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'Why is it so hard to make it in America?' Here's the true cost of the American Dream

How much does it cost to live the American Dream? More than most of us can afford, according to two recent studies.

A household would have to spend more than $150,000 a year to live the dream in 29 of the 50 states, according to an analysis published in April by the personal finance site GOBankingRates.

According to the report, the optimal American lifestyle would cost $137,842 a year in Ohio, $147,535 in Texas, $159,932 in Florida, $194,067 in New York and $245,723 in California.

And how, exactly, does one quantify the American Dream?

GOBankingRates defines the dream as getting married, raising two children and owning a home, a car and a pet. (You can almost imagine them tooling around in one of those little plastic cars from the Game of Life.)

The site ran the numbers for every state, factoring in a mortgage, annual health care costs, utilities, education, groceries, pets and child care. After tallying the expenses, researchers doubled them, to account for discretionary spending and savings.


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