Are you rich? If you lived here, you would be

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Most Americans would call themselves "rich" if they had an annual income of $150,000, according to a new Gallup survey. But is that really rich? Here's a look at how those earnings stack up against your fellow Americans and how far it would get you in different parts of the nation.

For one thing, making that much would put most of the 99 percent right in the 90th percentile when it comes to earnings, according to the Tax Policy Center. (The top 1 percent everyone talks about starts at $506,553 per year.) That's out of all taxpayers. Where it places you on the income scale really depends on how many people are in your family and who is doing the earning.

-- If it's just you making $150,000 then welcome to the 98th!
--
If you're married and that's your combined income, you're only in the 82nd percentile.
-- Even if you're both making $150,000 a year, you're still only in the 95th.
--Good news if you're the head of a household and the sole provider - you're in the 99th percent.The bad news is that tells you how hard it is to be the sole provider for a household.

Although $150,000 is three times the median household income in the U.S., that leaves out one key factor: Location, Location, Location.

If you make that much and live around Mission, Texas -- where the median income and cost of living are among the lowest of any U.S. metropolitan area -- you're going to feel a lot richer than if you live in Manhattan, where the median income and cost of living are among the nation's highest

So let's say you live in Morgantown, W. Va., where the cost of living is just 0.6 percent more than the national average, according to the U.S. Census. The median income is $22,000, the median home price is about $165,000 and the median monthly rent is $575 a month. If you're what most of us call rich, then you're doing all right.

Here's how much you'd have to earn to maintain that standard of living in a few other areas, according to BankRate.com:

Amarillo, TX: $133,519

Boston: $197,587

Buffalo, N.Y. $142,835

Chicago: $174,287

Honolulu: $247,101

Juneau, AK: $203,597

Manhattan: $322,938

Omaha, NE: $131,709

Phoenix: $150,191

Pryor Creek, OK: $126,041

San Jose, CA: $232,895

Washington, DC: $208,833

  • Constantine von Hoffman On Twitter»

    Constantine von Hoffman is a freelance writer and writing coach. His work has appeared in outlets such as Harvard Business Review, NPR, Sierra magazine, Brandweek, CIO, The Boston Herald, TheStreet.com, CSO, and Boston Magazine.

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