How Much You Need to Earn to Rent a Home in Each State

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iStock

In 2010, New York City mayoral candidate Jimmy McMillan made the slogan “the rent is too damn high” a rallying cry. Not much has changed since then—for most people, the rent is still far too high. According to a new report (featured on Digg), the average hourly wage needed to rent a two-bedroom home across the U.S. is $21.21, or around three times the federal minimum wage. The National Low Income Housing Coalition’s annual report on housing affordability, "Out of Reach: The High Cost of Housing" [PDF] details just how much money the average renter needs in order to make rent easily. The figures are based on what the average family would have to earn in order to pay for a modest home using less than a third of their paycheck (a common standard for what’s "affordable" in housing; any more is considered "rent-burdened" [PDF]). The cost estimates are taken from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

A color-coded map lists the hourly wage needed to afford a modest home in each state.
NLIHC

According to the report, even though many states have higher minimum wage laws than the federal government, "in no state, metropolitan area, or county can a full-time minimum-wage worker afford a modest two-bedroom rental home. In only 12 counties can a full-time minimum-wage worker afford a modest one-bedroom rental home." (The report doesn’t take into account places like Portland, where the minimum wage is higher than in other parts of Oregon.)

A county-by-county analysis of the hourly wage needed to afford a modest home in the U.S.
NLIHC

The National Low Income Housing Coalition calculates these figures anew every year, and for the most part, rental costs are continuing to rise across the country. Whereas you used to need $28.60 an hour to afford a two-bedroom in California, in 2017, you’ll need almost $31 an hour. Hope you're getting a raise this year. [h/t Digg]

The 20 Best States to Retire in 2020

Robert Clay Reed/iStock via Getty Images
Robert Clay Reed/iStock via Getty Images

Spending your workdays dreaming of retirement? It’s the ultimate goal of any longtime office-dweller, but figuring out when you’re ready to finally take the plunge is one of many questions aspiring retirees need to ask themselves before quitting the 9-to-5 grind for good. Determining where to retire is equally important, as you’ll need to think not just about affordability, but quality of life and health care as well.

Personal finance website WalletHub crunched the numbers on all 50 states to come up with an official ranking on the best (and worst) states to retire. Their experts looked at 47 different factors and enlisted the help of a panel of experts.

Ultimately, it turns out that the idea of retiring to Florida is still very much alive. The Sunshine State took the top spot in the poll, largely because of its affordability (it came in second in that category overall, with only Alabama besting it). But spending your golden years on a beach somewhere doesn’t seem to be for everyone; while Colorado and New Hampshire certainly have their warm-weather seasons, they also accumulate plenty of snow each year—which didn’t seem to matter as they clinched the second and third positions on the list, respectively. Here are the 20 best states to retire:

  1. Florida
  2. Colorado
  3. New Hampshire
  4. Utah
  5. Wyoming
  6. Delaware
  7. Virginia
  8. Wisconsin
  9. Idaho
  10. Iowa
  11. South Dakota
  12. Montana
  13. Pennsylvania
  14. Massachusetts
  15. Ohio
  16. Minnesota
  17. Texas
  18. South Carolina
  19. North Dakota
  20. Missouri

The news was far less happy for Kentucky, which claimed the last spot on the list (followed closely by New Mexico, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and West Virginia).

You can view an interactive version of the map below, and visit WalletHub to see more detailed information on each state’s ranking.

Source: WalletHub

Handy Chart Tells You When It's Too Cold to Walk Your Dog

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iStock

Dogs have built-in fur coats, but they still get cold during their winter walks. Even if Fido isn’t hiding whenever you pull out the leash, you should still determine your dog’s tolerance for snowy romps, judging from this infographic spotted by Lifehacker, which is based on factors like size and breed (and not just enthusiasm for eating snow).

Infographic of the Tufts Animal Condition and Care (TACC) system, created by  Dr. Kim Smyth, a staff veterinarian with pet insurance company Petplan,
Petplan

Created by Dr. Kim Smyth, a staff veterinarian with pet insurance company Petplan, the chart is modeled after a scale developed by Tufts University that determines how canines respond to weather conditions depending on their builds. Before taking your four-legged friend outside, always check the temperature first (including wind chill), then reference the chart to gauge whether your dog can safely withstand the elements.

Small- to medium-sized dogs face cold-weather risks like hypothermia and frostbite when temperatures dip to 40°F. Larger dogs can tough it out for a little longer, but all pet owners should exercise caution and keep walks brief once the thermometer reaches 30°F. Canine accessories like sweaters or booties can safely prolong emergency bathroom strolls. Tiny pet shoes also protect vulnerable paws from sidewalk chemicals like antifreeze, according to NPR.

That said, no two canines—nor their fluff—are exactly alike. Dogs who are conditioned for the cold, or ones with heavy coats, fare better than older dogs or those with health conditions. Tiny, short-haired dogs may struggle too. Shivering is the first sign of hypothermia, Smyth told WBUR in an interview, so if you see your pups trembling, "you want to get these dogs inside, wrap them up in a warm towel or blanket, and get them to the vet if you need to," she says.

[h/t Lifehacker]

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