Report: Family of four needs $62,528 a year to live securely in Lexington

August 15, 2013 

According to an updated report from the Economic Policy Institute, the Lexington area requires the second-highest income in Kentucky to maintain a safe standard of living, barely behind Clarksville, Tenn., the home of Fort Campbell on the Kentucky-Tennessee state line.

The Family Budget Calculator shows that two parents with two children living in the Lexington area need a monthly income of $5,211, or $62,528 a year, for a "secure yet modest living standard." Their largest single monthly cost is health care: $1,529.

That's slightly less than the nation's median budget for a two-parent, two-child family, $63,238 a year.

To get the numbers, the Washington-based group estimated monthly costs, including housing, health care, taxes and transportation, for 615 communities across the country, including several in Kentucky.

The institute found that families generally need more than twice the amount of the federal poverty line. The federal poverty level is $15,510 for a family of two and $23,550 for a family of four for the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia.

The group calculated in each area its new budgets for six family types — either one or two parents with one, two or three children.

The most expensive place is New York City, where two parents with two children need an annual budget of $93,502.

Among smaller towns, Marshall County, Miss., is the least expensive. There, a two-parent, two-child family needs $48,144 a year.

In Kentucky, the numbers for that family makeup had a narrow range — from $59,544 annually in rural parts of the state to $62,589 in Clarksville. Louisville was No. 9 at was $61,171.

According to an updated report from the Economic Policy Institute, the Lexington area requires the second-highest income in Kentucky to maintain a safe standard of living, barely behind Clarksville, Tenn., the home of Fort Campbell on the Kentucky-Tennessee state line.

The Family Budget Calculator shows that two parents with two children living in the Lexington area need a monthly income of $5,211, or $62,528 a year, for a "secure yet modest living standard." Their largest single monthly cost is health care: $1,529.

That's slightly less than the nation's median budget for a two-parent, two-child family, $63,238 a year.

To determine the numbers, the Washington-based group estimated monthly costs, including housing, health care, taxes and transportation, for 615 communities across the country, including several in Kentucky.

The institute found that families generally need more than twice the amount of the federal poverty line. The federal poverty level is $15,510 for a family of two and $23,550 for a family of four for the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia.

The group calculated in each area its new budgets for six family types — either one or two parents with one, two or three children. The larger a family, the larger the budget.

The most expensive place is New York City, where a two parents with two children need an annual budget of $93,502.

Among smaller towns, Marshall County, Miss., is the least expensive. There, a two-parent, two-child family needs $48,144 a year.

In Kentucky, the numbers for that family makeup had a narrow range — from $59,544 annually in rural parts of the state to $62,589 in Clarksville. Louisville was No. 9 at was $61,171.

The Dallas Morning News contributed to this report.Dallas Morning News contributed.

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