I always said that a six-figure salary doesn’t mean much in Manhattan — it seems like everywhere I turn I run into 26-year-olds making at least $150k a year, or people younger than me buying $1.2 million apartments. (And yes, these are real example of my friends and acquaintances!)
According to the White House, the $250k salary is the mark of wealth in the U.S. However, it is obvious when taking into account cities like New York that $250k does not have the same effect in different parts of the country. CNNMoney has compiled a Google Map to show just that — in Manhattan, you would need to make $545k/year to maintain the same lifestyle as someone making $250k/year living in Missoula, Montana (where the cost of living index is exactly at 100).
Clicking through the red pointers (which marks cities whose cost of living are above average), it seems that Manhattan is the most expensive place to live in the U.S., and frankly I’m not surprised. The last time J and I went down to Baltimore, we marveled at the number of luxury, waterfront condos on sale in the $200k-$300k range and we couldn’t help but wonder if we made a mistake moving back up to NY.
How does you city compare to the rest of the nation? Are you surprised by the numbers?