Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For February 02, 2014

Estimated total worth of real estate holdings of the world's billionaires, according to the Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census 2013: $169 billion

Average per billionaire this equates to: $78 billion

Average number of homes billionaires own, many of which are based in trophy cities such as London, New York and Paris: 4

Source: Wealth-X.

Percentage of American households who think it is an achievable goal to be debt-free at retirement, with only 30 percent stating they will be able to live comfortably in retirement, according to research from Mintel: 48

Percentage of U.S. consumers who state they are comfortable that they have enough set aside in a savings account for unexpected expenses: 25

Percentage (roughly 20 million households) who don't think they'll ever be debt-free: 17

Source: Mintel.

Number of cases of wine consumed in the United States annually, according to the Wine Institute and the Department of Commerce Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau: 330 million

Number of cases of wine consumed in France annually: 320.6 million

French population versus that of the U.S.: 65.7 million vs. 313.9 million

Source: Wine Institute.

Estimated average per capita income in America, according to the Census Bureau: $28,000

For family households, estimated median income: $64,000

Estimated number of personal financial advisers in the United States, helping Americans reach their goals and turn that income into more net worth: 175,000

Source: Census Bureau.

Ranks of Italy, England, Hawaii, Costa Rica and Mexico on the list of chart-toppers for families traveling in 2014, according to Virtuoso, the international network of luxury travel agencies: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Within the U.S. travel market, ranks of New York, Maui, Napa Valley/Sonoma, Las Vegas and Hawaii's Big Island on the list of preferred destinations: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Ranks of exploring new destinations, rest and relaxation, seeking authentic experiences in new destinations, rediscovering previously visited destinations and personal enrichment on the list of the top reasons people will travel in 2014: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Source: Virtuoso.

Percentage of adults who follow at least one sport who say professional football is their favorite sport, according to the results of a survey by Harris Interactive: 35

Percentage who say baseball is their favorite: 14

Rank of college football, auto racing and men's professional basketball on the list of favorite sports to watch: 3, 4, 5

Source: Harris Interactive.

Percentage of workers who said their typical lunch break lasts 30 minutes or less, according to an OfficeTeam survey: 48

Percentage who admitted they work during lunch breaks: 29

Percentage who run errands: 25

Source: OfficeTeam.

Ranks of Bella, Max and Buddy on the list of the most popular names for dogs in 2013, according to Banfield Applied Research & Knowledge (BARK): 1, 2, 3

Ranks of Kitty, Bella and Tiger on the list of the most popular names for cats in 2013: 1, 2, 3

Source: Banfield Pet Hospital.

In tests in six major U.S. cities, percentage of gas pump and mail box handles that were highly contaminated, potentially exposing people to illness-causing bacteria, according to a study by Kimberly-Clark Professional: 65

Percentage of escalator rails and ATM machine buttons that were highly contaminated: 40

In hotel rooms, rank of TV remotes and bathroom sink faucets among the most contaminated surfaces: 1

Source: Kimberly-Clark Professional.

Percentage of Gen Y consumers (born between 1977 and 1994) who do not currently own or lease a vehicle because they cannot afford it, according to a Deloitte report on global mobility: 61

Percentage of respondents who said their lifestyle needs are met by walking or public transportation: 67

Source: Deloitte Public Relations.

Idle Thought

"Patience is also a form of action." -- Auguste Rodin, sculptor

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at johnmacintyre(at)bwr.eastlink.ca.)