And you need to be ironic, by the way. You need to say things like “I don”t know where we”ll vacation this year. Probably either the Maldives or the Seychelles.”
This is excellent cocktail-party conversation, because no one knows where the Maldives or the Seychelles are, much less the difference between them, except billionaires.
Okay, your third house is in Florida. Ask your tax attorney why, and he will tell you: Florida has no income tax. This is why you will be spending 183 nights a year in Florida, which will make you a legal Florida resident even if all you”re doing there is marlin fishing, which, by the way, you will be doing because billionaires don”t fish for bass, do they?
People will tell you about all these wonderful places in Florida that have oceanfront property. Ignore them. Go straight for Valhalla”Ocean Boulevard in Palm Beach. As close as possible to the house where the Kennedys used to party with skinny shopgirls. You”ll need anywhere from 12,000 to 33,000 square feet, which will go for $40 million to $80 million, but at the end of the day you”ll have about six feet of your own beach and get invited to a lot of parties hosted by former friends of Bernie Madoff.
Your fourth house is just for show”you”re never gonna go there”but make it someplace exotic. It could be a working Montana cattle ranch, a villa in Tuscany, a safari lodge in Tanzania, a ski chalet in Gstaad, or something that makes an Al Gore statement like a solar-powered ice house in Greenland. The important thing is that it exists. It allows you to go to futuristic world congresses in St. Barts and make small talk in the veranda bar.
“Yes, we went to Belize with the kids and just fell in love with the place and so now we own this 10-room thatched tree house in the rainforest.”
Okay, now that you”re starting to understand the bazillionaire lifestyle, here’s your first quiz:
What does a man with four houses need? What can he not live without?
You need a plane.
And I don”t mean a Cessna or a Beechcraft. You”re putting bedrooms on this thing, like Elvis. So there are really only two ways to go here. You”re probably gonna buy a Bombardier Global 6000, which retails for $62.3 million, seats thirteen people comfortably, and cruises at 561 miles per hour. But the problem is that the Bombardier has a range of only 6,000 miles. What if your fourth house is in Melbourne?
Enter the Gulfstream G650ER. Range: 8,630 miles. Same cruising speed. Seats eighteen, but you could take out some of those seats and put in a bar with dancing girls. And it’s only slightly more expensive than the Bombardier, at $66.5 million. I say spend the extra 4 mil and feel the freedom, baby.
And speaking of strippers, you”re gonna need a wife.
I forgot to mention this before. You need a beautiful wife who knows how to walk in six-inch couture heels and wear dresses that reveal most of her midriff and all of her legs without being slutty.
Don”t do this the amateur way. If you go to sugardaddy.com you”re just gonna get 24-year-old divorcÃ©es with kids. Sure, they”re hot, but you”re a billionaire.
So here’s what you”re gonna do. You”re gonna go to Google and type in “supermodels” and make a list of the top one hundred in the world, then you”re gonna narrow that down to the ones who are 28 years old and above. A supermodel’s career peaks at 26. She needs a couple of years to realize her career peaked two years ago.
Arrange to meet all of them in that age group. If this proves difficult, befriend Charlie Sheen. Once you get her alone, don”t waste time. The pre-nup is $25 million, not a penny more. The clothing allowance is $5 million a year. (The mistake many men make is they think it’s the pre-nup number that counts, but it’s the clothing allowance that will make them fall deeply in love with you.)
Don”t be mean to your wife. The women of Palm Beach will do that for you. That would be the established women, all of them ex-supermodels as well, who have outlived their husbands and now control every social occasion on the island. Throw her into that maelstrom like she’s a kid from Peoria going to Marine boot camp”only a few can survive, but the total cost if she doesn”t make it is $25 million, and you can always try again.
Now that you”ve settled into the billionaire lifestyle, it’s time to learn golf. Golf is a diabolical game that makes you look like an idiot, starting with the way you dress and extending to the impossibility of ever being good at it. Sorry”you wanted to be a billionaire, you”re playing golf whether you like it or not. First you need to buy some Honma Japanese handmade golf clubs. Fortunately the $76,000 for a set includes the bag. Then you have two choices”the Butch Harmon School of Golf in Las Vegas or the Pinehurst Golf Academy in North Carolina”and both will set you back about a thousand a day. Don”t take too many classes, though, because nobody really knows how to play golf, so all you need to acquire is the ability to consistently hit the ball without ending up in the woods, thereby slowing down the foursome from Bank of America that’s playing behind you. Buy a bunch of gear that’s endorsed by Tiger Woods or Rory McIlroy and move toward your ultimate goal”joining a country club that likes to exclude people. The brass ring in this case is Augusta National in Georgia. Initiation fee: $250,000, but the annual dues are a bargain at just $10,000. Every time someone tells you, “But don”t they exclude minorities and women?” say the magic words: Condoleezza Rice.
Finally, you need to remember the immortal words of Bunker Hunt, the Texas oil tycoon, when he was hauled before Congress in the “80s and accused of plotting to corner the silver market.
“A billion dollars is not what it used to be,” Bunker told the congressmen.
You have to face reality. You could wake up one day, check your Wells Fargo Wealth Management Account, and discover to your horror that your fortune has dwindled to a mere nine figures. This is where you need to do some serious research into how to avoid paying as many bills as possible, possibly take bankruptcy while keeping most of your assets, and never pay taxes for the rest of your life. Read The Art of the Deal. It’s all in there.
Daily updates with TM’s latest