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A more fair title would have been. Minimum household salary to live a comfortable, financially stable life in the coast. The new requirement to be the old middle class.
Though if we think about it, why? Why is it that magically, there is a critical number that once hit, financial stress goes away?
Until one goes past a certain number and different strss takes its place. That may be a fun article to write. Clearly DragonAsh is a jealous guy who feels bad that he lives in a mediocre house in the boondocks of Tokyo. Ah, the banter is so fun! Care to share when you reached financial independence and how much your budget is with how many kids?
Where do you live? You sound pretty bitter for some reason. Plenty of commenters have said the expenses are spot on, if not low. Prices in the last decade have gone crazy in these cities. DragonAsh- since you had live in all these expensive cities, would you mind sharing your expenses in these categories? Would love to compare line items by items. Still, this should give you a reasonable snapshot. As noted, family of four with a golden retriever that eats enough to be considered a third child….
Can you expand upon the property tax being so low and there being no mortgage or rent? London was more expensive for utilities, cheaper for food, Japan was cheaper for health care, more expensive for food, NY was more expensive for food, cheaper for transportation etc etc.
Either say how much you bought the house for and where or stop being so clueless and enjoy your Midwestern winter. I paid cash for my second house in London. I paid cash for my current house in downtown Tokyo.
Your budget is a good reference for my future cash flow. Those tend to get brushed aside in my budget. I live in a 1 br apartment in a nice neighborhood in SF wife, no kids , takes two annual overseas vacations, have expensive hobbies but try to be aware of costs in everyday life.
This is about 50k cheaper than your family above and not even trying to live especially frugal. Enjoy your freedom now and get back to me when you have one or two kids and let me know how your costs change. San Fran sounds like a real rip-off.
At some point one begins to question if it is even worth the effort…. Since you have a location independent business, that scores another point for packing up and moving to HI sooner rather than later.
My wife loves clothes so we spend more than your budget there. I also think your vacation budget is low and your savings are low. I suppose if you are driving rather than flying that might be possible, otherwise airfare and hotel will eat that entire amount and you still have actual activities and food to pay for. Virtually every number in it is very close for our household finances.
A bunch of thoughts:. Sure, in single earner households, families might rarely eat take-out or go out to eat. But with two working parents, it might be common for no one to be home before 6: But forget anything that requires preheating an oven, 15 minutes of prep, and 35 minutes of baking unless you want your kids eating dinner at 8pm on a school night.
So, for many of these families, pizza, fast-casual, or ethnic takeout is going to be a necessity. I do a ton of this stuff myself but not everyone I know feels comfortable climbing up tall ladders. But all of this stuff is a tradeoff between time and money. Families with dual incomes who make a fair amount of money generally have far less time than many commenters likely have. I found the budget to be more or less correct for a 2-parent, 1-child household. Even where some details are a bit different, the outcome is about the same.
Solo Prosperity — Do you have a link to this excel sheet or resources to run these calculations myself. That home that sold for 1. This is very personal, but I would rather have a smaller lot and small older house in a fabulous area of the city near the beaches, parks, walkable to most places, great shopping, university, restaurants, clubs, entertainment, 15 minute drive maximum to anything, and 30 minutes to the airport and farms to buy produce in summer time, than have a large lot with sprawling house in the surburbs, but minute drive into the city and have to do all my shopping by car at a mall.
Other benefits of the city life, are much better property price appreciation, and good location for getting tenants to rent your rooms or basement suite. You pay for location but you also have more property appreciation. In a creepy 60 year old house! And above all no kids or wife to feed or beat. You know what I had to play with when I was a little brat? Legos, Lincoln logs, jigsaw puzzles—all second-hand!
I made my own games! How much does Paul McCartney charge per hour? I mean fuel for the body? You guys apparently eat at fine ristorantes and sip wine with your Russian caviar. You need it as part of your image. But again what do I know? Or carry a phone with me. My recommendation is the Living Stingy site for a more Realistic approach to surviving and thriving even if the guy who runs it is gay and has a queer fixation on BMWs and golf carts! I know quite a few people that have their dinners ordered to work, they bring them home and eat dinner with their significant others, and then continue working.
