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Potential new job and relocation advice.

Posted: Sat Jan 03, 2015 10:29 am
by WilliamRice
I currently live in the northeast, in a high cost of living area and have a very good job, 90k/year. with bonus up to 12k/year, 401k contribution is good and I max out rothIRA. My wife has a job where she works from home and makes 61k and carries all of the benefits.

We stick to a tight budget and have around $1000 left over each month after all is said and done (bills, saves, retirement contribution, etc.). 3 months ago we cashed out or stock and paid off all debt, student loans, car, credit card, all we have left is a 8k student loan at $100 a month. But we're working on building our savings back up and knocking out the last debt.

I have been offered a job in Ohio at a small company, very similar pay, maybe 5-7k difference but the cost of living is significantly lower. My wife wants me to consider it very seriously but I am worried about the transition and loss of the second income. All of the benefits would come from me which is fine but I see what I would be making quickly start to widdle down (New car payment, we only have the 1 and we would be moving from a city to a rural area) My wife see it as an opportunity to stay home, we have two small kids not yet in school and she is only listened to work in the state we live so she would want to stay home and feels like she could if I was making similar money but in a lower cost area.

Am I thinking to much into this, it would be a lateral job move, mostly a lifestyle change for the family, out of the city and into the country and my wife the opportunity to be a stay at home for a while. Without running numbers I don't know if they hold up to keep us on a track of good retirement , the potential for 100% debt free life in the near future and in this economy relying on 1 income for a family make me nervous.

I would love some thoughts or and advice if anyone else has anything similar in thier lives and how did it work out. Thanks!

William.

Re: Potential new job and relocation advice.

Posted: Sat Jan 03, 2015 10:46 am
by hollowcave2
William,

I am in the midst of changing jobs myself. IMHO, the first consideration is quality of life. That would be lifestyle, your home, if you like your job, the geographic region, extended family, kids, etc. So I would carefully weigh those first. If you feel good about those things, the finances become a simpler matter.
It sounds like after all is said and done, you may still have about the same amount of income relative to living expenses. So that makes lifestyle all the more important.

Re: Potential new job and relocation advice.

Posted: Sat Jan 03, 2015 11:03 am
by WilliamRice
Good point. Also - I'm not unhappy with my current job. To be honest I just applied to this just out of curiosity and to get a gauge of the market. Part of me thinks that I shouldn't jump at the first thing that comes up. Our knee-jerk reaction was "wouldn't it be nice to settle down and get a house instead of living in an apartment". I feel like with most of the debt paid off we are finally starting to get into a good flow of saving moving and getting things together.

Maybe you're right, it comes down to lifestyle and what we want - I feel like the cloud of finances and a lot of what-ifs cloud things up.

Re: Potential new job and relocation advice.

Posted: Sat Jan 03, 2015 11:04 am
by tim1999
Why can't your wife work from home in Ohio?

Re: Potential new job and relocation advice.

Posted: Sat Jan 03, 2015 11:08 am
by Billionaire
How do the school systems compare?
For a lateral job move, I'm not sure I would uproot my life for the status quo. I would want to know there is some potential for advancing, either at the small company you are considering OR elsewhere if there are other opportunities available.

Re: Potential new job and relocation advice.

Posted: Sat Jan 03, 2015 11:28 am
by Watty
Do you own a house now or currently want to own a house or want to? That could be the deciding factor. I would suspect that in many parts of Ohio you can get a decent starter house in a decent area for the low 100's or less.

Years ago I moved from the San Francisco Bay Area to Portland Oregon, which had inexpensive housing then, and it was one of the best financial moves that I even made since I went from just barely being able to afford a small dumpy place in a marginal area in the Bay Area, to being able to easily afford a house nice house in a very nice area.

That said it would be good to know what you mean by "rural" since that can mean a lot of things and if you have only lived in the Northeast in large cities that might not be clear to you. A truly rural area can be an hour drive to a supermarket and going to any decent size city is a long full day outing or an overnight trip. Living in that type of rural setting is not for everyone.

I would suspect that what you are really talking about is more of a small town, a college town, or someplace that is near a city(>100,000 metropolitan area population) but is too far to easily commute to the city on a daily basis.

Re: Potential new job and relocation advice.

Posted: Sat Jan 03, 2015 2:09 pm
by WilliamRice
I should clarify - my wife is only licensed in the state we live in - she could work but she would have to get re-licensed in Ohio which would involve going back to school and she would like to take time to try and be a stay-at-home while the kids are young. In terms of future work, from what I can tell from the market in the area (and when I said rural I mean small town, similar to a college town, but no college). There probably wouldn't be any room for advancement and not much similar work in the area. We look at this as a lifestyle change, housing 100k and under that kind of thing.

Re: Potential new job and relocation advice.

