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Indiana ranks 28th nationwide in affordability

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A Realtor sign marks a home for sale. Indiana ranked No. 2 in lowest in average financial services and insurance costs at $2,109 a year, and No. 10 lowest in average housing and utilities payments of $5,885 annually, TheSeniorList.org's study found. Nationally, the average housing and utility costs add up to $7,515 a year.

When it comes to affordability, Indiana falls in the middle of the pack, just slightly below average, according to a new national study.

TheSeniorList.org, "a lifestyle brand focused on the needs of boomers and older adults across the U.S. and Canada," ranked Indiana as the 28th most affordable state in the United States. Its study, "Where Do Paychecks Stretch the Farthest?" found expenses take up 79.8% of income in the Hoosier state, as compared to the national average of 81%.

Despite the researcher's name, the study looks at everyone and not just seniors, noting that stagnant wages have not kept up with 2% inflation over just the past year alone.

"With incomes not keeping pace, Americans need to be more careful than ever choosing where they live," TheSeniorList.org said in a news release.

The study looked at Bureau of Economic Analysis data on income and expenses like housing, utilities, groceries, health care, clothes and gasoline. It found the District of Columbia, Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama, Washington, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Mississippi ranked as the 10 most affordable states in the country. South Dakota was the least affordable because expenses there exceeded income, with the average resident spending about 0.9% more than they bring home in paychecks.

Indiana ranked No. 2 in lowest in average financial services and insurance costs at $2,109 a year, and No. 10 lowest in average housing and utilities payments of $5,885 annually, the study found. Nationally, the average housing and utility costs add up to $7,515 a year.

The Hoosier state has seen a 7.72% increase in per capita consumer spending between 2008 and 2017, and a 1.18% increase in annual wages.

Indiana has seen a 6.45% increase in the amount of income that expenses eat up over the past decade, according to the study. The Midwest was the second most expensive part of the country in which to live, with living expenses gobbling up an average of 83.7% of the average paycheck.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

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