The median sales price of a Santa Clara County 3 bedroom house is $820,000. This is $3,877/mo, plus $850/mo property taxes, for a housing cost of $4,727/mo
That $140,000/yr is taxed at $48,922 in the state of California, leaving $91,078, or $7,589/ mo income.
CA Income ($7,589) - CA Housing Costs ($4,727) = $2,682 leftover.
The median sales price of a Cobb County 3 bedroom house is $173,000. This is $818/mo, plus $140/mo property taxes, for a housing cost of $958/mo
That $80,000/yr is taxed at $23,600 in the state of Georgia, leaving $56,400, or $4,700/ mo income.
GA Income ($4,700) - GA Housing Costs ($958) = $3,742 leftover.
I'm not saying my numbers are valid for every person's situation, only that this is an example of a situation where the numbers work in Atlanta's favor.
L4 is ~215k. L5 (Senior) is ~265k.
Factor in free breakfast/lunch/dinner, free gym, free laundry, generous 401k matching, other perks and discounts, and the gap widens even more.
Throwing those out as typical is disingenuous.
Of course, this is just "a couple minutes of google research"--I am not a subject matter expert, as someone on HN kindly pointed out last time I posted these here. Also, they are based on self-reported surveys and don't include sellable equity, so take it with a grain of salt. I don't know where better data would be published. I'm intuitively not too surprised by these figures--I think the HN demographic is probably pretty skewed towards the higher end, judging by all those threads where people toss around $150K and $200K salaries as "normal".