Financial PlanningIncomeIs 100k a Year Good Salary? Income, Salary, & Budget Breakdown (2023)

Is 100k a Year Good Salary? Income, Salary, & Budget Breakdown (2023)

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It’s an age-old question that many people ask – is 100k a year good money?  Is $100k a year a good salary?

Most people always aspired to earn a six figure income, but is $100K a good salary today?   Whether you are a single person or for a family, $100,000 a year can be considered a good salary. $100k salary can even be considered good or maybe even very, very good – depending on your location..

  • Is $100,000 a year a good salary for one person?  A Single Person?
  • Is 100k a year a good salarya for a family?

Obviously it depends on your location (city/state) and lifestyle, but typically, a salary of 100k would be considered comfortable. 

With a salary of 100k, you can still save money, pay off debt, and still have enough to live comfortably. Even in places like New York City, California, or even major Canadian cities, you can afford a nice apartment and a car. 

With careful budgeting, you can also save for retirement and other future goals.

Deciding on if $100,000 is good salary also depends on 

  • how many people are in your household
  • your monthly expenses
  • your debt
  • and other factors. 

If you are the only person in your household, then you might be able to live quite comfortably on $100,000 dollars a year. However, if you have a family of four, your expenses will be higher and you might not have as much money left over each month.

The section below on salaries will really interest you, with some amazing statistics and great visuals in the form of charts.

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Is 100k a Good Salary? Money & Median Income

So how do we determine if $100k a year is good salary for you, whether you are one person or a family?

The answer to this question depends on a variety of factors, such as 

  • the cost of living in your area
  • the median income in your area
  • and the income ratio of the individual. 

Generally speaking, a salary of 100k a year is considered a good salary, as it is higher than the median income in virtually every part of the country, and is considered to be a comfortable living wage. 

However, this may vary depending on the individual’s circumstances, such as the cost of living in your specific area and your income ratio. Ultimately, it is up to the individual to decide if a salary of 100k a year is good for you.

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Is $100k a Good Salary?

It Depends on Location and Lifestyle

Whether a $100,000 salary is considered a good income often depends on where you live and the lifestyle you hope to maintain. The same salary affords a very different standard of living in New York City compared to a smaller town.

$100k Provides a Comfortable Living in Many Areas

In many parts of the country, $100,000 per year provides a comfortable living, even with a family. While not rich, this income allows homeownership, savings, and discretionary spending for many Americans if budgeted wisely.

Higher Salaries Often Required in Major Cities

In high-cost cities like San Francisco and New York, $100k may still mean living with roommates and monitoring spending. Higher salaries of $150-200k are often needed to afford nice housing, savings goals, and discretionary budgets.

Is $100k a Good Salary For a Single Person

For single Americans in moderately-priced areas, a $100k salary goes a long way. With no dependents, six figures allows for ample savings and discretionary income.

How Many People Make Over 100k

While six-figure incomes may seem lofty, a significant portion of Americans actually earn over $100,000 per year. Approximately 18% of individual taxpayers report over $100k in income. When looking at households, around one-third surpass the $100k threshold—over 44 million households.

Though exact percentages vary across reports, it is clear that tens of millions of Americans have crossed into six-figure territory when it comes to their annual earnings. However, it is important to note that cost of living differences mean $100k goes further in some areas than in major coastal cities where higher salaries are often needed.

Location Matters Most

While a nice round income, whether $100k represents a “good” salary ultimately depends on where you live.

In medium-sized towns, this income affords a great standard of living. But in major metro areas, higher salaries are required to maintain the same lifestyle.

100k a Year Is How Much An Hour?

100k a Year Is How Much An Hour? When you look at the raw numbers, a $100,000 annual salary equates to $48.08 per hour based on a 40 hour work week. However, employees don’t see that full hourly amount in their paychecks due to taxes and other deductions.

After federal income tax, Social Security tax, Medicare tax, and state taxes, the hourly earnings from a $100k salary can drop considerably, often down into the $30-$40 per hour range depending on location and tax status.

