4 Financial Questions to Ask Yourself if You’re Thinking of Relocating

by Jessica Sommerfield · 0 comments

Before we were married, my husband and I dreamed about getting away from the small-town lives we’ve always lived and experiencing the world a little. Everything from international travel to simply moving to a larger city have crossed our minds. After nine years, we’re still here. While we’re both content with our lifestyle, a recent job possibility turned our thoughts toward those adventurous ideas. In evaluating this job possibility, we’ve already come up with a few questions we’ll need to answer.  One of the first questions we thought to ask was:  what is the immediate impact to our income?

While the ballpark salary is higher than my husband’s current income, we’ll also have to factor in insurance and other benefits that are currently paid by his employer. The prospective job may pay a higher salary but require payroll deductions for insurance or have fewer other perks.  Secondly, my current income would be lost. While I don’t mind that idea, we need to consider how long it will take me to transition to other work that is the equivalent or comparable to my current paycheck.  Would be be able to live on his income for a few months, at the very least? Once we have the salary and benefits figures, we’ll be able to crunch the budget numbers and see if it’s feasible.

Income and benefits are only part of the picture, however, when considering a job that requires moving. This particular job would require a move to a West Coast state from our location in the Midwest. The next question is: what is the difference in the cost of housing? Currently we live in an apartment that is incredibly nice and affordable. We live in a small town, so housing demands aren’t that high. Besides, within the city limit, there are regulations on how much landlords can charge their tenants.   In a larger metropolitan area,  the demand for housing will be much higher since space is a commodity. We’d need to determine the cost of apartments in the city as well as in the suburbs. We will probably find it’s more affordable to live in a suburb than a city apartment complex.

The third question that follows the cost of housing is: what is the difference in the cost of living?  Most people we’ve talked to are sure we’ll find that the cost of living will be  higher than it is here. That is probably true. But how much higher is it? If the cost of living is higher but we’re saving more on fuel because everything we need to access is within a few mile radius, versus 1-2 hours away (like it is right now), it may balance out.  More competition between large city-based companies also translates to better prices on some household expenses.

The fourth financial question to consider  is: how much will it cost us to move, and travel back to see family?  Moving across the country would require hiring a moving van, or hauling ourselves. Alternately, we might choose to place our stuff in storage while we check the area out. The further away a job takes you from your family, the more expensive it becomes to travel for holidays and special occasions. Then again, flying is become almost as cheap as the cost of fuel these days, and there are ways to save money by joining travel reward clubs.

These are a few important financial questions we will need to answer as we consider the possibility of moving for a new job, and should be helpful for any major relocation. Being  prepared for the financial impact will allow more freedom to consider all the other aspects and help us make an informed decision.

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