# \$98 an Hour is How Much a Year? Before and After Taxes

In today’s job market, an hourly wage of \$98 an hour seems quite high to many workers. But do you know exactly what that hourly pay equates to over the course of a year? In this article, we’ll break down the before and after tax annual, monthly, biweekly, and weekly salaries for someone earning \$98 per hour.

You’ll learn how to calculate the total yearly earnings for \$98 an hour, including any overtime pay. We’ll discuss whether \$98 an hour is considered a good wage in today’s economy given rising inflation. You’ll see how unpaid time off can reduce your actual annual income even when making \$98 an hour. We’ll also overview jobs that pay \$98 an hour or more. And we’ll look at sample budgets to evaluate if it’s possible to live comfortably on \$98 an hour. Understanding the true value of \$98 an hour can empower your career planning and salary negotiations. Keep reading for a full analysis!

## Convert \$98 Per Hour to Weekly, Monthly, and Yearly Salary

Input your wage and hours per week to see how much you’ll make monthly, yearly and more.

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### \$98 an Hour is How Much a Year?

If you make \$98 an hour, your yearly salary would be \$203,840. We calculate your annual income based on 8 hours per day, 5 days per week and 52 weeks in the year.

Hours worked per week (40) x Hourly wage(\$98) x Weeks worked per year(52) = \$203,840

### \$98 an Hour is How Much a Month?

If you make \$98 an hour, your monthly salary would be \$16,986.67. We calculated this number by dividing your annual income by 12 months.

Hours worked per week (40) x Hourly wage(\$98) x Weeks worked per year(52) / Months per Year(12) = \$16,986.67

### \$98 an Hour is How Much Biweekly?

If you make \$98 an hour, your biweekly salary would be \$7,840.

Hours worked per week (40) x Hourly wage(\$98) x 2 = \$7,840

### \$98 an Hour is How Much a Week?

If you make \$98 an hour, your weekly salary would be \$3,920. Calculating based on 5 days per week and 8 hours each day.

Hours worked per week (40) x Hourly wage(\$98) = \$3,920

### \$98 an Hour is How Much a Day?

If you make \$98 an hour, your daily salary would be \$784. We calculated your daily income based on 8 hours per day.

Hours worked per day (8) x Hourly wage(\$98) = \$784

## \$98 an Hour is How Much a Year?

The basic formula to calculate your annual salary from an hourly wage is:

Hourly Rate x Hours Worked per Week x Number of Weeks Worked per Year = Annual Salary

So for a \$20 per hour job:

\$98 per hour x 40 hours per week x 52 weeks per year = \$203,840

However, this simple calculation makes some assumptions:

• You will work 40 hours every week of the year
• You will not get any paid time off

Therefore, it represents your earnings if you worked every week of the year, without any vacation, holidays, or sick days.

Accounting for Paid Time Off

The \$203,840 base salary does not yet factor in paid time off (PTO). Let’s assume the job provides:

• 2 weeks (10 days) paid vacation
• 6 paid holidays
• 3 paid sick days

This totals 19 paid days off, or nearly 4 weeks of PTO.

Importantly, this paid time off should not be deducted from the annual salary, since you still get paid for those days.

So with 4 weeks PTO, the annual salary would remain \$203,840 .

## Part time \$98 an hour is How Much a Year?

Your annual income changes significantly if you work part-time and not full-time.

For example, let’s say you work 25 hours per week instead of 40. Here’s how you calculate your new yearly total:

\$98 per hour x 25 hours per week x 52 weeks per year = \$127,400

By working 15 fewer hours per week (25 instead of 40), your annual earnings at \$98 an hour drop from \$203,840 to \$127,400.

That’s a \$76,440 per year difference just by working part-time!

Here’s a table summarizing how your annual earnings change depending on how many hours you work per week at \$98 an hour:

Hours Per Week Earnings Per Week Annual Earnings
40 \$3,920 \$203,840
35 \$3,430 \$178,360
30 \$2,940 \$152,880
25 \$2,450 \$127,400
20 \$1,960 \$101,920
15 \$1,470 \$76,440

The more hours per week, the higher your total yearly earnings. But part-time work allows for more life balance if you don’t need the full salary.

## \$98 an Hour With Overtime is How Much a Year?

Now let’s look at how overtime can increase your annual earnings.

Overtime kicks in once you work more than 40 hours in a week. Typically, you earn 1.5x your regular hourly wage for overtime hours.