For example, a single filer with no dependents would pay 22% federal tax on $100k. That’s $22,000 upfront, bringing the hourly wage down to $37.82. Social Security and Medicare taxes take another $7,650, so the take-home hourly pay falls to around $35. State and local taxes can take several more dollars per hour.

For a detailed analysis of the after-tax hourly earnings from a $100k annual salary based on different tax situations, check out the article How Much is $100k a Year Hourly?. It provides a comprehensive hourly wage breakdown to give you the real picture of $100k pay.

Is Making 100k a Year Good Money?  Perception vs Reality

The reality of the income gaps between the 1% and the 99% of the US population is often skewed by misleading social media comments and easy to spread misinformation. 

  • As the chart shows, this is quite different from reality.  Only a little over ⅓ of Americans have an income of over $100,000 a year.
Infographic: The United States' Real and Perceived Income Gap | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

The United States’ Real and Perceived Income Gap

Income 

Median household income in the United States from 1990 to 2021

Yes, 100k a year is considered a good salary or income in most parts of the country. It is above the median household income in the United States, providing a comfortable lifestyle and financial security. 

Regarding one’s expenses, state and federal income taxes, and other factors, it can also leave you with a significant amount of disposable income each month. 

However, it is important to consider income thresholds and debt to income ratio when planning one’s finances.

As you can see in the chart below, the median household income has been trending up over the years. Based on the information published by Statista Research Department in October of 2022 – the median household income in the US was $70,784.  This means $100,000 a year income is over 40% greater than the median household income!

Median household income in the United States from 1990 to 2021

Salary

So we’ve determined that depending on where you live and your lifestyle, $100,000 a year is a good salary. It is well above the median annual salary in the United States and puts you in the top 35% income bracket for individuals

100k a year is also considered a six figure salary, meaning that you are considered a high-earning salary.

Is $100k a year good money for a married couple?

$100,000 is a good salary for a married couple and a family of four.  $100,000 a year is still an above average income for a family. 

Let’s put the range of income by States into perspective.  What is the average salary in the US? In 2020, according to the US Census, the median household income was $86,725 in Massachusetts, while the median household income in Mississippi was approximately $45,000 at that time.  

[mailerlite_form form_id=2]

You can see how $100k is great money in Mississippi, but a little more than average in MA.

How many people make over $100k per year?

According to Census data, around 10% of US households have an income of $100,000 or greater. So roughly 1 in 10 households earns a six figure income. However, there is significant geographic variation. Over 30% of households in DC and Massachusetts exceed $100k.

Is Making $100k a Year Good For a Family of 4?

It can provide a comfortable lifestyle in many areas, but budgeting will be required. Average costs for a family of 4 are estimated at $60k-$75k. While doable in lower cost regions, $100k will mean more modest living in high expense metro areas.

Is $100k a good salary for a single person?

For a single person with no kids, $100k provides a great deal of financial flexibility in most locales. You can likely afford a decent house, car, travel, dining out, hobbies, and ample savings on that income level as a single filer. $100k for one person goes much further than a family of 4.

After Tax Income$77,582
Income Taxes$22,418
Annual Salary$100,000
Assuming a single person in a no income tax state

How Much Is 100k a Year Hourly?

SALARY$100k$100,000
Hourly2,080 hours$48.08per hour
Daily8 hours$385per day
Weekly5 days a week$1,923per week
Bi-weekly26 paychecks $3,846paid bi-weekly
Semi-Monthly24 paychecks $4,166paid semi-monthly
Monthly12 months$8,333per month
Quarterly4 quarters $25,000quarterly
Hours Worked Per WeekHourly RateYearly Salary
35$54.95$100,000
35.5$54.17$100,000
36$53.42$100,000
36.5$52.69$100,000
37$51.98$100,000
37.5$51.28$100,000
38$50.61$100,000
38.5$49.95$100,000
39$49.31$100,000
39.5$48.69$100,000
40$48.08$100,000

How Far a $100,000 Salary Goes in America’s 50 Largest Cities

Income is just one factor to consider when determining whether or not someone is doing well financially. Other factors include savings, investments, and debt. 

