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The 10 Most Expensive Cities in the United States

Most Expensive Cities in the United States

The United States is the richest country in the world, but there is a huge disparity between its richest and its poorest, which is why it tops the list for overall wealth, but still struggles with homelessness, unemployment and severe poverty, the likes of which you usually don’t see in such grand first-world countries. But where is all of that money going—where are the richest cities in the US and where are the most expensive ones to live?

Washington, D.C.

The seat of government is also one of the most expensive cities in the US. It’s big on tourism and this industry is part of the driving force behind rising property, grocery and entertainment prices. After all, those restaurants charge those premiums because they know tourists will pay them, but it means that the locals also end up footing the bill when they decide to enjoy a night on the town.

Boston, Massachusetts

The biggest city in the country is also one of the most expensive. One of the things that makes Boston so expensive is healthcare, as you’ll pay between 1/5th and 1/4th more than you will in other major cities. The cost of living is also very high and there is a premium charged on groceries and on eating out.

Unlike other expensive cities in the country, the median household income isn’t quite enough to cover the cost of basic living and this city is a long way from allowing the average resident to live comfortably within their means.

Honolulu, Hawaii

This is one of the tourist capitals of the United States, so it only makes sense that it is also one of the richest and most expensive cities in the country. They also have to import a lot of the products you see in grocery stores, which is part of the reason you’ll pay nearly twice the national average for staples like eggs and milk. Utilities cost over 70% the national average as well and that’s before we even touch upon the cost of eating out.

It’s a beautiful part of the country, but you pay a premium to experience it every day.

New York City, New York

This is the financial capital of the United States, if not the world. New York is home to the world’s two biggest stock exchanges, some of the biggest companies in the country, and so much more. It seems like everything in the Big Apple is grand and rich. Personal injury in New York is a colossal business and one we’ve covered before; sport is even bigger, with several teams in the NFL alone; shopping is massive, with customers traveling from around the world. There’s just so much to see and do. It really is the embodiment of the American Dream and that’s why it is and likely always will be the richest city in the United States.

It’s also one of most expensive when you factor in things like the cost of food, but if we’re talking about property and several other things then one city tops it.

San Francisco, California

This is the richest city in the US and the one where you’ll pay more rent than anywhere else. In fact, a one-bedroom apartment here costs more than the same apartment in New York. At more than $3,500 it’s the most expensive rental price in the US and it even tops some of the world’s biggest and richest cities.

San Francisco is a grand and glorious place to live. It has so much to offer, with rolling hills, glorious sunshine and a bridge that is instantly recognizable. You might get what you pay for, but it all depends on your perspective and we’re sure many of you would prefer to be living in New York and paying a little less for the pleasure.

Is a Rolex, Tag or Omega a Good Investment? (Investing in Watches)

Investing in Watches

This is a question that has personally always interested us. We love to collect and invest and if we can combine that with a hobby, purchasing something we like and enjoy and potentially profiting from it further down the line, then even better. But is this possible to do with premium watches like Rolex, Tag and Omega?

That’s the question posed for this investment guide and it’s one we will look at here, seeing how watches like Rolex’s have held their value over the years and establishing whether or not they are a worthwhile investment.

Stocks vs Watches

Stocks vs Watches

Before we look at each of the big brands in turn and at the merits of investing in timepieces, let’s see what happens when you compare watches vs stocks over the last few decades.

Brands like Rolex really came into their own during the 1960s, when they began to be perceived as a brand of the rich, the famous and the wealthy, and when their value began to rise significantly to reflect this.

In the mid 1960s and early 1970s Rolex were releasing timepieces such as the Explorer, which had a retail price of less than $200 back then (before your eyes pop out of your skull, this was still considered a lot of money. According to DollarTimes  it equated to about $1,400 in today’s money)

However, that watch today has a price tag of between $5,000 and $20,000, depending on the model and the state of the timepiece. If we suppose that you bought the first release and that you kept it hidden from harm for 50 years, then you’d be making a 100x return on your initial investment.

This equates to an annual increase of around 9%. If you invested in the S&P 500 instead then your return would be closer to 10%. Based on that, stocks would be the better option, but only just, and what would you prefer to have owned for 50 years, a piece of paper or one of the most expensive watches in existence?

The Cons of Investing in Watches

The main issue with investing in these watches is that big brands seem to have their heyday. This is when their products retain the most value and can go on to be worth significantly more than they were at the time of purchase.

The 1970s and 1980s were the best time to buy Star Wars memorabilia; the 1920s through to 1950s was the best time for comic books; the 1950s and 1960s was the best time for Gibson guitars. That’s not to say that they don’t continue producing valuable products, because they do, but rather that they will never replicate the sort of price increases you could get during those specific eras.

This is especially true in the modern world, where there are more brands than ever and where every successful company is producing more stock than ever. Take comic books as an example. The reason the headline-hitting million-dollar comics sold for so much is not just because they were the first in a series, but because they signaled a breakthrough for the company and the medium in general, and they came at a time when very few books were produced.

Watches like Rolex and Omega are similar. They have had their heydays and those vintage pieces will likely always increase in price, but the new watches probably won’t have as much of an impact in the future. The world will move on to new brands and new trends and while the classics will continue to hold the public’s interest, the new stuff won’t.

Of course, you could just invest in the vintage pieces, but even then there are problems. If you buy a watch that is 50 years old and keep it in very good condition then it will probably be worth more than it is now in another 10 or 20 years, but the value will not rise as sharply or as swiftly, because you’re now selling a valuable collectible that you paid top dollar for, as opposed to a vintage piece you got for retail price.

