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The Unattainable Middle Class: Denver's Six-Figure Dilemma

In Denver, six-figure salaries aren't enough to escape the lower middle class. High living costs force residents to reconsider their definition of a comfortable lifestyle.

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The Unattainable Middle Class: Denver's Six-Figure Dilemma

The Unattainable Middle Class: Denver's Six-Figure Dilemma

In a city renowned for its thriving economy and high quality of life, Denver's residents are faced with a startling reality. According to a recent study by GOBankingRates, even those earning a seemingly comfortable $95,000 a year find themselves stuck in the lower middle class.

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The Unattainable Middle Class

GOBankingRates analyzed the median household incomes in the 100 largest cities across the United States, and the results for Denver were eye-opening. With an income range of $57,235 to $95,392, the Mile High City's lower middle class encompasses individuals who, in many other parts of the country, would be considered solidly middle class.

Cost of Living: The Great Equalizer

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So, why are six-figure salaries not enough to escape the lower middle class in Denver? The answer lies in the city's cost of living. After factoring in expenses such as housing, food, transportation, healthcare, and taxes, a Denverite earning $95,000 per year would have approximately $22,716.95 left over in disposable income. This places them just above the lower middle class threshold.

A Tale of Two Cities

Comparatively, a resident of Houston, Texas, earning the same annual salary would find themselves in a much more comfortable financial position. With a lower cost of living, the disposable income for a Houston resident making $95,000 a year would be around $43,469.43 – nearly double that of their Denver counterpart.

The study highlights the challenges of achieving a comfortable middle-class lifestyle in Denver despite earning a seemingly high income. As the city continues to grow and attract new residents, the question remains: can Denver find a balance between economic prosperity and affordability, or will the middle class remain perpetually out of reach?

In Denver, the struggle to break free from the lower middle class is very real, even for those earning six figures. With living costs continuing to rise, the city's residents face an uphill battle in their quest for a comfortable, middle-class lifestyle.
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