Pet Projects

150 150 Northstar Financial Planners

By Steve Tepper, CFP®, MBA

If you are inclined to spend money like the rich, famous, and ultra-affluent, here are some ideas: Louis Vuitton offers a monogrammed carry sack for $2,550. From Versace, you can get a 22K gold-leafed bowl for $1,128. And Michels VIP Parfums carries a range of fragrances from $180 to $4,800. What’s that? Those don’t sound all that extravagant? Just a little extravagant? Well, in case the title and photograph accompanying this article didn’t give it away, those are things the ultra-rich buy for their dogs!

petOf course, highly affluent people lead the way in over-the-top purchases in just about every spending category, so there is ample opportunity to make fun of them, something I do every chance I get, and only maybe 80% out of jealousy.

And what better rich person to make fun of than Paris Hilton? The reality star heiress, one of the world’s most famous dog lovers (and occasional dog loser), built a two-story doggie mansion for her Pomeranians, Yorkies, and Chihuahuas. Price tag: $320,000.

But you don’t have to be a pseudo-celebrity to shower your canine in luxury. As reported in a recent article in Financial Advisor magazine, here are a few of the extravagances available for the pampered pooch:

  • If you are jet setting around the world, you won’t want to drop your four-legged friend off at a kennel. Make a reservation at D Pet Hotels, a nationwide chain that will pick up Fido in a Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bentley, Porsche, or Rolls. Amenities include an indoor gym with treadmills, personal trainers, chefs, and a private room with a bed and widescreen TV. At the spa, you can book aromatherapy, massages, pedicures, and facials.
  • If that isn’t enough to relieve your dog’s stress, a host of service providers will perform acupuncture, Reiki, hypnosis, and psychotherapy.
  • If you want Princess to feel like a real princess, treat her to a tiara designed by Thai jewelry designer Riwin Jirapolsek. In 2009, he fashioned a titanium crown with 250 carats of emeralds and diamonds for his 15-year-old Maltese. Value if you can snatch it from Fifi’s head: $4.2 million.
  • The pampered lifestyle doesn’t have to stop just because you’re gone. As hotelier Leona Helmsley famously did in 2007, you can bequeath millions to your fur baby. Thirty-eight states allow you to establish “pet trusts” to make sure your pet is cared for after you die. (A side note here, something I never knew until I researched this article: The $12 million Helmsley left to her Maltese—what is it with Maltese?—was reduced to $2 million when the dog’s caretaker said the amount would be enough to keep the dog in luxury for the rest of his life. Apparently, there may actually be a limit to how much you can spend on a dog.)
  • The pampering also doesn’t have to stop just because your pet is gone. If you want something more than a traditional cremation or casket from one of the more than 750 pet funeral homes and cemeteries across the country, have your dog mummified from $7,000 all the way up to $100,000 or more at the Summum temple in Salt Lake City. Another option is to render your pet’s remains into a synthetic diamond through a company called Life Gem: Prices range from $3,000 to $35,000.

For those of us not blessed with such affluence, I have only this advice: Buy a goldfish, or you might find yourself in the …

Source: When a Pet Owner is Rich, It’s No Dog’s Life by Ian Shearn, fa-mag.com, June 19, 2017.

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