- Low-level millionaires aren’t as rich as you think.
- They may be able to buy penthouses or private school educations, but some things are out of their reach.
- Only the truly wealthy can afford things like superyachts and private jets.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Being a millionaire can only get you so far.
Low-level millionaires might be able to buy a nice penthouse or a private school education, but superyachts and private jets are out of the question. Thanks to an increased cost of living, $US1 million, or even a few million, just isn’t what it used to be. You have to have millions and millions – or billions and billions – to really buy everything you want.
Even a billion isn’t what it used to be. Consider this: When Forbes started keeping track of the richest Americans in 1982, the richest person in the US, Daniel Keith Ludwig, had an estimated net worth of $US2 billion. Flash forward 37 years to Forbes’ 2019 ranking, and a $US2 billion net worth doesn’t even land you a spot on the list. That’s right: The richest American in 1982 wouldn’t even make it onto the list of richest Americans today. Instead, each of the 13 people tied for 400th place has a net worth of $US2.1 billion.
Business Insider rounded up five things only the truly wealthy – think multimillionaires and billionaires – can afford, and that are out of reach for mere millionaires.
You may not be able buy these things, but hey, neither can the low-level millionaire.
Superyachts end up costing much more than their multimillion-dollar asking price.
Some older yacht models around 80 feet may sell for six figures, but a superyacht will most likely set one back by at least a few million.
But that’s just the beginning. From yacht crew salaries and dockage to fuel and maintenance costs, owners can expect to spend about 10% of the purchase price annually on operating and maintaining a yacht. That’s $US1 million a year for a $US10 million superyacht, although specific pricing varies.
So do private jets, thanks to upkeep costs.
Like yachts, private jets also cost much more than their (already high) purchase price. Jeff Bezos’ Gulfstream G650ER jet cost an estimated $US65 million, and Mark Cuban spent $US40 million on a Gulfstream V jet back in 1999, Business Insider’s Paige Leskin reported.
But paying for fuel, maintenance, and pilot salaries can total to more than $US1 million per year, Chris Battaglia, the director of charter sales at Meridian Aviation at New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport, previously told Business Insider’s Katie Warren. Pilot salaries can add up to $US750,000 per year and hangar fees can run around $US200,000 per year.
“Having an aeroplane is not for millionaires,” Battaglia said. “It’s for guys worth $US50, $US60, $US100 million.”
Buying a professional sports team can cost billions.
In 2014, Steve Ballmer paid $US2 billion for the Los Angeles Clippers, nearly four times the team’s perceived value at the time. It’s helped reset the market for what franchises are worth, reported Business Insider’s Cork Gaines.
Since then, pro sports team sale prices over $US1 billion have become more common, he wrote, but relative deals still exist. They have sold for anywhere from $US25 million to $US2.2 billion, depending on the league and franchise.
According to Darren Geeter of CNBC, it can cost over $US1 billion to buy an NFL team today.
Hiring a full-time staff housing staff can cost over $US1 million, not including health benefits and bonuses.
Millionaires may be able to hire some help around the house, but they can’t hire all the help. Business Insider’s Tanza Loudenback previously spoke with David Youdovin, founder and CEO of Hire Society, a recruitment firm that helps high-net-worth individuals and families staff their homes and businesses.
Youdovin shed some insight on the most common positions wealthy families are looking to hire for, and how much they pay annually. A full-time staff would include a chief of staff, management team, butler, assistant, chef, housekeeper, nanny, tutor, chauffeur, and houseman.
Depending on level of experience, that could range from $US1.03 million to $US2.4 million a year – and that’s not including health benefits and bonuses.
Doomsday bunkers cost millions of dollars and come with luxury amenities.
It takes a lot of money to prepare well for the apocalypse.
Superrich Silicon Valley moguls are buying millions of dollars’ worth of doomsday bunkers and installing them in New Zealand, reported Olivia Carville for Bloomberg. The most expensive cost $US8 million.
Companies have been building “billionaire bunkers” that cater to the apocalyptic fears of the superrich, Business Insider’s Aria Bendix reported. These high-end bunkers can cost nearly $US20 million to build and are outfitted with luxury amenities: think swimming pools, movie theatres, gyms, rock climbing walls, dog parks, game rooms, and indoor pools.
At $US20 million, the cost of preparing for the end of the world is out of reach for the low-level millionaire. That means that if doomsday does arrive, billionaires will be in good company: each others’.