Job switch dilemma

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tyrnup13
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Job switch dilemma

Post by tyrnup13 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 10:49 am

Dear Bogleheads,

I am reaching out because I am having difficulty deciding between two job choices.

Currently, I am employed in a college town in the midwest. Total compensation ranges from 495k-595k. The cost of living is low. State income taxes are 3.3%

The job I have been considering is in western Washington. The path to partnership is two years. First year total compensation is 317k and second year total compensation is 342k. If desired, I could adjust the income upwards by picking up additional work. After two years, one can expect total compensation to be in the range of 435k-460k. The cost of living would be substantially higher than what I am used to, mainly because of housing. I would expect to pay 750-800k for a house. State income taxes are 0%.

The jobs are similar in number of days worked per year. The new job is mildly or moderately easier in terms of call responsibility and I also would probably not be as busy during the day.

Obviously, I lose out big on salary for the first two years. As a partner, the salary is better, but not where I am now. My consideration to move is mostly for lifestyle. I would have access to water, mountains, and outdoor recreation. I have had the urge to be in a geographically pleasing area for about 9 years, and that has not subsided.

To add some random information, I do have three kids, ages 12, 10, and 6. I am age 40. Total invested assets = 2MM. Total net worth = 2.6MM (this includes house and college savings for the children). I plan on working full time or near full time for the next 6-11 years. No debt. Although my wife would rather stay where we are now, she is also supportive for the decision to leave, because she knows that I have had this itch for a long time.

By the way, both of our families live in our current home state. My brother lives in Washington. If we do move, my parents would likely relocate too.

The decision to stay or go has weighed heavily on me, much more than I thought it would. I know I have a great job right now. I have wanderlust, that's the bottom line. If the compensation were not different, especially during the first two years, I would make the switch in an instant. I would like to hear from others who have faced a similar dilemma and pulled the trigger. Any regrets? Are there any folks who would no way take the pay cut and increased cost of living? I am open to any perspectives that can be given.

Thanks so much for reading. I really value the opinions put forth on this board!

curmudgeon
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Re: Job switch dilemma

Post by curmudgeon » Mon Dec 19, 2016 12:43 pm

I may weigh in with a bit more detail later, but I will give a little feedback now...

I view the point of money as giving me life options. Some folks make a big salary and inflate their lifestyle to match, which leaves them locked into the job. It doesn't sound like that applies to you. So then it becomes a matter of priorities in money vs location.

We made a move across the country at one point to try something new (though it was moving up the career ladder); a combination of disappointment in the job and a realization that we preferred to be closer to family caused us to move back several years later. That is not uncommon.

With a family at that age, I'd say if you are going to do it, now is better than any time in the next 12 years; it can be tough on kids to move in high school timeframe.

We are considering retiring there, but are quite aware that the long "gray season" in western WA can get to some folks. Summers are great, but going long stretches without seeing the sun can get to you.

orca91
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Re: Job switch dilemma

Post by orca91 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 1:26 pm

Go from high salary and LOCL to less salary and HCOL... and wife wants to stay where you are now plus all family is where you are now... no way, stay put.

Stay where you're at and take vacations to get your fill of the outdoors and all.

If you're looking at state income tax to decide, be sure to look at property and sales tax also. The 0% income tax isn't free. :happy

hmw
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Re: Job switch dilemma

Post by hmw » Mon Dec 19, 2016 1:38 pm

Even you didn't say it explicitly but I assume that you are a physician.

I am a somewhat similar situation as you. We are about the same age and similar net worth. I work at a less than desirable area for a high income. We plan to move to a "nicer" area in a few years after our savings goal is met. I will be willing to take a 40 to 50% reduction in income for the move.

If you have been at your current location for a long time and you are not happy, you should move. Life is too short. The trade off will be that you will have to delay your retirement for a few years. You probably won't be retiring in 6 years, but will be able to retire in your early to mid 50's.

jane1
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Re: Job switch dilemma

Post by jane1 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 2:00 pm

Life is too unpredictable and short. What is the point of money anyway? IMO, Happiness and satisfaction in life matters most.
Taking a pay cut is in some ways similar to early retirement - you trade money for quality of life. You won't miss the $. You may blame your spouse at some point for holding you back if you haven't taken the leap.
We always wanted to live in the Bay Area, so moved from Chicago after quitting jobs. Compensation wise still not whole, but don't care. We have plenty. Minimize regrets in life.
Btw, I wouldn't give the same advice to someone with low assets, low income and low income potential. But for you, the downside and risk is minimal. You can always move if things don't work out.

tyrnup13
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Re: Job switch dilemma

Post by tyrnup13 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 2:24 pm

curmudgeon wrote:I may weigh in with a bit more detail later, but I will give a little feedback now...

I view the point of money as giving me life options. Some folks make a big salary and inflate their lifestyle to match, which leaves them locked into the job. It doesn't sound like that applies to you. So then it becomes a matter of priorities in money vs location.

