What does it cost to live the good life? In an article reprinted from Forbes, <A HREF="http://moneycentral.msn.com/content/invest/forbes/P121206.asp?GT1=6584">msn.com</A> tried to put a dollar figure to the question:

<i>We are not talking about great riches. There are millions of Americans who work hard to be able to afford the best for their families -- and themselves -- but who don't entertain notions of owning private jets, sprawling country estates or closets full of the latest fashions. Their goals are more grounded: a good education for their children, a nice house, a weekend place, the occasional trip, a night out once a week and a little money in the bank...</i>

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The results were it varied dramatically depending on where you lived, but the numbers were high across the board: $215,000 to $500,000 a year. While these numbers may seem high, the piece noted:

<i>Of course, these numbers are estimates: You certainly can live for less -- or for far more. Take a two-week rental instead of buying a summer home, send your children to public schools or dine at home every night, and you will need to earn less money. On the other hand, if you would rather ski in Val d'Isere than Colorado, insist that your beach house include an actual piece of beach, or splurge on a super-expensive car, you will need to pull in far more to afford such extravagance.</i>

One rather scary part of the article is that with this "good life" income, the fictional family only saves 1% of their income. The article noted that in this department they were being generous since the Department of Commerce says families now save less that 1% of their income.