5 "When You're Rich" Dream Buys That Aren't That Great

By Paul Michael on 19 October 2016 0 comments

We all do it. We dream of the days when our money worries are over, and there's more cash in our bank account than gold in Fort Knox. And most of us know just what we're buying when those glory days happen.

But while some of those purchases seem incredible in the movies and glossy magazines, there's a lot more to them than meets the eye. Scratch the surface, and you'll see that there are better ways to spend your dough than these luxurious buys.

1. The Latest High-End Sports Car

Many of us dream of pulling up to our high school reunion in a car that would make a Rolls-Royce look like a hunk of junk. For instance, the most expensive sports car in the world is the Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita. It has an exterior that is finished with diamond dust, a 4.8-liter dual-supercharged V8 engine, and over 1,000 horsepower. It has a top speed of 245 mph, and goes from 0-60 in under three seconds. But, it's $4.8 million! And how often are you ever going to get this beast even close to top speed? (Chances are, you'll never get it out of first gear.)

Then let's factor in insurance, gas mileage, and the fact that you would be terrified to park it anywhere for fear of denting the exterior, or getting it stolen by professional car thieves who target these high-end cars. When people hit the jackpot and get a car like this, it usually ends up parked in a garage collecting dust, and driven around the block a few times a year. Save your money. (See also: Some Rich People Spend $350K to Park Their Cars)

2. A Yacht

A yacht is perhaps the ultimate status symbol of the rich. "I have a yacht… come take a ride with me." Well if you love the sea, and like entertaining while you're on top of the ocean waves, there are a few things to consider.

Owning a yacht is expensive. Like, really expensive. Most experts agree that you should expect to pay 10% of the yacht's purchase price every year to keep it running. So, if it's $10 million, expect to spend $1 million a year to keep it afloat. Your yacht needs fuel, insurance, dockage fees, maintenance and repairs, and of course, a crew. If you want to go and park your yacht at a prime event, like the Monaco Grand Prix, you can pay $100,000 for mooring costs during your five-day stay.

Most people who hit it rich and buy a yacht soon find the crippling operating costs too much to take, and end up selling the yacht at a loss a year or two later. If you want to do the whole, "I'm on a boat" thing, charter one when you're in the mood. It's way less expensive, and just as much fun.

3. Handfuls of Bling

Nothing says, "I'm rich" quite like showering yourself with all kinds of gold and jewelry. Necklaces, earrings, rings, and watches, all encrusted with more gems and precious metals than Jack Sparrow's treasure chest. Right now, the richest of the rich spend millions on watches and jewelry every year, with a Patek Philippe Ref 5016P coming in at $762,000! But as Ariel Adams writes on Forbes.com, these high-end watches come with lashings of irony. The biggest being they're not as accurate as your average cheap electronic quartz watch you can buy in any department store.

As for diamond jewelry, and in particular, diamond rings, it depreciates in value if you purchase it new (and when you're rich… you do). It's not a good investment. Some of this bling is so expensive, it's wiser to keep it in a safe at home than to ever take it out in public. It will also need to be insured. Solid gold can always be melted down and sold at market value, but all in all, you're better off buying bling with simulated diamonds, and keeping the watch purchase to under $1,000.

4. Your Own Private Jet

Flying for most of us is a real hassle. The long security lines, being crunched into a tiny seat, the delays and cancellations, lost luggage, and all those other annoyances add up to a real pain. Even when everything goes smoothly, it's still not a pleasant experience. So, a private jet would solve all that right? No security. No lost luggage. It's great!

Well, apart from the massive expense. Unless you are putting in some serious hours in the sky, it's a money sink. And even then, flying first class is cheaper. The cost of jet fuel alone makes a trip from LA to New York around $20,000, and that's not taking into account insurance, maintenance, hangar costs, and of course, the pilot's salary. Plus, you can be grounded often (it's known as AOG, or Aircraft On Ground) and will then have to take a charter or commercial flight while still paying the costs of private jet ownership.

You will have to abide by your pilot's schedule as well. A machine may be ready to go at any hour of the day or night, but people need time off. There's also the issue of maintenance. The less you use the jet, the bigger the chance that something will fail. And let's not forget the millions of dollars you pay up front to actually buy the jet. All in all, it's a quick way to throw a lot of your money down the toilet. Get yourself a TSA PreCheck, fly first class, and you'll save a ton of cash.

5. A Mansion

Imagine it. You pull up to the iron gates of your 15-bedroom home, are greeted by servants, and after walking around the beautiful grounds, you sit down to a meal prepared by your personal chef. It's great, but it's expensive.

Aside from shelling out the millions of dollars needed to buy the property, you will need a staff of trained professionals to take care of it. Back in 2006, Forbes interviewed a professional in the business, and she estimated that salaries alone would be $800,000 a year. That's easily over $1 million now. Then you have the other expenses, including huge utility bills, six-figure property taxes, and supplies for gardening, cleaning, and maintenance. And for what? A home so big you'll barely see most of the rooms in it anyway. These mega-mansions have bankrupted many rich people in the past, and unless you are setup to make a lot of money, they will quickly eat away at your pot of gold.

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