Is 100k a good salary in NYC?

New York City is one of the most expensive places in the US. But it’s also one of the best-paying cities, making it the dream city of many. An attractive salary will be important if you’re planning to live the NYC dream. So, is 100k a good salary in NYC?

100k is generally a good salary in New York City as it’s higher than the average income in the city. But your lifestyle, responsibilities, and job role will determine if it’d be enough. It won’t be surprising if it isn’t enough due to the city’s high taxes, cost of living, and outrageous housing.

However, you shouldn’t have any problem leaving a comfortable life in NYC with a 100k salary as a single person. Here, we discuss whether 100k is a good salary in New York City.

Factors Determining Whether 100k Salary Will be Enough in NYC

A good salary should be enough to meet the person’s needs and other miscellaneous expenses. In New York City, these factors will determine if 100k can do that:

1.  Lifestyle

Your lifestyle matters when determining if a $100k salary will be enough for you in New York City. The city is generally costly. But some expenses could make it more expensive for the average person. For instance, if you live alone in the chic part of the city, drive a luxury car, and go out often, a salary of $100k might be insufficient to maintain that luxury lifestyle in the city. But if you live a moderate life, you can comfortably survive on a salary of 100k in New York City.

2.  Responsibilities

If you’re a young person without a lot of responsibilities, especially family, then you should be able to live comfortably on a 100k salary. Even if after taxes, you still have around $70k, which can cater for all your basic expenses in the city. But if you have a family, even if you’re just a couple, 100k is unlikely to be a good salary in the city. For those with kids, a 100k salary in New York City will be barely sufficient to cover the most basic expenses.

3.  Job Role

Your job will also determine whether a 100k salary will be good for you in New York City. Although expenses matter, you also have to consider whether you’re earning a salary that fits your role. In this case, you should consider the average salary for your job in the city based on your experience. If you’re earning below the average, you can easily tell that the salary isn’t good enough even though it’s 100k and seems like a lot.

This is why it’s important to research the average salary in an industry or role before you take up a role in the industry. You should know this before negotiating the income, of course. Generally, New York City has high wages, especially for professional roles. So, you shouldn’t be swayed by the first high-wage offering you get. Chances are you’ll likely get more if you negotiate.

Average Salary in New York City

NYC has a large percentage of high-income earners, especially professionals. The average median income in the city in 2019 was $69,407, and about 30% of households in the city have an annual income in the 6 figures.

However, according to Payscale, the average income in the city is $83,000. That’s still one of the highest in the country. But, of course, not everyone earns this much. The city still has one of the highest poverty rates in the country. In 2020, the poverty rate was 17.3%. While it has reduced now, it shows just how unaffordable the city can be for some people.

If you’re moving to New York and intend to get a job that guarantees around a 100k starting salary, there are several industries you can look at. They include finance, management, computer, and engineering,

The high-paying jobs that are possible in the city are one of the major reasons for people moving there. In 2018, the city had the second highest number of jobs paying 100k and more in the country. Only San Francisco had more six figures jobs than it.


Why 100k Might Not Be Enough in NYC?

Although a salary of 100k might seem like much, and it is, several reasons make it seem insufficient for anyone living in New York City. They include:

1.  Taxes

One of the major issues in NYC is the taxes you have to pay. New York City has a total Sales and Use tax of 8.875%. The sales tax applies to goods and services bought within the city, while use taxes apply to goods and services bought outside the city and used within the state. Beyond that, there’s still state income and federal income tax.

The state has several brackets of individual tax rates, with the highest being 10.9% and the lowest being 4%. The state also has a combined sales tax of about 8.52%. Due to the incredibly high overall tax rate, anyone earning 100k in New York City will pay about one-third of their income as taxes which new bd they end up with around 65k as take-home pay.

2.  Cost Of Living

New York City is unaffordable even for people that earn 100k, and of course, most people don’t. The overall cost of living in NYC is 87.6% higher than the national average. Everything in the city costs more. Food, healthcare, utilities, transportation, groceries, and miscellaneous are significantly costlier in the city. This means the salary of 100k is barely enough if you’re not careful with your spending.

3.  Housing

Accommodation in New York City is so expensive that it deserves its special mention. A person earning 100k in the city might still need roommates to afford to live in the best neighborhood in the city. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city is $3,950. Most homes here are between $1000 to $5,300, and you’ll find rental properties for  $9,500 and above. With housing costing 194.3% higher here than the national average, finding something affordable is challenging.

In Conclusion 

100k is a good salary anywhere in the US, even in New York City with its high cost of living. But it might not be enough in some cases. This is especially true if you’re living in the city with your family and the 100k is a pre-tax salary.