Maybe you’re thinking about moving somewhere new and want to know if you’re earning enough to live well there. Or perhaps you’re about to take a new job and are trying to figure out if it’s a good deal or not.
Either way, if you’re in the situation of wondering if $60k a year is good, then I’ve got you covered.
And it’s a good question to ask! After all, if you’re trying to make a budget for yourself and your family with this salary, you need to know if you can actually live off of $60k a year.
This includes related questions like how much do you take home if you earn $60,000. That way, you can figure out how much you should spend on housing, food, gas, and other recurring expenses.
I remember when I first graduated from college and got my first “adult job”, I was beyond excited at the number in my contract. However, I got a sharp wake up call on pay day when I saw how much of my money was going to taxes. I wasn’t taking home nearly as much as I thought I would – and it was a bit of a shock, to put it mildly.
So keep reading to find out about just how much you’ll actually be earning at this level – including some jobs that make $60k a year that you may want to consider.
$60,000 a year is how much an hour?
$60,000 a year is $28.85 an hour. This is on the understanding that you work 40 hours every week, meaning you are working 2,080 hours per year.
Of course, if you’re working less (or more!) than this each week, you’ll need to do your own calculation.
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First, you’ll need to figure out how many hours you are working per week. For example, if you work full time at 40 hours per week but take two weeks of unpaid vacation leave each year, then you are working approximately 2,000 hours per year. At that rate, $60,000 a year is $30 an hour.
At the same time, if you work more than 40 hours per week on average, then you might be making slightly less than $30 per hour. Ultimately, it will come down to your own personal circumstances.
And of course, no matter how much you earn, making sure you manage this properly is key to ensuring you’re actually able to build your wealth – rather than getting to the end of the month and wondering where all your money has gone. For this, I always recommend Personal Capital, a great, FREE app where you can see a full money snapshot of your life in one place, while getting personalized advice on how to make sure you’re managing it right.
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How much do I take home if I earn $60,000?
The exact amount you’ll take home if you earn $60,000 will vary depending on which state you’re in. However, noting that the average single American contributes 29.8% of their earnings to income taxes, Medicare and Social Security, you’ll probably take home around $42,120.
That said, while this may be the average tax rate, you should check what applies where you are. Some states, such as Florida, do not have a state income tax. Other states, such as California, have a very high state income tax.
If you live in a state without a state income tax, you will probably take home close to $50,000 per year after federal income tax.
Is $60k a year good?
The median household income in the US in 2018 was $63,179. This means that if you’re earning $60k a year, which is very close to this amount, it can definitely be good. That said, this will depend on other factors, including the cost of living where you are and how you manage your finances.
In particular, it depends on what your overhead expenses are. If you are living alone, or you and your family are frugal, then you will probably make enough to live comfortably.
However, if you have a lot of children, or are supporting a lot of other people, then you might find yourself pinching pennies.
It’s also going to depend on your spending habits. Keep your spending under control and $60k a year can be good. But if you start to let it creep up with a few extra expenses here and there, you may find yourself starting to struggle before you know it.
You may also be interested in:
- $30,000 a Year is How Much an Hour – and is it Good?
- $40,000 a Year is How Much an Hour? And is $40,000 a Good Salary?
- $50,000 a Year is How Much an Hour? And Is It Enough to Live On?
- $15 an Hour is How Much a Year? And is $15 a Living Wage?
Is $60k a year middle class?
Earning $60k a year puts you firmly into middle class status. This is based on one popular definition of being middle class, which states that this applies to those earning between $42,119 and $126,358 annually. This is also supported by the fact that $60,000 is very close to the median US household income of $63,179.
You can also see this in other ways in addition to Pew’s definition of middle class, as mentioned above. For instance, the real median personal income in the US in 2019 was $35,977. Earning $60k a year puts you well above this, but certainly not in the “rich” category.
This can also be seen by the fact that, on $60k a year, you’ll still likely be in one of the middle tax brackets. While that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be rich (unfortunately!), it definitely means that $60k a year is good in most areas.
Is $60k a year enough to buy a house?
On $60k a year, you’ll take home around $3,500 per month. Based on the general advice that your mortgage repayments should be around 30% of your take home pay, your payments would be about $1,050, which would allow you to afford a house in areas with a reasonable cost of living.
That said, it might take you a while to save up for a down payment. You can make it work though, especially if you control your spending and manage your money wisely.
And while it’s obvious, it should be noted that earning $60k a year may not mean you’re able to buy your dream house, nor will it be possible to do this in areas with a high cost of living. But as long as you keep your expectations reasonable, then buying a house on this salary should be more than possible.
After all, there are even people who’ve reached financial freedom on $60,000 a year!
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Is $60k a year good for a couple?
Earning $60k a year is good for a couple, especially noting that the median household income in the US in 2018 was $63,179. As you will be just below this amount, your income is right on track with many other people’s earnings.
