Author Topic: Cross country move dilemma  (Read 2451 times)

Hopper

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Cross country move dilemma
« on: August 26, 2015, 11:55:35 AM »
My husband is reaching the end of his high-stress, high-paying sales career in the HCOL east coast.  At his current job, he probably has 3-6 months before he is let go.  At the same time, I have a lateral job opportunity in Tacoma, WA.  That just happens to be where the vast majority of his family live.  He, being pretty much done with his current line of work, is pushing me to move. 

His income would probably go down a lot if we leave the area and he leaves his current job field.  But if we stay it would go down anyway if he really is OVER sales, which could seriously put a strain on savings and our lifestyle now.  With the move west, we'd have less income coming in, but with taxes and the cost of living differences, we would probably be ahead with our saving rate if we did. while keeping the spending level we currently enjoy. 

We have a small child, and it would be nice to have extra help close by for those inevitable sick days (like today, which is why I can take the time to type this. :)  And it would be nice to have family around, period. However, my family would be farther away (now a 7 hour drive vs if we move, 7 hours in flights). 

I like where we are.  I want to love it there, but having never seriously considered living there before, and having no friend-base there, its a little daunting to sell a house, leave a generally good situation, and uproot not just me, but a 3 year old too.  We've done our pro and con list, its a wash.  I guess that I can't shake the feel like my husband is not thinking clearly because he is under so much stress and sees the move as a clean break.  And I keep going back and forth.  :) 

Anyone contemplated a big move pre-FIRE or done a similar move with words of wisdom?  Should I just make the move so I don't wonder 'what if'???
 

Axecleaver

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Re: Cross country move dilemma
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2015, 01:06:50 PM »
Hi Hopper, I can share my experience from 2010. I was working 80-100 hour weeks in Northern Virginia and very much burned out. No exercise, too much drinking, not enough time spent on my relationships, and totally stressed out. It was all work, all the time, and no matter how much effort I put into the job, I was never "done."

My division had been for sale for seven years, and as part of middle management, I was involved in some of the talks with potential suitors. One in particular was very interested in us, but felt the asking price was too high. A financial crisis hit the company, and with a big bond payment due and a major contract cancellation hitting in the same month, the company opted to have a fire sale and unload my division. It would take about a year for the sale to close, and during this time I had the opportunity to look for a "safety valve" job in case things didn't work out with our new corporate overlords.

I ended up finding a role back in my hometown, which was lower COL, for 20% more money. Mrs Axe was anxious about moving back close to family, but now five years later, things have worked out extremely well for us. I'm in a much more balanced job, making about twice what I was making in 2010. Having family around is a mixed blessing: we do have more family interaction, there are some people around who can petsit or check in on the house when we're away, but they're always in your business and in our case, they constantly have their hands in our pockets.  But, I think we are getting control of the situation.

It was a tremendously positive experience for our daughter who had a much better high school experience in rural upstate NY than she would have in hypercompetitive urban Northern Virginia. She also had a same-age cousin to grow up with, whom she's very close to today. Since you have kids, consider the positive impact that an extended family might have on their upbringing. It's been largely lost in our modern society, and can be variable depending on your situation, but was a big factor in our decision and turned out to be the biggest win for us.

JLee

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Re: Cross country move dilemma
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2015, 01:11:27 PM »
I wouldn't worry too much about 'uprooting' a 3yo. That's young enough that you're not dealing with new schools, new social networks, etc.

AZDude

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Re: Cross country move dilemma
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2015, 01:17:57 PM »
I wouldn't worry too much about 'uprooting' a 3yo. That's young enough that you're not dealing with new schools, new social networks, etc.

There will be an adjustment period, maybe a month at most, where your kid will act out a little bit because things are different.

Hopper

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Re: Cross country move dilemma
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2015, 04:36:35 PM »
Hi Hopper, I can share my experience from 2010. I was working 80-100 hour weeks in Northern Virginia and very much burned out. No exercise, too much drinking, not enough time spent on my relationships, and totally stressed out. It was all work, all the time, and no matter how much effort I put into the job, I was never "done."

My division had been for sale for seven years, and as part of middle management, I was involved in some of the talks with potential suitors. One in particular was very interested in us, but felt the asking price was too high. A financial crisis hit the company, and with a big bond payment due and a major contract cancellation hitting in the same month, the company opted to have a fire sale and unload my division. It would take about a year for the sale to close, and during this time I had the opportunity to look for a "safety valve" job in case things didn't work out with our new corporate overlords.

I ended up finding a role back in my hometown, which was lower COL, for 20% more money. Mrs Axe was anxious about moving back close to family, but now five years later, things have worked out extremely well for us. I'm in a much more balanced job, making about twice what I was making in 2010. Having family around is a mixed blessing: we do have more family interaction, there are some people around who can petsit or check in on the house when we're away, but they're always in your business and in our case, they constantly have their hands in our pockets.  But, I think we are getting control of the situation.

It was a tremendously positive experience for our daughter who had a much better high school experience in rural upstate NY than she would have in hypercompetitive urban Northern Virginia. She also had a same-age cousin to grow up with, whom she's very close to today. Since you have kids, consider the positive impact that an extended family might have on their upbringing. It's been largely lost in our modern society, and can be variable depending on your situation, but was a big factor in our decision and turned out to be the biggest win for us.

Thanks for your thoughts, Axecleaver.  We too are in the DC area, and although I do like the school district and cluster we picked, especially the elementary school she would go to, I can see how it would be a very different experience than rural upstate NY... thats where I am from, too.  I am glad the move back worked out for you all.  My daughter's cousins out west are older, but are really nice kids, and it would be nice for them to be closer.   And I like his family, but we would have to come to a winning balance too.  I am sure we could.  Although I may be a little reliant on them for social interactions for the first year. 

I wouldn't worry too much about 'uprooting' a 3yo. That's young enough that you're not dealing with new schools, new social networks, etc.

Yeah, that does sound a little silly on my part.  She has been in the same daycare now for 3 years though, and has a few best friends.  I know she'll adjust and now is better than when she is really in school.  Mommy guilt, I guess.



lhamo

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Re: Cross country move dilemma
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2015, 09:51:33 PM »
Housing prices are much more reasonable in Tacoma than in the Seattle area.

Unemployment levels are pretty low here, and the economy seems to be booming.  Your DH could probably find a decent job pretty quickly, even if changing fields.  And your overall cost of living will probably be quite a bit lower than in the DC area.

I'd go for it!  7 hours away from your family by plane doesn't seem like THAT much of a difference than a 7 hour drive. 

It will be easier to move your child as a toddler than once they get into regular school. 

Goldielocks

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Re: Cross country move dilemma
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2015, 01:30:53 AM »
Do it.

Find a place less than 10 minute drive from relatives, and it will be so worth it.

7 hr drive means you see your family only a few times per year. 10 minutes and you will have a larger family. Seeing family is cheap entertainment, too.


Hopper

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Re: Cross country move dilemma
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2015, 05:15:49 PM »
Thanks.  Time to lay the groundwork with my job and see if I can make the move happen!