Depends on a lot of things. The level of comfort you seek, your goals, your aspirations, your interests, and basically your whole outlook on life.
Sure, living in rural Alabama with 250k sounds amazing! You can buy two mansions in a single year. But personally I would be miserable. The the key point, personally. Why? Because I would be in the middle of nowhere, with nothing to do, surrounded by few people who are most likely homogeneous, not to mention the lack of opportunity to make something out of myself. BUT, some people may enjoy the seclusion. Nothing wrong with that either. A lot of people just want a simple life with nobody bothering them.
My own example of someone living on the coast of California.
- Went to college. $100k Loan after scholarships.
- Made 30 an hour at internships last two year of college
- First job was $90k + compensation package in SF. Shared a 3-bedroom apartment with 3 other people making around the same while paying of college loans.
- 2nd year made $97k + cash bonus
- 3rd year made $105K and I vested my stock options. Paid off all college loans and reinvested whats left.
- End of 3rd year switch companies. $120k salary + new stock options and compensations.
- 4th year promoted to senior role $135k
- 7th year middle manager $165k
- 8th year hefty stock bonus of $500k for big project. Started down payment of first home.
- etc...etc... More than a decade now.
That's what considered here as middle class
. To go above and beyond, people here make use of the fact that they live HERE. A great environment where there's plenty of networking and venture capital to go around. Making this the most productive region in America. The end.