An annual salary of $100,000 is over the AMI of the US; however, the lifestyle with 100k differs day and night depending on the location. For example- 100k in NYC amounts to just $35,791 after deducting taxes and the cost of living. You might have to live with the bare minimum upon budgeting for necessary expenses such as taxes, groceries, rent, utilities, healthcare, education, and transportation.
According to PYMTS research, 51% of individuals earning 100k or more lived paycheck to paycheck. Millennials and Gen Zs find it nearly impossible to buy a metropolitan home with an annual $100k income. Such inflated regular goods and amenities pricing catalyzed the rising population in US suburbs and compact neighborhoods.
Top 5 US Cities to Live Comfortably with a $100k Yearly Salary
1. Madison, Mississippi
Madison is the perfect choice for a family looking for a sound schooling system thanks to the prestigious yet affordable schools and a 6.8% lower crime rate than the US average. The county has multiple public schools with a robust teaching system; it built a foundation among students, leading to 68.1% of residents having bachelor’s degrees or higher. Also, there are some esteemed private schools, such as Madison-Ridgeland Academy.
MRA offers a college-preparatory curriculum with small class sizes (16 students on average) for considerably less fees: the first child in a family has a tuition of $11,850/year for grades 6-12 and $7,240 for the elementary level. However, private schools in big cities like New York have astounding fees for similar schooling- an average of $20,899/year for elementary school and $26,418/year for high school. Since the Madison community has single-home listings starting from $227,000, you can admit your kids to prestigious schools without cutting the budget for the daily necessities.
2. Collierville, Tennessee
Collierville is an affluent yet affordable community with an average household income of nearly $100,000. It takes 25 mins to reach the Metropolitan- thanks to smooth traffic. Additionally, the bus fares and gas prices are 7% lower than the national average- making it convenient and economical for residents to get around.
Collierville takes pride in its strong sense of community, with 78% of the population being homeowners. You don’t have to get burdened by years of mortgage payments as the detached home price starts from $190,000. The favorable tax climate (TN has no personal income taxes), top-grade education, charming downtown, and abundant recreational activities make this suburb appealing for those looking to participate in FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early).
3. East Boston, Massachusetts
East Boston has a staggering 74% of Renters at all home types – leading to a very competitive renting market with 2-bed, 2-bath detached houses around the $3800-$4500 mark. A similarly sized single-family home of $749,900 costs a monthly payment of $4,654, including HOA, home insurance, and property taxes. So, why rent when you can buy your dream house for the same amount? Acquiring a property in the Eastie without financial strain is possible through loans and special incentives.
As the 100% AMI (Area Median Income) for a household of one person is $104,510, you can’t access the “BHA Section 8 to Homeownership Program” or other unique Federal loans for low-income families. However, individuals with a $100k annual income can access Jumbo loans that don’t follow Fannie Mae’s or Freddie Mac’s rules- with a maximum loan limit of $726,200 for 2023. With a fixed-rate Jumbo Mortgage, your interest rate stays the same for the life of the loan or term- ensuring financial stability for the future.
4. East Point, Georgia
East Point is a thriving suburb within the Atlanta Metro Area with a youthful populace -a median age of 35. This suburbia attracts more millennials through an affordable housing market with a median home value of $278,200- where single-family house prices go as low as $99,000.
While East Point boasts a walkability of 12 and a bike score of 11, the neighborhood provides access to two electric vehicle charging locations- featuring 12 level 2 and 8 DC fast charging points. The charging facilities decrease the gas cost and overall car maintenance. Also, the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) ensures cost-effective transportation through a comprehensive network of bus and train routes to the city center.
5. Bayside, Milwaukee
Bayside is the Mekkah for baby boomers ( 45%) and WFH employees (21.84%). The Livability score (80) and one of the US’s lowest crime indexes (23) ensure that your money can go a long way in this neighborhood. Even though the median home value is higher ($469,400) than in other suburbs, the low cost of living ensures residents can sustain themselves well with $100K.
Bayside is cost-efficient, considering energy bills, property upkeep, and insurance cost. Occupants can use solar power as this seaside is sunny and warm all year round. Homeowners don’t have to pay thousands for insurance since there is no chance of natural disasters -such as floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, and wildfires.
The unprecedented price hike of properties, gas, and groceries in big cities leads people to downsize or move to the suburbs. The diverse features of such communities help people adapt to the new environment while the residents can live without financial restraints.
Author: Shannon Quantock