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Affording California

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  • Affording California

    How do people who make 300k a year afford to live in California and not live in an undesirable area? Any tax saving strategies? ANyone that makes 300k single able to break down their take home pay?

  • #2
    Define “undesirable area.”

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Lithium View Post
      Define “undesirable area.”
      I dunno, i wanna move to LA i make 350-400kish doing locums and im single.

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      • #4
        You could live pretty well in California, Kentucky on that.

        You can live in California on that kind of money but you aren't going to have much money to do anything else, especially save much for retirement.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Craigslist View Post
          How do people who make 300k a year afford to live in California and not live in an undesirable area? Any tax saving strategies? ANyone that makes 300k single able to break down their take home pay?
          Not sure how someone can do that in a HCOLA in CA and still save >20% gross. Definitely difficult to do if you have a kid.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Lithium View Post
            Define “undesirable area.”
            Outside of a 100 mile radius of LA, San Fran, or San Diego.

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            • #7
              Obviously the median income of LA is a small fraction of 300k and people who make less than six figures can afford to live there.

              in general, taxes in California are not about looking for any special breaks but trying to limit getting hosed in ways you wouldn’t in most other states.

              I think parts of California have much to offer, but there isn’t much charm at all in LA.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by zlandar View Post

                Outside of a 100 mile radius of LA, San Fran, or San Diego.
                What’s wrong with Truckee or Lake Tahoe?

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                • #9
                  They either rent an apartment or buy a house 5x salary breaking the wci rule and becoming house poor. But you get nice weather at least!

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                  • #10
                    Actually, I've always wondered how working class people are able to afford living in SF, LA or San Diego..

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by TheDangerZone View Post
                      Actually, I've always wondered how working class people are able to afford living in SF, LA or San Diego..
                      Me, too. I think:

                      - generations have lived there so already own their home.
                      - many generations under one roof because they have to.
                      - no savings
                      - reliant on government services like free lunches at school, subsidized health care

                      And even then people move out of the city and commute loooong distances to work.

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                      • #12
                        What about areas like Bakersfield and Fresno ?

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                        • #13
                          Central coast is really nice.

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                          • #14
                            so the first thing is lets think about how insane it is to suggest you can't live a great life, even in california, on a "measly" 300k. Of course you can save enough for retirement and have a nice house etc.

                            That said, i don't think you should expect to:
                            1. go part time too soon
                            2. spend less than 2x income on a house and get what you want
                            3. send all your kids to private school
                            4. etc etc

                            Personally i would avoid the most expensive places in california like the bay area and los angeles. Also im not sure the california taxes would be worth it at some of the less desirable places in california...

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ObgynMD View Post

                              Not sure how someone can do that in a HCOLA in CA and still save >20% gross. Definitely difficult to do if you have a kid.
                              300k gross

                              according to smartasset tax calculator for a single person in california,

                              175k after 19500 deductible 401k contribution. Assume 10k match from employer, 30k in mega backdoor/backdoor roth contributions, have 145k after taxes and after saving 20% gross

                              145k/12 = 12k/mo

                              Big dumb doctor house at 1.2M 30 year mortgage 3% interest rate is 5k/month

                              7k left over to do whatever you want.

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