What does $100,000.00 per Year Buy a Family in Illinois?

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This is an extremely controversial subject!  Almost as controversial as politics!!  I read this article at npr.com, “What living on $100,000.00 per year looks like”.  NPR interviews several families from around the country, and each family’s experience was very different.  Each family had their own financial experiences.  And, in each case, they had stresses and strains in their financial life.  The point of the article, in my opinion, is to show that $100,000.00 is not a magic number for families to feel financially secure.  What does it buy a family in Illinois?  It depends on many things!

I also looked at the comments. As is usual with the internet, there were a wide variety of comments, some pretty nasty, and others were understanding.  Why do people feel so strongly about how much others earn, and how well-off they feel? This is because we haven’t “walked a mile in their shoes”!  Some of the comments were: “I can’t feel sorry for you”.  But, who are we to judge? And, living in a big urban area like Chicago is more expensive than living in some small towns.  But, wages are higher in big cities too.  Are the wages enough?  The answer is that everyone has to figure out how to live their life. And, everyone has obstacles to overcome. Some people have kids, others don’t. Some have kids with special needs, some have medical problems.  Some people are trying to get an education.  Some people have a hard time with money.  Some people are self-employed and have to pay for medical insurance on their own.  Some have car accidents or injuries on the job…. The list goes on.

Do you feel like you are middle class but working just to pay your bills?  Do you feel like you are poor even though you make a lot of money?  Are you living paycheck-to-paycheck?

Our job is not to judge others.  We are all human, and we all have different needs and backgrounds.  We have to make the best of our situation.  What some people earn may seem like a lot to others.  But, until you know the whole story, you don’t know what got them where they are.

What do you think? What is your story?  Are you wondering why you are struggling even though you make “good money”?  Let me know what you think.

Daniel  J. Winter


Offices in Chicago, Gurnee, Oak Lawn, and  Skokie, Illinois