This is a great post! I, for one, appreciate the… shall I call it validation? I have found myself staring at my budget every few months, wondering why I was spending so much money and was there anywhere I could cut back?
After looking at your budget list, I found that our budget was quite in line with it. In these coastal cities, one is usually purchasing an older home that needs annual maintenance of some sort house painting, roof repair, etc.
The reality is retirement, let alone early retirement is a pipe dream for the vast majority. Good attention grabbing title though for click bait! From there, expensive housing and higher SF prices are at play here. That budget was enough to send my sister and I to a public university and put a significant amount into retirement. They bought it without a mortgage. Their income was enough to prevent taking on debt and to save for retirement, but our lives were absolutely ordinary.
The biggest vacation we ever took was to Yellowstone. My parents drive Fords, Toyotas and Chrystlers. They never worried about money, but we had a pretty basic life.
The only difference is my folks could save, invest and avoid debt. Hopefully get out of debt and stay there.
These cost estimations seem pretty high for middle class, but it really depends on your definition of middle class. However, ignoring all of that, I think the home price is something that is throwing people off. I live on Long Island, a very expensive part of New York. For a house that is 1, — 1, square feet, probably with a semi-finished basement and a 2 car driveway. The home will be completely custom, finished, and in perfect shape.
Usually 6 bedrooms, bathrooms throughout 4, — 6, square feet, multiple garages, and a driveway that can fit 10 cars. Clearly, these homes are different. But another thing to consider is what sampling bias we are imposing. You talk about being middle class for coastal cities. Coastal cities are so much more expensive than everywhere else in the country. But you made the decision to own property in Manhattan. The same thing goes for those people in San Francisco.
I was originally thinking of moving to California but I looked at the cost of living and its just too much. You definitely a high earner dual income. Also why would I ever pay 20k for property taxes. They city better be offering free car maintenance, house maintenance, and free messages half the year for 20k a year.
Here are some statistics from bls on wages — 2. I can write an entire essay on how hard it is now for people in STEM especially the ones who want a Ph. Readers, internalize that number. That is a vast concentration of earning power and, in some cases, actual wealth.
People want to live there and are willing, and in some cases, able to pay the freight, even if it sounds difficult. This budget — while no doubt well-intentioned — explains all sorts of problems related to consumerism in modern American life. Perhaps most of your respondents are in this camp. It will be easier with your wife presumably staying at home and making much cheaper, healthier meals. Even if you have oh, hypothetically speaking 8 children.
Especially after spending all that time homeschooling. Who will spend the hours homeschooling since both parents are working? Or how do you make up for the lost income if one parent homeschools?
First, thanks for responding. Love the blog — even when I vehemently disagree with it! But at least I have hard data Source: Answering your direct question, vacations can be cheap.
It depends on what you want to get from them. It also depends which may be part of your expense on whether you have family far away that you have to spend tremendous amounts of money just to locate yourself to see. But the root cause question here is this: What do you value in life? What is most important? How about the top 5? Once you have those nailed down, your spending will follow.
For me, my value system drives a desire to spend as little as possible so that there is both financial cushion and the ability to help others significantly. I also am blessed by the opposite of what most people have: So let me share my spending on categories for a recent year for which my spending was moderately above average. Most of the churches I support have significant benevolence funds that also help the poor, which is as it should be.
A quarter of this alone is for piano lessons. Since we homeschool, this demonstrates a pretty efficient level of expense: One trip to visit in-laws. This includes Eating Out when on the road — we mostly pack a cooler with sandwiches, fruits, veggies, nuts and other reasonably healthy foods. This year, there was a 50 cent Frosty special score! Cost each time for Spent an embarrassingly large amount of eating out on… coffee.
