How much $ do you need to live in a major city?

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If you want to live comfortably in any of America’s largest cities, it will come at a high price, according to a new study.

An individual must earn $96,500 a year before taxes to afford housing, groceries, transportation and entertainment, while also paying off debt and putting some money into savings, according to personal finance website SmartAsset. A two-parent household supporting two children needs a combined $235,000 to live comfortably, SmartAsset said in a study released Thursday.

Those income levels only apply to Americans living in the nation’s 99 largest cities, according to SmartAsset’s study, which also noted that it takes an even higher salary to reside in sprawling metros like Boston and New York.

Americans need such high income largely because housing and higher consumer prices have “wreaked havoc on the cost of living in cities,” said Jaclyn DeJohn, managing editor of Economic Analysis for SmartAsset.

The income figures from SmartAsset are noteworthy considering how a vast majority of Americans don’t earn anything close to those amounts. The latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the typical American makes between $62,000 and $73,000 a year. One estimate found that the median U.S. household income is $77,397.


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Chuck comes from a lineage of journalism. He has written for some of the webs most popular news sites. He enjoys spending time outdoors, bull riding, and collecting old vinyl records. Roll Tide!