I'm tired of all this "six figures is just-getting-by" bullshit. I'm a software engineer in the valley who only a few years ago was making almost exactly six figures, and I was doing far, far better than just getting by.
I bought a house even before making $100k. It's a small house in a good part of San Jose. I probably would have had to get a roommate for the first few years had my then-girlfriend not been chipping in rent, but that's somewhat expected with a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. My monthly payment will stay the same forever, and inflation and salaries, even for non-engineers, are generally only going up in the long run.
Even with the house payment, I've always been able to stuff a significant amount of money into my 401(k) and IRA. By starting early and investing in index funds, I'm going to easily have enough money in retirement.
Even after putting a lot of money into a house and retirement, there was still plenty of money leftover for fun stuff. I was able to go out to nice restaurants, I bought myself nice toys like laptops and bicycles, and I generally didn't have to worry about money.
Admittedly I don't have kids and wasn't trying to support a family by myself, but a second income would also balance that out.
Are you able to buy a 5 bedroom, 3,000 sq ft house in Palo Alto on $100k? Hell no, but you can still live an extremely nice life. It's an insult to the people living paycheck to paycheck to say that six figures is just getting by.