KIRO NEWSRADIO OPINION

G&U: Why is $100,000 worth equivalent to $49,000 in Seattle?

Mar 20, 2023, 1:57 PM | Updated: 2:43 pm

downtown Seattle...

$100,000 in Seattle isn't what it used to be. (Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)

(Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)

According to a SmartAsset report, $100,000 in Seattle is worth roughly $49,000 after adjusting for taxes and cost of living.

The report compared 76 of the largest cities in the U.S. to see how much $100,000 is actually worth in different parts of the country.

US wholesale inflation fell last month on lower food costs

“Seen as a sign of success and financial comfort, a six-figure salary has long been an important milestone for American workers,” the report stated. “But the times have changed, and $100,000 isn’t quite what it used to be.”

The main cause of this drop in mileage you get from your money is rampant inflation reducing purchasing power and pushing the cost of living higher.

Of nearly 4,000 people surveyed, 51% of people who earn more than $100,000 reported living paycheck to paycheck in December 2022 – 7% higher than a year earlier – according to a recent survey from PYMNTS and LendingClub.

$100,000 goes the furthest in Memphis, Tenn., with the take-home pay being $86,444. With Texas being a state with no income tax and a low cost of living, seven of the state’s cities are in the top 10. $100,000 goes the least in New York City, with the salary amounting to $35,791 after considering taxes and the cost of living.

Gee and Ursula talked about this growing issue of people struggling to keep up with the cost of living in Seattle.

“When you leave the house in Seattle in this area if you’re not going to work, but you’re leaving the house, that’s a minimum of 100 bucks,” Gee said. “That’s a minimum wherever you go. It doesn’t matter if it’s going to be you going to the grocery store or if you’re going to get gas.”


Even items that are supposed to be relatively inexpensive have gotten much more expensive, Ursula said.

“Even if you thought, ‘wow, I’m just gonna go let me just get a McDonald’s kind of breakfast.’ Well, even with the cost there, people are complaining now about the Big Mac. It’s over $5!” Ursula said.

Listen to Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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G&U: Why is $100,000 worth equivalent to $49,000 in Seattle?