Toys of the Ultra Rich: What They Cost
Sure, it's expensive to buy the toys of the rich and famous. But buying them is just
the start — once you have them they cost a small fortune to keep.
1) Mega Yacht
Courtesy of Denison Yacht Sales
Purchase Price: $6,750,000
Yearly Operating Costs: $1.025 million
This 127-foot used mega yacht can be picked up for $6.7 million, a relative bargain. But it could cost over $1 million a year to run, said Justin Onofrietti, the broker at Fort. Lauderdale, Fla.-based Denison Yacht Sales that's selling the ship.
While actual costs will vary depending on use and location, Onofrietti said the captain on a typical yacht could make $145,000 a year, with an additional $70,000 for the first mate, $55,000 for the cook and $35,000 for the stewardess.
Throw in another $180,000 a year for fuel, $240,000 in dock fees and $300,000 in insurance, and it's easy to see why this is a rich man's hobby.
Courtesy of Gulfstream
Purchase Price: $50.5 million
Yearly Operating Costs: $2.5 million
The Gulfstream G550 is one of the most sought-after long-range private jets. Usually used by businesses, it's also popular among very wealthy individuals.
But it doesn't come cheap. If flown often, it will burn through nearly a million dollars a year in fuel alone, according to the aviation research firm Conklin & de Decker. Crew, maintenance, insurance and hanger costs add another million.
Many wealthy jetsetters are opting for partial jet ownership or buying prepaid flight cards priced by the hour. But even those cost-saving options are no bargain. Steven Kaye, a New Jersey-based wealth manager, said one of his clients recently booked a round trip jet to Rome for two. The cost: $180,000.
Courtesy of Bell Helicopter
Purchase Price: $6.5 million
Annual Operating Costs: $1 million
Can't afford the private jet? How about the much more affordable personal helicopter? You might have to fly commercial but at least you won't have to take a cab to the airport.
And the operating costs are also easier on the wallet: This Bell 430, a top-of-the-line executive model, will eat up a mere $200,000 a year in fuel, $338,000 in maintenance costs, $216,000 in crew salaries and $150,000 in hanger and insurance costs, according to the aviation research firm Conklin & de Decker.
4) Exotic Car and Driver
Courtesy of Rolls Royce
Purchase Price: $380,000
Yearly Operating Costs: $70,000 or higher
Just parking an exotic automobile at a garage in midtown Manhattan will cost north of $8,000 a year — more than most Americans spend on actual car payments.
Then there's insurance, which on this $380,000 Rolls Royce Phantom will run around $8,400 a year, according to Hagerty Insurance.
Don't forget maintenance and repairs. "If you go over a curb, you can bust a $1,500 rim in a heartbeat," said Thomas DuPont, chairman and publisher of the luxury products magazine the DuPont Registry.
A driver will run another $55,000 to $60,000 a year, plus benefits and overtime, said Robin Kellner, who runs her own luxury staffing agency.
5) Private Island
Courtesy of Sotheby's Realty
Purchase Price: $55 million
Annual Operating Costs: $200,000 and up
This 681-acre Bahamas island boasts an airstrip, a seven-bedroom timber frame main house, and two staff houses.
Maintaining an island like this requires one engineer to run the water and electrical systems and two groundskeepers, at a minimum, said George Damianos, the Sotheby's broker selling it.
Operating costs can exceed a million dollars on islands with bigger homes, said Damianos, especially since everything has to be shipped in.
But despite their high costs, private islands remain popular among ultra-rich clients. "After you have your jet and your yacht, what else is there to get?" asked Damianos. "Your own private island."
6) Personal Chef
Annual Cost: $80,000 to $150,000
Who doesn't fantasize about having their own private cook, with tasty meals whipped up on a whim?
But a personal chef is one of the most expensive of all domestic staff, commanding anywhere from $80,000 to $150,000 a year plus benefits, said Robin Kellner, who runs her own luxury staffing agency.
And it's not just cooks who command big bucks. Kellner said a popular household staff hire is a personal assistant, who pulls in anywhere from $65,000 to $120,000 a year. A nanny gets $50,000 to $80,000, while a maid might earn $40,000 to $70,000 and a property manager could get $75,000 to $90,000.
Kellner said that while most of her clients have four or five staffers, an ultra rich person could employ dozens of them at properties around the world.
Courtesy of The Ritz London
Twelve-Day European Tour: $36,097, plus expenses and airfare.
A single night in the Royal Suite at The Ritz London costs a whopping $5,863.
And that's only the first stop on a three-city tour taking in London, Paris and Rome put together by ultra-lux agency Leading Hotels of the World. The sojourn includes a private tour of the Louvre, Colosseum and Sistine Chapel.
But let's face it, better set aside more than $36,000 for vacations. If you're super-rich, you're taking more than one of these a year.