$300K salary is 'new $100K' in these California cities

Turns out a six-figure salary doesn't stretch as far as it used to. 

New data from SmartAsset shows even employees making six figures in some cities still need to make two or even three times that amount to reach a "six-figure level of financial comfort."

To get the data showing what residents would need to make in each metro to reach the purchasing power of the "new" $100,000, SmartAsset analyzed annual salaries in 76 American cities, adjusting them for taxes and living costs. 

San Francisco ranked among the top three most expensive cities. The City By the Bay was preceded by Honolulu then New York. With a median household income that is nearly double the national average, San Francisco costs 82.8% more than the national average, the study found. San Franciscans need to earn slightly more than $300,000 pre-tax to take home $100,000 of purchasing power.

California's cities require the highest gross incomes of any state, SmartAsset reported, pointing out "Golden State cities command particularly high tax rates and costs of living premiums."

The data showed the "new" $100,000 is actually close to $250,000 in the California cities of Oakland, Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Overall, Oakland ranked fourth, with a $245,600 minimum salary needed to feel like you're taking home $100,000. Los Angeles and Long Beach tied for fifth ($245,300), followed by San Diego ($235,600) to round out the top 10.


According to the findings, Texas is the easiest state to "make it," partly due to no state income tax and the cost of living across the Lone Star State generally below the national average.

Cities were ranked from the highest salary range that is considered middle class ($104,499 to $311,936 in Fremont, CA) to the lowest salary range that would be considered middle class ($23,827 to $71,124 in Cleveland, OH).

To see the full study, tap or click here.