Let me start out by saying that I love Forbes magazine. It provides thoughtful insights and interesting treatments of current events. That being said, Forbes really dropped the ball lately. Forbes has joined America's second favorite pastime of compiling lists by assembling a list of a hypothetical personal budget
that one would have to have in order to live "comfortably" in selected American cities. Of the countless moral and financial errors made in this list, here are some of the most egregious: 1) Out of an after tax income of $407,200 not one penny was earmarked for charity or any other philanthropic activity. 2) Out of the same $407,200 budget a paltry $4,100 is set aside for savings--less than 1% of one's after tax income. 3) The combined value of the primary residence and the vacation home (mortgaged to the hilt no less) is $4,500,000, or more than 11 times the after tax income. Forbes claimed that they did research with mortgage lenders to obtain figures for payments, but I wonder if a lender, even in this real-estate crazed market, would let someone leverage into that much house. So, if we consider the implied message of Forbes' budget we understand that no one can possibly be "comfortable" unless they pull in a yearly income in excess of $600,000, then those people who are part of the 0.3% of the US population who do then only spend their money in a completely self-centered manner, at retirement they have to sell their homes because they are flat broke because they haven't saved hardly anything, and the bank repos their properties at the slightest hiccup that life brings their way. Sorry Forbes, I love you, but you're completely out of your mind and soul on this one.