You Can Retire In These States And Be Rich
Date Posted: Monday, January 14th, 2019
What constitutes a middle-class salary in New York City could be enough to make you rich in West Virginia, according to a new study.
In fact, 20 states have economies where it's possible to make less than $100,000 a year and still be rich, according to an analysis by GoBankingRates.
Researchers defined 'rich' as having an income in the 80th percentile of all households within a state, then weighed regional high-end home prices and local costs of living – including groceries, utilities, transportation, and health care – to determine the states where a high-end lifestyle is possible for less than six figures.
Based on those criteria, it's easier to be rich in Mississippi than anywhere else in the country, where an $81,038 salary places you in the top tier of earners. With a median price of $218,000 for top-tier homes, Mississippi also has the fourth-lowest mortgage payment in the U.S. – and the lowest overall cost of living.
However, with an average household income of $56,358 - the lowest in the nation - wealth is still out of reach for many Mississippians.
This map illustrates the 20 U.S. states where you can live a wealthy lifestyle for less than $100,000 - and how much you would need to earn in each state to be considered 'rich'.
Arkansas came in second, with a salary of $81,917 qualifying residents as top earners, though the average income is $58,850. The state also has the third-lowest median home price for high-end real estate ($216,200) and the fourth-lowest cost of living in the nation.
West Virginia followed, with a wealth income threshold of $82,384. The state has the highest volume of affordable top-tier homes, with an affordable median price of $187,000. However, West Virginia has the second-lowest average income in the nation, at $57,779.
Idaho came in third, with a wealth threshold of $86,701 – thanks, in part, to low utility costs and a relatively low $375,200 median price for top-tier homes. Idaho has an average income of $64,513.
Kentucky ranked fourth, requiring a salary of $87,048 to be considered rich in that state. Kentucky also has the second-cheapest groceries in the country and a low $250,000 median price for top-tier homes. The state's average income is $61,757.
Montana followed, with a wealth threshold of $88,241. Despite having a slightly higher cost of living than the national average, Montana's utilities and other costs are among the lowest in the country. The state's average income is $65,401.
Tennessee came in seventh, with an $88,339 salary all it takes to be considered rich in this state. Tennessee has an overall low cost of living and a low $300,100 median price for top-tier homes - and an average household income of $65,368.
Alabama ranked eighth, with a wealth threshold of $88,984 and the fourth-lowest cost of living in the nation. In addition, the median price for high-end homes in Alabama is $246,400, while the average income is $62,061.
In ninth place was Oklahoma, where a salary of $89,267 will qualify you as 'rich,' though the average household income was $65,458. The median home price for high-end real estate in that state is a low $215,900.
South Carolina rounds out the top 10, with a wealth threshold of $89,604 and an overall low cost of living, though the average household income is $64,115.
South Dakota came in eleventh place ($91,170), followed by Indiana (91,698), Maine ($91,883), New Mexico ($92,115), North Carolina ($92,305) and Missouri (92,568).
Rounding out the top 20 were Florida ($94,160), Louisiana ($94,449), Ohio ($94,663) and Michigan ($95,395).
This chart illustrates how Americans define being 'rich' - with 49 percent saying that it has nothing to do with money, but with happiness and meaningful relationships.
While GoBankingRates measured wealth based on income, 37 percent of Americans defined being rich as having enough money to live the life you really want, according to a separate survey the company did of 545 Americans.
In addition, some 49 percent of Americans said being rich was unrelated to their finances – with 30 percent saying it was about living a happy life no matter how much you earn, and another 19 percent saying true wealth was about having meaningful relationships with friends and family.
Another 10 percent said you're rich when you have a large nest egg or savings for the future, while just 4 percent defined 'rich' as earning a lot of money through your job.
At the same time, a majority of Americans (61 percent) said they don't feel like they have achieved their own definition of wealth, compared to 39 percent who feel like they are rich.
Date Posted: Monday, January 14th, 2019 , Total Page Views: 1503