What would you class as a good salary?

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  • Grumpy_chap
    Grumpy_chap Posts: 15,044 Forumite
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    IAMIAM said:
    Curious to peoples thoughts on what is a good salary these days......
    It varies so wildly depending on circumstances, hence why we have a response suggesting £20k - £23k. 
    I don't agree with that as a good salary. NMW is £9.50 x 40 hours per week x 52 weeks = £19,760.

    The following gives income percentile distribution:
    https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/percentile-points-from-1-to-99-for-total-income-before-and-after-tax
    That is income and not salary.  It is a large spreadsheet so I've pulled out the decile points for before tax (2019-20 which is the latest year):
    10% = £15k
    20% = £17.4k
    30% = £19.6k
    40% = £22.7k
    50% = £26k
    60% = £30.1k
    70% = £35.7k
    80% = £43.7k
    90% = £58.3k
    99% = £180k

    The factsheet for the recent energy grants (case study 5) refers to a "low to middle income family on £43k"
    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cost-of-living-support/cost-of-living-support-factsheet-26-may-2022
  • Grumpy_chap
    Grumpy_chap Posts: 15,044 Forumite
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    This site gives UK salary percentiles for 2019 (rather than earning percentiles I linked above):
    https://www.statista.com/statistics/416102/average-annual-gross-pay-percentiles-united-kingdom/

    10% = £18.2k
    20% = £21.4k
    30% = £24.5k
    40% = £27.7k
    60% = £35.5k
    70% = £40.7k
    80% = £47.5k
    90% = £60.9k

    I wonder how many of those on £60k feel rich if they are in the top 10% by salary or income?  
  • Marcon
    Marcon Posts: 10,906 Forumite
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    edited 5 June 2022 at 6:54PM
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    I just hoped for pension contributions on starting a job if you want to pay c!#p - it's a pretty basic thing but must employers can't bother their backside for a least 3 to 6 months on this level.
    No need to hope. It isn't optional; auto enrolment kicks in after a maximum of 3 months for eligible jobholders who:
    • earn over £10,000 a year
    • and are aged between 22 and their State Pension age
    Non-eligible jobholder who ask to join must be enrolled within 3 months and the employer must make contributions. These are workers who:
    • earn over £10,000 a year
    • and are aged between 16 and 21 or between State Pension age and 74
    or
    • earn above £6,240 and less than £10,000 a year
    • and are aged between 16 and 74

    ...as already explained in one of your previous posts: https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6318155/pension-contributions-queries#latest
    Googling on your question might have been both quicker and easier, if you're only after simple facts rather than opinions!  
  • redundantmortgage
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    I'm in the top 10% but I certainly don't feel rich. Don't get me wrong I always have money to pay for things and I'm on the verge of paying the mortgage off. But property prices are expensive where I live and I know first hand how job security doesn't exist and it's difficult finding a new job.
  • Gavin83
    Gavin83 Posts: 8,756 Forumite
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    There are so many variables to this question it’s hard to answer. The main two are your location and your age. Certainly what I’d consider a good salary for someone fresh out of uni I wouldn’t consider a good salary for someone who’s 50. 

    I’ve always gone on the basis that earning £1k per year of your life is a good figure to aim for. However ultimately a good salary is enough for you to live a comfortable life and being able to afford the things you want, within reason.

    I wonder how many of those on £60k feel rich if they are in the top 10% by salary or income?  
    This is an interesting question. I earn around £60k a year, as does my wife. We’ve no children. I would assume slightly less than £120k a year household income places us in the higher bracket but I wouldn’t say I feel rich. Certainly comfortable but not rich. 

    We live in a 4 bed detached house in a nice area and can afford a few holidays a year and don’t worry about money. I guess to some people this would be considered rich but personally I’d consider someone rich if they live in a multi million pound house with a Ferrari on the driveway.

    However we’re both less than half way through our careers. I suspect we’ll both earn more in the future so maybe we’ll feel rich then.

    Saying that we both work in the public sector so with our pensions and other benefits we’re technically on a lot more already.

