According to a recent Gallup survey, most American families believe a family of four would need at least $58,000 per year to “get by” in their communities. That’s more than the median household income, which came in at $55,775 a year in 2015. And it’s more than double the 2015 federal poverty threshold of $24,036 for a family with two adults and two children.
Clearly, there’s a pretty big disparity between what government officials consider a “living wage” and what American families consider a living wage.
According to MIT, the living wage varies depending on which region of the United States you live in. “Families of four (with two working adults, two children) in the North ($69,273), and West ($68,651) have higher median living wages before taxes than the South ($63,837), and Midwest ($63,144),” according to MIT’s living wage report.
Yet, even the living wage as dictated by MIT is just that: a wage you can survive on. So how do you know when you’re finally earning a comfortable living? And how do those numbers change as you go through life?
Let’s take a closer look at how much money the middle class really need to get by these days …