This includes everything bought at a grocery store — shampoo, garbage bags, toilet paper, etc. Costco was our friend here — cheap in bulk. Sales are great too — there are no double or triple coupons, but around holidays there are great deals. Premiums were almost half this total. Gift for non-immediate family were the vast majority.
Note that I make about 4x the median household income, but live as though I make slightly more than the median. Without being deprived, although without a lot that most people spend money on. I suppose this is just a case of differing values and priorities. If you want your children influenced by other adults, you can easily — very easily — do that through homeschooling.
And at a higher level of diversity than in a classroom where they will be interacting with overwhelmingly education majors. And save hundreds of thousands of dollars over their childhood doing so. If you want travel, you can do that too. You can buy off-season. You can go to exotic but not-as-popular locales.
You can do skiing, sports, etc. You certainly can do pick up games for next to nothing, go skiing at off-times and at less glamorous places, etc. The big problem here is a shifting of the goalposts.
First class, even once, is overwhelmingly an upper class experience. Skiing, fully funded college accounts, etc. Being a new car, although even the lower classes do it, is a luxury experience. And trying to do all of them?
You may not FEEL middle class because marketing, your peers and your neighbors are going to encourage you to live larger than you can really afford, but you are absolutely able to do so.
I agree with pretty much all of the above, except that I think you define middle class more narrowly than I do. It also means, in part, being able to provide your children with the same upbringing that you had assuming you perceive that you had a middle class upbringing. Our acquaintances who regularly fly first class, send their kids to private k school, drive range rovers, eat at expensive restaurants, and wear designer threads — they are the upper class.
And our other acquaintances who fly private, live in mansions, have second third, and fourth homes — they are the wealthy. Orthros, Well done, well done. Thank you for contributing a modest and meaningful suggestion at life choices to this conversation.
Raising kids is as in expensive as you want it to be. Private, public, home school. Private, public in state , community college or gasp trade school. Sam, how about writing a follow up on how to reduce the budget in this article so more people can become financially independent like us? That is exactly how folks can view this post to achieve financial independence sooner, rather than later. I will write a follow up post about solutions to reduce the budget and increase the income for folks stuck in such a situation.
I do not think the numbers are way off. A similar sized townhouse would be about k to 1 M. You would have to deal with hour plus commute each way assuming you take BART. For us the food, clothing, car cost are far lower than projected here. But our vacations are far more expensive. We take 3 vacations: Spring, Summer and Winter breaks. A summer trip to France can easily cost 20k per family. But on the other hand, I am still driving my Nissan Sentra I purchased right after college in We shop for clothes at Target or online and its not very frequent.
For me these amounts seems toppy and indeed symptomatic of excessive consumerism, which drives misery because of the wages needing to be earned to pay for this lifestyle. Cutting back on the eating out, the SUV and the 1. I always hate these posts. We know plenty of people who do it for far less.
These posts always insist that things that are luxuries like 3! And daycare only lasts 5 years. So I have to prioritize, and housing and vacations are where I save.
In interested in how you find an IRA on top of a fully funded K. I thought that was not allowed. IRAs and k s are separate. If you qualify for each, then you can fund both up to the limit. Maybe that causes the misperception? And Roth IRAs do have income limitations for funding. Feels like a retirement crisis is on the horizon…. The numbers are roughly accurate although there is a wide range. For ex, the suburbs of Boston and prime Manhattan lifestyles also have vast economic differences.
I would actually move the numbers up for prime areas. However, those living in the middle of the country may understand this better knowing that most of the rest of the world feels this way about the US. For ex, when my father moved my family to the US in the s, his original plan was to buy 1 kitchen appliance every year. Toaster on yr 1, oven yr 2, etc, because where we lived, only someone really wealthy could afford all of these.
Of course, once we bought our first house, it had everything in it. He was shocked that he could afford all of this as a nuclear engineer, relatively easily. He joked to me this year that he hit all of his 10 yr goals in a month when he moved here. You would not be able to buy that in prime Manhattan for twice as much. For me the lifestyle and expenses are worth it for now.
