All middle aged people really want are financial security, love, family, friends, and respect. They don’t want to be looked upon as out of shape losers who, after 40 years, haven’t done anything with their lives. Unfortunately, people rarely reach mid-life without some sort of deficiency or regret.
In mid-life, the last thing you want to do is buy a car you can’t afford, and thereby financially ruin the second half of your life! After all, this is a personal finance site where we tether income to specific goals and expenses.
In order to ensure fiscal responsibility during mid-life, the logical conclusion is to establish a Mid-Life Crisis Fund (MLCF) in preparation for a particular extravagant expense. The sooner you can establish a MLCF, the larger your fund will be to waste. If you want the $500,000 Lamborghini Aventador to drive to your local grocery store, I hope your parents started a MLCF when you were born! Otherwise, you’ll just have to wait until you accumulate at least a $10 million net worth.
Here are three criteria all mid-lifers should follow before blowing a whole bunch of money on a fancy car!
1) Be in respectable shape. If we’re over 40, I say we have the right to be a little out of shape. Instead of rocking 20-22 BMI bodies like doctors recommend, I think mid-lifers should be allowed to flirt with up to a 27 BMI. Anything over 30 is obese and too unhealthy. Thank goodness the need to be in incredible shape dissipates with the more money we have! We’ve all seen plenty of hideous folks go out with much more attractive people thanks to their riches.
2) Accumulate at least a $500,000 net worth. In addition to being a little pudgy in our physical appearance, mid-lifers should also be allowed to have some slack to follow my more humane Net Worth Rule For Car Buying instead of my more stringent 1/10th Rule For Car Buying. Mid-lifers have been accumulating wealth for ~20 years, and earned the right to live it up a little by allocating 5% of their net worth to the purchase of a dream car instead of being restricted to spending 10% of their gross income on a car.
3) Must have a Mid-Life Crisis Fund at least two years old. Finally, every financially responsible mid-lifer should have established a MLCF because that shows foresight and planning. Ideally, your MLCF covers the entire cost of the vehicle. But let’s go with the rule that the MLCF should be large enough to buy at least 25% of the vehicle since as a mid-lifer, you might want to simply lease the vehicle for three years and get it out of your system.
With the above three criteria firmly in mind, here are the best mid-life crisis cars for you! All cars are top-rated for their class. The cars are exhilarating, over the top for what you really need, and will probably get you more attention than you ever want. Luckily, tinting your windows won’t run more than $500.
The MSRP prices are for the base models. Prices can easily rise by 50% above MSRP, which is why I’ve categorized the cars by minimum, not maximum, net worth break points of $500,000, $1,000,000, $2,000,000, and $5,000,000+.
If you have a BMI under 27, have a net worth of at least $5 million, and a MLCF of at least $100,000.
Tesla Roadster 2021. MSRP: $250,000. Lease: $3,000/month. Electric. 0-60 in 1.9 seconds. As a Tesla shareholder, I cannot be more excited about this car!
Ford GT. MSRP: $400,000. Lease: $6,000/month. EPA unknown. 0-60 in under 3 seconds. 600 HP. Minimum net worth required before purchase: $8,000,000.
Lamborghini Huracan. MSRP: $240,745. Lease: $3,600/month. 14/20 MPG. 0-60 in 2.5 seconds. 602 HP. Minimum net worth required: $4,820,000.
Ferrari 458 Italia. MSRP: $243,900. Lease: $3,650/month. 12/18 MPG. 0-60 in 3 seconds. 562 HP. Minimum net worth needed: $4,878,000.
Acura NSX. MSRP: $157,800. Lease: $2,700/month. Hybrid. HP 573. 0-60 unknown. Minimum net worth needed: $3,156,000.
McLaren 570S Coupe. MSRP: $184,900. Lease: $3,100/month. 0-60 3.2 seconds. 562 HP. Minimum net worth needed: $3,700,000.
If you have a BMI under 27, have a net worth of at least $2 million, and a MLCF of at least $30,000.
Porsche 911. MSRP: $85,295. Lease: $1,300/month. 19/26 MPG. 0-60 in 3.6 seconds. 430 HP. Minimum net worth needed: $1,706,000.
Ranger Rover Sport HSE SuperCharger. MSRP: $112,000. Lease: $1,841/month. 14/19 MPG. 0-60 in 4.3 seconds. 550 HP. Minimum net worth needed: $2,224,000.
Lexus LC 500. MSRP: $100,000. EPA unknown. 465 HP. 0-60 in 4.5 seconds. Minimum net worth required: $2,000,000.
