Hamish Telford, 49, a West Coast political science professor, is a study in the financial challenges facing even households that are at the upper end of the middle class. He makes about $86,000 a year and, as his Real Life Ratio affirms, he can barely afford his modest life as a homeowner. The Real Life Ratio was introduced in a Rob Carrick column this month as a way to help people see if they can afford a house and all the other costs of living a financially responsible life (download the spreadsheet). Mr. Telford used the spreadsheet we created to help readers calculate their ratio and came up with a worst-case score of 89, which means he faces an overload of financial stress.
Download the Real Life Ratio interactive spreadsheet and fill in your own numbers here.