We made a move across the country at one point to try something new (though it was moving up the career ladder); a combination of disappointment in the job and a realization that we preferred to be closer to family caused us to move back several years later. That is not uncommon.

With a family at that age, I'd say if you are going to do it, now is better than any time in the next 12 years; it can be tough on kids to move in high school timeframe.

We are considering retiring there, but are quite aware that the long "gray season" in western WA can get to some folks. Summers are great, but going long stretches without seeing the sun can get to you.

Thank you for responding. One major issue I am confronting is to view money as a means to give options in life. I have been able to save the past few years, and I fear that I will miss that if I make the job switch. The irony of working for money to have freedom, only to discover you are a servant to it!

I am curious, how long after you moved until you realized you missed family and had made a mistake?

Thanks again!

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Watty
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Re: Job switch dilemma

Post by Watty » Mon Dec 19, 2016 2:29 pm

Western Washington covers a lot of different areas.

If you are talking the large urban area from Seattle to Olympia then that seems to be getting almost as expensive as California. That is not really a big factor in your position but years ago when I was in my 20's I lived in the Silicon Valley which has always been expensive.

One of the problems I saw there was that some older coworkers had grown up kids in their 20's that had a very hard time affording to live there even in an apartment. One person had a daughter that was in her mid 20's that did not finish college and was working in a department store. She could not afford an apartment there even with roommates so she was still living with her parents and it was not really a good situation. She was basically a good kid but was she needed a lot of emotional support from her parents so away moving to a less expensive area was not a good option. If she could have afforded to live in an apartment within a reasonable drive that would have been very workable.

You can never tell but there is a good chance that some or all of your kids will settle down near you when they grow up. Take at look at what it will be like for them to be trying to afford to live in that area and to buy homes there someday. In contrast I am in Atlanta now and my son was easily able to afford to buy a starter house in a desirable area here when he was in his mid 20's. It cost in the low $100's. This works out nice since they just had our first grand kid and they are only eight miles away. Most of his friends also bought homes when they were in their mid 20's.

We have some friends who have a son who is pretty dyslexic and barely graduated from high school. He was working at one of the chain muffler shops which is a good honest job but it probably did not pay a lot. He lived with his parents for a few years to save up a down payment but he was able to reasonably afford to buy a very modest but acceptable house for around $80,000 and he could afford it on his income then. (He has since become an auto mechanic so he is doing relatively well now)

jane1
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Re: Job switch dilemma

Post by jane1 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 3:26 pm

Watty wrote: You can never tell but there is a good chance that some or all of your kids will settle down near you when they grow up. Take at look at what it will be like for them to be trying to afford to live in that area and to buy homes there someday.
Good point. I would add to that and say look at the other side too. Would your kids be able to get jobs and live in or close to your current college town? Although at 40, you shouldn't really be thinking where your kids will settle down in life and dictate your career and life choices based on that. Maybe when you are in your 50s that can be more of a consideration.

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Meg77
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Re: Job switch dilemma

Post by Meg77 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 3:45 pm

It seems like a no-brainer to stay put. More money, lower cost of living, it's what your wife wants, you have family nearby, and you won't have to uproot your kids and make them change schools/cultures at a fairly critical age - which can be a lot more difficult than you think and have potentially lasting negative consequences. Not to mention all the stress you'd avoid without the entire extended family moving across country, finding new housing, new schools, new friends, etc. etc.

If you have wanderlust, take some more vacations. Seriously. More frequent or more lengthy or both. Plan and dream for your next life stage when the kids are out of school and you don't have to work anymore and you can wander as your heart desires.

For the record, my husband and I went through this (no kids though) when he wanted to transfer to California with his company. We'd have made more money, but it would have been eaten up and then some in taxes and housing costs. We visited and interviewed, but I wasn't convinced our lifestyle would be any different just because the weather is nicer and there is more natural beauty around. When you're on vacation mode, of course it seems amazing and adventurous to pick up and move. But after the initial newness wears off, we'd still be spending our days commuting, working, eating dinner, etc. I convinced him that we could take a long weekend every month to California a lot more easily than uprooting our whole lives (his family had just moved here to be near us; we'd just bought and renovated a house) and with a lot better financial result.
"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." - Benjamin Franklin

tyrnup13
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Re: Job switch dilemma

Post by tyrnup13 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 3:57 pm

Watty wrote:Western Washington covers a lot of different areas.

If you are talking the large urban area from Seattle to Olympia then that seems to be getting almost as expensive as California. That is not really a big factor in your position but years ago when I was in my 20's I lived in the Silicon Valley which has always been expensive.

One of the problems I saw there was that some older coworkers had grown up kids in their 20's that had a very hard time affording to live there even in an apartment. One person had a daughter that was in her mid 20's that did not finish college and was working in a department store. She could not afford an apartment there even with roommates so she was still living with her parents and it was not really a good situation. She was basically a good kid but was she needed a lot of emotional support from her parents so away moving to a less expensive area was not a good option. If she could have afforded to live in an apartment within a reasonable drive that would have been very workable.

