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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: guacamole on March 07, 2018, 11:22:26 AM

Title: Accept this job offer?
Post by: guacamole on March 07, 2018, 11:22:26 AM
I have been flopping back and forth on this for two weeks.  Thanks in advance for any feedback.

Current Situation:

DINKS, both early thirties

Long-term vision: 
-   Stash some cash, retire to a lower-cost, mountain west area.   

Current financial strategy:
-   Finally paid of ~80K in student loans about a year and a half ago.  We had been putting most of our extra cash into this.
-   Maxing out 401(k), putting the rest of our extra cash into savings for a house down payment.

-   Roseville, CA.  Both of us are originally from Utah and moved here after college for jobs.  We have been here for 4.5 years.  The location is ok, the city is nice but expensive.  The rest of our family is back in Utah.  We would like to be closer to them, but travel between the two locations is not bad.  The best part about CA for us is the diversity of outdoor activities (backpacking, skiing, etc.) available within a few hours.

-   Income: ~140K
o   Me:   ~80K   (IT at Mega Corp, bike commute; started out at 70K, now ~77K base, the rest is bonus)
o   Wife:   ~60K   (PE teacher; commute is about 30-45 minutes depending on traffic; one year from vesting in the CA teacher pension)
-   Expenses:  ~50K
o   33% on housing, another 30% on food/shopping.  Rest of auto, taxes, travel, etc.

Net worth:
-   ~160K
o   401(k):   ~85K (vested)
o   Cash:   ~70K (saving up for house down payment)
o   2009 Ford Focus:   ~3K according to Mint

CA housing:
-   Rent on our one-bedroom apartment has increased from $1,050 to $1,550 since 2013.  Just enough to erode my salary gains of the same time frame.
-   Home prices are increasing, now most houses in the immediate area are over 400K

-   Until now, we havenít really been trying for kids.  But we have been discussing it a lot recently and now look like the time to try if we decide yes.
-   Having a kid in our current situation would be a challenge, and may mean that my wife will stop working or we will end up paying a lot for child care.  Losing or having to spend a lot of the second income would make it challenging to afford a house and keep saving at our current rate.

Job offer:
-   ~125K at another Mega Corp in Ö Fayetteville, Arkansas.  According to CNN Money, that translates ~165K in Sacramento.  Other Mega Corp stuff (mixed bag compared to current situation) also included, 401(k) match, bonuses, discounted stock, etc.)
-   Three executive/senior level people (including my previous manager) from my current company have left to work for this company over the past few months.  They called me up and offered me a position as well.  I would have the chance to be a lead (not people manager) on a new team.
-   Office is in a part of town that we would not want to live in, so bike commute may be out and we may end up with a second car.

Current thoughts:   
-   Job sounds like a great next step for my career.  Career growth has been stagnant at my current job.
-   Wife will likely struggle to replace her job.  Just not a lot of openings in her field.  Also, she may end up needing to get certified in another subject area (something she had been considering anyway in case a move like this ever happened).  She likes her current job and says she is ok with giving up, but I worry that she will not feel the same if she ends up not working after the move.  What about that CA pension?  I hate to give this up before it vests.
-   Housing, taxes, etc. are not nearly as expensive.  We may have the chance to keep a greater % of our income even though we will be making a bit less.
-   Family seems supportive, think that it will be a good way to land an even better job in a better location down the line.
-   This may be the best chance we will get to try for kids without giving up the value of a second income.
-   Arkansas sounds Ö less than exciting.  I guess we could plan trips to Colorado or Utah a few times a year.  Probably will end up flying a lot, likely will cost at least 3k a year (3 trips at ~$500 for each of us).  Neither of us have really spent time in the south/mid-west.  I have been to Texas a few times for work.