So if you make \$98 per hour normally, you would make \$147 per hour for any hours over 40 in a week.

Here’s an example:

• You work 45 hours in a Week
• 40 regular hours paid at \$98 per hour = \$3,920
• 5 overtime hours paid at \$147 per hour = \$735
• Your total one Week earnings =\$3,920 + \$735 = \$4,655

If you worked 45 hours each week for 52 weeks, here’s how your annual earnings increase thanks to overtime pay:

\$4,655 per week x 52 weeks per year = \$242,060

That’s \$38,220 more than you’d earn working just 40 hours per week at \$98 an hour.

Overtime can add up! But also consider taxes and work-life balance when deciding on extra hours.

Here’s a table summarizing how your annual earnings change depending on how many hours you work per week at \$98 an hour:

 Overtime hours per work day Hours Per Week Earnings Per Week Annual Earnings 0 40 \$3,920 \$203,840 1 45 \$4,655 \$242,060 2 50 \$5,390 \$280,280 3 55 \$6,125 \$318,500 4 60 \$6,860 \$356,720 5 65 \$7,595 \$394,940 6 70 \$8,330 \$433,160 7 75 \$9,065 \$471,380

## How Unpaid Time Off Impacts \$98/Hour Yearly Earnings

So far we’ve assumed you work 52 paid weeks per year. Any unpaid time off will reduce your total income.

For example, let’s say you take 2 weeks of unpaid leave. That brings your paid weeks down to 50:

Hours worked per week (40) x Hourly wage(\$98) x Weeks worked per year(50) = \$196,000 annual salary

With 2 weeks unpaid time off, your annual earnings at \$98/hour would drop by \$7,840.

The table below summarizes how your annual income changes depending on the number of weeks of unpaid leave.

 Weeks of unpaid leave Paid weeks per year Earnings Per Week Annual Earnings 0 52 \$3,920 \$203,840 1 51 \$3,920 \$199,920 2 50 \$3,920 \$196,000 3 49 \$3,920 \$192,080 4 48 \$3,920 \$188,160 5 47 \$3,920 \$184,240 6 46 \$3,920 \$180,320 7 45 \$3,920 \$176,400

## Key Takeaways for \$98 Hourly Wage

In summary, here are some key points on annual earnings when making \$98 per hour:

• At 40 hours per week, you’ll earn \$203,840 per year.
• Part-time of 30 hours/week results in \$152,880 annual salary.
• Overtime pay can boost yearly earnings, e.g. \$38,220 extra at 45 hours/week.
• Unpaid time off reduces your total income, around \$7,840 less per 2 weeks off.
• Your specific situation and location impacts taxes and PTO.

Knowing your approximate annual salary and factors impacting it makes it easier to budget and plan your finances. The next step is calculating take-home pay after deductions like taxes.

## \$98 An Hour Is How Much A Year After Taxes

Figuring out your actual annual earnings based on an hourly wage can be complicated once taxes are taken into account. In addition to federal, state, and local income taxes, 7.65% of your gross pay also goes to Social Security and Medicare through FICA payroll taxes. So how much does \$98 an hour equal per year after FICA and income taxes are deducted from your gross pay?

Below we’ll walk through the steps to calculate your annual net take home pay if you make \$98 per hour. This will factor in estimated federal, FICA, state, and local taxes so you know exactly what to expect.

### Factoring in Federal Income Tax

Your federal income tax will be a big chunk out of your gross pay. Federal tax rates range from 10% to 37%, depending on your tax bracket.

To estimate your federal income tax rate and liability:

Look up your federal income tax bracket based on your gross pay.

2023 tax brackets: single filers

Tax rate Taxable income bracket Tax owed
10% \$0 to \$11,000. 10% of taxable income.
12% \$11,001 to \$44,725. \$1,100 plus 12% of the amount over \$11,000.
22% \$44,726 to \$95,375. \$5,147 plus 22% of the amount over \$44,725.
24% \$95,376 to \$182,100. \$16,290 plus 24% of the amount over \$95,375.
32% \$182,101 to \$231,250. \$37,104 plus 32% of the amount over \$182,100.
35% \$231,251 to \$578,125. \$52,832 plus 35% of the amount over \$231,250.
37% \$578,126 or more. \$174,238.25 plus 37% of the amount over \$578,125.

