Living comfortably may take on a different meaning for everyone depending on their lifestyle, but not having to worry about bills, being able to save money for retirement and still having enough left for leisure is a good start for anyone.
It’s also no secret that the housing market has been exploding, with rents soaring and home prices out of reach for many Americans due to inflation and rising rates. A new GOBankingRates study examined some of the most expensive cities and what you need to live comfortably based on the prices of homes and rents, as well as median incomes.
GOBankingRates compiled data using Zillow for housing costs, as well as Sperling’s BestPlaces for expenditure categories such as groceries and healthcare. The median household income for each city was sourced from the American Consumer Survey from the U.S. Census. In addition, GOBankingRates used the 50/30/20 budgeting rule — dividing your income by spending 50% on needs, 30% on wants and 20% on savings — to calculate the required salary someone would need to earn to live comfortably in each city.
San Jose, California
- Median income: $125,075
- Income needed if you’re a homeowner: $262,998
- Income needed if you’re a renter: $123,865
If you want to be a homeowner in San Jose, you will need double the median income to live comfortably. Indeed, there is a whopping $139,133 discrepancy in income. However, being a renter will enable you to live comfortably, albeit by just a hair, as there is still an almost $2,000 gap in salary.
- Median income: $105,391
- Income needed if you’re a homeowner: $182,097
- Income needed if you’re a renter: $95,637
Renting in Seattle is an affordable option, with a median income of $105,391 and $95,637 in income needed to live comfortably. Being a homeowner on the other hand shows an almost $80,000 gap to live comfortably on the median income.
- Median income: $91,299
- Income needed if you’re a homeowner: $119,555
- Income needed if you’re a renter: $90,713
In Chandler, you can live comfortably as a renter, but it’ll be more difficult as a homeowner, the data shows. The income falls about $28,842 short for homeowners.
- Median income: $125,306
- Income needed if you’re a homeowner: $148,166
- Income needed if you’re a renter: $118,031
It’s not as much of a stretch to be a homeowner and live comfortably in Naples, but you’ll still be about $23,000 short. Meanwhile, being a renter is an affordable option.
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