In Avengers: Age of Ultron, we get this exchange between Captain America (Steve Rogers) and Falcon (Sam Wilson):

Sam Wilson: Found a place in Brookyln yet?

Steve Rogers: I don't think I can afford a place in Brooklyn.

As CinemaSins points out, this seems unlikely.

Wait…you're a celebrity working in a highly-funded secret government agency, and you can't afford a place in Brookyln? What, are they paying you in 1940s money?

He raises a good point. SHIELD is pretty well-funded (they can afford lots of cutting edge tech). Steve has some money (otherwise he wouldn't be able to look for a place to live), so SHIELD must be paying him a salary. And that salary is surely generous given that he is one of their top agents. If nothing else, I would expect him to at least get salary equivalent to some of the top paid military personnel.

And even if that wasn't enough, as a celebrity (with his own museum!), surely Captain America could make money from public appearances (e.g. museum events, late night talk show, first pitch at a baseball game).

So why does Captain America not have the money to buy an apartment in Brookyln?

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    I interpreted it as commentary on the changed nature of the world: in 1940s Brooklyn, real estate was as cheap as the borough's reputation. In present-day Brooklyn, some of the reputation still persists, but the real estate prices no longer match. – Martha Feb 5 '16 at 19:09
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    I'd argue that he isn't working for SHIELD anymore as he kind of took SHIELD down in Winter Soldier. Plus, he doesn't seem like the kind to want to make public appearances (he did that already back in the 40s), so he may be relying on Tony, who may or may not consider it a job. Plus, with all of his work looking for their "missing person," he may be spending a lot of what income he has on that. – Aggie Kidd Feb 5 '16 at 19:19
  • Because "gentrification". – Wad Cheber Feb 5 '16 at 20:10
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    Important to realize: Brooklyn bounces between spots #1 and #2 on every "most unaffordable places to live in the US" – phantom42 Feb 5 '16 at 23:43
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    Possibly sticker shock as well. Modern day Brooklyn would be relatively more expensive (than other places) due to gentrification and relative value, as previous comments suggest, and also absolutely more expensive (than 1940s) because of inflation and modern day pricing. The combination perhaps has him looking at prices and going "too expensive" even if his relative salary and budget has increased to match. – Megha Feb 6 '16 at 0:09

Captain America is a public servant & can/should not be using that role for personal gain as it is a conflict of interest. And being Captain America he would never put himself into a conflict of interest position. If he did he'd be Senator America or something similar.

Beyond that, public servants in most countries tend to be paid pretty poorly compared to the private sector. This gets worse as you move up the pecking order. For example, the President of the US earns less than 90% of CEOs in the US.

And that isn't even considering the possibility that SHIELD is on a military payscale. A US Army captain will pull in maybe $100K before taxes between salary and bonuses. Living in Brooklyn may also qualify you for cost-of-living allowance, but you'd still be stretching your budget.

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