For example, someone who has a high income but a lot of debt might not be doing as well financially as someone with a lower income but no debt. It all depends on the individual situation.

Income concept

Is 100k a year good money? 

As you can see in the below chart – by earning $100,000 a year – this puts you in the highest earning bracket if separated by generations.  

So if you are in any generation other than Gen X – you are earning way above average.  And even for Gen X, 100k a year salary is an above average salary

Median household income in the United States in 2021, by age of householder

Median household income in the United States in 2021, by age of householder

  1. Cost of Living and Budgets 

A lot of people are always asking themselves whether 100k a year is good money. As I have repeatedly said, the answer to this question is difficult to determine because it depends on a person’s individual circumstances. However, we can look at some factors that can help us arrive at an answer.

For example, let’s say that a person’s monthly cost of living is $5,000. This includes things like rent or mortgage payments, insurance, and other necessary expenses. If this person were to bring in $100,000 per year, they would have a couple of thousand dollars left over each month after covering their basic cost of living and paying taxes.

This may seem like a lot of money, but it’s important to remember that not everyone has the same cost of living. For example, someone who lives in a more expensive city may have a monthly cost of living that is closer to $6,000. In this case, $100,000 per year would only leave them with maybe $1,000 left over each month.

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Debts

Another factor to consider is whether or not a person has any debt. If a person has debt, their monthly payments will need to be taken into account when determining if $100k is good money. 

For example, let’s say a person has a $1,500 monthly loan payment. If this person were to bring in $100,000 per year, they would have a minimal amount left over each month after covering their cost of living, taxes and their loan payment.

 5 FREE Mortgage Calculator: Calculate Your Home Loan Payment Today

Budget Breakdown: How to Budget 100k Salary

Assuming you make $100,000 a year, your monthly expenses should be up to $6,000. This includes rent or mortgage payments, car payments, insurance, food, utilities, and other necessary expenses. 

Monthly Expenses

  • Unexpected expenses, such as car repairs or medical bills, can add up quickly, so it’s important to have some savings set aside for these occasions. 
  • Discretionary expenses, such as entertainment and travel, can also add up, so it’s important to be mindful of your spending in these areas. 
  • Medical expenses, such as health insurance and doctor’s visits, can also be costly, so it’s important to be prepared for these expenses as well.

Basic Living Costs

Assuming you make $100,000 a year, you will most likely be spending a good chunk of that on costs. Here is a breakdown of some of the annual costs you may incur:

50/30/20 Budget
Savings$15,516
Needs$38,791
Discretionary$23,275
$100k a year using the 50/30/20 Budget Rule Calculator
60/40 Budget
Needs$46,549
Discretionary$31,033
$100k a year on 60/40 Budget

$100,000 a year budget, assuming national averages

Average Monthly Budget %Average Monthly Budget $
Housing31%$2,583
Transportation12%$1,000
Taxes11%$917
Utilities +10%$833
Food9%$750
Social Security
& Pensions
9%$750
Health Care6%$500
Entertainment3%$250
Cash Contributions3%$250
Clothing +2%$167
Education2%$167
Alcohol &
Tobacco
1%$83
Personal Care1%$83
100%
$100,000 a year budget, assuming national averages

As you can see, even with a relatively high income, costs can add up quickly. It is important to be mindful of your spending and to create a budget so that you don’t find yourself in financial trouble.

Where It’s Hardest to Afford a Home?

Big cities like Boston, New York City and San Francisco are well known for their expensive real estate markets. Even cities in Canada are becoming unaffordable for many.

According to the 2022 International Housing Affordability Survey by Demographia, four out of the ten least affordable housing markets are located in the United States. 

Housing: Home Ownership and Rent

Not only does this mean the median rent or annual rent payments in these cities are high – it means housing payments or monthly mortgage payments are high too.  

This means that even strong borrowers or conventional borrowers will need jumbo mortgages instead of conventional loan amounts.  So you can see how someone living in a high cost of living city would pay more for housing.  

