Lake Forest cost of living index

In the event that the cost of living data was unavailable for this city, estimates based upon nearby cities were used. Each cost of living index is based on a national average of 100. If the amount is below 100, it is lower than the national average. If the amount is above 100, it is higher than the national average.
IndexLake ForestCaliforniaNational
Cost of living index154135100
IndexLake ForestCaliforniaNational
Goods & Services index104107100
Groceries index109117100
Health care index104109100
Housing index257189100
Transportation index127125100
Utilities index113116100
A general summary of the cost of living index in Lake Forest, CA is shown above. Compared to the state average of California the cost of living index in Lake Forest, CA is 154, which is 13% higher than the average in California and compared to the national average it is 54% higher than. The cost of living index is made up of several categories. These are transportation at 9%, utilities at 10%, goods and services at 33%, housing at 30%, groceries at 13%, and health care at 5%. The bulk of the cost of living index comes from the categories of goods and services and housing. If you look at everyday goods and services they can be a good indicator in a certain city of the general costs of goods there. In Lake Forest, CA goods and services come in at 3% lower than the average in California and are 4% higher than compared to the nationwide average.

Did you know?

  • The cost of living in Lake Forest is 13% higher than the California average.
  • The cost of living in Lake Forest is 54% higher than the national average.
  • The cost of housing in Lake Forest is 157% higher than the national average.
  • California general sales tax is 47% higher than the national average.
  • California state income tax is 55% lower than the national average.

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Compare Lake Forest, CA Cost of living To Other Cities

Salary Calculator

This is how much you would need to earn in
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Using the salary calculator lets you compare the salary you earn in Lake Forest, CA to what it is in other cities. It will let you know what your earnings would have to be in another city to have the same standard of living, as determined by the cost of living in each city. For example, if the cost of living in the area you want to move to is higher than the cost of living in Lake Forest, CA, you have to earn a higher income in order to still have the same standard of living. To operate the Lake Forest, CA salary calculator, put in the name of the other city, then move the slider to the point that represents the current income. The salary calculator will take care of the rest and tell you how much more or less you must earn in the new city. A Total breakdown of the cost of living is also provided.

Median Income & Debt-To-Income Ratio

Median IncomePer YearPer MonthMax Budget (28% DTI)Max Budget (36% DTI)
Owners$112,575$9,381$2,627$3,378
Renters$61,799$5,150$1,442$1,854
One can approximate the cost of living and the housing affordability in Lake Forest, CA by the percentage of a person’s income that he or she spends on the monthly housing, otherwise known as the debt-to-income ratio (DTI). To stay on the safe side and keep one’s head above the water, a consumer should never spend more than 28 percent of his or her gross income on housing-related expenses and costs and not more than 36 percent of income on all expenses and debts. Homeowners in Lake Forest, CA have a median income of $112,575. Therefore, the amount that a consumer should spend on housing costs should be no more than $2,627 per month to avoid calamity and poverty. The renters in the city have an income of about $61,799, which would make their monthly maximum allowable rental costs $1,442.

California Sales Tax

StateGeneral Sales TaxWith Max Surtax
California7.5%10%

California Income Tax

StateIncome Tax (Low)Income Tax (High)
California1%12.3%
One thing to keep in mind when considering the cost of living in Lake Forest, CA is the California sales tax and California income tax rates. Sales taxes are taxes that are collected on most goods or services sold. Sales taxes can vary by state and can be as high as 7% and as low as 0% as not every state imposes a sales tax. The California sales tax rate is 7.5% and the maximum surtax that can be charged is 10%. Income tax is the tax imposed on income by both the federal and state government. The income tax rates varies by individual state and will also be higher or lower depending on the applicable tax bracket. The rates of state income tax can vary from 0% to more than 9%. The California income tax rates range from 1% to 12.3%.

Goods & Services

ItemLake ForestNational avg.Difference
Haircut $18.89$14.5929.4%
Beauty Salon $60.96$34.6875.8%
Toothpaste $2.59$2.474.7%
Shampoo $1.09$1.026.7%
Movie $12.50$9.8726.7%
Bowling $5.79$4.3931.8%

Groceries

ItemLake ForestNational avg.Difference
Ground Beef $4.49$4.480.3%
Fried Chicken $1.74$1.4618.8%
Milk $2.69$2.3614.1%
Potatoes $3.32$3.068.4%
Pizza $9.00$9.242.6%
Beer $9.35$8.638.3%

Health Care

ItemLake ForestNational avg.Difference
Optometrist $104.42$99.784.7%
Doctor $95.57$105.039.0%
Dentist $102.40$88.7015.4%
Ibuprofen $11.60$9.4123.2%
Lipitor $281.41$298.505.7%

Housing

ItemLake ForestNational avg.Difference
Home Price $507,600.00$175,700.00188.9%
Avg. Mortgage Payment $2,759.31$1,081.03155.2%
Apartment Rent $1,681.00$920.0082.7%

Transportation

ItemLake ForestNational avg.Difference
Gasoline $2.61$2.0924.8%
Tire Balancing $60.00$45.2932.5%

Utilities

ItemLake ForestNational avg.Difference
All Electricity$186.13$170.809.0%
Phone $33.30$28.2617.8%
Although the cost of living data is updated regularly, this cost of living information is to be used as estimates only as prices can change on an ongoing basis.

Nearby cities with low cost of living

City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
Laguna Woods, CA16,30211515%
Lake Mathews, CA5,51812828%
Corona, CA157,39513030%
Santa Ana, CA331,26613030%
El Cerrito CDP, CA5,55113737%
Lake Forest, CA78,94015454%

Cities with similar population

City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
Edinburg, TX79,00274-26%
Gary, IN79,16589-11%
Kendall, FL78,58012121%
Napa, CA78,51114545%
New Rochelle, NY78,47616464%
Lake Forest, CA78,94015454%
Source: The Lake Forest, CA cost of living data displayed above is derived from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) for the fourth quarter of 2015.