You can never tell but there is a good chance that some or all of your kids will settle down near you when they grow up. Take at look at what it will be like for them to be trying to afford to live in that area and to buy homes there someday. In contrast I am in Atlanta now and my son was easily able to afford to buy a starter house in a desirable area here when he was in his mid 20's. It cost in the low $100's. This works out nice since they just had our first grand kid and they are only eight miles away. Most of his friends also bought homes when they were in their mid 20's.

We have some friends who have a son who is pretty dyslexic and barely graduated from high school. He was working at one of the chain muffler shops which is a good honest job but it probably did not pay a lot. He lived with his parents for a few years to save up a down payment but he was able to reasonably afford to buy a very modest but acceptable house for around $80,000 and he could afford it on his income then. (He has since become an auto mechanic so he is doing relatively well now)
I do think about the outcome it will have on our children, and whether they will be able to afford the region to which we are considering a move. We also have a child with mild dyslexia, probably milder than what you described, but I specifically did think about the impact on him. So, your post really resonates with me. I would like to think I would have the means to help him out in his early 20's. But, yes, life would be much easier in the midwest, with regards to cost of living.

tyrnup13
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Re: Job switch dilemma

Post by tyrnup13 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 4:31 pm

jane1 wrote:Life is too unpredictable and short. What is the point of money anyway? IMO, Happiness and satisfaction in life matters most.
Taking a pay cut is in some ways similar to early retirement - you trade money for quality of life. You won't miss the $. You may blame your spouse at some point for holding you back if you haven't taken the leap.
We always wanted to live in the Bay Area, so moved from Chicago after quitting jobs. Compensation wise still not whole, but don't care. We have plenty. Minimize regrets in life.
Btw, I wouldn't give the same advice to someone with low assets, low income and low income potential. But for you, the downside and risk is minimal. You can always move if things don't work out.
Thanks for responding jane1. I agree that life is too short--the older I get, the more I realize this. I think of the little adjustments in lifestyle that would accompany a move, and these are things that I would like now, and not defer them until some point in the future. Not going definitely could result in some regret.

mak1277
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Re: Job switch dilemma

Post by mak1277 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 4:42 pm

tyrnup13 wrote:I plan on working full time or near full time for the next 6-11 years.
If you choose to retire after 6 years, will you relocate at that point in time? If you feel like relocation in retirement is a likely outcome, then I'd probably stay put right now, save up in your high salary/LCOL environment, and then pick your ideal retirement location.

I completely understand how you feel about having wanderlust and *needing* to be somewhere else. The fact that your wife is supportive of this move tells me that you are **really** unhappy with your current location, and this isn't just a fleeting thought. The issue for me is whether you can tough it out for a few more years and then move somewhere with total financial independence, and be able to completely enjoy your new surroundings.

orca91
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Re: Job switch dilemma

Post by orca91 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 5:46 pm

tyrnup13 wrote:
jane1 wrote:Life is too unpredictable and short. What is the point of money anyway? IMO, Happiness and satisfaction in life matters most.
Taking a pay cut is in some ways similar to early retirement - you trade money for quality of life. You won't miss the $. You may blame your spouse at some point for holding you back if you haven't taken the leap.
We always wanted to live in the Bay Area, so moved from Chicago after quitting jobs. Compensation wise still not whole, but don't care. We have plenty. Minimize regrets in life.
Btw, I wouldn't give the same advice to someone with low assets, low income and low income potential. But for you, the downside and risk is minimal. You can always move if things don't work out.
Thanks for responding jane1. I agree that life is too short--the older I get, the more I realize this. I think of the little adjustments in lifestyle that would accompany a move, and these are things that I would like now, and not defer them until some point in the future. Not going definitely could result in some regret.
No offense, but the way you use "I" all the time seems this move is pretty selfish. Like it's all about you.

You expect everyone to be on board with the move, uproot the family, and your parents to follow you to where you move.... because YOU want to move there..... Does anyone else actually want this?

A little mid-life crisis going on maybe? You're 40! You have plenty of time! And as mentioned a couple times, plenty of money to take vacations, visit your brother, and get your WA fix that way.

It seems safe to say you're talking about moving to the Seattle area. Many of us are in the Seattle area. What area of the midwest would you be moving from?

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Watty
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Re: Job switch dilemma

Post by Watty » Mon Dec 19, 2016 7:18 pm

I used to live in Portland Oregon before I relocated to Atlanta for a job. Being able to get over to the coast or mountains in a couple of hours on the weekends was great in Oregon. Realistically though I probably spent 95% of my time in the Portland suburban areas that really are not all that different than Atlanta suburban areas except that the weather is better in Atlanta and the traffic is better in Portland.