For example, if you are single with \$203,840 gross annual pay, your federal tax bracket is 32%.

Your estimated federal tax would be:

\$37,104 + (\$203,840 – \$182,100) x 32% = \$44,060.80

So at \$98/hour with \$203,840 gross pay, you would owe about \$44,060.80 in federal income taxes.

### Considering State Income Tax

In addition to federal tax, most states also charge a state income tax. State income tax rates range from about 1% to 13%, with most falling between 4% and 6%.

Key Takeaways

• California, Hawaii, New York, New Jersey, and Oregon have some of the highest state income tax rates.
• Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming don’t impose an income tax at all.
• Another 10 U.S states have a flat tax rate—everyone pays the same percentage regardless of how much they earn.

A State-by-State Comparison of Income Tax Rates

STATE TAX RATES LOWEST AND HIGHEST INCOME BRACKETS
Florida 0% None
South Dakota 0% None
Tennessee 0% None
Texas 0% None
Washington 0% None
Wyoming 0% None
Colorado 4.55% Flat rate applies to all incomes
Illinois 4.95% Flat rate applies to all incomes
Indiana 3.23% Flat rate applies to all incomes
Kentucky 5% Flat rate applies to all incomes
Massachusetts 5% Flat rate applies to all incomes
New Hampshire 5% Flat rate on interest and dividend income only
North Carolina 4.99% Flat rate applies to all incomes
Pennsylvania 3.07% Flat rate applies to all incomes
Utah 4.95% Flat rate applies to all incomes
Michigan 4.25% Flat rate applies to all incomes
Arizona 2.59% to 4.5% \$27,806 and \$166,843
Arkansas 2% to 5.5% \$4,300 and \$8,501
California 1% to 13.3% \$9,325 and \$1 million
Connecticut 3% to 6.99% \$10,000 and \$500,000
Delaware 0% to 6.6% \$2,000 and \$60,001
Alabama 2% to 5% \$500 and \$3,001
Georgia 1% to 5.75% \$750 and \$7,001
Hawaii 1.4% to 11% \$2,400 and \$200,000
Idaho 1.125% to 6.5% \$1,568 and \$7,939
Iowa 0.33% to 8.53% \$1,743 and \$78,435
Kansas 3.1% to 5.7% \$15,000 and \$30,000
Louisiana 1.85% to 4.25% \$12,500 and \$50,001
Maine 5.8% to 7.15% \$23,000 and \$54,450
Maryland 2% to 5.75%  \$1,000 and \$250,000
Minnesota 5.35% to 9.85% \$28,080 and \$171,221
Mississippi 0% to 5% \$5,000 and \$10,001
Missouri 1.5% to 5.3% \$1,121 and \$8,968
Montana 1% to 6.75% \$2,900and \$17,400
Nebraska 2.46% to 6.84% \$3,340 and \$32,210
New Jersey 1.4% to 10.75% \$20,000 and \$1 million
New Mexico 1.7% to 5.9% \$5,500 and \$210,000
New York 4% to 10.9% \$8,500 and \$25 million
North Dakota 1.1% to 2.9% \$41,775 and \$458,350
Ohio 0% to 3.99% \$25,000 and \$110,650
Oklahoma 0.25% to 4.75% \$1,000 and \$7,200
Oregon 4.75% to 9.9% \$3,750 and \$125,000
Rhode Island 3.75% to 5.99% \$68,200 and \$155,050
South Carolina 0% to 7% \$3,110 and \$15,560
Vermont 3.35% to 8.75% \$42,150 and \$213,150
Virginia 2% to 5.75% \$3,000 and \$17,001
Washington, D.C. 4% to 9.75% \$10,000 and \$1 million
West Virginia 3% to 6.5% \$10,000 and \$60,000
Wisconsin 3.54% to 7.65% \$12,760 and \$280,950

To estimate your state income tax:

Look up your state income tax rate based on your gross pay and filing status.

Multiply your gross annual pay by the state tax rate.

For example, if you live in Pennsylvania which has a flat 3.07% tax rate, your estimated state tax would be:

\$203,840 gross pay x 3.07% PA tax rate = \$6,257.89 estimated state income tax

So with \$203,840 gross annual income, you would owe around \$6,257.89 in Pennsylvania state income tax. Make sure to check your specific state’s rates.

### Factoring in Local Taxes

Some cities and counties levy local income taxes ranging from 1-3% of taxable income.

