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This is Insane! - Page 3

post #41 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by cravenab00 View Post
$2800 for rent!!!!!!???????????

(faints)

i pay $525 rent for my newly remodeled 1800 square foot 4 bedroom house on a half acre.

is it really worth living in a place like that with rent so high?
Yes.

A million things to do, people to meet, diversity, variety, yummy food, cultural experiences, etc etc etc. Yup. I'd say it's worth every single penny.
post #42 of 90
My rent is $2400 on a 1400 sq foot townhouse next to the airport. I'm on O'ahu. Rents are NUTS here...and the pay is not that high. I don't know how people can function here, the cost of living is crazy. Lots of people work 2 jobs or more from what I've heard.
post #43 of 90
http://www.bankrate.com/brm/movecalc.asp

Wonder how accurate this calculator is?
post #44 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by ikesmom View Post
http://www.bankrate.com/brm/movecalc.asp

Wonder how accurate this calculator is?
From my experience, it was pretty accurate. It said we needed to make a little over 60% more where we lived on Long Island to equal the same standard of living we have here in Austin, and that seems right to me.

Unfortunately, in order for us to make that much more money up there, we had to work a lot more. Dh worked such long hours (and I worked part-time when he was off) that we NEVER saw each other. It wasn't worth it.
post #45 of 90
Yep, it is kind of crazy. When I was trying to leave my ex, I applied for a teaching job in the city (NY) and got it, but when I found out how much the pay was, there's no way I could have taken it, especially not with two little ones in day care. It's crazy expensive - BUT, there are huge benefits to living in a city.
post #46 of 90

And why should NYC

Quote:
Originally Posted by JTA Mom View Post
I'm not saying it's impossible to live there, just that it shouldn't take an upper middle class salary to be middle class, kwim? What's strange about saying that it shouldn't take 6 figures to be middle class in NY? That's all I was saying.

Ami

be any different from any other major metropolitan area around the globe?

London, Paris, Dehli, Singapore, Hong Kong, etc...

It does take 6 figures to live (and I mean live in a manner that we would recognize) in any of these or other major financial and commercial cities.

Jill H.

(lucky mom to Amelia 18, Camille 16, Evan 13, and Gracie 11)
post #47 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by acegmom View Post
It does take 6 figures to live (and I mean live in a manor we would recognize) in any of these or other major financial and commercial cities.
I wouldn't mind living in a manor, even if I couldn't recognize it.
post #48 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by JTA Mom View Post

I'm not sure why you find something 'strange' about my post? What's strange about saying that it shouldn't take 6 figures to be middle class in NY? That's all I was saying.

Ami
A "middle class salary" is completely relative. Six figures is not an upper middle class salary in NYC.
post #49 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delicateflower View Post
I wouldn't mind living in a manor, even if I couldn't recognize it.
post #50 of 90
You couldn't pay me enough money to live in NYC. I know, Carrie Bradshaw would just die to hear that.
post #51 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by JTA Mom View Post
it shouldn't take an upper middle class salary to be middle class, kwim?

I'm not sure why you find something 'strange' about my post? What's strange about saying that it shouldn't take 6 figures to be middle class in NY? That's all I was saying.

Ami
I always thought that an upper middle class salary was greater than 250k. $123k/year seems average (i.e., middle) to me.

I guess I must be delusional.
post #52 of 90
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by acegmom View Post
be any different from any other major metropolitan area around the globe?
London, Paris, Dehli, Singapore, Hong Kong, etc...
Honestly, I can't comment on the price of living in any of those cities. I don't have stats. Do you know where I can find info on the COL in those areas? Otherwise it's impossible to compare, since we don't really 'know' how much more it costs to live there vs. salaries there. Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jennybear View Post
A "middle class salary" is completely relative. Six figures is not an upper middle class salary in NYC.
That's what the article was saying. I UNDERSTAND that. My point though is that it shouldn't be 2.5 times the cost there. And no, as previous posters have pointed out, salaries are not that much higher in NYC to cover that insane increase.

Quote:
Originally Posted by misswerewolf View Post
I always thought that an upper middle class salary was greater than 250k. $123k/year seems average (i.e., middle) to me.
I guess I must be delusional.
I never said you (or anyone else) were delusional. Seems a bit snarky to me, since I've stayed on topic and haven't called anyone names, but whatever. As for your assertion that 123k per yr is middle middle class, look up some stats. Here's one. Scroll down to the household income in the US bar graph and you can see that 123k is NOT middle middle class. Unless, of course, you want to admit that the majority of Americans are either working class or lower middle class. As for 250k being upper middle class, I'm sorry but 20k/month is definitely in the upper class category. As it is, only 1.93% of U.S. households make & exceed 250k a year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
Define what middle class means to you and I'll let you know if we were living that way. I'm saying that we didn't need upper middle class incomes to live in NY and enjoy our lives there immensely.
Congrats on the green card, I know how much it means!:
Thanks!: It's definitely changed a lot of things for me.

