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What you can get for the $120,000 cost of the 105-inch Samsung TV

Should you splurge for this UHD TV or go with more practical products?

Published: July 24, 2014 02:00 PM
The Samsung UN105S9W costs $120,000. What else can you get for all that money?
Photo: Samsung

As Mr. TV—that is, my colleague Jim Willcox—just reported, the 105-inch Samsung UN105S9W UHD TV will be available for preorder soon—for a jaw-dropping $120,000. Once the sticker shock subsided, the news got me to wondering what else I could get for $120,000 (which is more than twice the median U.S. household income).

Here's how I would spend some of that $120,000 on highly rated products from Consumer Reports' tests. Join the discussion and tell us how you'd spend $120,000.

Our 25-year-old Sub-Zero has a space-wasting side-by-side design, it's something of an energy hog, and it lacks the latest convenience features, such as those on the Samsung RF31FMESBSR. This Samsung bottom-freezer has an external water dispenser with a built-in Sodastream sparkling-water maker, and a convenient middle drawer between the fridge compartment and the freezer. 

My New Jersey town got slammed during Superstorm Sandy in the fall of 2012, and we were without power at home for an extended period. We managed okay, but I'd still rather not deal with a blackout ever again. That's why a chunk of fantasy money will go to a whole-house generator. In our tests, the Kohler 14RESAL stationary model delivered ample smooth power and is among the quietest units we reviewed.

My 4-year-old Infiniti G37x is a great ride, but this new BMW, with one of the highest overall scores of any car we've tested, sounds awesome: "This car, successor to the laudable 135i, is just the right size for a little sportster, and it feels taut, quick, and eager, the way a BMW should," our Cars team noted. Sold.

Those three products total $58,000, but after tax, delivery, installation (epecially for the generator), I'd still have about $50,000 to $55,000 of my $120,000.

There are plenty of other things I'd get, including the Canon EOS 70D digital camera ($1,150) and the Sony Bravia XBR-65X900A UHD TV (at $2,900 it's $117,100 less than the Samsung UN105S9W). But as the team that covers personal finance for Consumer Reports would advise, my wife and I should invest this imaginary money for our three daughters' college funds.

Our oldest kid is about to start her sophomore year at Yale (nearly $60,000 a year for room and board, but not textbooks and sundries), and our 16-year-old twins are only two years from college. My colleagues' advice is smart for sure, since the cost of student loans is on the rise—as is student debt. Maybe the twins will go to a free college.

No doubt that such practical advice should win the day, so I'd invest the remaining fantasy funds. Got any hot stock tips?

—Steven H. Saltzman

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