Substantial Increases in Cost of Living 

Industry Observer with Retired

Substantial Increases in Cost of Living 

The 2023 Self-Sufficiency Standard (SSS) report released by Montgomery County’s Community Action Agency shows substantial increases in the cost of living, particularly in housing and childcare costs. The Self-Sufficiency Standard describes how much income families of various sizes and compositions need to earn to live without public or private assistance in specific geographic areas.


The report is a measure of income adequacy based on the costs of basic needs for working families: housing, childcare, food, health care, transportation, miscellaneous items, the cost of taxes and the impact of tax credits. The SSS changes based on the number of people in a household and the ages of the children.

The report shows that a Montgomery County family of four with two adults, one preschooler and one school-age child needed $97,150 to meet expenses in 2019. Four years later, a similar family must earn $122,943. This sized family will spend an average of $1,934 on housing and $2,698 on childcare each month. At the same time, the Federal government's official poverty measure (Federal Poverty Guideline) is $30,000 for the same family, which only covers one-quarter of the cost of its basic needs.

“The Self-Sufficiency Standard illustrates in stark terms, the high cost of living for residents here,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “The cost of housing and childcare are basic needs for families and the information in this report illustrates the importance of locally funded housing and childcare supports, as well Federal benefits such as SNAP.”

The Center for Women’s Welfare at the University of Washington School of Social Work calculates the self-sufficiency standard for all 50 states. Montgomery County’s report is available on the following page

An interactive Self-Sufficiency Standard calculator for the State of Maryland is available at To learn more about the Self-Sufficiency Standard, visit

This is a Montgomery County, Maryland announcement.


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Posted by

Roy Kelley, Retired, Former Associate Broker, RE/MAX Realty Group

Gaithersburg, Maryland  

Comments (14)

Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Roy. Interesting topic to do some additional research on later today. Thanks for the heads up. Enjoy your day.

Dec 01, 2023 04:11 AM
Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Condo and Home Specialists

No matter what the reports say, many people are now feeling the crunch, Roy.

Dec 01, 2023 05:06 AM
Bill Salvatore - East Valley
Arizona Elite Properties - Chandler, AZ
Realtor - 602-999-0952 / em:

Glad to see it coming under control. even if it means my home value has dropped. Great information. Thanks for sharing and enjoy your week!

Bill Salvatore, Realtor- Arizona Elite Properties

Dec 01, 2023 05:10 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Good morning, Roy... this does not surprise me... we are all feeling the pinch of inflation regardless of income levels despite the gaslighting that is coming out of Washington DC on this subject.

Dec 01, 2023 05:39 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Happy Friday Roy,  I was on a webinar yesterday and they were saying 3 to 4% increase in home prices in the Denver area for 2024.  We will see.


Dec 01, 2023 09:18 AM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

I think these numbers are astounding however they are also scary for those on fixed incomes Roy 🙂

Dec 01, 2023 10:21 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

Retirees are sure to feel the cost of living increases more.  The SS COLAs aren't as grand this year, but prices continue to be high.  I did notice a substantial decrease in the cost of gas, however.

Dec 02, 2023 03:45 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much for your comments. Your feedback is always welcome.

Dec 03, 2023 12:39 PM