You need to have realistic expectations about how much moving would actually change your life since it might not be all that different most of the time.

orca91
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Re: Job switch dilemma

Post by orca91 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 7:22 pm

I was thinking that too.... with a wife, three kids, and a career, how much would OP really get to be out in nature anyway? Especially as the kids get older and have more going on.

And, traffic is HORRIBLE in the Seattle metro area.

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Re: Job switch dilemma

Post by qwertyjazz » Mon Dec 19, 2016 7:45 pm

Doctor's get paid less in cities for a reason. The more money you make the less it matters and the more other things matter. Would you have enough if you moved? Do you have enough now? What would make your kids happy? Money is not everything and neither job is particularly low paying. How much is that extra dollar worth to you?
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tyrnup13
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Re: Job switch dilemma

Post by tyrnup13 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 7:50 pm

I will try to address some of the above comments. Yes, I am a physician. The area would be on the Sound, south of Seattle. I fully agree with the comments that daily life is pretty much the same no matter where one lives. However, this job does afford a lot of vacation, and also four day work weeks. I would anticipate enjoying the outdoors frequently.

The other comment I would like to address is about being selfish. I am being selfish, I cannot deny that. However, it has been a nine year desire to live elsewhere. I had always wanted to be west, but we elected to stay in Indiana because we had young children and wanted the family support. So, now I see a window of opportunity and that's why this is an issue right now. If not taken, the next window is in eleven years, when the youngest goes to college. Eleven years seems like a long time...

One other point that I have not mentioned is that my current job in Indiana will probably be evolving in he next five years to that of an employed physician. That will likely translate into less autonomy and less income, neither of which I want. So, that is another motivator to move.

I appreciate all of the comments. To those who live in the Seattle area, please open up with your observations on life and what you like/dislike.

curmudgeon
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Re: Job switch dilemma

Post by curmudgeon » Mon Dec 19, 2016 8:20 pm

tyrnup13 wrote:
curmudgeon wrote:I may weigh in with a bit more detail later, but I will give a little feedback now...
We made a move across the country at one point to try something new (though it was moving up the career ladder); a combination of disappointment in the job and a realization that we preferred to be closer to family caused us to move back several years later. That is not uncommon.
Thank you for responding. One major issue I am confronting is to view money as a means to give options in life. I have been able to save the past few years, and I fear that I will miss that if I make the job switch. The irony of working for money to have freedom, only to discover you are a servant to it!

I am curious, how long after you moved until you realized you missed family and had made a mistake?
It probably took 18 months to really register that we didn't want to be there. We had most of our families on the west coast, and we moved to Florida. When you have to kill a full day on flights each way, it makes the distance seem greater (and the cost was also a factor for us at the time). If we had really loved the location and/or job, we might have stayed, but we missed the mountains, and the job environment was negative. It was probably equal parts family distance, location limitations, and job factors that caused us to move back to the west coast (though to a different location). When flights are only a single hop, and less than three hours, the distance for family visits is less of an issue.

harrychan
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Re: Job switch dilemma

Post by harrychan » Mon Dec 19, 2016 8:21 pm

I would do it. You have a supportive wife, a brother nearby and parents who will likely follow suit. People evolve and they accommodate. When I came to LA, I didn't think about the HCOL or anything like that. Sure, I can sell my house and move to another state and outright buy a house. But this is my home and it fits my lifestyle. I don't worry one bit about my children because my goal is to equip them to be independent and capable of making a living no matter where they choose to live. At 8 years old, I already know my oldest son will go out of state for school! lol. I can tell you already made a lot of sacrifices and saved a decent amount for retirement or whatever life may throw at you. We visited Seattle for the first time a few months ago and LOVED it. Of course, visiting is different from picking up and moving. I have 3 friends who moved to Seattle area and they all love it.
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.

tim1999
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Re: Job switch dilemma

Post by tim1999 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 8:25 pm

I'd stay put. Between the lower income and HCOL it would be a major loss, and I imagine the partnership deal in 2 years won't be in writing up front.

Pinotage
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Re: Job switch dilemma

Post by Pinotage » Mon Dec 19, 2016 8:45 pm

I'd do it.

You have plenty of resources and will continue to earn a very strong salary. You have built up the flexibility to make a change. Your family has enough and this is something you want. You already regret not doing it for the last 9 years.

Your family is supportive. This may not be a popular sentiment, but I question the logic of living one's life based on where children are likely to settle. Once adults, your children will most likely go where they want to go. Their spouses and their spouses' families will be factors. Family can be supportive without being an anchor. How would you feel if they relocate to Washington, leaving you in Indiana?

Risk-aversion runs very strong in the BH group, especially when you start throwing around very high salaries in low cost of living areas. Of course staying put (doing nothing) is the easiest path. But is that what you and your family really want? After nine years, you probably know the answer. Think of your time in Indiana as fortunate and prosperous. It has allowed you to build a very strong financial base and make a move like this reasonable.

