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Mr A

Understanding the Terms: Salary and Good Salary

Before we dive into the evaluation of a £65,000 salary in the UK, it's important to understand what salary means and what constitutes a good salary.

Salary refers to the fixed regular payment made by an employer to an employee, typically paid monthly or bi-weekly as compensation for their work. Salaries are usually expressed as an annual gross figure (i.e., before tax and other deductions).

A good salary, however, is subjective and might vary from one person to another, depending on factors such as location, lifestyle, personal preferences, and financial goals.

The Average Salary in the UK

To gauge whether £65,000 is a good salary in the UK, it can be helpful to compare it with the national average salary figures. According to data from the Office for National Statistics, as of 2021, the UK's average full-time annual salary is approximately £31,461. This figure includes both the public and the private sector employees.

From this perspective, a salary of £65,000 is well above the UK's average annual salary.

Comparing with Other Salaries

Another way to determine if £65,000 is a good salary is to compare it with different salary brackets within the country. For instance, the median salary for full-time employees in the lowest 10 percent of earners in the UK is around £18,600, while the median salary for those in the top 10 percent of earners is approximately £57,700.

In this context, a £65,000 salary falls within the top 10 percent of earners in the UK, indicating that it is indeed a good salary by comparison.

Regional Factors and Cost of Living

Apart from the national economic indicators, it's crucial to consider the regional variations in living costs and salaries within the UK. Urban areas, particularly London, tend to have higher living costs compared to rural areas.

London vs. Other Cities

Since London is the UK's capital and a major hub of economic activity, you can expect both higher salaries and higher living costs. According to the ONS, the average salary in London is often tens of thousands of pounds higher than in other cities, depending on the profession. However, higher income levels are generally not sufficient to offset the significantly higher cost of living in the city.

In contrast, cities like Manchester, Glasgow, and Birmingham have lower living costs, which means that £65,000 could have a higher purchasing power in these regions than in London. On the other hand, you may be able to afford a more spacious home or save more money living outside of London.

Factors that Impact the Perception of a Good Salary

Job Sector and Skill Level

Different job sectors and positions have varying salary expectations. For instance, entry-level positions usually pay below the national average, while senior-level or specialist positions often command higher salaries. If you work in a high-paying sector such as IT, finance or law, a starting salary of £65,000 may not necessarily be perceived as high compared to the industry standards.

Personal Lifestyle and Financial Goals

Your personal preferences, lifestyle, and financial goals significantly influence the notion of a good salary. For instance, if you enjoy a simple lifestyle or are relatively frugal, you may find that £65,000 is more than enough to satisfy your needs. On the other hand, if you want to indulge in luxury experiences, own a larger home, or travel extensively, your perception of a good salary may be different.

Aspects of Wellbeing Influenced by Salary

Housing Quality and Affordability

A salary of £65,000 should allow you to rent or mortgage a relatively high-quality home in most UK cities, except perhaps for central London, where property prices are exceptionally high. Even within London, you should be able to afford reasonably comfortable accommodation outside of the most expensive neighborhoods.

Educational Opportunities

Sufficient disposable income from a salary of £65,000 can grant you access to better educational opportunities for yourself or your children. This could mean being able to afford private schooling, participation in extracurricular activities, or additional tutoring if desired.

Health and Wellness

A good salary often equates to better healthcare access, including purchasing quality private health insurance or accessing first-class gym facilities that promote physical wellbeing.

Recreation and Leisure

A salary of £65,000 should give you ample opportunity to enjoy leisure activities such as eating out, going to the cinema, taking short trips, or engaging in various hobbies. Additionally, you will likely benefit from a greater degree of financial resilience to face challenges or setbacks, allowing for more peace of mind.


In conclusion, a £65,000 salary in the UK is generally considered a good salary, as it far exceeds the national average and falls within the top 10 percent of earners. This income level can provide a comfortable lifestyle and better access to housing, education, healthcare, and recreational opportunities than lower salaries in the UK.

However, regional differences in living costs, particularly between London and other cities, need to be considered when setting expectations for financial comfort. Additionally, personal lifestyle preferences and financial goals will heavily influence the perception of what constitutes a good salary.

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