Of course, another con to investing in watches is the fact that you are unlikely to make anything at all in the short term. You will likely need to be sitting on a time piece for at least 5 or 10 years before the value starts to rise significantly, assuming it ever does.

The Pros of Investing in Watches

Investing in Premium Watches

There are some benefits to investing in watches. It’s not all doom and gloom. For instance, if the watch was produced in limited numbers, was once owned by someone famous or contained precious metals, then it has inherent value that will always attract interest from buyers.

What’s more, while stocks can be high one day and gone the next, a watch with a strong inherent value will always be worth something and even if it’s not, at least you can still use it for the reason it was intended.

Watches from established, historic brands will also always appeal to a certain demographic, even if they have fallen out of favor with the general population. The current trend towards vinyl and old-school cellphones like the Nokia 3310 is a great example of this. Simply put, in a world of mass production and machine made products, people yearn for something traditional, something nostalgic. If you have a handmade or hand finished watch from a legendary and traditional brand, it could be akin to holding the first print of the first Pink Floyd vinyl today.

And whether you make money or not, the best thing about investing in watches is that you also get to own and experience these timepieces for yourself. So much work goes into the watches created by Swiss brands like Rolex and they are a true joy to behold. If you have a passion for them like we do, then investing in watches will be as much of a hobby as it is an investment opportunity.

So, put your money where your mouth and your hobby is and start investing in premium and vintage timepieces today.

The Financial Cost of Divorce (Rates, Stats and Facts in the US)

Cost of Divorce

Divorce can be expensive. You probably didn’t need us to tell you that. It is a common trope in TV sitcoms and romantic comedies and it’s something we also see everyday with celebrities and business owners whose divorces result in massive settlements and all kinds of resentment. But just how much does the average divorce cost in the United States, what is the divorce rate here and how does the US compare to other countries around the world?

Cost of Divorce in the United States

Before we get to the divorce rate in this country and its individual states, let’s look at the average cost of filing for a divorce. You will pay a filing fee to initiate the process and you will also need to pay for an attorney, typically by the hour. This can run-up a rather large bill, the total of which will depend on which state you reside in (as discussed below).

The average cost of divorce across the US is between $15,000 and $25,000, most of which ends up in the lawyer’s pockets. This is the amount that both parties will pay to get through the process and it does not include any possessions or money that changes hands. It also doesn’t include any assets that changed hands, any child support that was ordered to be paid, etc., So for many couples in the US this amount could just be the start.

What’s more, a huge number of Americans put themselves through this process every single year, helping to fund an industry that is said to be worth over $28 billion for the legal firms that help couples in this situation.

The US Divorce Rate

The rate of divorce in the United States is often quoted as being between 40 and 50 percent. However, this doesn’t apply to all states. California, for instance, has a higher rate at 60%, which is inflated by states like Orange County, which has one of the highest rates of divorce in the United States. It also doesn’t apply to all marriages, because if the couple have been married before then the rate increases even further.

When you take a closer look at marriage and divorce, the statistics are a little less doom and gloom. It is true that the average marriage in the US has at least a 50% chance of ending in divorce, but it’s also true that there is nearly a 70% chance that it will last for at least ten years and the odds that it will survive more than two decades is greater than 50%. Also, while the stereotype is that men stray and women stick, the stats seem to suggest the opposite and it is women who are more prone to ending the marriage. In fact, the odds of a marriage lasting 20 years are 52% for women, but 56% for men.

The Lowest Divorce Rate in the US

Divorce Rate

If Orange County has one of the highest divorce rates of all US counties, then which county and state has the lowest? You might expect it to be a religious state or a state in the Mid-West, but it’s actually New Jersey. The odds of the average couple ending their marriage in divorce

The Cost of Divorce in the US is lower here than in any other state. What’s more, second on the list is neighboring New York, followed closely behind Washington D.C.. Pennsylvania is also in the top five, just behind fourth placed Hawaii, suggesting that New England is a haven of sorts for marriage.

Most Expensive States to Divorce

Based on the average hourly fee of local divorce attorneys and the cost of filing for a divorce, the state with the most expensive divorce in the US is California, which is probably less of a surprise than the stats quoted above. The average hourly fee for an attorney is just over $400 in this state, and you’ll pay between $400 and $500 on average to file for a divorce.

The attorney fee is actually the third highest in the US, but only just, and the divorce filing fee is the highest, which is why the Golden State sits top of this list.

Cheapest States to Divorce

As for the cheapest, Wyoming tops this list, with an average attorney fee that clocks in at less than $200 an hour and a divorce filing fee of just $70 in many counties. North Dakota is also very cheap and South Dakota is only marginally more expensive, putting these two states in the top 3.

The US Divorce Rate Compared to Other Countries

The US is probably the most litigious country in the world. You don’t have to go far to find a quality, fully licensed attorney in this country. There are thousands of specialized lawyers for all kinds of sectors and family law, which focuses on divorces, annulments and other issues, is one of the most saturated sectors.

As a result, you could be forgiven for thinking that the divorce rate was higher here than in other countries and that the average settlement was also higher. But that’s not quite the case.

The divorce rate in the US is actually on the short side of average when compared to Europe and it’s much less than countries like Belgium, where the divorce rate is as much as 70%.

If you focus just on the cost of divorce in the US, then it is quite a bit more than most other countries. Take the UK as an example. It is very easy to settle a divorce for free or with legal aid in the UK, but even if you go down the paid route you will pay less than £1,500 (about $2,000) to cover the basics of filing, settling and getting consent. In Scotland it is even cheaper. Not only is it just as easy to do it for free north of the border, but the paid options can ensure everything gets settled for less than £500, or about $750.