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10 PRIVILEGES ONLY THE RICH CAN ENJOY –

 

French writer Françoise Sagan said, “Money may not buy happiness, but I’d rather cry in a Jaguar than on a bus.” With wealth comes privileges, and the privileges the rich have in the world can sound unbelievable. There is a website called flyblade.com where the wealthy can “hail a plane” instead of a car in seconds. There is also a Craigslistfor the rich called jamesedition.com where luxury items like yachts are put up for sale. Here are more such perks of being rich in this world that you might find interesting to read.

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1. Some banks have therapists known as “wealth psychologists” who help their rich clients mentally cope with their immense wealth and issues stemming from it.

Image credits: Pixabay

Wealth psychologists help their rich patients deal with issues that stem from having an immense amount of money. These issues can be the guilt they face for exploiting workers and ecological systems around the world or advice on how to ensure that their children don’t end up becoming spoiled along with some advice on inheritance.

Private wealth management institutions or financial services firms have wealth psychologists on board who offer to counsel their clients and train the company’s financial advisors. More than financial planning, the role of wealth psychologists in the lives of the rich is more for “legacy planning” which means preparing the family and its future generations for the “emotional transfer of wealth.” Financial institutions like Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank have wealth psychologists with them from 2007. These psychologists can charge around $450 per hour. (1,2)

2. McDonald’s has a Gold Card that allows its holders free and unlimited food forever. Warren Buffet and Bill Gates have one.

Image credits: ABC Via BusinessInsider

With wealth comes influence, and with influence comes the “Gold Card” by McDonald’s. Bill Gates owns this mysterious Gold Card and is known to frequently have breakfast at McDonald’s. Warren Buffet and Mitt Romney also have cards that allow them to have unlimited food at the restaurant forever.

Otherwise given only to celebrities, do-gooders, or high-profile people, in 2018, McDonald’s held sweepstakes to let a random person win a “Gold Card” which meant an unlimited supply of McDonald’s food for life. This is when the presence of the Gold Card was confirmed by McDonald’s. These cards can be specific to a location or can be used at any McDonald’s restaurant around the world like it is for Bill Gates. (12)

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3. Living above the 800-foot elevation in New York City is an exclusive privilege for the super-rich. About 40 people live above that elevation.

Image credit: Pixabay

This is an exclusive privilege for the super-rich, and only about 40 people are in the “800 Club” in New York City. This luxury of living above 800 feet in New York City is only for the super-rich because an apartment above that level can cost a fortune, and only a handful of skyscrapers like the 1 World Trade, One57, Trump World Tower, etc., are built beyond that limit. As described by the people who live above that elevation, “It is like living in a snow globe.”

According to The New York Times, about 21 skyscrapers exist that go beyond 800 feet. As the supply for spaces above that level is very limited, the prices are sky-rocketing. By 2020, more skyscrapers are expected to be constructed. Buying an apartment above 800 feet can cost around $100 million. Renting an apartment above that height can cost around $65,000 per month! (source)

4. Some wealthy Chinese people hire “body doubles” to take their place and get prosecuted in court. This practice is called “ding zui.”

Ding zui” is a Chinese term that translates as “substitute criminal.” Rich Chinese people hire their body doubles to stand trial on their behalf and also receive punishment. This is not a rare but a common practice among the elite. In 2009 during the trial of Hu Bin, and in 2012 during the trial of Gu Kailai, accusations of ding zui surfaced.

The media has documented several cases of rich Chinese hiring other people to serve as stand-ins. For about $8,000, people have agreed to stand trial or serve time on behalf of the real people. Once, the owner of a demolition company hired a man to spend time in jail in his stead for $31 a day. A police officer in China who requested to remain anonymous confirmed the existence of the practice and told The Sydney Morning Herald that people could “spend some money and remain free.” (12)

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5. The Bel Air Circuit is an invite-only group of about 400 ultra-powerful and wealthy individuals who get to see movies on the day of their release in their own homes. The membership costs $100,000 to join and $4,000 a month.

Image credits: dsilt

Tom Cruise, Ben Affleck, Woody Allen, Steven Spielberg, and Prince Saud al-Faisal are just some names out of the 400 who are a part of the invite-only Bel Air Circuit now known as the “Bel Air Digital Circuit.” Once free, it can now only be afforded by the super-rich. Even if you have the money, you cannot just get in. It is named after the famous “Bel Air” area of Los Angeles in the United States and was started by Loius Mayer and Daryl Zanuck to enable them to critique and view new movies in the comfort of their homes.

The members of this elite club own state-of-the-art D-Cinema screening rooms and can watch the day-and-date movie at 4k resolution on the same day of its release by just calling the movie studio or e-mailing them. To get a Bel Air Circuit system in the home costs around $400,000 to $500,000 to fulfill all its technical requirements like a 4k projector, a 7.1 speaker system, etc. (source)

6. There are some wealthy Russians who hire fake ambulances to beat the city traffic. These ambulances have sofas and flat-screen TVs instead of medical equipment.

