Money Magazine says move to Newport for rich love

Newport Beach is the top U.S. city for the rich and unattached to call home, according CNN Money Magazine's nationwide rating of 100 best places to live.

The magazine rated Newport Beach No.1 as the best place to live for wealthy singles, with 30% of the population unattached and the average household income almost at $145,000, based on U.S. Census data and Onboard Informatics 2009 projections.

Irvine came in No. 5 on the list with 31% single and average income at $133,000.

However, although Newport may be awash with wealthy bachelors and bachelorettes, it doesn't mean that dating in the city will be any easier for anyone no matter how much money a single person makes.

"The more money that you make and the more independent and stable you become, then the less willing you are to compromise your values and settle for someone less than what it is you want [in a partner]," Louie Felix, CEO of Elite Personal Search, a Costa Mesa-based one-on-one dating service that caters to average income and high-end clients nationwide.

And equal, if not greater, income is often on people's list of criteria in potential mates. However, often isn't always, Felix said.

"If we feel someone is a really strong match, we will introduce them," Felix said of individuals with large differences in personal income.

"People know more about what they don't want than what they do want," he said. "We tend to have to challenge [clients] to re-think about what it is they really want."

The high standards of wealthy singles may correlate to Newport's population of divorced individuals: 13%, which is higher than the average rate — 8.4% — of the Money Magazine's 100 best places to live.

And Newport residents are looking for love at later stages in their lives. The median age reported in the U.S. Census is 43, which correlates with the age of the average dater, Felix said.

Mary Ann Kilgore, who runs Diamond Introductions, a matchmaking service out of San Clemente, also confirmed that her average client was in his or her 40s.

For many professionals, managing their career takes up too much time to have a relationship, resulting in more wealthy singles, she said.

"Another reason: Many women who married younger now find that they have their own lives and careers and are looking to make smarter dating choices," Kilgore said. "Or the ones who were entirely career-focused while they were younger are now finding that their careers are terrific but that their love life could use a boost."

The city also may be a hub of wealthy single activity because of its popularity as a place to live for young relocating business executives, she said.

"The way the coastal area is portrayed on TV makes it appear a very appealing place to live," she said. "And to live on the coast, it means you have to have the money to do so."

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