    I suspect being rich is fairly subjective though and you’d have to get to the extremely wealthy category before people actually started feeling rich.
  • MattMattMattUK
    MattMattMattUK Posts: 8,764 Forumite
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    This site gives UK salary percentiles for 2019 (rather than earning percentiles I linked above):
    https://www.statista.com/statistics/416102/average-annual-gross-pay-percentiles-united-kingdom/

    10% = £18.2k
    20% = £21.4k
    30% = £24.5k
    40% = £27.7k
    60% = £35.5k
    70% = £40.7k
    80% = £47.5k
    90% = £60.9k

    I wonder how many of those on £60k feel rich if they are in the top 10% by salary or income?  
    Not many I would imagine, but the figures probably skew the income/salary lower as well as the figures include pensioners, if you strip them out then the figure will likely go higher, it will also include the unemployed and economically inactive, further bringing it down. It would be interesting to see the breakdown for adults in full time employment, but I cannot find them.

    There will also be huge regional variations, the county I live in has an average income of £44k pa which is higher than the national average and there is significant variation within the county, I would estimate that in two of the towns close by the average will be into six figures, so whilst £60k could put one in the top 10% nationally, within the county it would probably only be the top 30% and within those towns it could even be below average by some way. 

    There is also the comparison, I earned good money for a few years and will be back there again in another year or so, but my spending profile never showed I was a high earner and I never felt rich, although I did know I was in a better position financially than most. I imagine those in the bottom deciles tend to think that those 90% or higher have almost limitless money, but even in the top 5-10% spending is still largely constrained by living costs and I would imagine it always feels that way until one has multiple diversified income streams well into six figures. 
  • techwatcher
    techwatcher Posts: 96 Forumite
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    It's complicated. The number of variables (location, age, lifestyle) precludes putting a number on it but for me a good salary would be sufficient to fund your desired lifestyle with sufficient left to be able to save/invest.




  • Grumpy_chap
    Grumpy_chap Posts: 15,044 Forumite
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    This site gives UK salary percentiles for 2019 (rather than earning percentiles I linked above):
    https://www.statista.com/statistics/416102/average-annual-gross-pay-percentiles-united-kingdom/

    10% = £18.2k
    20% = £21.4k
    30% = £24.5k
    40% = £27.7k
    60% = £35.5k
    70% = £40.7k
    80% = £47.5k
    90% = £60.9k

    I wonder how many of those on £60k feel rich if they are in the top 10% by salary or income?  
    Not many I would imagine, but the figures probably skew the income/salary lower as well as the figures include pensioners, if you strip them out then the figure will likely go higher, it will also include the unemployed and economically inactive, further bringing it down. It would be interesting to see the breakdown for adults in full time employment, but I cannot find them.
    I actually shared two sets of data in successive posts.

    Government data (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/percentile-points-from-1-to-99-for-total-income-before-and-after-tax) which is "the percentile points of the income distribution, estimated from the Survey of Personal Incomes each year.  The table only covers individuals who have some liability to Income Tax."  That is income, not earnings.  I expect, being ONS data, the data is reliable and the "survey" is from reliable sources, not just asking people.

    The second data set (https://www.statista.com/statistics/416102/average-annual-gross-pay-percentiles-united-kingdom/) is "Median annual earnings for full-time employees in the United Kingdom".

    I was surprised by the lack of variance between the two data sets, shown below side-by-side:

                  Income             Full Time Earning         
    10%       £15k                 £18.2k
    20%       £17.4k              £21.4k
    30%       £19.6k              £24.5k
    40%       £22.7k              £27.7k
    50%       £26k                  
    60%       £30.1k              £35.5k
    70%       £35.7k              £40.7k
    80%       £43.7k              £47.5k
    90%       £58.3k              £60.9k
    99%       £180k
  • TELLIT01
    TELLIT01 Posts: 16,580 Forumite
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    when my wife and I were both on our highest earnings we were earning around £60 k.  We also had a mortgage to pay, quite high travel costs for work etc, etc.  We also had 3 foreign holidays per year.  Earnings now aren't much more than half our peak, but not mortgage and no real desire to go abroad more than once a year.  We still live reasonably comfortably.
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