To estimate potential local taxes you may owe:

• Check if your city or county charges a local income tax.
• If yes, look up the local income tax rate.
• Multiply your gross annual pay by the local tax rate.

For example, say you live in Columbus, OH which has a 2.5% local income tax. Your estimated local tax would be:

\$203,840 gross pay x 2.5% local tax rate = \$5,096 estimated local tax

So with \$203,840 in gross earnings, you may owe around \$5,096 in Columbus local income taxes. Verify rates for your own city/county.

### Accounting for FICA Taxes (Social Security & Medicare)

FICA taxes are a combination of Social Security and Medicare taxes that equal 15.3% of your earnings. You are responsible for half of the total bill (7.65%), which includes a 6.2% Social Security tax and 1.45% Medicare tax on your earnings.

In 2023, only the first \$160,200 of your earnings are subject to the Social Security tax

There is an additional 0.9% surtax on top of the standard 1.45% Medicare tax for those who earn over \$200,000 (single filers) or \$250,000 (joint filers).

To estimate your FICA tax payment:

\$160,200 x 6.2% + \$200,000 x 1.45% + \$3,840 x 0.9% = \$12,866.96

So you can expect to pay about \$12,866.96 in Social Security and Medicare taxes out of your gross \$203,840 in earnings.

### Total Estimated Tax Payments

Based on the examples above, your total estimated tax payments would be:

Federal tax: \$44,060.80

State tax: \$6,257.89

Local tax: \$5,096

FICA tax: \$12,866.96

Total Estimated Tax: \$68,281.65

### Calculating Your Take Home Pay

To calculate your annual take home pay at \$98 /hour:

2. Subtract your estimated total tax payments

\$203,840 gross pay – \$68,281.65 Total Estimated Tax = \$135,558.35 Your Take Home Pay

n summary, if you make \$98 per hour and work full-time, you would take home around \$135,558.35 per year after federal, state, local , FICA taxes.

Your actual net income may vary depending on your specific tax situation. But this gives you a general idea of what to expect.

## Convert \$98 Per Hour to Yearly, Monthly, Biweekly, and Weekly Salary After Taxes

If you make \$98 an hour and work full-time (40 hours per week), your estimated yearly salary would be \$203,840 .

The \$203,840 per year salary does not account for taxes. Federal, state, and local taxes will reduce your take-home pay. The amount withheld depends on your location, filing status, dependents, and other factors.

Just now during our calculation of \$98 An Hour Is How Much A Year After Taxes, we assumed the following conditions:

• You are single with \$203,840 gross annual pay, your federal tax bracket is 32 %.
• You live in Pennsylvania which has a flat 3.07% tax rate
• You live in Columbus, OH which has a 2.5% local income tax.

In the end, we calculated your Total Estimated Tax is \$68,281.65 , Your Take Home Pay is \$135,558.35 , Total tax rate is 33.50%.

So next we’ll use 33.50% as the estimated tax rate to calculate your weekly, biweekly, and monthly after-tax income.

### \$98 Per Hour to Yearly, Monthly, Biweekly, Weekly,and Week Salary After Taxes Table

 Income before taxes Estimated Tax Rate Income Taxes After Tax Income Yearly Salary \$203,840 33.50% \$68,281.65 \$135,558.35 Monthly Salary \$16,986.67 33.50% \$5,690.14 \$11,296.53 BiWeekly Salary \$7,840 33.50% \$2,626.22 \$5,213.78 Weekly Salary \$3,920 33.50% \$1,313.11 \$2,606.89

### \$98  an hour is how much a year after taxes

Here is the adjusted yearly salary after a 33.50% tax reduction:

• Yearly salary before taxes: \$203,840
• Estimated tax rate: 33.50%
• Taxes owed (33.50% * \$203,840 )= \$68,281.65
• Yearly salary after taxes: \$135,558.35
Hourly Wage Hours Worked Per Week Weeks Worked Per Year Total Yearly Salary Estimated Tax Rate Taxes Owed After-Tax Yearly Salary
\$98 40 52 \$203,840 33.50% \$68,281.65 \$135,558.35

### \$98 an hour is how much a month after taxes

To calculate the monthly salary based on an hourly wage, you first need the yearly salary amount. Then divide by 12 months.

• Yearly salary before taxes at \$98 per hour: \$203,840
• Divided by 12 months per year: \$203,840 / 12 = \$16,986.67 per month

The monthly salary based on a 40 hour work week at \$98 per hour is \$16,986.67 before taxes.