Posted: Sat Jan 03, 2015 2:17 pm
by stan1
I would offer that you need to do as much research as you can on the company and the location you'd be living in. Have you and your wife been there before? What shopping and other services are local? How far away from a larger city is it? Does the company have a good reputation? What you wouldn't want to do is relocate and then find out you don't like the job or the small town.

Re: Potential new job and relocation advice.

Posted: Sat Jan 03, 2015 2:36 pm
by ClevrChico
I'd recommend creating a spreadsheet comparing income and expenses for each scenario. The results can be quite surprising. (It may not be as lateral as you might imagine.)

I've always lived in a low cost area, and found it's a great way to save.

Re: Potential new job and relocation advice.

Posted: Sat Jan 03, 2015 5:37 pm
by Laura
In terms of future work, from what I can tell from the market in the area (and when I said rural I mean small town, similar to a college town, but no college). There probably wouldn't be any room for advancement and not much similar work in the area. We look at this as a lifestyle change, housing 100k and under that kind of thing.
I would be very leery of taking a job with no room for advancement and not much similar work in the area. You may improve your lifestyle for a few years but then find yourself trapped with no room for growth of income or professional growth. If you want a change of lifestyle I would look for a job in an area that provides better future opportunities in a low cost of living area.

Laura

Re: Potential new job and relocation advice.

Posted: Sat Jan 03, 2015 6:48 pm
by Herekittykitty
Have you and your wife reviewed the budget and determined how much net income her job is actually producing when you consider taxes, child care, other help such as fast food/restaurants and cleaning help she could do if not employed, and so on? If she agrees to take on those and other duties in return for changing to part time work or stopping work entirely at least while the kids are young, you might find that it wouldn't cost as much as it might initially appear. (That would leave the problem of the benefits and where they would be coming from, though.)

In addition she may want to consider whether she could maintain her license to do whatever it is she does from home, I assume by teleconferencing, with a state specific license, if she moves or if she is inactive in her profession over a period of time. Also - if working part time could meet some of your wife's wishes and if her current employer would not agree to that, she may want to look into getting licensed in other states and working in those states via teleconferencing from home in NY.

In your position, I would have concerns, as Laura has expressed, for your career should you make the move you are contemplating.

Re: Potential new job and relocation advice.

Posted: Sat Jan 03, 2015 10:45 pm
by Watty
One factor might be how old your are. If you are 40ish and with maybe 20 years until you want to retire then you might not need to change jobs again so the lack of other opportunities might work out. If you are 30ish then the odds of the job lasting until you want it retire is more of a concern.

There is a lot of merit into moving to a low cost of living area but but it might be better to keep looking for a position in a a mid-size or larger city where there would not only be other career opportunities for you, but would be near a college where your wife could get certified in the new state once your kids are older.

If you are not a career where finding chances to relocate like that are rare then taking the job in the small town would still be a viable option as long as you are OK with taking the risk that you might have to relocate again sometime.

Re: Potential new job and relocation advice.

Posted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 6:36 am
by HopeToGolf
1. Are you sure you want to live in rural Ohio? Have you looked at the positives and negatives and overwhelming ended up on the positive side of things.
2. How secure is the job/company?
3. Are you sure that you will like the work?
4. Have you really "done the math" regarding the move? Your wife's earnings boosts the family income quite a bit and I expect that your taxes are probably not too high so your standard of living may not be too different after you drop to one income. That said, your wife may be much happier (or not) being a SAHM in the new house in the new town.
5. How long do you expect to stay in rural Ohio? Is this potentially a long term move? Will it still work for your career and family (schools, community, etc.) 5 years from now.

I know nothing about your situation but unless you or your wife are from the area, it seems like a knee jerk move...then again I am conservative.

Personally, I think a broader job search into an area(s) of the country you want to live with more employment options might be more prudent. However, if the job and company hit your short and long term career targets and you really like rural Ohio...pack the moving truck.

Re: Potential new job and relocation advice.

Posted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 9:19 am
by Valuethinker
Laura wrote:
In terms of future work, from what I can tell from the market in the area (and when I said rural I mean small town, similar to a college town, but no college). There probably wouldn't be any room for advancement and not much similar work in the area. We look at this as a lifestyle change, housing 100k and under that kind of thing.
I would be very leery of taking a job with no room for advancement and not much similar work in the area. You may improve your lifestyle for a few years but then find yourself trapped with no room for growth of income or professional growth. If you want a change of lifestyle I would look for a job in an area that provides better future opportunities in a low cost of living area.

Laura
This I think is key.

OP moves to Ohio. In 5-10 years time he wants or needs to move again (for promotion, or due to job loss). There is no one else in the vicinity to provide employment.

If you live in a big urban connurbation you can usually find other work. But in an isolated location, not so much.

I have a friend who has zigzagged between the midwest and the coasts for 20+ years. He hasn't built up a lot of housing equity I don't think.