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View Poll Results: Pick One
New York City 6 12.00%
Los Angeles 2 4.00%
Chicago 8 16.00%
Houston 4 8.00%
Dallas 4 8.00%
Atlanta 6 12.00%
Miami 1 2.00%
Phoenix 1 2.00%
Seattle 1 2.00%
Washington DC 2 4.00%
Boston 1 2.00%
Philadelphia 0 0%
Portland 2 4.00%
Minneapolis 7 14.00%
Denver 2 4.00%
Other (post in thread) 3 6.00%
Voters: 50. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-21-2014, 06:49 AM
 
21,206 posts, read 30,412,852 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FutureCPA View Post
I have a pretty general question. Basically, what do you think is the best overall city, from a quality of life perspective, for people who are upper-middle class. I don't want to debate semantics over what constitutes upper-middle class as it will obviously differ, but my definition is a 4 person family that earns low 6 figures (probably 120-150k range...yes, I realize that's quite a range, but I'm factoring in Cost of Living), has at least 1 car (2 if in a metro that demands it), can afford a non-lavish vacation once a year/every 2 years, eat well (as in not just buy cheap groceries, but also eat quality foods), and still have some money left over for investment/personal consumption.

Again, you'll probably disagree with that assessment, but my main goal is to figure out which place you all think is great for people who aren't poor (whatever your criteria for that is) but aren't so wealthy that cost of living considerations are hardly a concern. Lots of people here seem to gravitate toward NYC/SF, but I get the sense that, while it's great for those who are wealthy or recent grads who only have to take care of 1 person, they're not practical to settle down for the vast majority of people reach that stage of their life

My opinion is that it would probably somewhere in the south like Houston/Dallas/Atlanta. Decent weather, lots of big city amenities, good job markets, and are super affordable. I lived in Texas for a few years and I feel that if you hit even 100k there, you'd live pretty comfortably while living in the NE would require me to be closer to 150/175k to maintain the same lifestyle.

What do you all think?
Your criteria in my opinion points heavily toward Atlanta...specifically the northern suburbs of Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Roswell or Dunwoody.
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Old 07-21-2014, 06:56 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
44,961 posts, read 36,253,688 times
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I voted for Houston. You will definitely get the most boom for your middle class buck in Houston. Also, you're not too far away from beaches, New Orleans, etc. Lots of affordable housing, tons of stuff to do, and one of the best restaurant scenes in the nation (lots and lots of international cuisine as well as shopping there).

Plus it's in Texas, which is always a selling point in my book.
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Old 07-21-2014, 07:00 AM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
17,283 posts, read 19,572,199 times
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Some other factors to consider are that the upper-middle class is really the new middle class in many American cities nowadays. Certain places will offer access to a lot more amenities for someone of that income level, in spite of the higher cost of living. That affects quality of life, in my opinion.

Also, time is a big factor. Someone who has been upper-middle class for 20-30 years or more is most likely going to have a different lifestyle and financial status than someone who has only been at that level for a few years.
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Old 07-21-2014, 07:02 AM
 
Location: Texas
43,564 posts, read 52,720,164 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nep321 View Post
Houston/Dallas/Atlanta don't have decent weather. It's atrocious.
I dunno what you're talking about.
I have played tennis almost every day this summer.
The high on Thursday was 79.

Weather is nothing I've ever been bothered with in Dallas. Austin and Houston, yes. Dallas, no.
The summers are hot without being unbearable. The winters range from mild to occasional beautiful snow. And the spring bring gorgeous rain and greenery, and the fall is so cool and crisp...mmmmmm! All without oppressive humidity.
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Old 07-21-2014, 11:28 AM
 
Location: Milwaukee
3,451 posts, read 3,402,537 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stan4 View Post
I dunno what you're talking about.
I have played tennis almost every day this summer.
The high on Thursday was 79.

Weather is nothing I've ever been bothered with in Dallas. Austin and Houston, yes. Dallas, no.
The summers are hot without being unbearable. The winters range from mild to occasional beautiful snow. And the spring bring gorgeous rain and greenery, and the fall is so cool and crisp...mmmmmm! All without oppressive humidity.
You do realize that people can just look up the forecast, right? Here's a 10-day: 10 Day Weather Forecast for Dallas - weather.com

Currently, highs go from 95 to 101, with 3 100+ days in the forecast. It's not "Southwest" dry in Dallas, either.

I can tell people that winter is Wisconsin is no sweat because the other day it was sunny and in the 50s, but that doesn't tell you anything other than the fact that you'll always have outliers in climate. It's usually really cold here in winter; it's usually really hot in Dallas during the summer.
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Old 07-21-2014, 04:07 PM
 
1,640 posts, read 2,052,068 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FutureCPA View Post
My opinion is that it would probably somewhere in the south like Houston/Dallas/Atlanta. Decent weather, lots of big city amenities, good job markets, and are super affordable. I lived in Texas for a few years and I feel that if you hit even 100k there, you'd live pretty comfortably while living in the NE would require me to be closer to 150/175k to maintain the same lifestyle.
It really depends on how you define comfortable lifestyle.

Houston, Dallas, and Atlanta are too socially conservative and religious for my taste. I will have you know that I was truly out of my element when I lived in Dallas and Atlanta, so even though those cities were the cheapest places I've ever lived, I wouldn't necessarily describe my lifestyle in either of those cities as "comfortable," by any means.

Eventually, I came to the realization that it's much more important to live in a place where you fit in and are socially comfortable, even if that means living in a smaller pad or taking one less vacation per year. Personal happiness should not be forsaken for a big, cheap, new house and an annual pilgrimage to Aruba.
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Old 07-22-2014, 09:03 PM
 
12,698 posts, read 10,525,539 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stan4 View Post
I dunno what you're talking about.
I have played tennis almost every day this summer.
The high on Thursday was 79.

Weather is nothing I've ever been bothered with in Dallas. Austin and Houston, yes. Dallas, no.
The summers are hot without being unbearable. The winters range from mild to occasional beautiful snow. And the spring bring gorgeous rain and greenery, and the fall is so cool and crisp...mmmmmm! All without oppressive humidity.
I'm just outside Dallas right now, in Grapevine. It is hot. I got here on Saturday and the high was 74, which the taxi driver who took us from the airport said was near record low for this time of the year. Since then it's been high 80s-90s, with the daily high near 100 every day. Yesterday it was 97, I did not check today's temp but it was HOT, even in the shade. It's mostly a dry heat though so I don't really mind it.
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Old 07-22-2014, 09:12 PM
 
145 posts, read 307,740 times
Reputation: 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
Some other factors to consider are that the upper-middle class is really the new middle class in many American cities nowadays. Certain places will offer access to a lot more amenities for someone of that income level, in spite of the higher cost of living. That affects quality of life, in my opinion.

Also, time is a big factor. Someone who has been upper-middle class for 20-30 years or more is most likely going to have a different lifestyle and financial status than someone who has only been at that level for a few years.
Can you elaborate on what you mean in the bolded section? Are you just saying that CoL is rising fast that what was once upper-middle class is now just middle class?
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Old 07-22-2014, 09:18 PM
 
506 posts, read 263,711 times
Reputation: 316
Austin, TX
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Old 07-23-2014, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Tempe, AZ
152 posts, read 238,084 times
Reputation: 238
120-150k in Phoenix your living in nice weather like a king... and with the saving on cost of living you can afford to buy a summer home a couple hours north in the mountains to get away from the heat
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