Single people need over $100,000 annually to live comfortably in US

By Minh Hieu   April 25, 2024 | 03:30 pm PT
Single people need over $100,000 annually to live comfortably in US
A view of New York City, New York, the United States. Photo by Unsplash
The median income required to lead a comfortable life as a single person can exceed $100,000 a year in the most expensive U.S. states, a new report found.

Massachusetts is the most costly state for single individuals, requiring an income of $116,022 per year, followed by Hawaii ($113,693), California ($113,651), New York ($111,738), and Washington ($106,496), as cited by CNBC from a new report by financial technology firm SmartAsset.

In contrast, West Virginia ($78,790), Arkansas ($79,456), Oklahoma ($80,413), North Dakota ($80,538) and Kentucky ($80,704) are the most affordable states for single people.

This level of income is nearly double the median income of most full-time single workers in the country, which is around $60,000 a year, according to data by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Living "comfortably" is defined as having the income to afford a 50/30/20 budget, which allots 50% of your earnings for basic needs like food and housing, 30% for wants and the remaining 20% for savings, investments or debt payments.

The national median income required for a satisfactory solo lifestyle is $89,461, suggesting that the 50/30/20 budget may not be feasible for most single individuals.

The cost of living alone in the States has grown more expensive due to an increase in the "singles tax" – the additional rental expenses that singles often bear compared to their coupled counterparts, according to real estate marketplace firm Zillow.

The national singles tax currently amounts to $7,110 per year, up nearly 2% from 2023, it said.

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