Consider it this way, what would you do if your job in Indiana vanished overnight? Would you seek out a new one where you live now, or would you relocate?

orca91
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Re: Job switch dilemma

Post by orca91 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 9:04 pm

I see a lot of comments about the supportive wife. Supportive, but not wanting to leave home isn't truly supportive. I would bet she's just sick of hearing about it and became supportive. Just a hunch though. Also, the OP and family, his brother, and potentially his parents may all be in WA. Hers would still be where..... There's more than just the OP's potential regret to think here.

In my experience, the wife does not like to move away from her family. Just my experience, but BTDT... got the divorce to show for it. I've known other folks with similar stories. I've also known couples that moved away and did fine, so...

The OP has yet to say that any of the "supportive" family want this move to happen....

Do you think you will commute from where you would live to work in WA, or would you live close to work? The traffic really stinks out here.

What city do you think you would live in? South of Seattle, the schools don't get good until well south.... like, Olympia. Of course, there's private schools if you wanted that.

Dottie57
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Re: Job switch dilemma

Post by Dottie57 » Tue Dec 20, 2016 1:02 am

To satisfy Wanderlust, an "itch" you are willing to incur higher expenses, lower income and lose the majority of family support system. This sounds good to you? Really!?

Cruise
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Re: Job switch dilemma

Post by Cruise » Tue Dec 20, 2016 1:20 am

OP: How miserable are you in your current locale? If really miserable, move if you are pretty certain that the new locale will provide you with a successful treatment for what is ailing you.

Of course, you might want to ask yourself how adaptable is the rest of the family (kids and spouse) and will they be miserable in the new environment?. Any familial history of Seasonal Affective Disorder? If the rest of your family is truly happy where you are currently located, you run the risk of being quite unhappy with a move if such a relocation upsets a delicate balance.

Many years ago I faced a decision that was simple: Geography or Career path? I chose geography and my career took a different, but ultimately very successful path.

Good luck in your decision!

tyrnup13
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Re: Job switch dilemma

Post by tyrnup13 » Tue Dec 20, 2016 6:03 am

orca91 wrote:I see a lot of comments about the supportive wife. Supportive, but not wanting to leave home isn't truly supportive. I would bet she's just sick of hearing about it and became supportive. Just a hunch though. Also, the OP and family, his brother, and potentially his parents may all be in WA. Hers would still be where..... There's more than just the OP's potential regret to think here.

In my experience, the wife does not like to move away from her family. Just my experience, but BTDT... got the divorce to show for it. I've known other folks with similar stories. I've also known couples that moved away and did fine, so...

The OP has yet to say that any of the "supportive" family want this move to happen....

Do you think you will commute from where you would live to work in WA, or would you live close to work? The traffic really stinks out here.

What city do you think you would live in? South of Seattle, the schools don't get good until well south.... like, Olympia. Of course, there's private schools if you wanted that.
My wife is not the one pushing to go...she is satisfied with where we live. So, yes, it would be difficult for her. On the other hand, if we were to ever relocate and had a choice where, this would be the place she would go! The desire to move is mine, and it is a combination of wanderlust and job dissatisfaction.

As for the kids, the 6 and 10 year old do not have strong preferences. The oldest would vote no. But again, if he could pick a second place to live, this would be it, since we have family there.

My parents are retired and are up for anything. They spend 3 months a year travelling the world. They have already considered by a condo in Seattle, prior to me considering the job.

We would live in Gig Harbor. As far as I can tell, the schools are good. Commuting should not be bad, based on where I would live and work. I do understand that trips to Seattle would be long.

Thanks for participating in the discussion, appreciate your time.

tyrnup13
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Re: Job switch dilemma

Post by tyrnup13 » Tue Dec 20, 2016 6:08 am

Cruise wrote:OP: How miserable are you in your current locale? If really miserable, move if you are pretty certain that the new locale will provide you with a successful treatment for what is ailing you.

Of course, you might want to ask yourself how adaptable is the rest of the family (kids and spouse) and will they be miserable in the new environment?. Any familial history of Seasonal Affective Disorder? If the rest of your family is truly happy where you are currently located, you run the risk of being quite unhappy with a move if such a relocation upsets a delicate balance.

Many years ago I faced a decision that was simple: Geography or Career path? I chose geography and my career took a different, but ultimately very successful path.

Good luck in your decision!
I am the only one in the family that is not content. But don't get me wrong, I am not miserable. So, I take that to heart, that it is a big risk to move. I think about it a lot...the possibility of moving, only to make everyone unhappier, for less money, and a higher cost of living!

orca91
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Re: Job switch dilemma

Post by orca91 » Tue Dec 20, 2016 6:45 am

Gig Harbor is nice. I like it there a lot and the schools are good. I was thinking the Seattle side and south.

