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Minimum Salary Needed To Be Happy in the Biggest Cities in USA

PublisherPublisher 9040 replies110 threads Senior Member
Purdue University Study November, 2019:

San Francisco--$320,000
San Jose--$273,000
New York City--$220,000

Seattle--$214,200
Honolulu--$211,115
Oakland--$211,260

Los Angeles--$205,000
Boston--$190,680
San Diego--$186,375

Wash DC--$182,595
Portland, Oregon--$155,200
Denver--$151,410

Miami--$144,000
Austin, Texas--$136,500
Sacramento--$134,000

Las Vegas, Nevada--$126,105

Chicago--$123,690
Minneapolis--$122,200
Atlanta--$122,000

Phoenix--$119,070
Orlando, Fla.--$118,020
Colorado Springs--$118,545

Raleigh, NC--$116,550
Nashville--$116,000
Dallas, Texas--$113,085

New Orleans--$113,000
Charlotte, NC--$112,035
Houston--$110,000

Jacksonville, Fla.--$105,000
Tucson, Arizona--$104,370
Albuquerque, New Mexico--$103,215

San Antonio--$101,535
Louisville, Ky.--$101,115
Omaha, Nebraska--$99,700

Kansas City, Mo.--$96,500
Okla. City--$96,000
Columbus, Ohio--$95,000

Milwaukee, Wisc.--$94,500
Tulsa, Okla.--$94,080
Indianapolis--$92,300

El Paso, Texas--$91,560
Memphis, Tenn.--$88,515
Cleveland, Ohio--$80,955

I wonder whether or not this Purdue University study considered student loan payments.
15 replies
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Replies to: Minimum Salary Needed To Be Happy in the Biggest Cities in USA

  • PublisherPublisher 9040 replies110 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    Interesting that Detroit was not listed.

    Maybe no amount of money can buy happiness in Detroit ?

    Or has Detroit's population shrunk so much that it is no longer considered a big city in the US ?
    edited December 2019
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  • PublisherPublisher 9040 replies110 threads Senior Member
    Now, when it comes time to discuss a raise, all we need to do is show this study & say: "All I want is to be happy."
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  • milgymfammilgymfam 1078 replies16 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    What? We’ve (a family of four) lived happily in four of the top ten listed there on a third to a quarter of the salaries listed- or less.
    edited December 2019
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  • PublisherPublisher 9040 replies110 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    But, apparently you weren't happy there.

    What else can I say ? It's a study. It's on the internet. So it has to be true.
    edited December 2019
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  • doschicosdoschicos 21988 replies232 threads Senior Member
    This post is useless without more info - for an individual or a family of 4? What criteria makes one "happy"? I'll go out on a limb and say it is pretty useless even with more info as post #3 indicates.

    There are plenty of online tools to compare costs from city to city.
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  • PublisherPublisher 9040 replies110 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    Agree. But I just do what the internet tells me to do.

    It could be accurate, after all, most 26 year-old, first year, NYC biglaw attorneys complain about the quality of their lives and they make a base salary of $190,000 plus a $15,000 year end bonus which is clearly less than the required $220,000 needed in order to be happy.
    edited December 2019
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  • PublisherPublisher 9040 replies110 threads Senior Member
    Am I the only one who suspects that this is a ploy to get us all to move to Cleveland ?
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  • PublisherPublisher 9040 replies110 threads Senior Member
    The Purdue University study includes two lower categories in addition what salary it takes to be happy in a particular city.

    For example:

    Seattle = Happy = $214,200

    Seattle = life evaluation level = $193,800

    Seattle = emotional well being level of income = $122,400 --$153,000.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 8291 replies70 threads Senior Member
    Cleveland Rocks! :)
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  • EconPopEconPop 418 replies7 threads Member
    How much would it take to live in Seattle and be a little morose most of the time?
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  • PublisherPublisher 9040 replies110 threads Senior Member
    @EconPop: $120,000 assuming single & no student loan debt.
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  • sushirittosushiritto 4540 replies17 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    Publisher wrote: »
    Am I the only one who suspects that this is a ploy to get us all to move to Cleveland ?
    Publisher wrote: »
    Interesting that Detroit was not listed.

    Maybe no amount of money can buy happiness in Detroit ?

    Or has Detroit's population shrunk so much that it is no longer considered a big city in the US ?

    There's a connection here that I think you're missing. It's obviously either researched and written by a Buckeyes fan or it's funded by a Buckeyes fan.

    Go Blue!
    edited December 2019
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  • sushirittosushiritto 4540 replies17 threads Senior Member
    Publisher wrote: »
    The Purdue University study includes two lower categories in addition what salary it takes to be happy in a particular city.

    For example:

    Seattle = Happy = $214,200

    Seattle = life evaluation level = $193,800

    Seattle = emotional well being level of income = $122,400 --$153,000.

    Chris Peterson, the now former football coach of the Washington Huskies, wasn't happy and he was making $5MM/year in Seattle. :lol:
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  • PublisherPublisher 9040 replies110 threads Senior Member
    Football Coach Peterson was happy for about 8 years, but needs time to recharge as he may be suffering from a bit of burnout.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 79714 replies712 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    Seems like it is based on:
    https://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2018/Q1/money-only-buys-happiness-for-a-certain-amount.html
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/321743107_Happiness_Income_Satiation_and_Turning_Points_Around_the_World
    with list of cities from:
    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/minimum-salary-happy-biggest-cities-100000022.html

    Andrew Jebb (the lead author) said that "We found that the ideal income point is $95,000 for life evaluation and $60,000 to $75,000 for emotional well-being." (The amount is for individuals.) Note that "life evaluation" is a lower level than what the second linked page lists to be happy. For example, that page lists $182,820-$228,525 for "emotional well-being", $289,465 for "life evaluation", and $319,935 to "be happy" in San Francisco. No way do any of these make sense, unless they are based on very expensive lifestyles.

    According to https://dqydj.com/average-median-top-individual-income-percentiles/ , $95,000 ("life evaluation") is about the 85th percentile; $60,000 to $75,000 ("emotional well-being") is 68th-77th percentile.

    On the other hand, if people really do feel that these income levels are "poor" (seems like a common theme on these forums where a high enough income not to get college financial aid for the kids is only "middle class"), then it is not surprising that there is so much focus on high pay jobs like investment banking, management consulting, biglaw, the highest paid physician specialties, etc.. and the college paths to get to those jobs.
    edited December 2019
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