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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 07-19-2014, 03:12 PM
 
13 posts, read 13,827 times
Reputation: 10

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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?
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Old 07-19-2014, 04:00 PM
 
Location: O.C.
2,821 posts, read 2,755,075 times
Reputation: 2084
San Diego, CA
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Old 07-19-2014, 04:46 PM
 
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
12,639 posts, read 15,095,286 times
Reputation: 12200
From the list, Seattle or Denver.
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Old 07-19-2014, 05:13 PM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
6,319 posts, read 6,987,783 times
Reputation: 3504
To me this is pretty much a COL question. As in, which cities that meet a certain minimum QOL standard have the lowest COL?

And yeah, that pretty much points to the South, with some Midwestern cities as dark horse. I'll certainly be missing some good ones but some of the usual suspects are Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, St Louis, Tampa, Charlotte. Going a little smaller there's Nashville, Indianapolis, Jacksonville.

For me personally, I'd pick Dallas out of my list above. Obviously, I also like Jacksonville a lot but your QOL minimum may be higher than what it has to offer. Moving towards the other end of the spectrum I'd pick Chicago for a city with more amenities (for me = higher QOL) but not too high COL.
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Old 07-19-2014, 05:27 PM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
17,312 posts, read 19,591,548 times
Reputation: 13100
The Washington DC metro area is almost "tailor made" for the upper-middle class. That is the income range where you'll be pretty comfortable, although not necessarily living lavishly. But taking 2-3 vacations per year, international trips and those sorts of thing are rather common. No one thinks much of it.

The important thing to ask is - Where in America are you most likely to find these high-income jobs?
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Old 07-19-2014, 05:43 PM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
11,145 posts, read 14,146,250 times
Reputation: 7075
Houston/Dallas/Atlanta don't have decent weather. It's atrocious.
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Old 07-19-2014, 06:30 PM
 
56,749 posts, read 81,082,761 times
Reputation: 12550
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?
It depends on where you are in the Northeast, as you have areas in the Interior NE where you could be comfortable at 75-80k, give or take, given that criteria. 6 figures in these areas would/should be very comfortable. So, it really depends on the area, not necessarily the region. I'm only saying this for clarification purposes.

As for the list, this should possibly give you an idea of which cities would be a good fit: Here are the most and least expensive cities to live in

http://online.wsj.com/public/resourc...s/download.pdf

This may also help and you can click on the city, in which it shows info by occupation and industry: Here are the highest-paying markets for employees in all jobs - The Business Journals

Last edited by ckhthankgod; 07-19-2014 at 06:42 PM..
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Old 07-20-2014, 11:04 PM
 
Location: Cleveland
3,179 posts, read 3,856,228 times
Reputation: 2482
I know a lot of upper middle class people from Chicago. They all love it, but they're all pretty much arrogant a-holes.
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Old 07-20-2014, 11:55 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis
2,331 posts, read 3,059,932 times
Reputation: 3925
My parents were professionals working in Utica, NY. That type of salary goes a long way in a cheap rust belt city. If you have a stable job you can live like a king.
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Old 07-21-2014, 06:46 AM
 
21,218 posts, read 30,435,315 times
Reputation: 19666
Quote:
Originally Posted by nep321 View Post
Houston/Dallas/Atlanta don't have decent weather. It's atrocious.
Atlanta does not have atrocious weather. If you're referring to heat look at a weather map right now and tell me that it stands out from most of the major metro areas of the country and it certainly doesn't last as long as most in terms of extreme heat. I sure as heck would take Atlanta's other three seasons over most of the cities on this list including Seattle, unless one is into one dimensional weather patterns.
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