In fact they can have a 30 year loan that costs more per month than a shorter loan term  such as a 15 year fixed rate loan in an inexpensive city.  Then add in private mortgage insurance costs, the additional property taxes and homeowners insurance rate and insurance on their real property.

Other types of loans such as an auto loan or student loan may not be affected by the cost of living of your city though.  The same with other insurances such as disability insurance, life insurance or personal insurance.

There are a few key things to consider when thinking about how great it is to make $100,000 a year. 

  • The first is rent. The median rent in the United States is $1,469, which means that if you make $100,000 a year, you can easily afford the rent on a one-bedroom apartment. You also have the option of living in a more expensive area, like New York City, where the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $3,000.
  • The second key thing to consider is payments. If you make $100,000 a year, your monthly mortgage payment will be around $2,800. You will also have to pay for housing insurance and property taxes, but these will be much lower than your mortgage payment. Even if you have a student loan, your monthly payment will probably only be a few hundred dollars a month.
  • The third key thing to consider is loans. If you make $100,000 a year, you will be able to get a conventional loan with a loan amount of up to $726,200 in 2023. This means that you will be able to borrow a lot of money for a home or for other purposes.

When it comes to taking out a loan, there are a few key things to consider. 

  • One of those things is the loan amount. How much money do you need to borrow? 
  • Another key thing to consider is the loan limit. This is the maximum amount that you can borrow. 
  • Another key thing to consider is the interest rate. This is the amount of money that you will have to pay back in addition to the amount that you borrowed. 
  • The last key thing to consider is the term of the loan. This is the amount of time that you have to pay back the loan. The shorter the term, the higher the interest rate. The longer the term, the lower the interest rate.

Student Loans

When it comes to student loans, there are a few different types of loans that you can take out. 

  • There are conventional loans, which are loans that are not backed by the government. These loans have loan limits. 
  • The other type of loan is a government-backed loan. These loans do not have loan limits. The last type of loan is a private loan. These loans are not backed by the government and they do not have loan limits.

The decision about which type of loan to take out depends on a few factors. 

  • One of those factors is the amount of money that you need to borrow. If you need to borrow a large amount of money, you may want to consider a government-backed loan. These loans have lower interest rates and longer terms. 
  1. Expensive Cities and Cost of Living – Prices and Buying Budgets

There are many cities in the world with a cost of living of $100,000 a year or more. Some of these cities include San Francisco, Boston, and New York City. 

Major Cities and Largest Cities

The cost of living in these cities can be expensive, but there are many benefits to living in these major cities. 

For example, San Francisco has many cultural opportunities.   Additionally,a city like New York is one of the largest cities in the United States, so there are many opportunities for employment and entertainment.

Exact Price Range

Of course, with any high cost of living comes a high price tag. The exact price range for these cities varies, but the median price for a home in San Francisco is $1.3 million, while the median price for a home in San Diego is $1 million. 

For Kansas City, the median price for a home is $300,000. Obviously, these prices can be prohibitive for many people, but there are still many people who are able to live in these cities comfortably on a budget of $100,000 a year.

How much house can i afford with 100k salary

Based on a $100,000 annual salary and the recommendation to keep housing costs at or below 28% of gross monthly income:

  • You can budget approximately $2,333 per month towards principal, interest, taxes and insurance.
  • With current interest rates around 7% on a 30-year mortgage, this monthly budget will allow you to afford a home valued around $395,000 with a 20% down payment.
  • This factors in just the mortgage payment itself, not additional housing costs.

Financial Situation –  Leftover Money & Savings Goals

Savings tracker

Assuming you make $100,000 a year, have a family, and want to save for retirement, there are a few things to consider.  

The average American household spends about $60,000 a year (roughly national average), so if you can live on $40,000 a year and save the positive cash flow of the other $60,000, you’ll be doing well. However, that’s not always possible.

