I understand the more responsibility you have the more you should be compensated. That aside, what salary range do you think you’d be truly content at?

a) around $150K
b) $200-250K
c) more than $250K

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I learned this about 15 years ago: the money is good only until you get used to living on that money.

For example, when I went from $35k to $47k in 1997, I thought I was rich. Being content lasted all of a year, when I got offered a spot somewhere else at 60.

Today my base is 180k with 2 tiers of bonuses that should get me to around 225-250 all in. And I’m still not content.

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I’ve been shocked by how much the more money I make the more money I want to make. I’m at 150 TC and don’t want for much (if anything). That said, I’d gladly take 200+ because as my peers make more, I want to make more to do more with them.

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Depends on where you live, how much debt you have, if you have a family to support, what Jones’ u r trying to keep up with, what makes you feel content. For me, 200k is more than enough in most places. $150k feels a little low for major cities, but it’s still plenty to live nicely.

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For me, it’s not as much the base salary (although yes, that helps!) but other financial perks eg good bonus, stock options, strong 401k match etc. I came from client aide and I’m making more now in base but my bonus etc client side were insane and really helped me start building a nest egg (which then became my emergency savings when I lost my job right before COVID.) Honestly, without those annual influxes of extra cash, I probably would have zero savings since everything I make in base goes to my expenses and outrageous student loan repayments.

Wait should I be making $150?! I barely scrape $80 and I have 10 years experience working at a top PR agency.

Performance AND experience

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I'm in bucket A and perfectly content. I paid off student debt many years ago via bonuses and tax returns, and live in NYC but save money easily without sacrifices to the lifestyle I want to live. That said, no kids, live with my partner, which both help keep COL lower. If you're not a victim of lifestyle creep and keeping up with the Joneses, it's very easy to be content earning anything above six figures. I of course will continue to ensure I get paid what I'm worth, so those higher bands will be expected over time. But it's not critical to my happiness that I make more for the sake of it.

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