After applying the estimated 33.50% tax rate, the monthly after-tax salary would be:

• Monthly before-tax salary: \$16,986.67
• Estimated tax rate: 33.50%
• Taxes owed (33.50% * \$16,986.67 )= \$5,690.14
• Monthly after-tax salary: \$11,296.53

Monthly Salary Based on \$98 Per Hour

Hourly Wage Yearly Salary Months Per Year Before-Tax Monthly Salary Estimated Tax Rate Taxes Owed After-Tax Monthly Salary
\$98 \$203,840 12 \$16,986.67 33.50% \$5,690.14 \$11,296.53

### \$98 an hour is how much biweekly after taxes

Many people are paid biweekly, meaning every other week. To calculate the biweekly pay at \$98 per hour:

• Hourly wage: \$98
• Hours worked per week: 40
• Weeks per biweekly pay period: 2
• \$98 * 40 hours * 2 weeks = \$7,840 biweekly

Applying the 33.50%estimated tax rate:

• Biweekly before-tax salary: \$7,840
• Estimated tax rate: 33.50%
• Taxes owed (33.50% * \$7,840 )= \$2,626.22
• Biweekly after-tax salary: \$5,213.78

Biweekly Salary at \$98 Per Hour

Hourly Wage Hours Worked Per Week Weeks Per Pay Period Before-Tax Biweekly Salary Estimated Tax Rate Taxes Owed After-Tax Biweekly Salary
\$98 40 2 \$7,840 33.50% \$2,626.22 \$5,213.78

### \$98 an hour is how much weekly after taxes

To find the weekly salary based on an hourly wage, you need to know the number of hours worked per week. At 40 hours per week, the calculation is:

• Hourly wage: \$98
• Hours worked per week: 40
• \$98 * 40 hours = \$3,920 per week

Accounting for the estimated 33.50% tax rate:

• Weekly before-tax salary: \$3,920
• Estimated tax rate: 33.50%
• Taxes owed (33.50% * \$3,920 )= \$1,313.11
• Weekly after-tax salary: \$2,606.89

Weekly Salary at \$98 Per Hour

Hourly Wage Hours Worked Per Week Before-Tax Weekly Salary Estimated Tax Rate Taxes Owed After-Tax Weekly Salary
\$98 40 \$3,920 33.50% \$1,313.11 \$2,606.89

### Key Takeaways

• An hourly wage of \$98 per hour equals a yearly salary of \$203,840 before taxes, assuming a 40 hour work week.
• After accounting for an estimated 33.50% tax rate, the yearly after-tax salary is approximately \$135,558.35 .
• On a monthly basis before taxes, \$98 per hour equals \$16,986.67 per month. After estimated taxes, the monthly take-home pay is about \$11,296.53 .
• The before-tax weekly salary at \$98 per hour is \$3,920 . After taxes, the weekly take-home pay is approximately \$2,606.89 .
• For biweekly pay, the pre-tax salary at \$98 per hour is \$7,840 . After estimated taxes, the biweekly take-home pay is around \$5,213.78 .

Understanding annual, monthly, weekly, and biweekly salary equivalents based on an hourly wage is useful when budgeting and financial planning. Taxes make a significant difference in take-home pay, so be sure to account for them when making income conversions. Use this guide as a reference when making salary calculations.

## What Is the Average Hourly Wage in the US?

Last Updated: Sep 1 2023

US Average Hourly Earnings is at a current level of \$33.82, up from 33.74 last month and up from 32.43 one year ago. This is a change of 0.24% from last month and 4.29% from one year ago.

Average Hourly Earnings is the average dollars that a private employee makes per hour in the US. This metric is a part of one of the most important releases every month which includes unemployment numbers as well. This is normally released on the first Friday of every month. This metric is released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

## What is the average salary in the U.S.?

Last Updated: July 18, 2023

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics uses median salary data rather than averages to avoid skewed numbers from outlying high and low numbers. Median weekly earnings of the nation's 121.5 million full-time wage and salary workers were \$1,100 in the second quarter of 2023, the U.S.

If a person works 52 weeks in the year, then this represents a national annual salary of \$57,200.

