As Americans, particularly younger workers, try to find work and build their financial futures, they increasingly have to move to cities  to do it. Yet once there, they face costs of living that are all but crippling. The new wealth that these workers build gets soaked up by rent seekers, whether in the form of food prices, transportation or literal rent.

In San Francisco, for example, it would cost a family of four $148,440 per year to achieve a "modest yet adequate standard of living." This includes food for two adults and two children but no restaurants. It also includes healthcare purchased through Obamacare's lowest-cost options and the indulgence of a second bedroom shared by both children.

Based on the Economic Policy Institute's Family Budget Calculator, this is the income two adults and two children would need monthly and annually to attain a "modest yet adequate" standard of living in a selection of the most expensive cities in the U.S. These expenses include: housing, food, child care, transportation, healthcare, taxes and other necessities.

This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.