Article Image
IPFS News Link • Economy - Economics USA

It takes a $300,000 salary to be middle class in cities like San Francisco and NYC...

•, Sam Dogen

Let me tell you a sad story. In order to comfortably raise a family in an expensive coastal city like San Francisco or New York, you've got to make at least $300,000 a year. You can certainly raise a family earning less, as many do, but it won't be easy if your goal is to save for retirement, save for your child's education, own your own home instead of rent, and actually retire by a reasonable age.

Although $300,000 is a lot compared to the median household income in the United States of ~$62,000, it's not an outrageous sum of money once you look at the realistic income statement I've put together for this article. All expenses in my example use current prices. I've also cross-checked the expenses with my family's monthly expenses now that we have a son to make sure they are within reason.

I use $300,000 in this post because I also believe it is the ideal income for up to a family of four to experience maximum happiness.

At $300,000, you aren't paying an egregious amount in taxes, and you probably aren't killing yourself at work if both parents are working, but you're still earning enough to live a comfortable lifestyle anywhere in the world.