Here's what making $100,000 in Los Angeles 'feels like,' according to new study

When people talk about the cost of living in Los Angeles, the answer is often "you get what you pay for." Where else can you swim in the ocean and ski in the mountains in the same day? Well, according to a new study, your dollar doesn't stretch very far in the city of Angels – and the financial stability of a six-figure salary isn't quite what it used to be.

According to a new study from SmartAsset, a $100,000 salary in Los Angeles leaves workers with what "feels like" just $44,623, ranking it among the lowest of nearly 80 cities analyzed by the financial advisory company. 

The financial technology company compared the after-tax income in some of the largest cities across the U.S. and then adjusted those figures for the cost of living in each place. 

When analyzing LA, the study said that the annual take-home pay from $100,000 after taxes is $68,050, but the cost of living is 52.5% higher than the national average. 

"To calculate the city’s adjusted annual take-home pay, we divided the city’s average after-tax income by 1.525. In terms of purchasing power, the average take-home pay for someone living in Los Angeles is worth $44,623 after adjusting for the cost of living," the study wrote.

RELATED: Study shows what $100K is actually worth in the largest U.S. cities

Tied with LA as the fifth-lowest city where your money doesn't get you very far was Long Beach. The city where a six-figure salary gets you the least was New York City, which "feels like" just $36,000. 

The cities at the top of the list where a six-figure salary goes the furthest were Memphis, Tennessee, El Paso, Texas, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Corpus Christi, Texas, and Lubbock, Texas.


According to a recent survey, 51% of people who earned more than $100,000 reported living paycheck to paycheck in 2022 – 7% higher than a year earlier.