Great analysis and examples! I think semantics may be causing some of the disconnect here. The title of the piece indicates that K gets you a middle class lifestyle, not that it is a middle class income. If you want to live like upper class, then K will do it almost anywhere in the country other than these few ridiculously overpriced cities.
Financial Samurai- hope u read this. Your analysis is spot on. I used to live in Cali and sold my place and moved to Chicago.
I think what people miss is that money should give u options but in expensive cities it takes a lot more money to get those options. I want to invest with Realty Shares — they apparently will have a new fund soon.
Any thoughts on this? I would stay away from Chicago real estate. I updated this post with the latest rent declines in the major cities: I have a decent amount of money invested with them now and have been getting my distributions but they are all in the early stages and not close to exits. Our income fits your profile, but our expenses were significantly less until we chose to buy the big house on the hill side with the pool. Living in the normal house, I felt very middle class, and comfortable.
Living in the big house and spending starting to approach your totals, I was very aware that I lived more comfortably than most and would consider myself upper middle class.
A couple other observations: Sink hole coverage is a large portion of that, but insurance rates are higher here -Many of our friends in the Bay Area had incomes and expenses similar to your example. The difference in savings rate was really about life-style choices. Expensive dinners, professional sporting events, shows, etc. Getting consistently above k networth increase per year is a preferred goal for me. Family Household income plus networth increase above k already has has been done.
My preference would be for networth increases, by itself, to be consistently above k. Think I could do that before the household number. Consistent k networth increase in one year is a nice goal. The food budget is out of control. But hey who am I to judge? There is more then one way to live life and hopefully be happy. So where do the money go? Yeah we can cut out the vacations all together and replace them with day trips and staycations, for the next 20 years.
Then why live here at all? Might as well move somewhere half the costs, with must less interesting jobs, and retire early. I live in San Francisco and a K combined family income is so common. The traditional definition of middle class also had been shifting…It historically has meant home ownership, savings, vacations, health care coverage etc.
We are super frugal, except on daycare spending. Live in flip in a way that you make an extra K every two years. Au pair for childcare or an option thats not the best of the best high end daycare 4.
Real Estate Professional Status so you can get some tax benefits on one high income earner while the other stays home or works part time.
I find all these replies interesting. The more I visit SF and interact with many of the people who live there, the less I care for the place. Do people really challenge and opine at pregnant families as to how dare they have a child because of cost?
Is that what kind of society is there?? You will just be raising spoiled brats who think they are the freakin center of the universe. You have a duty to raise strong, willed, emotionally intelligent people who can fend for themselves and not be taken advantage of by others. Reading this thing over again…scary stuff.
I do everything myself. Probably, as you hire people to hand-polish your pylons and custom paving stone driveways! Jones Esquire next door has Crews come to blow off each and every leaf and pick up each and every twig!
You gotta do that, too, to be Accepted as an equal! Natural ground coverings which grow via Rain! Wow, what a concept! No poisons, no fertilizers, no annoying twits jumping around with chainsaw-loud machinery.
A few weeds here and there getting a little high, take out a push lawn mower once a month or two. Do it yourself, you lazy bastards! Send in the serfs! All that money spent Per Year? Dunno about you lot but I wear the same clothes over and over again—across years, even Decades! It takes out the dirt and the stuff looks like new. So long as the garments are not ripped or over- stained you can use them over and over again! I wish I could do this with the waste material I excrete! I feel sorry for you, honestly I do.
Just think of all the money saved there—money making money via interest! Kids are The fastest way to go broke in our society. The greater the number, the faster.
Follow the herd, programmed by commercials, TV, movies Product placements! Comparing yourselves to your neighbors. Take responsibility for your actions and SAVE Money if you want to become financially independent like yours truly here. You see, since then, Eff Ess has…changed.
Eff Ess must be Saved! This is definitely the mentality on the coasts. What we did was live and flip. Bought a starter home and sold 2 years later, bought a bigger place and sold 2 years later etc. Luckily the appreciation worked for us and we have made money each time to off set selling costs. We also worked with the same realtor who gave us a discount for using him several times.