It seems like there's more cons than pros on your list about this move, and the pros being all about you. I would ignore the "itch", if I were you.

You said you work about the same number of days with the current job as you would with the new one. Do you really not have enough time off now to make trips to WA and do the things you want? What is the draw... hunting, fishing, skiing, hiking...??

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Watty
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Re: Job switch dilemma

Post by Watty » Tue Dec 20, 2016 8:58 am

Cruise wrote: Any familial history of Seasonal Affective Disorder?


This can be a problem and some people decide to leave the Northwest after a few years because they can't cope with the winters.

Even if it it not a specif problem the weather and darkness in the Northwest can get to you after a while.

I just checked and in Gig Harbor the sunrise today is at 7:54 AM and it sets at 4:21PM.

https://weather.com/weather/today/l/Gig ... A0161:1:US

With the cloudy weather there is no twilight and it is pitch black at those times. Depending on the hours you work there can be a around two months in the winter when you will be driving to and from work in the dark.

It was not clear if you had been there in the winter time. July through September are usually glorious in the northwest but you need to be prepared for the rest of the year.

When researching the weather be very careful about looking at the averages since some years will be much worse than others. My brother in law was raised in Oregon and lived in Seattle for years so he knew what to expect when he built a retirement home on the Oregon Coast. Unfortunately the first few years were unusually bad weather years and the gloom got to him so he sold his house and moved to Arizona.

That said, in some ways the northwest reputation for bad weather is worse than it deserves. The problem is that Lewis and Clark spent the winter on the Oregon coast in an unusually bad El Nino year where they had terrible weather so their first reports set the first impression of what the Northwests climate was like. If they had spent the winter 100 miles inland in a normal year they would have had a much better winter.

orca91
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Re: Job switch dilemma

Post by orca91 » Tue Dec 20, 2016 10:19 am

Yes, because no one has lived in the area since Lewis and Clark to confirm or deny the weather reputation?? :wink: :happy

Rainy windstorm happening today, and we've set some rainfall records in 2016... I think it was the wettest October on record. So, it's probably not completely undeserved, this reputation.

cherijoh
Posts: 4858
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Location: Charlotte NC

Re: Job switch dilemma

Post by cherijoh » Tue Dec 20, 2016 10:45 am

tyrnup13 wrote:
jane1 wrote:Life is too unpredictable and short. What is the point of money anyway? IMO, Happiness and satisfaction in life matters most.
Taking a pay cut is in some ways similar to early retirement - you trade money for quality of life. You won't miss the $. You may blame your spouse at some point for holding you back if you haven't taken the leap.
We always wanted to live in the Bay Area, so moved from Chicago after quitting jobs. Compensation wise still not whole, but don't care. We have plenty. Minimize regrets in life.
Btw, I wouldn't give the same advice to someone with low assets, low income and low income potential. But for you, the downside and risk is minimal. You can always move if things don't work out.
Thanks for responding jane1. I agree that life is too short--the older I get, the more I realize this. I think of the little adjustments in lifestyle that would accompany a move, and these are things that I would like now, and not defer them until some point in the future. Not going definitely could result in some regret.
I took a separation package rather than a relocation out of state when my work site closed 10+ years ago. Financially, I would have been better off if I had taken the transfer, but I don't regret my decision one bit. When you have "enough" quality of life gets a higher weighting than when you are struggling to make ends meet.

andrew1976
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Re: Job switch dilemma

Post by andrew1976 » Tue Dec 20, 2016 10:49 am

I'm curious what kind of physician you are. I am a hospitalist living in Philadelphia with 5 kids. Cost of living here is moderate and the quality of life is so so. We have considered moving to the Seattle area but I don't think I'd find a similar job to what I currently have now. Also the cost of housing alone has risen dramatically the past 10 years.

MDfive21
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Re: Job switch dilemma

Post by MDfive21 » Tue Dec 20, 2016 1:29 pm

if it were me, i'd be packing boxes. :)

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gunn_show
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Re: Job switch dilemma

Post by gunn_show » Tue Dec 20, 2016 9:15 pm

harrychan wrote:I would do it. You have a supportive wife, a brother nearby and parents who will likely follow suit. People evolve and they accommodate. When I came to LA, I didn't think about the HCOL or anything like that. Sure, I can sell my house and move to another state and outright buy a house. But this is my home and it fits my lifestyle. I don't worry one bit about my children because my goal is to equip them to be independent and capable of making a living no matter where they choose to live. At 8 years old, I already know my oldest son will go out of state for school! lol. I can tell you already made a lot of sacrifices and saved a decent amount for retirement or whatever life may throw at you. We visited Seattle for the first time a few months ago and LOVED it. Of course, visiting is different from picking up and moving. I have 3 friends who moved to Seattle area and they all love it.
well said... +1 to this. Do it if you can get full buy-in from family without resentment. Financially this is kind of irrelevant to be honest, at your income and savings, it's a couple years here and there depending on when you want to retire. It's not like you're scraping nickels here.

