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Old 08-18-2008, 03:18 AM
 
45 posts, read 10,320 times
Reputation: 30
Default Is $500,000 per year middle class in Manhattan?

I want to eventually move from LA to New York but the cost of living seems much higher and makes it more difficult to sustain a comfortable lifestyle. A few of my friends in NY tell me $500,000 is "poor" in Manhattan but they're probably jaded, although when I crunch the numbers it appears as if they probably correct. Is it true?
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Old 08-18-2008, 05:04 AM
 
Location: Queens
838 posts, read 228,105 times
Reputation: 92
That's SOOOOO ridiculous. If you made that you would be able to live somewhere like the UES...Soho...Tribeca...Midtown... and we all know (as much as I hate to say it)..that those are "upperclass" areas. I would say that middle class for NYC is anywhere from 50-175k a year. I mean, I guess it depends on what you consider middle class. To me, even 32-50k is middle class. I was making in that range when I first came here and I had a nice, but small, studio in Middle Village and pretty much everything I needed and then some. It all depends.
I think your friends are teasing you. Los Angeles is expensive just like NYC...so they can't be serious when they tell you that.
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Old 08-18-2008, 06:03 AM
 
7,081 posts, read 24,174,349 times
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Your friends live in LA? If so, that's why they're completely wrong. The poster above is spot on.
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Old 08-18-2008, 08:36 AM
 
46 posts, read 128,336 times
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I'm thinking of moving to Manhattan too, and I just came back from there. The rent seems to be twice that of other places, but then, when you go out to Brooklyn and other parts of NYC outside Manhattan, it's not too bad.

The funny thing is, the prices in Manhattan seem to be the same, especially the professional fees and wages. So, in a sense, it may make no sense to do business in Manhattan, if you can get the equivalent work in Queens or Brooklyn. But, then again, nothing can quite compare to Manhattan.
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Old 08-18-2008, 09:20 AM
 
Location: New York City
2,326 posts, read 5,971,429 times
Reputation: 1050
Quote:
Originally Posted by christian. View Post
I want to eventually move from LA to New York but the cost of living seems much higher and makes it more difficult to sustain a comfortable lifestyle. A few of my friends in NY tell me $500,000 is "poor" in Manhattan but they're probably jaded, although when I crunch the numbers it appears as if they probably correct. Is it true?
That's a joke for sure. If you divide $500k per year by 12 mos in a year, you get just about $41,666 per month gross. Take out taxes, etc., and it comes to around $30-$31k per month. PER MONTH!

A great apartment in the city could run you $10k per month, spending "frivolously" could come to $10k per month, and expenses around $5k per month....that would leave $5-6k per month to save, etc.

If you break down the numbers, it's basically a salary for the very well-off, or lower wealthy class.
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Old 08-18-2008, 10:04 AM
 
274 posts, read 760,319 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christian. View Post
I want to eventually move from LA to New York but the cost of living seems much higher and makes it more difficult to sustain a comfortable lifestyle. A few of my friends in NY tell me $500,000 is "poor" in Manhattan but they're probably jaded, although when I crunch the numbers it appears as if they probably correct. Is it true?
You do indeed need some dough if you want "middle class" things like home ownership of a 3 bedroom pad, a car (with parking), 2.5 kids, and semi-decent schools. Just a mortgage and kids' tuition will set you back $200-300k per year.

But if you are ok settling with renting a studio or 1 bed, not having a car, not having kids, etc., then a mere $100k-200k will get you by in Manhattan.
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Old 08-18-2008, 10:07 AM
 
3,369 posts, read 7,409,418 times
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A single person in Manhattan making $100,000 - let alone $500,000 - is well-off! If you don't have a very comfortable lifestyle on that salary as a single person, you are doing something wrong. You are extremely wealthy if you earn $500,000 per year. Only a tiny percentage of people make that kind of money.
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Old 08-18-2008, 10:08 AM
 
Location: Queens
838 posts, read 228,105 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crisp444 View Post
A single person in Manhattan making $100,000 - let alone $500,000 - is well-off! If you don't have a very comfortable lifestyle on that salary as a single person, you are doing something wrong. You are extremely wealthy if you earn $500,000 per year. Only a tiny percentage of people make that kind of money.
THis makes me feel good lol. Because sometimes I have this idea that 75%+ of the people I see walking around in manhattan make 150k or more.
They're brainwashing me!
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Old 08-18-2008, 10:15 AM
 
274 posts, read 760,319 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crisp444 View Post
A single person in Manhattan making $100,000 - let alone $500,000 - is well-off! If you don't have a very comfortable lifestyle on that salary as a single person, you are doing something wrong. You are extremely wealthy if you earn $500,000 per year. Only a tiny percentage of people make that kind of money.
The last time I checked, most middle class people have (or aspire to) home ownership of a home that has more than 2 bedrooms, a family, 2.5 kids, decent schools, retirement savings, etc. $500,000 a year is not gonna get you that in Manhattan.
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Old 08-18-2008, 10:23 AM
 
274 posts, read 760,319 times
Reputation: 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by page3000 View Post
THis makes me feel good lol. Because sometimes I have this idea that 75%+ of the people I see walking around in manhattan make 150k or more.
They're brainwashing me!
No, that's VERY accurate.

The census data has 2 huge salary spikes for Manhattan (showing that most people have a salary at those spikes) -- one at $35,000 and one at $150,000. The actual numbers are probably higher since I doubt trust fund kids and other independently wealthy people are filling out censuses.

The number 1 and 2 industries in NYC are medical and Wall St.

In other words, there are plenty of doctors and finance types, who are making $200,000+ at the jr. level, walking around in NYC.
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