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[BUSINESS] Best Places to Max Usage of Income

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  • madchinaman
    If keeping more of your paycheck is important to you, some places are much better than others. By Jeanne Sahadi, CNNMoney.com senior writer
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 1 4:10 AM
      If keeping more of your paycheck is important to you, some places are
      much better than others.
      By Jeanne Sahadi, CNNMoney.com senior writer
      Listing of Best Jobs:


      16 cities where 6FigureJobs.com and TheLadders.com have had the
      greatest number of six-figure job listings, and the gross salary
      required to replicate $100,000 after adjusting for cost-of-living.
      New York $205,426
      San Francisco $179,034
      Los Angeles $156,106
      San Diego $149,384
      Washington, D.C. $141,894
      Boston $137,649
      Chicago $126,929
      Seattle $117,037
      Atlanta $102,805
      Denver $102,348
      Cleveland $101,986
      Milwaukee $101,478
      Phoenix $97,976
      Dallas $93,665
      Charlotte $92,991
      Houston $88,977


      NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Making $100,000 or more is nothing to
      sneeze at.

      Only 5 percent of earners in 2004 reported making that much,
      according to Census data.

      While entering six-figure territory can be a marker of a certain
      level of success, it's not always a marker of a lot of buying power.

      In some cities, a $100,000 salary sounds a lot better than it is
      because the cost of living is high, taxes are high and, as Murphy's
      Law would have it, even the rate of inflation runs higher than in
      other parts of the country.

      New York is the clearest example. Its cost of living is double the
      national average, according to data from ACCRA. Put another way, in
      New York, $200,000 is the new $100,000 paycheck

      But that $200,000 doesn't really mean you can afford the same
      lifestyle that $100,000 could buy in lower-cost cities like Cleveland
      or Denver.

      Consider inflation. Over the past 12 months through May, overall
      inflation in New York metropolitan area was 4.8 percent. In
      Cleveland, the rate was 3 percent. Drilling down, you also see big
      differences. The cost of having a roof over your head went up 5.6
      percent in New York, while in Cleveland it rose just 0.8 percent.

      Next, consider taxes. State and local taxes make a big difference in
      how much you net, but so, too, does the federal income tax. Earning a
      nominally higher salary ($200,000 versus $100,000) puts you in a
      higher tax bracket. J. Scott Moody, chief economist at the Maine
      Heritage Policy Center working on behalf of the Tax Foundation, notes
      that a single person making $205,000 in New York would have an
      effective tax rate of 25.4 percent, paying just over $52,000 in
      federal income tax, leaving him with $153,000.

      If you adjust for cost of living differences, that $205,000 salary
      would be worth $102,000 in Cleveland or Denver. The effective federal
      tax rate on that amount would be just 20.4 percent, so you would pay
      $20,868, with $81,480 left over.

      "Even though the two incomes are equivalent in terms of purchasing
      power, the New Yorker has an effective rate that is 5 percentage
      points (or 25 percent) higher than the person living in Denver. As a
      result, the New Yorker suffers a lower level of after-tax purchasing
      power," Moody said.

      Of course, the greatest number of six-figure jobs tend to be in the
      most pricey and populous cities, but there are also plenty of
      opportunities in more affordable ones.

      We asked job listing sites 6FigureJobs.com and The Ladders.com to
      provide us with a snapshot of where they have had the greatest number
      of listings for six-figure jobs in the past two months.

      Predictably, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington,
      D.C. were in the top 10. But there were also a relatively high number
      of such jobs in Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle, Cleveland, Denver,
      Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Houston, Dallas, Minneapolis and Charlotte,

      Besides being less costly, there is another big advantage these
      cities offer if you're in the running to make six figures. To attract
      talent, companies often will offer the same big salaries that you
      could earn in New York or San Francisco.

      "Whenever top talent is scarce (which is always), salaries offered to
      those super-producers ignore any geographic pattern that would
      suggest a lower number," said Jim Brennan, a senior associate at the
      Economic Research Institute, which specializes in competitive salary
      surveys. "So if you want to get a key executive, you have to pay
      world-class dollars."
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