Forbes came out with an article today titled Buying the American Dream. The article discussed the costs of living well these days. They weren't trying to compute the costs of living a movie star lifestyle, but they were definitely targeting the high-end of the upper-middle class.
Here are some things that they included in the lifestyle...
1) private schooling for the children
2) a large house in an upscale neighborhood
3) a weekend retreat
4) a pricey night out once a week
5) a couple of nice cars (a 2005 BMW 325i sedan and a 2005 Lexus RX 330)
6) two week long vacations and a shortened Paris trip each year
7) typical luxury goods for those in this wealth class
8) a very low amount of savings (1%, which is right around the national average)
The costs of maintaining such a lifestyle was computed for many cities across the nation. Take a look below for their breakdowns for two major cities, Los Angeles and New York. A million dollars sure isn't what it used to be. Living such a life would require $350K to $500K in after tax income each year.
This is the lifestyle that many of us strive for. It certainly puts into perspective how hard we must work to achieve our dreams.
Click on the tables to get a better view.