BMW 650i. MSRP: $100,000. Lease: $1,400/month. EPA 17/25 MPG. 0-60 4.1 seconds. 445 HP. Minimum net worth needed: $2 million.
Mercedes SL550. MSRP: $86,000. Lease: $1,300/month. EPA 20/27 MPG. 0-60 4.6 seconds. 329 HP. Minimum net worth needed: $1,720,000.
Maserati Ghibli. MSRP: $71,850. Lease: $1,154/month. EPA 15/25 MPG. 0-60 in 4.7 seconds. 404 HP. Minimum net worth required. $1,437,000.
Tesla Model S. MSRP: $71,100. Lease: N/A. EPA 101 MPGe. 0-60 in 2.8 seconds for the P90D! Minimum net worth required: $1,422,000. The P90D costs about $140,000.
If you have a BMI under 27, have a net worth of at least $1 million, and a MLCF of at least $20,000.
BMW M4. MSRP: $66,695. Lease: $963/month. EPA 17/24 MPG. 0-60 3.7 seconds. 425 HP. Minimum net worth required: $1,334,000.
Alfa Romeo 4C. MSRP: $57,495. Lease: $940/month. EPA 24/34. 0-60 4.2 seconds. 237 HP. Minimum net worth required: $1,150,000.
Chevrolet Corvette. MSRP: $56,395. Lease: $952/month. EPA 16/29. 0-60 3.7 seconds. 460 HP. Minimum net worth required: $1,128,000.
Porsche Macan S. MSRP: $53,500. Lease: $860/month. EPA 20/32. 0-60 5 seconds. 340 HP. Minimum net worth required: $1,070,000.
Porsche Boxter. MSRP: $53,000. Lease: $798/month. 22/31 MPG. 0-60 in 4.1 seconds. 330 HP. Minimum net worth required: $1,060,000.
Audi A5. MSRP: $54,025. Lease: $834/month. EPA 18/28. 0-60 in 4.5 seconds. 333 HP. Minimum net worth required: $1,080,000.
Ford F-150 Raptor. MSRP: $50,000. Lease: $750/month. 500 HP. EPA 12/18. Minimum net worth required: $1,000,000.
If you have a BMI under 27, have a net worth of at least $500,000, and a MLCF of at least $10,000.
Nissan Z. MSRP: $31,000. Lease: $513/month. EPA 18/26 MPG. 0-60 5.1 seconds. 332 HP. Minimum net worth needed: $620,000.
Chevy Camaro. MSRP: $37,250. Lease: $561/month. EPA 14/24 MPG. 0-60 3.9 seconds. 455 HP. Minimum net worth required: $750,000.
Ford Mustang. MSRP: $33,250. Lease: $536/month. EPA 15/25 MPG. 0-60 4.3 seconds. 435 HP. Minimum net worth required: $665,000.
Let’s say after 20+ years, you didn’t bother to contribute to your 401k or IRA, never thought logically about saving money in an after tax account for liquidity, didn’t hustle to make extra money on the side, thought you could never lose by having all your net worth in one asset class, and decided to let yourself go by eating one too many donuts while the world starves. Do you get to buy a mid-life crisis car given all the kids nowadays get trophies? Of course not!
You are an adult who needs to face reality that it’s time to shape up financially and physically, or else you’ll become a burden to your children or taxpayers. Consider walking, biking, or taking cheap public transportation instead. Shoot to buy your end-of-life crisis car within 40 years.
I hope you enjoyed my selection of mid-life crisis cars. I’d happily own and drive every single one of them, especially the more high end versions of each model. At roughly $50,000, the best value for your money is the Ford Mustang 5.0 GT. It can easily compete with cars 2-4X the price. The exhaust pipes sound so sweet, and the Mustang heritage since 1964 is hard to beat.
Don’t forget that besides the purchase price of the car and ongoing maintenance, there’s also the high cost of auto insurance compared to cheaper cars. If you lease a new car, you are required by law to get comprehensive auto insurance. Even if you decide to just buy your car, comprehensive insurance is still probably a good idea because fixing cars nowadays is extraordinarily more expense due to sheet metal you can’t just pound out and complex electronics. I’d shop around online for car insurance rates to see how much insurance would cost BEFORE purchasing your mid-life crisis vehicle.
If we can shoot to stay relatively fit, while achieving a net worth large enough to afford our most extravagant desires, we’ll be able to enjoy our mid-life crisis vehicles without as much guilt and enjoy our lives that much better!
Updated for 2021 and beyond.