$160,000 Payday for Rocky in '76(what's it worth today?)
It's revealed during Rocky's joint TV interview with Apollo Creed that he'll be getting paid $160,000 for his fight against the champ. This posting attempts to put into perspective "What's the equivalent value in 2016 of getting a paycheck worth $160,000 in 1976?"
The short answer is, that after adjusting for inflation... if you were to get paid $160,000 in 1976? It would be the equivalent of receiving between $660,000 - $700,000 in 2016.
In other words, it would take at least $660,000 in 2016 to afford all the goods and services that you could afford to purchase with just $160,000 in 1976. Due to the amount of devaluation of the US Dollar since 1976. That has in turn resulted in the overall increase to the Cost of Living over the past 40-years.
While $160,000 may still seem like a pretty good chunk of change in 2016, that plenty of people can still use to buy some really cool personal stuff, after paying-off all of their outstanding credit card and student loan bills.
However, when you consider that the average new home in 1976 cost around $43,000. And the average new car, like the Plymouth Arrow cost around $3,100. While high-end sports cars like the '76 Trans AM that Burt Reynolds drove in "Smokey and the Bandit" would set you back about $5,250. And, the cost of filling-up the tank of that really cool Trans AM was still only around 60-cents per gallon.
Then, it gets a lot easier to understand how - unlike today - receiving a single payment of $160,000 in 1976 would be a life altering payday. Especially after we compare those '76 prices with the overall increase in the high Cost of Living today. Where the average cost of buying a new home in 2016 is around $270,000 and the cost of buying a new car is around $31,000.
I mean, you could afford to buy a couple of houses along with a few sports cars with $160,000 back in 1976, and still have 10's of thousands of dollars left over to splurge on buying several new TV's, some furniture and some really nice clothing. However, you couldn't buy one house and only a few cars with 160k today.
So, when Rocky initially turns down the opportunity to fight Apollo Creed, before accepting the fight. He would have walked away from getting paid the equivalent of over a half-million dollars today. Who was by his own admission, a ham-and-egg club fighter, that appeared barely able to afford the monthly rent of his run down crappy apartment.
WOW, that takes an incredible amount of personal conviction, and bravery to turn down that kind of money. Along with an incredible amount of stupidity too. I'm personally convinced that Rocky had all three characteristics, in spades. Glad Rocky decided to accept the fight.