We bought our first place in and we are in our 4th home worth over 2 million but we only have a , mortgage at 3. The first house is not your dream house. If you have two young people earning good salaries, just cut expenses to the bone, and save everything, then buy when you see something that will appreciate.
When it happends fast, it will not seem like a chore, it will be exciting. Have foreign student boarders, anything to get ahead. Do not have babies until you have a house.
If you do all this when you are first starting out, do not ever get into debt except for mortgage debt , you will make that snowball that will keep on rolling for the rest of your lives.
Or you can do it the other way, and spend when you are young, go into debt, and then spend your entire lives living a high middle class life, working, commuting, not having time to cook dinner for kids, and making do with a 3 week vacation. Now that is a chore. I have been preaching compounding effect all my life, and it works.
With two, the work to maintain a house and cook meals is minimal I am single and I find it easy and fun. Personally I would rather spend money on travel than eating out every night just to avoid 10 minutes of cooking. When you buy cars and houses, think about upkeep costs. With unemployment so low here, inflation is being pressured upwards at possibly a higher rate than the rest of the country. However the mountains and large, cosmopolitan city living offer a great alternative to coastal living.
I come from Los Angeles, and I get the difference. But the trajectory of property prices is concerning nonetheless. Denver housing is expensive to buy but I rent in the heart of downtown and manage just fine. I was going more for a lighthearted, tongue-in-cheek attempt.
I get that frustration and empathize. Fun to get some local perspective. I grew up on the western slope of the state where all the true outdoor fun is had! It was not a massive hurdle to own a SFH in a core neighborhood. That is no longer the case. I absolutely love Colorado and being in Denver with all the changes has been fun. This city is no doubt on the map though and I would not hold off buying if you want a peice of Colorado. The reality I face now is does it make sense to buy the second one and keep the first as rental.
Or sell the first to buy the second and invest in better income producing properties as everything has appreciated so much? SF is pretty expensive. A few of my coworkers came from the Bay Area becuase of the high cost of living home price, and high rent.
Maybe upper middle class. Income is a funny thing. Both our families came to the US with nothing, so my wife and I went from low income assisted living to high middle class in 40 years of our lives. We do donate more than we do in the past, but we still worry about saving for retirement, and college for two etc…. Now more than ever one should pay attention really hard to all matters in relation to finance: With this sudden drop in value in ETFs of real estate special US , maybe we have an opportunity to invest.
NY, PA has one as well which are mandatory. This will increase taxes by 2k. I can totally see someone spending at this level. To add a personal perspective I live in San Mateo less than 30 mins from you. Here is the view from a savers perspective. We top at 90K in expenses. Our bulk shopping is costco plus asian grocery stores. Please do post more on it, as this number is something I cannot absorb for median level. I also would draw your attention to this user case study post on frugalwoods from San Francisco.
I think you have it pretty accurate. We are at the same number in Portland Oregon. Myself , Wife You could nit pick at numbers here and there…but its not worth it.
Many ways of doing it but I fully agree…. We are on a 15yr home load and save a bit more than your example but that is primarily because we went live in childcare and a lot of home cooking. But we both work hard. Too tired to shop! How are they doing 25 hours per week if both parents work? Not to mention a weekly date night. Kids are not cheap but they are worth it!!
But, I am waiting for the stock market to go up a little further before derisking a bit more. My house is crazy though. We live about 40 minutes south of San Francisco definitely not in the high-cost city of S. Redfin has it higher. We just received a notice from Redfin stating houses in our area have increased by What the heck is driving that? At the height of the housing bubble, our house was , So is there another bubble around the corner?
If there is I wonder where it would come from since credit standards are much tighter? The property taxes on a house this expensive will be higher than my mortgage was when I had a mortgage. We go to open houses, and they are flooded with prospective buyers in even the tiniest of homes. I am selling some stock in hopes to by a rental property near my son. Homes there go around , dollars. In terms of expenses, we do not spend as much as what you put on here Sam. Babies can get attached to a book as early as 12 months based on my experience.
