Hey this is NJ
2nd highest cost of living in the country. 2nd highest percent of income paid to taxation. Only second to NYC of course.
Actually I was reading an intresting study the other day. I am a financial analyst and this came across my desk.
Apparently the standard for "affluent lifestyle" is what they call 100,000 / yr dollars in "lifestyle buying power".
They did a study and found out what that equated to in terms of nominal income in various parts of the country.
The results were pretty amazing:
NYC = 223,000 / yr
NJ - 184,000 / yr
San Franscisco bay area 177,000 /yr
So on the high end you need 1.8 to 2.2 times the income to live the same level of lifestyle in these areas.
In the middle suprisingly was Los Angeles at 103,000 / yr
The south east and Southern Mid west was the cheapest.
Jacksonville FL = 79,000 / yr
Dallas TX = 72,000 / yr
Atlanta GA = 68,000 / yr
So amazingly 68,000 a year median income gives you the same lifestyle buying power as 184,000 a year does here.
Economically the country is extremely divided in terms income and cost of living.
I once had a friend who right of college decided to take a job she was offered in Richmond VA for a 32,000 / yr salary. Now at the time I didnt quite understand the whole aforementioned relationship, and I was adamant that she was nuts and was going to starve or live in basically poverty-like conditions. This area really does leave you jaded as far as cost of living.
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