Curious how the other half lives? Want to live as the other half live? Make a move to one of these small towns in America. According to Bloomberg’s Richest Places index, these are the richest of the rich. They’re the towns where a $500,000/year salary is paltry. Okay, so maybe you don’t want actually to live there, but maybe drive through on your next road trip to gawk at the mansions and manors from your sensible compact vehicle. You can say, “Just look at this place,” and imagine how you’d be so much more appreciative of wealth than these CEOs and tech investors.
Richest Towns in America
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Just 37 miles north of New York, it’s the wealthiest town in Connecticut. If you get into a wreck on Interstate 95 near Darien–considered one of the deadliest stretches–it’ll be high schoolers who come to your aid. The ambulance from Post 53 responds to over 1,500 calls per year and volunteer high schoolers comprise the entire staff.
This Chicago suburb is home to the exterior of the Home Alone house and the murderer Laurie Dann. She shot and killed one boy, injured five children at the local elementary school, and non-fatally shot a man before killing herself.
As you’re passing through gawking, make a stop at the Chicago Botanic Garden. It’s 385 acres, and you don’t need a six-figure income to get in–admission is free.
Highland Park, Texas
This super-tiny town (less than ten thousand residents in the 2010 census) began as an investment property for some Philadelphia businessmen.
Short Hills, New Jersey
Anne Hathaway, born in Brooklyn, grew up in the commuter-town of Short Hills. Have you seen her in Les Miserables? Knowing she spent her childhood in the 6th wealthiest town in America makes you respect her acting in that movie a lot more, right?
Los Altos Hills, California
There aren’t any commercial properties allowed in Los Altos Hills, but there are two retail establishments. One is a college bookstore, and the other is the gift shop of the Immaculate Heart Monastery of the Poor Clares. Who knew nuns had gift shops?
Cherry Hills Village, Colorado
A sub-division of this town near Denver was called Swastika Acres until last year, so make whatever judgments about the residents you see fit. That portion’s now called Old Cherry Hills.
Imagine being the “rich part” of San Francisco, where people with six-figure incomes are on food stamps because the rent’s so high. It’s where you’ll find the Flintstone House, which shows money doesn’t buy taste.
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Scarsdale, New York
The Scarsdale Diet was invented here, which allows you 1,000 calories per day for 14 days. It sounds like starvation to me, but you’re permitted diet soda as part of your severely restricted calorie intake.
At the top of the list, Atherton is the wealthiest town in America for four years running. It’s home to a lot of CEOs and COOs of tech companies. But Shirley Temple also lived there, which is nice. If you think you’d like to sample the one percent’s lifestyle, you can rent a home in the area for around $15,000/month.