All the other expenses you have seems pretty spot on. Your right about childcare expenses, their is no way to get around it unless you have family close by that is willing to take care of the kid s. A great demonstration of why geographic arbitrage works. Too hard to build wealth. Some of my expenses are higher and some are lower but back when we had a mortgage that was about what we were spending.
What they can afford is a middle class lifestyle. For a doctor, software programmer, Youtube content creator, or someone like Sam, sure. That means both spouses have to be able to either find a job in podunk, Arkansas, or work remotely. In my case I do work remotely and have for years , but my wife is absolutely unable to, and never will be. I know a lot of people who have asked their NYC firms if they could relocate to Burlington, Vermont to be closer to the family, and got a big fat no in response….
I kind of get California because of the weather, but paying all that money to live near NYC I do not get. Housing and childcare are the biggest expenses in the coast. He actually forget, gift giving is also a bug Expense category.
Eating out for me was the easiest way to trim fat off the top. We are a dual income, Outer Sunset San Francisco family of 4 the kids are under 5. Childcare costs are killer, yes. And yes, we are exhausted.
We started pressure cooking using a multi function device and it is a game changer. Solid frozen meat on the table in Rice in 15, steel cut oats in 9. Both time and money saved. Truly amazing to turn a frozen hunk of meet into soft food that quickly. I buy 10 lb. It saves money and the blue berries taste much better than store bought and you never get a moldy one. Same for all the other summer fruit. Takes a couple of minutes in the evening to get a box into the freezer.
You eat local summer fruit all year round. I can make a tray of roasted chicken thighs or pork chops or steak with vegetables in 30 minutes tops less for fish. Preparation time 5 minutes. If I forget to thaw meat, I microwave for a minute. My freezer is full of venison: Giles, not much game in the city that you can hunt although lots of deer, eagles, coyotes, the odd cougar, and other wildlife in and near the city. Although there is a bird sanctuary where some hunting of migratory birds is allowed.
I have read that Canadians eat the highest proportion of wild foods fish, clams, game, berries, mushrooms of any country. Although many Canadians never eat any. Some people in my area right in the heart of the city forage in the parks for nettles, dandelions greens, fiddleheads, etc. Vancouver is actually pretty wild with sea and mountains and forest right around and in the city.
I am jealous of the venison. I need second freezer for meat. Small one to tuck into a corner somewhere. It can be a big challenge in a city with lots of yummy diverse choices tho. Easier to cook at home in remote towns with less temptations. Slow cooker is fantastic to come home to for gourmet soup and hot food in the winters, but what do u do for summers? Sushi gets expensive regularly.
Love those sweet buns! This is an interesting post. I am from Sydney, Australia and can somewhat relate to this article given Sydney is one of the most expensive cities to live. Surely, someone who is on the path to financial freedom thinks and acts differently compared to someone running the rat race and trying to keep up with their peer group. I agree it is not enough to be classified as wealthy or rich in SF or in Sydney but its enough to give you the ammunition to continue on the path of FIRE whilst leaving a decent lifestyle at the same time.
When we had our first child in the expensive central California coastal city, I did the calculations for my wife working vs not. When her salary was added to mine as taxable income with Federal, California, Fica and loss of deductions with rising income, worthless health insurance contributions since we were already insured through my work, added childcare costs, added commuting costs then….
We did a similar calc, but one thing to consider is that usually leaving work is a one-way street. I respect your decision, but people sometimes think of it as short-term i. I have no children in a HCOL area. The charity is a bit low. I also see no provision for long term care.
You not have it now but you should start saving for it now given the costs. A couple of things immediately stand out. That seems high as well. That was a long time ago now but still this seems excessive to me.
I live in a coastal area, suburb of Philly and have 2 kids. Saved for college for both. Committed to funding 4 years for each one if they are reasonable.
