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Cinderella knew what she was up to when she dressed up to the nines in borrowed clothes and swanned off to the ball.She may have been little more than a scullerymaid, but she was out to bag a prince, and she got one. From headlines warning millionaires of Slavic sirens out to grasp their expense accounts, to column inches devoted to mind-boggling divorce settlements.

Consider the more pragmatic bonuses of the good life.

No more scrimping and scraping to make your annual Roth IRA contribution.

These people no doubt married for love, but have continually had to put up with questions.

Recent moves by the Law Commission to give unmarried co-habitees the same financial claims as divorcees in the event of a split were hailed in the press almost gleefully as a gold-digger's charter.

No more working until you drop to ensure a comfortable retirement.

And no more worries about where your children will get into college (or how to pay for it). But how realistic is it for you, an ordinary wage slave with no more ties to the jet set than a business trip to Cleveland last month, to even meet, much less marry, a billionaire?

The aspiring woman not only supports him in all pursuits, but also adds value and adventure to his life.

He is a sophisticated gentleman who seeks a woman with drive that parallels his own.

A seven-figure donation from your beloved to the school of your choice and your kids are in the door, even if they're no smarter than grapefruit. We scoured the how-to-marry-rich literature and talked to society watchers, upscale matchmakers and wealth experts. Unfortunately, those who had already made it to Fat City refused to say how they got there. Fortunately, the ranks of those who are filthy rich, if not quite in the billionaire stratosphere, are increasing daily.

And we pored over divorce news to see how spouse No. "I am just not telling," said one billionaire's wife over her cellphone before hanging up. Marrying a billionaire is not beyond your grasp, as long as you're willing to work hard toward your goal. According to Merrill Lynch and Cap Gemini, a consulting company, there were 85,400 ultrahigh net worth individuals (UHNWIs) in 2005, the most recent year for which data were collected.

But just for a moment imagine the life that could be yours if you did.