Middle class to me means an income that ONE wage earner can make to live in a relatively safe neighborhood, take care of the kids (daycare, clothing, etc), and have a bit left over to save at the end of the month. Yes, it's vague, and some people are bad with money, but for the most part I phrase it this way so that it can change depending on the COL (I know there will always be high COL places, I'm not shocked at that. I am shocked at INSANELY high COL places without much increase in salaries in the area, kwim?). The reason I put one wage earner is that many parents today, esp. women, are finding themselves being single parents. I don't think it's right to expect everyone to be coupled up in order to make ends meet.

I'm not touching on the enjoying part at all. I have a friend who absolutely loves it in NY. I'm sure I'd like it too, since I love living in the middle of Santa Clara with all the different cultures & people--it's exciting and refreshing. I think though that there does come a point when having children and being able to support a family without teetering on the brink of financial insolvency is an important part of keeping a city alive. It doesn't bode well if both parents are working 24/7 trying to pay just the basics, like childcare (25k/yr for ONE child!?!).

Again I'm not talking of being able to 'make' it or enjoying life, I'm talking about having a SOLID middle class. It's very important to have a LARGE solid middle class in a country, and this article is showing that for most New Yorkers, middle class is not within their reach unless both parents are working high paying jobs. It shouldn't be impossible for teachers to live a middle class lifestyle, kwim? A few pp mentioned that the majority of the salaries in NY are NOT that much higher--not to justify the much higher COL. And that scares me because if those who make up the majority of the population (teachers, police officers, etc, etc) do not make enough to be solidly middle class, then that means that the majority make up the working (aka lower--I hate that term, anyone know of another term?) class, and a
a small percentage the upper class. I have no interest in returning to that kind of a class system where the majority of the population is poor, and there's a tiny middle class & an even tinier upper class.

Ami
post #53 of 90
Honestly, what's happening here, and it's been happening over the last decade IMO, as I've watched it happening, is that Manhattan in specific, and certain neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens are becoming really really expensive to live in. I would say we're middle middle class if DH is the sole wage earner, and a little higher if I work part time as I do most years (I'm contract/freelance, so it varies). However, we don't reach the upper middle class range where families own cars, rent summer houses, etc. Many of the people who work middle class jobs--teachers, child care workers, policemen, musicians who play in Broadway orchestras, working but not famous artists, graphic designers like DH, educational or business writers like me--have a hard time living in places that are easily accessible to their work.

That's been the case here for a long long time for lower middle class or working class jobs like grocery store clerk, deliverymen, waitress. We live in Manhattan, bc we squeezed into a small apartment and because we bought a long time ago. I've watched the kids at the playgrounds and in the small, affordable, not-insane-admission-process preschools change over time though. There are less families in this financial situation and more who all want the expensive, elaborate, insanely-competitive preschools. The financial market shake up does seem to be changing that.
post #54 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by JTA Mom View Post
It shouldn't take 2.5 times the salary to live the same lifestyle in NY as in Dallas (50k vs. 123k).
Why?

I mean, if your conception of what a "reasonable" or "middle class" amount of money to make is set by an area like Dallas, then I see that the prices in New York (by which they mean "Manhattan") would seem obscene. But why does that judgment control reality?

If you don't value the things that are available to you in New York that aren't available in Dallas, well, then, that's fine. But if you *do*, then living in Dallas, you're going to spend $1000 to go see a Broadway play (just ONE) with your honey. Round-trip airfare, transportation, hotel, tickets. Whereas if you *live* in New York, you'll just pay for tickets, and a small amount for transportation (you'll probably already have a subway card, so you don't have to shell out the full fare... if you take a cab, you'll pay the same as a tourist though).

What makes me a little quavery is how the standard of living that people will accept has been set by extremely low-density places like Texas and Georgia. I hear people on here and in other places online, talking all the time about their 4,000 square-foot houses on lots that are described in acres rather than square feet, and they just can't imagine squeezing into our 1,959 square-foot house on a 5,360 square-foot lot (largest lot on the street, since we're sort of on a corner). It seems so consumptive to me.

But... that's the thing; that's what it seems like TO ME. Yes, you can live much more cheaply in Texas than in New York (or Los Angeles), but, as those of us who live in these "expensive" places say, "then you have to live in Texas." ;-) There's no conspiracy; the prices are set by market forces, and people ARE willing to pay them. What's so "insane" about that?
post #55 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironica View Post
But... that's the thing; that's what it seems like TO ME. Yes, you can live much more cheaply in Texas than in New York (or Los Angeles), but, as those of us who live in these "expensive" places say, "then you have to live in Texas." ;-)

post #56 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by JTA Mom View Post
Again I'm not talking of being able to 'make' it or enjoying life, I'm talking about having a SOLID middle class. It's very important to have a LARGE solid middle class in a country, and this article is showing that for most New Yorkers, middle class is not within their reach unless both parents are working high paying jobs. It shouldn't be impossible for teachers to live a middle class lifestyle, kwim? A few pp mentioned that the majority of the salaries in NY are NOT that much higher--not to justify the much higher COL. And that scares me because if those who make up the majority of the population (teachers, police officers, etc, etc) do not make enough to be solidly middle class, then that means that the majority make up the working (aka lower--I hate that term, anyone know of another term?) class, and a
a small percentage the upper class. I have no interest in returning to that kind of a class system where the majority of the population is poor, and there's a tiny middle class & an even tinier upper class.