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Rich Russians hire ambulance-taxis that cost about $200 an hour to beat the traffic in Moscow. Traffic snarls in the city are infamous and extremely bad. In 2011, the city officials attempted to double the size of the city’s streets to deal with it. The vehicles, although illegal, have been advertised on the Internet.

These “ambulances” are luxury vehicles on the inside, and it is much like a high-class limousine for its VIP passengers. They do not have medical supplies but facilities like TVs for their ultra-rich guests. These “ambulances” get on the streets, blaring their sirens which forces the other motorists to make way for them as they think that it is a medical emergency. In this way, the rich save time by traveling much faster than everyone else. This has led to many Russians not trusting an ambulance’s genuineness anymore. (12)

7. The people who are not American citizens but wealthy enough can get a Green Card if they invest $1 million in the US economy and create at least ten jobs.

Image credits: Pixabay, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services /Wikipedia

As per United States immigration law, there is an employment-based (EB) “preference immigrant” category. This category allows foreign nationals who have invested $1 million, or $500,000 in target areas or are in the process of doing so in a  “commercial enterprise that will benefit the U.S. economy,” to get a Green Card. They have to create at least 10 full-time jobs to be eligible. Such foreign nationals are also called “EB-5 immigrant investors.” The investors don’t need to necessarily invest in new commercial enterprises like was the rule initially. They can invest in pre-existing commercial enterprises and regional centers as well.

Their spouses and their unmarried children under the age of 21 can also get permanent citizenship. The EB-5 program was created in 1990 for the benefit of the U.S. economy through job creation and investment by foreign investors. Each fiscal year, only 10,692 such applications can be approved. About 80% of the investors in this category come from four countries: China, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and South Korea. The other 20% are from India, Iran, Canada, Mexico, etc. In 2014, 85% of the EB-5 visas were issued to Chinese nationals according to a survey by Savills Studley, a real-estate services firm. (12)

8. Becoming a space tourist is a luxury that can be afforded by only the ultra-rich as each flight can cost between $20-40 million. Only seven space tourists have gone to space so far.

(Image 2) Space tourist Mark Shuttleworth. Image credits: Pixabay, NASA/Wikipedia

The concept of “space tourism” is to encourage space travel for recreation, leisure, or business purposes. There are many types of space tourism like orbital, lunar, suborbital, etc. Companies like Blue Origin, SpaceX, and Virgin Galactic are working in the field of suborbital space tourism. From 2001 to 2009, Space Adventures brokered “space joy rides” in the range of $20-40 million aboard the Russian Soyuzspacecraft.

In these years, seven space tourists made eight space flights. The first three space tourists paid more than $20 million per day for their day 10-day trip to the International Space Station (ISS). In 2010, the program was halted as the crew size on the ISS increased.

However, that is going to change soon as Blue Origin, a company founded by Jeff Bezos, is working on the New Shepard reusable, suborbital, launch system to enable short trips to space for space tourists. Some test flights into space for 66 miles have been successfully completed. Another company, Virgin Galactic, sold 700 tickets for a price of $250,000 in 2015 for suborbital spaceflights, but their spaceplane, VSS Enterprise broke and the journey could not happen. They are working on their second space plane, VSS Unity. (source)

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9. The super elite of the world have their own invite-only social network called “ASmallWorld.”

Image credits: asmallworld

Described as the “Myspace for millionaires,” by the Wall Street Journal, “ASmallWorld” is a paid social network found in 2004, that has capped its membership to 250,000 people. In spring 2013, it was relaunched as a private, international, travel and social club that is peer-recommended. To join “ASmallWorld” one must receive an invitation from an existing member or from the governing board after a request for membership is filed.

It is active in more than 150 cities around the world and has hundreds of events every year. In 2013, it was the subject of controversy as it decreased its membership strength from 850,000 to 250,000, expelling members like Tiger Woods and Lindsay Lohan. In 2018, the social network introduced two membership levels, Signature, and Prestige. The annual membership for Signature is about 20,000 US dollars with an additional induction fee of 2,000 US dollars and is invite-only. The Prestige membership costs about 6000 US dollars annually. Signature members get a lot of benefits like 1,000,000 miles with Etihad Gold, Discovery Black status with Global Hotel Alliance etc. (12)

10. Some super-rich Americans don’t need to go to the hospital or need health insurance. They have emergency rooms in their own homes.

Image credits: Marco Verch/Flickr

Having an emergency room inside your own home can cost about one million US dollars. Some super-rich Americans can afford such luxury emergency rooms. Those who do not want an emergency room built in their homes and still don’t want to spend hours waiting, go for concierge emergency services that cost about 10,000 US dollars a year plus the fees for the treatment per visit.

Many wealthy people are choosing to forgo medical insurance and choosing to pay a monthly fee that totals up to 30,000 US dollars a year. This monthly fee entitles them to have access to physicians at any time and anywhere. This is called “concierge medicine.”

Hospitals in New York City are offering luxury hospital rooms that can cost about 1000 to 1500 US dollars per day. These rooms offer fine food, great views, fancy beds, butlers and other facilities. (12)

 

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