 cents, based upon the current median price of approximately $275,000.
Of course, folks who feel like moving up could bite the bullet and buy a spacious $3 million Vail mansion for $2.40 instead.
For just $11.20 you could have also closed a deal on the$14 million Miami Beach condothat Kanye West recently purchased for his wife, Kim Kardashian. (Hopefully, the homeisnt on a corner lot.)
If you wanted to avoid the hassle of flying with the general public, you could buy a Boeing 787 Dreamliner for $160, based upon an approximate list price of $200 million. Of course, youll also need to shell out an additional 20 cents per year to pay for the pilot, assuming an annual salary of approximately $250,000. That is, unless you already know how to fly a jumbo jet.
That pair of hockey tickets I purchased for$2462 to attend the Stanley Cup Finalsseveral years ago would have cost me less than a quarter-cent, which means I could have taken my whole family to the game and some friends too for a penny!
On the other hand, I could have also spent that same penny on four top-of-the-line iMac computers.
Meanwhile, those of you in the market fora fancy luxury carcould buy a 2019 BMW 750i for just eight cents, based upon the manufacturers list price of $96,950.
Then again, for those who are more practical, a 2019 Honda Civic coupe would only set you back two cents, based upon an MSRP of $19,450. Heck, that deal is so good Id end up giving the salesman three cents and tell him tokeep the change.
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Great way to put things into perspective. Your taxes would be about $25,000 though.
Argh! Thanks for ruining the moment, Pauline. 😉
Awesome Article. It really is easy to see the comfortable life of the super rich when seen this way. Thanks len.
For those who missed it, I did a similar article a few years ago on what it feels like to be a millionaire:
Compared to the billionaires life, a millionaire has it a thousand times tougher! (Although that aint saying much.)
Billionaires are not that different except for what they earn. They have multiple homes and probably paid cash for them. They have multiple vehicles and paid cash for them. They have much more discretionary income to keep invested to build their businesses to increase their income. On a much smaller scale we can learn a lot from them.
They have much more discretionary income
Ill say, Larry. Approximately 99.999% of their income is discretionary!
On a much smaller scale we can learn a lot from them.
On a much smaller scale, one can live like them, without the public notoriety and other hassles (But one has to invent how to do it on ones own its different for each of us):
That is insane but totally awesome 🙂 Ill never get there but it definitely puts things in perspective. Now just get him to read your post and maybe hell throw $100 your way 🙂
Whos to say youll never get there, Lance? Its a new year; think positively, brother!
Well that puts everything into perspective now.
Ha! Ha! Ha! Thanks for this Len, I think I love youin the best blog in the world sense. Make sure you tell your wife that she is one lucky and wonderful lady! Happy New Year to you and yours!
I have mixed feelings about being that rich. Obviously it would be nice to live in the lap of luxury all the time but I almost think it would spoil most people. But its nice to dream!
I cant imagine buying, say, a $23 million beachfront mansion in Malibu and having it feel like nothing more than the financial equivalent of buying a light lunch at Burger King!
I just cant get my head around that, no matter how hard I try.
Well, at least I know my friends arent after my money 😎
Proving yet again, Lisa, that there is always a silver lining to be found for those who are willing to look hard enough for it!
Im with Daisy. On the rare event that I watch a reality television show, it always seems like the people who create the riches never really enjoy the trappingsits always the people around them soaking it up.
Interesting that most people assume rich people have lots of discretionary income and live a life in the lap of the Gods. I know a multimillionaire who has built his wealth from the ground up through sheer hard work and frugal living, and even now, lives on food scraps recovered from rubbish bins, resides in a run-down old rental he shares with numerous others, hasnt owned a vehicle in 20 years, and acquires all his clothes from thrift shops. A modern-day scrooge if ever there was one.
Sam who is this scrooge guy you know and how did he make his money?
I love this article, Len andI know Zara. This is the shop that provides a 50 years old woman with reason to slim down (their sizes are notoriously small). Yep, that shallow!
Id just be happy to not live in an home that still looks like the 70s and didnt have mold every where. And I dont need a 19 bedroom home. Just a three bedroom home less than 2000 sq. ft. LOL
Thanks Len, great to look at the ultra luxury items in relative terms. With this kind of spending ease, its hard to blame a guy who wants to spend $5.00 instead of $4.50 on a yacht for that extra 10 of length to show off in Monte Carlo.
Just absolutely love your analyis!!! The way I see it, the only difference between the rich and the poor is just money and their way of thinking.
If I were a millionaire I would definitely feel great.
If you were a billionaire, you would not be reading articles like these and living your life by actual spending money and time on women.
I like this post it does help to see how really wealthy people look at the world. That said, its limited in that it doesnt discuss how peoples individual perspective has been shaped by their unique life experiences. For example, even if they are able to buy housing very cheaply it doesnt necessarily mean that will impact their decisions.
Is there another misfit like me here, who does not remember ever wondering about being rich? Who feels he is what he wants to be, in ways that minimize the need for money?
 of financial management as being something thats only for big businesses, or perhaps very wealthy billionaires. In fact though, financial management can benefit everyone and if you know how to handle your money 
 Even if youre rich, wasting money is criminally stupid. Sit down for a minute and think of all the things you could do with the money you waste that would otherwise make life better for someone else. If that doesnt grab you, then think of what you could do with the money that would make life better for your own future self. Oh, yes, lovely and young as you are today, you are going to have a future self who might very well wish he or she had more money in the bank. 
 if youre rich, wasting money is criminally stupid. Sit down for a minute and think of all the things you could do 
 automatically drawing payments from somebody elses account preferably a ridiculously wealthy billionaire duke or duchess who would never miss the cash. Yeah, yeah. I know what youre thinking 
 What It Really Feels Like to Be a Billionaire 
 By the way, the next theater owner who makes his place impervious to cell phone signals will become an instant billionaire. Trust me on 
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