1)To fill your blissfully empty days, you…Pedal your Schwinn three-speed to…Stoically haul your walker down the stairs of the subway on your way to…Gas up your aging Toyota Camry for a trip to…Hail a cab to and from…Call 777-7777 and have the driver take you to…Pick up the vintage Ferrari from the mechanic and zoom on over to…Let your limo driver know your destination…
Your destination:The local flea markets and tag salesThe cineplex, to see a movieAtlantic City, where you lose a little playing 21 and take in a showLincoln Center, where you’re a “Friend” of Mostly MozartPer Se for a fabulous meal. You’re a regular.Your member’s-only club to sip single malts with croniesA $5,000 per-plate fundraiser
2)To keep yourself feeling young, youSpend the afternoon dong the crossword puzzle in the parkPlay a doubles match at the senior centerBrush up on your philosophy with Columbia’s Lifelong Learners programTake private piano lessons from a Julliard studentHit the gym with Vlad, your personal trainer, twice a weekEnjoy frequent afternoons of shopping and Bellinis on Madison AvenueBid on the old masters at Sotheby’s
3)And have the good doctor atThe emergency room, help with that medding splinterThe Medicare-accepted clinic, explain your prescription-drug benefitYour HMO, oversee your hip replacementYour hospital, sign you up for a clinical trial of a new arthritis drugThe 24-hour premium health-care service, you subscribe to make a house callThe Mayo Clinic, rearrange his schedule to fit in a visitLenox Hill, oversee the heart-friendly diet provided by your live-in nurse and cook
4) Once a year, you indulge your lifelong love of travel byPacking up the car with camping equipment and driving toBoarding a cruise ship and steaming through ports of call in and aroundCatching a cheap flight toJetting business class toFlying first class on the new Airbus superjumbo toBuying plane tickets for the kids and grandkids for two weeks inCalling up Net Jets and arranging your own private nonstop direct to
Your destination:The nation’s newest national parkBaja, MexicoYour time-share in San DiegoBuenos Aires, to take advantage of the fabulous food and shoppingEurope, to do a grand tourA fabulous villa on the Amalfi coast, complete with a staff of threeFour-star hotels on every continent (except Antarctica)
5)You give generouslyTo the bell-ringing Santa every ChristmasIn election years to the D.A., the state attorney general, and the DNCTo your church, every time the collection plate is passed aroundTo your grandkids’ Harvard fundTo the local preservation society because you are on the board of directorsTo cancer charities, because you want your name on the side of a buildingTo your own personal foundation because you don’t see why Bill and Melinda Gates should get all the attention
6) And splurge onGasolineYoga class three times a weekGolfEtchings and first editionsNew couture every seasonHelicopter rides to and from your weekend placePlastic surgery and experimental anti-aging therapies
Number (Not Including Home Equity)
0-20$40K$1M21-32$60K$1.5M 33-44 $100K $2.5M 45-56 $120K $3M 57-120 $200K $5M 121-240 $400K $10M241-320$800K$20M THE SMALL PRINT: This chart makes a series of assumptions. We assume you want to live out your days in New York City and that by the time you stop working, you’ll own your own home in full. We’re also assuming that you’re taking this chart with a shaker of salt. The point system is not a price guide—and this chart is not a spreadsheet. And if you really want to figure out how much it all costs, you’ll need to make an appointment with an accountant and (if you want anything like the life you already live) arrive at his office armed with a shoe box stuffed with a full year’s worth of receipts and bank statements. Just bite the bullet and do it. Seriously, you should.
Still don’t have enough? Downsize!
And choose again.
• Save your knees by moving from your fifth-floor walk-up to a one-bedroom co-op (with elevator) in the Trump Village retirement community in Brighton Beach (and add $450,000 to your cash reserve).
• Sell off the split-level in New Jersey and move into your kids’ place on Staten Island (add $540,000).
• Give up your four-story townhouse in Harlem and relocate to a condo in Jackson Heights (add $1 million).
• Sell your classic six on the Upper West Side and buy a one-bedroom in Murray Hill (add $2 million).
• Trade in the loft in Tribeca for a two-bedroom condo on the Williamsburg waterfront (add $2.5 million).
• Give up the Brooklyn Heights brownstone and settle full-time in the house in Sag Harbor (add $3.5 million).
• Realize your hips no longer warrant the ski-in-ski-out cabin in Aspen, so you limit yourself to the penthouse on Park Avenue and the cottage in Bridgehampton (add $5 million).