These 16 States Require An Income Of $70,000 for Financial Security
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The concept of financial stability is heavily influenced by where you reside, as demonstrated by the vast disparity in the annual cost of living across US states.
A recent analysis by personal finance website GOBankingRates highlights that the median annual “living wage” – the minimum income required to cover expenses while saving for retirement – stands at $64,116 per household in the United States.
However, the differences between states are striking. To ensure financial security, a person needs to earn $134,805 in Hawaii, while in Mississippi, $55,441 is sufficient.
Presenting the 16 states where individuals should earn over $70,000 to achieve financial security, the rankings are ordered from the highest living wage to the lowest, as assessed by GOBankingRates.
- Hawaii: $134,805
- Massachusetts: $105,458
- California: $96,353
- New York: $87,897
- Alaska: $86,026
- Maryland: $81,879
- Vermont: $79,490
- Oregon: $79,238
- Washington: $78,810
- New Jersey: $77,776
- Connecticut: $75,907
- New Hampshire: $75,745
- Maine: $73,554
- Arizona: $72,394
- Rhode Island: $72,127
- Colorado: $71,316
Unsurprisingly, Hawaii commands the highest living wage in the country. Its geographic isolation necessitates costly sea-based imports, which are often passed on to consumers as elevated prices. Moreover, limited housing supply further strains Hawaiian residents’ finances, with a disproportionate amount spent on accommodation.
Alaska, ranking fifth, also experiences a notably high cost of living due to its isolation and import reliance.
The states with the highest living wages often feature major cities like New York, Los Angeles, or Seattle, where living expenses tend to outpace the national average. However, these cities offer the benefit of higher wages, attributed to diverse and competitive job markets that demand specialized skills.
For the top 16 states on this list, the median household income stands at $81,334, surpassing the national median of $66,279, according to GOBankingRates’ analysis.
The living wage is defined as an income that allocates 50% to necessities, 30% to discretionary spending, and 20% to savings. This analysis is based on the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the US Census.