Ami
This has been a problem in Los Angeles because firefighters typically have been living far from the city. There are obvious safety concerns with that when there is a big emergency and they need to call for backup.
post #57 of 90
I guess living there would depend on ones personality with that type of price.
I was my MIL yesterday when someone who use to live in NY was complaining about the same thing, he moved down FL because it was more relax and not so expensive. He was joking and saying that you should rent a place with alot of people to save and then move later. For him it wasn't worth it. But a have a few friends who lived up there for about 9 years now and they like that city type life.
post #58 of 90
I've lived in Times Square, and when DH & I got engaged, I moved into his 400-sq ft studio on the Upper West Side. It was rent stabilized, so we saved a ton to put a down payment on a house. But when we decided to start a family, we moved to be closer to my family in the midwest. We just did not think we could afford to raise a family in NYC. And it was the right decision for us. We did not have a fancy lifestyle at all in NYC. Our office salaries were very comparable to what similar jobs paid in St. Louis at the time. The secretaries at my company were making $18-20k - they all had to live with their parents. I've always said you need to make at least $100K to live in New York, and that was 10 years ago.

Quote:
I don't think it's right to expect everyone to be coupled up in order to make ends meet.
I definitely know people in NYC (and here, for that matter) who are staying together solely for financial reasons. Then again, I've often wondered if many marriages in New York are doomed from living in tiny apts. where no one has any personal space. We did fine as newlyweds, but no way could I live with DH again in 400 sq. ft.

You do all have points about how much money public transportation saves you. A car payment, gas, and insurance sure do add up. So do utilities - it costs a heck of a lot more to heat a 1500 sq. ft. house than a 400 sq. ft. studio. I do miss the culture and restaurants in NYC, but I do not miss the lifestyle and the COL.
post #59 of 90
We used to live in Eastern Canada. DH bought a house for $100,000 when he was 24 and single, and that was in the city. My cousin lives in the country in the same part of Canada and he bought a massive farm house for $80,000 on a big piece of property. Here in greater Seattle, properties under $350,000 are not fit for human habitation. $450,000 will buy you a townhouse with no yard, and 900 square feet of living space. People save until they are 35 to buy their first home, and DH and I expect to own our home in Halifax well before we turn 40.

The hairdresser I had back in Eastern Canada had actually moved there from Ontario. One of the big reasons she moved was that she could afford to buy a house on one income. That's not the case in most of Southern Ontario. DH has cousin who would love to move his family back to Canada, but the cost of living is too high where the jobs are for him. They'd give up a beautiful home to live in a shoe box and be stuck in traffic half the day.

I've heard a number of documentary pieces on CBC radio and NPR about programs trying to help teachers, police officers and fire firefighters (trained people who make $50,000 a year) afford homes in high cost of living areas. It's crazy when a teacher is or fire fighter are eligible for a housing assistance!

Now, it is true that often lifestyle just doesn't transfer from one region to another. It's really expensive to live in Japan if you want to eat north american food and live in a north american style house and have two cars and a garage to put them in. It's still expensive in Tokyo if you live like a Japanese person, but it's not as bad.

We find those cost of living translators grossly inaccurate. They're fine for a starting point, but what we've found is that you really need to modify the way you live to suit the place that you're in. We're looking at a possible move to the UK, and the fact of the matter is we'd just have to live very differently England than we do outside of Seattle, than we did in Eastern Canada, than I did a small university town, etc.

What I find frustrating is when people get stuck in a situation they aren't happy with and don't do something about it. If you live in Seattle or NYC, and your dream is to own nice 2,000 square foot house with a yard and attached garage, you might want to consider a move to a nice suburb of Denver.
post #60 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by JTA Mom View Post
I never said you (or anyone else) were delusional. Seems a bit snarky to me, since I've stayed on topic and haven't called anyone names, but whatever. As for your assertion that 123k per yr is middle middle class, look up some stats. Here's one. Scroll down to the household income in the US bar graph and you can see that 123k is NOT middle middle class. Unless, of course, you want to admit that the majority of Americans are either working class or lower middle class. As for 250k being upper middle class, I'm sorry but 20k/month is definitely in the upper class category. As it is, only 1.93% of U.S. households make & exceed 250k a year.

Ami
Uh. Snarkiness? Name-calling? I wasn't being snarky or calling anyone names at all. AT ALL.

Take what I said at face value, 'cause that's really what I meant. I really mean it when I stated previously that I ALWAYS THOUGHT "an upper middle class salary was greater than 250k. $123k/year seems average (i.e., middle) to me." And if it's not, then I really MUST be delusional. (That is, I'm really not getting the clear picture of what "average" middle-class Americans earn.)

But then again, I am basing my views on the people I know. For the record, I am approximately 30 minutes north of you on the Peninsula.
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