Chapwood Investments recently announced the release of the Chapwood Index, a cost-of-living index with the goal of painting a more accurate picture for increases in the cost of living in the top 50 metropolitan areas in the nation.
According to Chapwood Investments, the quarterly index points out the flaws in the consumer price index, issued by the government, which underestimates the real cost-of-living figures by an average of 600 basis points. This discrepancy has caused an increased dependence on government entitlement programs and the consequences, while unintended, "have been devastating" for many Americans, the investment advisory firm says.
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“The CPI no longer measures the true increase required to maintain a constant standard of living," said Ed Butowsky, the founder of Chapwood. "Unfortunately, this negative trend has been in place for 28 years and has resulted in creating a crucial situation where most Americans need to start their own personal austerity measures by reducing their expenditures while demanding more from their savings and financial advisors.”
More Americans are falling behind financially or have increased their reliance on government entitlement programs, Butowsky said.
The Chapwood Index reported the national average increase is 9.9% for the top fifty cities, which is three times the rate reported by the CPI.
“I am tired of observing people committing financial suicide by using a flawed statistic,” Butowsky added, referring to the CPI.
The Chapwood Index reported that the cities with the highest cost of living increase are San Jose (12.8%) and San Francisco (12.5%) while New York City (11.6%) ranks eighth. The lowest cities are Albuquerque, Indianapolis, Omaha and Wichita (7.4%).
Among the more than 4,000 items compiled in the index are costs for Starbucks coffee, Advil, gasoline, taxes, tolls, fast-food restaurants, computer paper, toothpaste, oil changes, car washes and pizza.
See the results from all 50 cities here.