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uptown problems

"people who don't have money don't understand the stress," said alan dlugash, a partner at accounting firm marks paneth & shron llp in new york who specializes in financial planning for the wealthy. "could you imagine what it's like to say i got three kids in private school, i have to think about pulling them out? how do you do that?"

...

andrew schiff was sitting in a traffic jam in california this month after giving a speech at an investment conference about gold. he turned off the satellite radio, got out of the car and screamed a profanity.

"i'm not zen at all, and when i'm freaking out about the situation, where i'm stuck like a rat in a trap on a highway with no way to get out, it's very hard," schiff, director of marketing for broker-dealer euro pacific capital inc., said in an interview.

schiff said he brings home less than $200,000 after taxes, health-insurance and 401(k) contributions. the closing costs, renovation and down payment on one of the $1.5 million 17-foot-wide row houses nearby, what he called "the low rung on the brownstone ladder," would consume "every dime" of the family's savings, he said.

"i wouldn't want to whine," schiff said. "all i want is the stuff that i always thought, growing up, that successful parents had."

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