My first will start Penn State in the fall. Yes, for a state school. So, saving for education is rough for the middle class. I made great sacrifices to do that. This really illustrates how society has become a small amount of haves versus a large amount of have nots. I am in the haves category so I guess I should not complain.
However, what we are seeing politically is an expression of have nots being extremely angry. The next big shock may be from the left. Society needs to figure this out. A LOT less than 1. My oldest is a decent student but not quite U of Penn material. My youngest may be headed that way. However, my oldest is also a hard worker who knows how to make money.
My younger one is good with the books but struggles with jobs. So, each has their own strengths and weaknesses.
I plan to teach him everything about business and various types of jobs due to our online business. Look at the last recession. The UE rate was 3x higher for non college grads than for college grads. Not that college is the end all and be all. I think college is important for certain fields. Trade schools for others or none at all if you are part of the. I actually think college is more important today than ever before. However, it is too expensive for many reasons.
This article still applies: I base our level based off the max state tax deductible amount. Sam — I thought I did with my link to the AP article and the stats from the last recession. From my experience though, a large majority needs both. A vast minority does not need education but the earnings statistics prove the value of a college education. There are problems on the cost side. I bought a home in East San Jose in , still close to the bottom of the market.
Given living in a poor school district, there is an after-school program that both my kindergartener and second grader qualify for.
We pick them up at 6PM. If they choose to blow it trying to go out of state, good luck to them. I lived in Singapore for 5 years consistently ranked no 1 in total cost of living worldwide and came away from that pricey experience telling myself I will never live in a high COL area again if given the choice.
Geo-arbitrage is truly one of the mightiest tools in the US that MANY people elsewhere simply do not have, or not to the same degree. Some people are forced to go where the work is, but is the quality of life in the expensive coastal cities so great to offset the total life cost?
The number of life options given to me in a lower cost of living area far outweigh the downsides, in my view. If I reach financial independence far faster living in flyover country for a few years, I can then spend my time visiting expensive areas and enjoying their amenities…. Late to comment, but have a few thoughts: Geo-Arbitrage love that term is alive and well in our home.
My husband is an MD, and we live in western NY. Utilities are also reasonable, as well as auto and home insurance, entertainment, maintenance services, etc. Our home is 2, sq. We have lived in it for 30 years. Just recently have home values begun to increase. Because they had been basically flat for 25 years, our area did not suffer in the real estate downturn.
My husband earns a very decent salary probably comparable to what an MD would earn in a large coastal city and we live cheaply. He grew up here and we loved raising our family here.
The schools are top notch, and my boys attended Ivy League colleges. Being from the tri-state nyc area, and having a son and sister living there, I think your numbers are on target.
So I guess we are lucky to have been able to avoid the rat race and live an upper class life. We can get to Toronto and NY fairly easily, so we have enjoyed the best of both worlds. Not sure where we will go in retirement, but I have a feeling we will at least keep a small home here, and maybe leave for the winters. That house is 5 minutes from the interstates, 15 min from the airport. Tons of colleges around here and unemployment is low as well.
A million people in the greater area but no major traffic problems. If you put the numbers in any cost of living comparison calculator, it makes sense. That income level you should be able to afford 2 million dollar apartment, nothing luxurious In Indianapolis it is about k. Which would allow a k house, which is not a mansion in Indianapolis but nice upper middle class house When I put these numbers in the cost of living calculator it actually is almost exact. For example compare Indy to San Fran, if you made k in San Fran, you would need only k in Indy for same lifestyle.
Now if your single and making that much then your having a grand time. That would be insane. Wandering about in stores and spending money is not a productive use of valuable time. Furthermore, where would they store all of that? Will they be renting a warehouse? High quality classic clothing lasts and looks great for a very long time. I have some things years old and they are still cool. Some people would spend that on kitchen appliances or sports equipment but I prefer clothing.
It can be time consuming to shop, but I have 3 favourite stores and buy times a year. I am looking for specific items that I have wanted for awhile, not just wandering around in malls buying random items on impulse.
There have been years e. I think the mortgage number is a little off or there is a huge assumption about a down payment.
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