$200k is the New 6-Figures — Another Angle

I got some feedback that my previous post on why I say that $200k is the new 6-figures was a bit confusing and hard to follow for some of you, so if you aren't really a math/numbers person I hope this version is a bit more clear for you.

Everyone always talks about a 6-figure salary as this kind of “gold standard” for a goal, but 6-figures itself is a static goal and doesn’t take into account inflation and the reduction of buying power over time.

I know inflation has been big news and there has been quite a bit of talk about it lately with what happened to prices in our post-pandemic world, but inflation is always a thing. It is usually just less noticeable and flies more under the radar.

I wanted to see what inflation has really meant to that 6-figure “gold standard” and it is interesting and kind of scary for those of us not in the billionaire realm.

The US Bureau of Labor and Statistics has an inflation calculator — https://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl.

Being the numbers geek that I am, I find it kind of interesting to play around with stuff like that, so I plugged in various numbers and dates.

Let's look at what that $100,000 in April 2024 would have looked like at various times in the past:

  • April of 1996 $49,849
  • January of 1978 $19,933
  • March of 1965 $9,983

That’s why I say that if you are still shooting for 6-figures, you are aiming way too low.

You need to double what you are shooting for if your goal was from 1996. If your goal dates back to 1978, you need to multiply it by 5, and if your goal dates back to 1965 you need to multiply by 10.