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Mesa, Tucson make list of 10 most affordable cities to live well

Source: Mesa Arts Center on Instagram

Want to live well but can’t afford to do so in a startup boomtown like San Francisco?

Arizona might be your answer. Mesa and Tucson both made’s list of the “10 cities where you can live well for less than $45,000 a year.”

Tucson tops the list as the only city in the United States where a sub-$40,000 salary can still allow one person to live comfortably. It costs $39,966 per year to live in the Old Pueblo, which is home to military technology leader Raytheon and several optics technology companies.

Mesa comes in No. 6 on’s list. While living comfortably costs $48,876 in Phoenix, the price to live well in Mesa sits at just $42,654 per year.

The estimates are courtesy of research by finance website GoBankingRates, which compared living costs in the 50 largest U.S. cities based on rent, groceries, utilities, health care and transportation.

And for comparison’s sake, settling down in Arizona looks especially handsome next to the required income to live well in San Francisco. GoBankingRates says it takes a $120,000 per year salary to do so.

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