## Is \$98 an Hour a Good Salary?

Whether \$98 per hour represents a good or average salary largely depends on where you live and your household size. In low cost-of-living rural areas, \$98 an hour affords an opulent lifestyle. But in major metro areas like San Francisco and New York, six-figure incomes can still mean tight budgets.

For context, \$98 per hour equals roughly \$203,840 annually when working full time. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national median personal income in 2021 was \$44,225. So a wage of \$98 an hour is more than 4.5 times higher than the overall U.S. median income, putting you in an elite earnings tier.

However, for larger families and those residing in ultra-expensive real estate markets, \$98 per hour does not necessarily guarantee absolute financial freedom. In high cost cities like New York and San Francisco, median household incomes can approach or even exceed \$125,000 annually. So while objectively well-paid, expenses in these areas can still make \$98 per hour feel average.

## Jobs that pay \$98 per hour

While highly uncommon for most roles, certain professional careers regularly yield compensation approaching or exceeding \$98 per hour:

• Specialist doctors – Experienced doctors in fields like radiology, anesthesiology, surgery, and dermatology frequently earn \$98 per hour or more.
• Dentists and oral surgeons – High-earning dental specialists run practices generating over \$98 an hour.
• Corporate lawyers – Law firm partners and senior corporate attorneys can charge over \$98 per hour.
• Management consultants – Self-employed contract consultants often charge corporate clients \$350 to \$800+ per hour.
• Software architects – The top software designers and architects at tech giants earn total compensation of around \$98 per hour or greater.
• Executives – C-suite executives at Fortune 500 companies, hedge funds, banks, and tech firms earn well over \$98 per hour when factoring salary, bonuses, stock, and options.
• Sales positions – Pharmaceutical sales reps and broker positions generate transactions or commissions exceeding \$98+ per hour.
• Independent professionals – Doctors, lawyers, and consultants running their own profitable practices can readily surpass \$98 hourly income after expenses.

Jobs consistently paying over \$98 per hour typically require extensive education, training, proven skills, and high demand. Most professionals must establish their own firms or rise to senior leadership ranks to reach this tier.

## Can You Live Off \$98 An Hour?

Whether you can “live comfortably” on \$98 an hour depends primarily on three key factors:

Location – In smaller towns and rural areas, \$98 an hour affords an overwhelmingly prosperous lifestyle. But in the costliest metro areas, you’d still need to budget wisely and make some financial trade-offs.

Family size – Single or dual income smaller households can live extremely well at this wage full-time. But for larger families, especially with multiple kids in costly cities, expenses add up fast.

Debts/liabilities – Preexisting debts like student loans and credit cards can make \$98 per hour inadequate if monthly payments consume too large a percentage of your income.

For single professionals without children, \$98 per hour should readily support an upper-class lifestyle in the vast majority of places in the U.S. You can afford luxury apartments in most markets and still save or invest sizable amounts of income. Expensive cars, regular vacations and dining out are reasonable on this salary.

For bigger households, a wage of \$98 an hour may still require careful budgeting, especially in high cost-of-living cities like San Francisco and New York where baseline living costs are astronomical. Still, this income makes an upper-middle class or wealthy lifestyle attainable almost anywhere when living prudently.

## The impact of inflation on the value of \$98 an hour

With inflation reaching its highest level in 40 years, costs for housing, vehicles, food, energy, healthcare and other goods are rising rapidly. As a result, a fixed wage of \$98 per hour diminishes in practical purchasing power each year as the costs of essential expenses grow faster than earnings.

Here are some ways high inflation reduces what \$98 an hour is really worth over time:

• Housing appreciation – Home prices and rents grew over 20% nationally in 2022, far outpacing wage growth.
• Goods/services inflation – Prices rose significantly in 2022 for groceries, gas, cars, entertainment, furniture, clothing, and more.
• Healthcare inflation – Healthcare premiums and out-of-pocket costs increased over 20% in 2022-2023 as well.
• Wage growth lagging – With pay failing to keep up, your \$98/hour from last year buys much less as prices rise.
• Reduced savings value – From retirement accounts to bank accounts, the real value of your savings drops as interest rates fail to match inflation.

Without earning raises of at least 6% to 8% annually, your \$98 per hour wage loses purchasing power quickly with high inflation. Protecting your financial standing requires repeatedly renegotiating higher pay.