FWIW I am in SoCal, and have 2 friends that separately moved to Seattle area in last two years for respective jobs, and have said they may never move home. They love the area for all the reasons you want to go - access to boating, mountains, Baker, Whistler, Portland, UW football, greenery, etc. etc. A lot of folks on this board don't appreciate that stuff, or want to push you to Atlanta or some other random place, so make the decision that is best for you and your immediate family (wife kids). Sounds like your parents can afford to go anywhere you do. You can always move back...
"The best life hack of all is to just put the work in and never give up." Bas Rutten

cantos
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Re: Job switch dilemma

Post by cantos » Tue Dec 20, 2016 10:51 pm

Great thread. Just went through the move/not-move process but different situation (40, 2 kids, secure income & net worth, lawyer), where I got a new job with a long commute into the city (currently in a small resort town) but love the new job and easier time with it. After much wrangling decided to move into the city. We looked for a house for the better part of a year, housing was ridiculously priced, so I never bit. Finally decided not to move to the city after all - wasn't worth the financial hit, the change to kids' schools, and wife would have had to ramp up to a high level job that she didn't want (she prefers her part-time well-paying gig than a crazy full-time even better gig).

Given the pros you face with a move - a 4 day work week, easier job responsibilities, and a beautiful (albeit rainy) place in the world, my gut feel is you'll be happier in Washington. Which means you'll be happier when you come home from work. And on that extra day off. And your wife will be happier because you'll be happier. And your kids will be happier because you'll be happier. To me, that's the end of the story right there. You can take your kids hiking, camping, into the mountains, etc. Wouldn't that be awesome?

The financial hit, while large in absolute numbers, may not be that large relative to your budget and whenever you want to retire. If you maintain a fairly lower budget (say, 100k/yr on a 300-400k/yr salary) then you'll be saving at a decent rate. If you're not the kind to get nice cars and houses and keep up with the Jones's, then, to me, it's not significant enough to worry about, especially given what you've already saved up.

Here's what I can say from my own point of view. I worked for years in a high-stress job with very low hours. I worked 24-hour weeks, had 2-hour lunches at the driving range smacking golf balls, and was miserable 24/7 and my cell phone stuck to me like an appendage. I now work the usual 35-hour week, have an insane several-hour commute by train, but I enjoy the job and it's way less stressful and I'm happier for it. Wife says she's never seen me happier.

Go for it. Your happiness, and that of your family, is at stake.

Dyloot
Posts: 120
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Re: Job switch dilemma

Post by Dyloot » Wed Dec 21, 2016 12:11 am

What's the point of making all that money if it doesn't allow you to pursue your dreams? If you pass on this, the itch will remain. My guess is you'll end up with this decision again in the future as your attention wanders.

The Pacific Northwest is an amazing place. It will be an amazing adventure for your family.

I say follow your dream instead of suppressing the itch. I doubt it stays buried.

Chadnudj
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Re: Job switch dilemma

Post by Chadnudj » Wed Dec 21, 2016 12:49 am

Isn't there a less drastic solution? Like a summer sabbatical where you spend 2 months, with your wife/kids, living out there?

In your shoes, I'd stay. Wife would prefer to stay (and it sounds like her parents are there), oldest kid wants to stay (and moving when in middle school/going into high school is rough), you make more money and have a lower cost of living where you are, and you have more of an existing support network.

If you have wanderlust, wander for awhile. Don't uproot your home/family....particularly when that move will delay the time until you're financially independent/retired and able to REALLY indulge your wanderlust.

tyrnup13
Posts: 64
Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2013 7:59 pm

Re: Job switch dilemma

Post by tyrnup13 » Wed Dec 21, 2016 7:04 am

cantos wrote:Great thread. Just went through the move/not-move process but different situation (40, 2 kids, secure income & net worth, lawyer), where I got a new job with a long commute into the city (currently in a small resort town) but love the new job and easier time with it. After much wrangling decided to move into the city. We looked for a house for the better part of a year, housing was ridiculously priced, so I never bit. Finally decided not to move to the city after all - wasn't worth the financial hit, the change to kids' schools, and wife would have had to ramp up to a high level job that she didn't want (she prefers her part-time well-paying gig than a crazy full-time even better gig).

Given the pros you face with a move - a 4 day work week, easier job responsibilities, and a beautiful (albeit rainy) place in the world, my gut feel is you'll be happier in Washington. Which means you'll be happier when you come home from work. And on that extra day off. And your wife will be happier because you'll be happier. And your kids will be happier because you'll be happier. To me, that's the end of the story right there. You can take your kids hiking, camping, into the mountains, etc. Wouldn't that be awesome?