Title: Re: Accept this job offer?
Post by: frugaliknowit on March 07, 2018, 01:18:30 PM
My $.02:  If a viable company is offering $125K in a LCOL location, someone in a more desirable location will offer something comparable.  It sounds like too many negatives, not enough positives, just for a bigger salary. 
Title: Re: Accept this job offer?
Post by: Giants99 on March 08, 2018, 02:20:39 PM
I would vest for the Pension first.  Not sure if itís after this school year or next that she qualifies

You guys could likely live well on just your income in Arkansas.  My guess would be that it would be a 5 year kind of move and just something for the resume/money.  Could do it, she could stay home to raise the kids/have kids as a stay at home mom, then move back to California or Utah/Colorado before they start school and then settle there for good. 

I would wait if she doesnít qualify until after school year 2019.  Otherwise only do it if the above plan sounds good. 
Title: Re: Accept this job offer?
Post by: Calvawt on March 08, 2018, 03:22:05 PM
I think you will find there are a lot of things to do in that area.  Maybe not snow skiing, but still plenty of hiking, camping, outdoor stuff to do.
Title: Re: Accept this job offer?
Post by: zolotiyeruki on March 08, 2018, 03:45:14 PM
Financially, you're looking at going from $140k/year in a HCOL state to $120k + DW's potential income (let's say $40k) in a LCOL state.  So you're looking at $20k/year increase in raw income, and given the lower cost of living, it's likely to be more like $50k.  That means for every year you spend at the AK job, you could accelerate your ER date by at least a year.  If you're 10 years away from retirement, it'll accelerate it by two years.

How much is the pension worth if it vests?

Yes, I know you're not enthusiastic about the area....yet.  But I have a good friend who grew up there, and there's plenty to do.  Besides, whatever the downsides are to AK, that extra 50 grand can do a lot to compensate.  As you mention, you'll have plenty of disposable income if there's something you miss in CA.

I say take the job.
Title: Re: Accept this job offer?
Post by: mm1970 on March 08, 2018, 04:26:16 PM
On the pension thing - can you be separate for a year?  It doesn't sound like fun - I've done it, and many of my coworkers have too.  You could take the job, but have her stay in CA a year to get the pension.  It's a sucky year. (I did it for two.)
Title: Re: Accept this job offer?
Post by: Brilliantine on March 08, 2018, 05:55:01 PM
I would not relocate to Arkansas for that little a raise. Maybe consider looking for a similar position in California or elsewhere on the west coast for better money. Since the Arkansas firm was willing to pay you that much, it is probable that other firms NOT in Arkansas would too. If you can line up a job offer closer to your current location, maybe you can bring the Arkansas offer to the attention of your current employer and see if they would like to match that.
Title: Re: Accept this job offer?
Post by: HawkeyeNFO on March 08, 2018, 07:08:58 PM
On the pension thing - can you be separate for a year?  It doesn't sound like fun - I've done it, and many of my coworkers have too.  You could take the job, but have her stay in CA a year to get the pension.  It's a sucky year. (I did it for two.)
I also did this once.  Never again.  I don't recommend it to others.
Title: Re: Accept this job offer?
Post by: ruraljuror on March 08, 2018, 10:34:27 PM
Northwest Arkansas is a great up and coming area. The Walton family is pouring money into arts, culture and other quality of life projects. Schools are great and the likelihood of your wife finding employment would be high. Take a trip to check it out, you will be surprised.
Title: Re: Accept this job offer?
Post by: alsoknownasDean on March 09, 2018, 04:39:31 PM
Perhaps if you're looking at kids soon, maybe skip this job offer and see what is available closer to family in Utah.
Title: Re: Accept this job offer?
Post by: LWYRUP on March 09, 2018, 05:11:01 PM
I agree actually that I would skip this.

You want to be near your family in Utah.  You don't want to be in Arkansas.

What happens if you move to Arkansas and then get all settled in, then you have a kid, then you buy a house.  Then all of a sudden you live in Arkansas now, and life without your family keeps on ticking on.

Unless you are asked to go work as lead engineer at SpaceX or are being invited to the editorial board of the NYTimes or something, jobs for a smart, hard-working college-educated person are a bit like houses.  Just you wait, there will be another one along in a minute. 

If you want to be in Utah, go look for jobs in Utah.  Give it a year or two or three.  You'll find one.