## 5 Ways To Increase Your Hourly Wage

For those already earning around \$98 per hour, further boosting your income requires exceptional performance, rare skills, and calculated career moves such as:

• Achieving expertise – Become nationally renowned in a lucrative specialty like cybersecurity, quantitative finance, specialized medicine, or oil & gas exploration.
• Starting a firm – Build your own firm rather than work for one, but ensure you can cover overhead costs and generate consistent profits.
• Relocating strategically – Move to an area where your niche expertise commands even higher market rates, like tech talent relocating to Silicon Valley.
• Developing proprietary offerings – Create profitable patentable products, programs, or intellectual property that provide additional income streams.
• Writing books – Publishing popular books can generate royalties along with speaking and consulting opportunities to increase aggregate earnings.
• Pursuing leadership – Secure executive or managing partner roles that entitle you to higher proportional profits.
• Negotiating aggressively – Pursue every angle for higher pay such as competing offers, salary benchmarks, and equity/bonus structures.

With extreme expertise, business savvy, and tireless career strategy, certain professionals advance to income levels surpassing \$98 per hour consistently.

## Buying a car on \$98 an hour

Earning \$98 per hour provides ample income to afford virtually any vehicle. Experts recommend limiting auto expenses to 10-15% of take-home pay, meaning you can reasonably afford \$1,300 to \$2,000 monthly for a car payment.

Here’s what’s easily affordable:

• Luxury vehicles – New Mercedes Benz, BMWs, Audis, Lexus, Acuras, Cadillacs all fit comfortably in budget. Aim to put 10-20% down to keep loan payments around \$1,000-\$1,500 monthly.
• Latest SUVs – New luxury SUVs like a Range Rover, Porsche Cayenne, BMW X5, or Audi Q8 become affordable with trade-ins and larger down payments.
• Sports/performance cars – More expensive sports cars like Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Porsches, Corvettes, or AMG Mercedes are within reach as occasional splurges with significant trade-in value and extended loan terms.
• Collector cars – For those less concerned with warranties and convenience, used collector cars worth \$100k+ become reasonable discretionary buys with this income level.

While you can afford any vehicle, balance your budget and savings goals wisely. Limit total car expenditures to 10-15% of your income so auto costs don’t hinder other financial aims.

## Can You Buy a House on \$98 An Hour?

On an ample salary of \$98 per hour, affording a nice home is certainly realistic in most U.S. housing markets. The ability to buy depends on:

Location – In moderate income suburban areas, multi-million dollar homes are affordable. In ultra-high-end real estate markets like Manhattan and San Francisco, your buying power will be far more limited.

Down payment – The larger your down payment, the more home you can afford to buy while keeping mortgage payments reasonable on your income. Shoot for 20%.

Debts – If you have substantial monthly student loan, credit card, and auto loan payments, that limits the mortgage payment you can handle. Pay down debts first before applying for home loans.

Credit scores – Excellent credit will be essential for the best mortgage rates and approval on jumbo loans. Aim for credit scores over 740.

Assuming 20% down, strong credit, and limited debts, you can comfortably afford homes priced at over \$1 million in most areas on this salary, and potentially up to \$3 million or more in lower cost suburbs and small cities. Just be sure to purchase within your means rather than overextending your budget to maximize house size and luxury.

## Example Budget For \$98 Per Hour

Here is a sample monthly budget for someone earning \$98 per hour while working full time:

• Gross Monthly Income – \$16,640 (Assuming 40 hrs/wk x 4 weeks)

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• Federal & State Taxes – \$4,000
• Insurance – \$500
• 401k/Savings – \$2,000 Net Income – \$10,140
• Mortgage / Rent – \$3,000
• Car Payment – \$1,000
• Utilities – \$500
• Car Insurance – \$200
• Gasoline – \$300
• Groceries / Dining – \$1,200
• Entertainment – \$800
Total Expenses – \$7,000

Remaining Income – \$3,140

This leaves over \$3,000 per month for additional discretionary spending, travel, or saving more. A wage of \$98 per hour allows for a very comfortable lifestyle with prudent budgeting.

## In Summary

While not an astronomical salary, \$98 per hour affords high-earning professionals a very comfortable upper-class standard of living in most areas of the U.S. This income allows single workers and smaller families to afford luxury homes, vehicles, vacations, dining and recreation. However, to maintain this lifestyle, continuing education, career development and prudent money management remains imperative, especially if living in high cost-of-living metropolitan areas. Overall, \$98 an hour provides a level of income attainable only by top professionals and business owners demonstrating rare, in-demand skills.