The financial hit, while large in absolute numbers, may not be that large relative to your budget and whenever you want to retire. If you maintain a fairly lower budget (say, 100k/yr on a 300-400k/yr salary) then you'll be saving at a decent rate. If you're not the kind to get nice cars and houses and keep up with the Jones's, then, to me, it's not significant enough to worry about, especially given what you've already saved up.

Here's what I can say from my own point of view. I worked for years in a high-stress job with very low hours. I worked 24-hour weeks, had 2-hour lunches at the driving range smacking golf balls, and was miserable 24/7 and my cell phone stuck to me like an appendage. I now work the usual 35-hour week, have an insane several-hour commute by train, but I enjoy the job and it's way less stressful and I'm happier for it. Wife says she's never seen me happier.

Go for it. Your happiness, and that of your family, is at stake.
Thank you for the comments. That is how I am envisioning this...working a bit less, in a less stressful environment and with more amenities that I enjoy. I think that the happiness could trickle down!

I'm happy that you've found a job you enjoy! FWIW, my brother was also a stressed out attorney up until three years ago. He switched out of a firm and now is in house counsel. Much happier.

tyrnup13
Posts: 64
Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2013 7:59 pm

Re: Job switch dilemma

Post by tyrnup13 » Wed Dec 21, 2016 7:18 am

orca91 wrote:Gig Harbor is nice. I like it there a lot and the schools are good. I was thinking the Seattle side and south.

It seems like there's more cons than pros on your list about this move, and the pros being all about you. I would ignore the "itch", if I were you.

You said you work about the same number of days with the current job as you would with the new one. Do you really not have enough time off now to make trips to WA and do the things you want? What is the draw... hunting, fishing, skiing, hiking...??
I sent you a PM.

tyrnup13
Posts: 64
Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2013 7:59 pm

Re: Job switch dilemma

Post by tyrnup13 » Wed Dec 21, 2016 7:20 am

andrew1976 wrote:I'm curious what kind of physician you are. I am a hospitalist living in Philadelphia with 5 kids. Cost of living here is moderate and the quality of life is so so. We have considered moving to the Seattle area but I don't think I'd find a similar job to what I currently have now. Also the cost of housing alone has risen dramatically the past 10 years.
I sent you a PM in response to your question.

WageSlave
Posts: 85
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Re: Job switch dilemma

Post by WageSlave » Wed Dec 21, 2016 10:22 am

As you know, it's ultimately a personal matter to be decided by you and your family. But I assume you're here to solicit thoughts and ideas you may not have considered on your own.

I am an admitted homebody, and a midwesterner, so you can guess where I stand. However, even without considering moving across country, I really don't even want to change jobs. I too have a high wage income; and the market appears to be hot enough that I could change to another employer and retain my pay (if not increase it). I don't hate my job, but I also don't love it. But I stay because I'm afraid of falling victim to "the grass is always greener" mentality.

What I would do is think long and hard about your current situation, in particular, what are the positive aspects of your current situation that you'd likely give up if you moved? What about the the little things that turn into uncertainties when you move? For my own situation, I've had recruiters approach me and dazzle me with guaranteed pay increases... but I also work in a typically very secretive industry (electronic trading), so without knowing people at other companies, I have no idea what the environment is like elsewhere. And in all the jobs I've ever had, going back to my first job at McDonald's, the work itself is at most only half of what makes a job good or bad; the environment has a huge influence. So my current position: kinda bored with it, some random aspects really annoy me, my own interests are changing/evolving... sounds like I'm ready for a change, eh? Well, on the other hand, I love my team; I've been here since it was a start-up, so I have a lot of seniority; I have lots of vacation time; I feel my pay is about as secure as possible in this industry (due to my position and solid company track record); I've been able to reduce my hours a bit over the years (from 12 down to 9.5).

So with all this in mind, I keep plodding along, being frugal, and saving/investing 60-70% of my take home pay. That puts financial independence as a mid-term goal, rather than a traditional end-of-career goal. Fortunately I'm happy with a modest lifestyle. But I'm hoping that once I'm financially independent, or at least comfortably close, I can cut back to part time or consulting or a "hobby job" that pays just enough to cover expenses, while I let the portfolio grow the rest of the way.

So that's my take on this, given your high income, with modest expenses you could be not far away from financial independence. And once you're FI, I think perhaps you could strike a balance between staying put but also satisfying your wanderlust through travel, special projects, etc. I don't know much about the nuances of a physician's career, but I have the impression that there are some flexible options out there. E.g., part-time work, consulting, small private practice, etc. Something where you can make a little money but also have a lot more free time. If you're part of a specialty, maybe you could find temporary teaching assignments or do guest-lecturing out west? E.g., say you find a way to do speeches or conferences out west; then you could spend a day or three "working", and then take another few days for vacation, outdoor activities, etc. During the summer your family could tag along with you.

Pinotage
Posts: 232
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Re: Job switch dilemma

Post by Pinotage » Wed Jan 18, 2017 6:23 pm

Any update from the OP?

Curious if you've decided.

Good luck!

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