Of course, if you have children to support, you might feel like your personal financial plan is getting a bit tricky to stick with at this amount. That said, you and your family should still be able to live comfortably.
And even on this amount, it’s important to aim to leave enough room in your budget for your financial goals, like building your emergency fund, contributing to your retirement account or, if you want, starting to set aside money for your children’s college education at a young age.
What jobs make $60k a year?
Some jobs that make $60k a year include:
- Public relations specialist
- Respiratory therapist
- Human resources specialist
- Forester or conservation scientist
- Film and video editor
- High school teacher
- Market research analyst
- Compensation and benefits analyst
What jobs pay $60k a year without a degree?
It’s also possible to find jobs that pay $60k a year without a degree. Examples of this include:
- Radiation therapist
- Elevator install and repair specialist
- Nuclear power plant inspector
- Commercial pilot
- Dental hygienist
- Criminal investigator or detective
- Power system maintenance and repair technician
Keep in mind that some of these jobs might require a two-year degree or a certification; however, they do not necessarily require a four-year degree. That said, having a four-year degree could make you more competitive for one or more of these positions.
How much will I be taxed if I make $60k?
The exact amount of taxes you’ll owe if you make $60k will depend on where you are. That said, it’s been found that the average single American contributes 29.8% of their earnings to income taxes, Medicare and Social Security. In light of this, you’ll likely be taxed around $17,880 if you make $60k.
At the same time, while that may be the average tax rate, this could change if you are married and your partner is making extra money, putting you in a higher tax bracket. Also, remember that your take-home pay depends on the tax rate of your state.
We mentioned earlier how some states don’t have state income tax, like Florida, meaning your take home pay will be higher. To use the example of Florida, here’s a general breakdown of what you will owe in federal taxes if you do not have any additional income coming in and you make exactly $60,000 per year. Your taxes include:
- Federal income tax: $6,188
- Social security: $3,720
- Medicare tax: Approximately $870
In this case, you’ll be taxed $10,778 if you make $60k, meaning your effective tax rate will be about 18 percent. This means your take-home pay will be $49,222, which comes out to approximately $4,100 per month.
This shows that if you move to a state without a state income tax, you will get to take home more of your average pay.
However, it’s worth keeping in mind that many states without a state income tax have higher taxes in other areas, such as real estate taxes. This is why you should consider other taxes as well when deciding where to live.
How to live off $60k a year
Even though it might sound challenging for some, it’s more than possible for you to live off of $60,000 per year with some careful management.
After all, let’s not forget that earning $60k a year is good in most areas! This means it’s more than possible to live off $60k a year.
If we use the examples from above, your take-home pay will be anywhere from around $3,500 to $4,100 per month. A good way to start to work out how to manage your money no matter your earnings is to consider the recurring expenses you will probably have and make cuts there.
These could include::
- Housing: Try to keep your housing costs to 30% of your take-home pay, which will be around $1,300 at this income level. Mortgage payments are usually lower than rent payments for the same property, however, if you have a mortgage payment, you also have to cover real estate taxes and home insurance. This could make your monthly mortgage payment similar to a rent payment.
- Groceries: If you live alone, then you might be able to limit your grocery bills to $100 per month. If you live with your partner and kids, your grocery expenses might be closer to $250 per month. Try using a cashback app like Ibotta to make sure you’re earning money on things you’d be buying anyway.
- Retirement: Try to contribute at least 10% to 20% of your income to a retirement account, or up to around $800 – although if you can afford even more, that’s great too! The best way to do this is to transfer this money as soon as you’re paid rather than waiting until the end of the month, as that way, you’ll know it’s covered no matter what else you end up spending your money on.
- Utilities: Try to limit your electric, water, cable, and phone bills to less than $300 per month total. And if you’re not sure how to reduce these…have you heard of Trim, an app that can automatically renegotiate these bills for you?
- Gas: If you and your partner are each filling up once per week, then your gas could probably be $200 per month. That said, you can cut back here by downgrading your cars, switching to public transport or free options, like biking or walking, or even carpooling.
- Auto insurance: Budget $100 per month per car for car insurance if you drive an economy car.
- Health insurance: Even if you get health insurance for your family through your employer, you will probably still be paying $50 per month.
If we add up these recurring expenses at the highest level, we reach $3,000 per month of recurring expenses for your family.
You’ll then have anywhere between $500 to $1,000 to spend on other things, like saving for that holiday, paying those start of the school year expenses – or even topping up your emergency or retirement fund!
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About the author
Anna is the founder of LogicalDollar and a personal finance expert, having been featured on Forbes, HuffPost, Reader’s Digest, MSN Money, Yahoo! Finance, CreditCards.com and many more. She’s committed to helping others get on the path to financial freedom using the experience gained from turning $60,000 in debt into a six-figure investment portfolio. Find out more.