  • How much can you realistically save in your emergency savings of checking and savings?  For your retirement savings?  Your pension savings?
  • What are your financial and savings goals?  What does quality of life and financial freedom mean to you?
  • Do you want to retire at 60? 65? 70? Or do you want to retire as soon as possible?
  • Your financial situation and financial goals will dictate how much you need to save.  Your lifestyle in retirement will dictate how much you need to save.
  • What is your savings rate of your extra cash?
  • Are you working with a financial advisor or financial planner?
  • Are you carrying credit card debt?
  • Your savings rate is the percentage of your income that you save. The higher your savings rate, the sooner you’ll reach your goal.
  • What are your federal taxes?
  • Your federal taxes will be based on your income and filing status. The higher your income, the higher your taxes will be.
  • What is the quality of life that you want in retirement?
  • Do you want to travel? live in a luxury home? or just have a comfortable lifestyle?

A good rule of thumb is to save 10-15% of your income for retirement. If you can save more, great! If you can’t, don’t worry, you can still retire comfortably.

10646 1237560 is 100k a year goodis 100k a year good

So, How Do We Know: Is $100,000 a Good Salary For One Person or a Family?

Is 100k a year a good salary for one person?  A Single Person?

Is $100,000 a year good money for a family?

There are many advantages to making $100,000 a year. 

  • For starters, you would be in the upper income bracket in the United States. 
  • This means that you would likely have a comfortable lifestyle and be able to afford most of the things you want. 
  • You would also have a lot of job security and be able to advance in your career more easily than someone making less money.

However, there are also some downsides to making $100,000 a year.

  •  For one, you would be under a lot of pressure to perform well at your job and meet expectations. This can lead to a lot of stress and burnout. 
  • Additionally, you would be taxed at a higher rate, which means you would have less money to save or spend. 
  • Finally, you would likely be compared to others who are also making a lot of money, which can lead to feelings of insecurity or inadequacy.

Overall, there are both pros and cons to making $100,000 a year. It is important to weigh these factors carefully before making a decision about whether or not to pursue a high-paying job.

Income in the United States: 2021

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is 100k a year good money salary income
is 100k a year good money salary income

U.S. median household income, by state

Median household income in the United States in 2021, by state
Maryland97,332
District of Columbia90,640
New Hampshire88,841
New Jersey88,559
Utah87,649
Washington87,648
Massachusetts86,566
Colorado84,954
Hawaii82,199
Oregon81,855
California81,575
Alaska81,133
Connecticut80,958
Minnesota80,441
Virginia80,268
Illinois79,253
Nebraska78,109
Idaho76,918
Vermont76,079
Kansas75,979
Rhode Island74,982
South Dakota73,893
New York72,920
Pennsylvania72,627
Iowa72,429
Maine71,139
Wyoming71,052
Arizona70,821
United States70,784
Indiana70,190
Wisconsin69,943
North Dakota68,882
Delaware68,687
Texas67,404
Montana64,999
Michigan64,488
Nevada64,340
Missouri63,594
North Carolina62,891
Ohio62,689
South Carolina62,542
Tennessee62,166
Georgia61,497
Oklahoma60,096
Florida59,734
Louisiana57,206
Alabama56,929
Kentucky55,629
New Mexico53,463
Arkansas50,784
West Virginia46,836
Mississippi46,637
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  • Sharing the article with your friends on social media – and like and follow us there as well.
  • Sign up for the FREE personal finance newsletter, and never miss anything again.
  • Take a look around the site for other articles that you may enjoy.

Note: The content provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as financial or legal advice. Consult with a professional advisor or accountant for personalized guidance.

Michael Ryan
Michael Ryanhttps://michaelryanmoney.com/
Who Am I? I'm Michael Ryan, a retired financial planner turned personal financial coach. And author and found of blog. My advice is backed by decades of hands-on experience in finance and recognition in esteemed publications like US News & World Report, Business Insider, and Yahoo Finance. 'here'. Find answers to your financial questions, from budgeting to investing and retirement planning, on my blog michaelryanmoney.com. My mission is to democratize financial literacy for all.