Seven Of Top Ten Most Expensive Cities In US Are In California

San Francisco requires a whopping $339,123 a year for a family of four to live comfortably

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Financial tech company Smart Asset just released a new study of the most expensive cities in the United States to live in comfortably, with seven of the top ten located in California.

Previous studies have shown a similarly high number of cities in California among the most expensive to live in in the country. In November, a study by U.S. News and World Report found that San Diego is the most expensive city to live in in 2023, with 12 of the top 20 most expensive cities located within California. However, while previous lists have largely used flat expenses, the Smart Asset survey broke it down between what single people need against what a couple with two children would need to live comfortably.

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While New York came in as the most expensive city to live comfortably, San Jose came in a close second. According to Smart Asset, a single adult would need $65.74 an hour, or $136,739 a year to live comfortably, with a family of four needing $334,547 a year. Irvine and Santa Ana came in third in the country and second overall in California in a tie, with both cities needing an hourly wage of $60.96 for a single person, $126,797 annually for a single person, and $291,450 annually for a family of four.

In addition, San Diego, Chula Vista, San Francisco, and Oakland all made the top ten, with all four requiring between $57 and $59 an hour for a single person.

The other figures varied, with San Francisco requiring a whopping $339,123 a year for a family of four to live comfortably. Cracking the top 20 also saw the inclusion of Anaheim, Long Beach, and Los Angeles. In comparison, the cheapest Californian city, Bakersfield, was only ranked as the 36th cheapest in the country, with an hourly salary of $42.88, or $89,190 yearly, being needed for a single adult, and a family of four needing $218,150 a year.

For the study, Smart Asset used the 50/30/20 methodology. Under the method, 50% of a salary should be allocated to needs, 30% toward wants like entertainment and hobbies, and 20% toward paying off debt, saving or investing.

“This survey is interesting because large states like California, Las Vegas, Texas, Arizona and other Sun Belt states have such a wide degree of costs, ” Marilyn Dorian, a cost of living advisor based in Southern California, told the Globe. “Many large cities in California are still cheaper to live in than cities where many Californians are moving to in other states. Even those with much lower taxes. I mean, that’s Fresno, Bakersfield, Stockton, Sacramento. There’s a reason they’ve gained population.”

Click here to read the full article in California Globe

Comments

  1. Las Vegas is a large state???

  2. Rico Lagattuta says

    It is time for California to consider a minimum wage of $60.00 per hour with a guarantee of 371/2 hours per week per job. People and families cannot live on $20 an hour.

    • No one is forced to earn $20 per hour. A $60 minimum wage for 40 hours per week results in an annual income of $124,000+. Really? No one has a right to earn a six figure salary. Have you considered the price of a Starbuck’s or McD hamburger with a $60 per week minimum wage? No one will buy them putting a lot of people out of work when the businesses close or substitute machines for workers. Not a good strategy.

  3. Rico Lagattuta says

    California needs to consider welfare benefit increases to $2,307 per month for a single person and $6,923 for a family of 4. Unemployed and disadvantaged people need to live too.

    • No one is forced to earn $20 per hour. A $60 minimum wage for 40 hours per week results in an annual income of $124,000+. Really? No one has a right to earn a six figure salary. Have you considered the price of a Starbuck’s or McD hamburger with a $60 per week minimum wage? No one will buy them putting a lot of people out of work when the businesses close or substitute machines for workers. Not a good strategy.

      Unemployed people need to get a job.

  4. Rico Lagattuta says

    JL, Las Vegas is not a state? You must have gone through the California school system..

  5. Social security should be raised to $ 20 dollars an hour times 40 hours. $ 800 folders a week. Only fair!

  6. The minimum wage needs to be increased so we can all eat $22 burrito’s in SF.

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