Here’s how far a $100K salary goes in the most — and least — affordable U.S. cities

Hitting a six-figure salary has long been seen as a sign of financial success. But with the ever-increasing cost of living, $100,000 can fall far short of financial security in many of the nation’s largest cities.

In fact, according to a new analysis by personal finance website SmartAsset, someone on $100,000 in the most expensive places — New York, San Francisco and Honolulu — has the same standard of living as someone earning $36,000 almost anywhere else in the country.

for the ReportsSmartAsset used its paycheck calculator to subtract state, federal and local taxes from a $100,000 salary, then adjusted the remainder based on each city’s respective cost of living.

Winner? Memphis, Tennessee, where a six-figure earner would be left with the equivalent of $86,000 after taxes.

Tennessee has no personal income tax, leaving a hypothetical worker with $74,500 after federal taxes are deducted, but Memphis’ extremely low cost of living puts it on par with a take home salary of $86,400 elsewhere in the country.

Of course, most locals make far less than that amount, with the median household in the Memphis metro area earning just under $55,000.

Texas was another big winner in SmartAsset’s rankings, holding seven of the top 10 cheapest cities in the calculation: El Paso, Corpus Christi, Lubbock, Houston, San Antonio, Fort Worth and Arlington.

At the other end of the spectrum, New York ranks last in affordability, with a $100,000 salary in the Big Apple equivalent to just $36,000 in take-home pay elsewhere in the country.

California features heavily on the least affordable list, with the 10 worst cities including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Long Beach, San Diego and Oakland. Census data shows that nearly 4 in 10 households in the state earn more than $100,000, but the cost of housing in the state has risen to the point where a family of four can qualify for six. goes Federal aid In San Francisco and other parts of the Bay Area.

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