Author Topic: Looking to change careers. Should we consider relocating?  (Read 2942 times)

Mint Chip

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Looking to change careers. Should we consider relocating?
« on: April 28, 2013, 08:47:49 PM »
Hello.  We're a couple with 3 kids under 8 yrs old, and DH is looking to change careers.  (I am a stay-at-home mom.)  We own our house, monthly payment including property taxes is $975.  We have some equity in the house. We've lived here for approx. 5 years.  Husband is currently 2 miles from work, and he bikes to work when weather/daylight cooperate.  His compensation does not currently include health insurance, so for all of us we pay $700 per month for a catastrophic plan with a $10k indiv. deductible, plus expense we incur satisfying the deductible (which we never do). 

Any potential new jobs that we are finding in our current vicinity will have substantial commutes, and will require us to pay a state income tax (which we currently do not have to pay).  Public trans. is an option for some jobs, but not all. 

We're wondering whether we should consider looking at other cities/states when looking at jobs, and possibly relocating.  DH and I hopped around the country a bit before the kids came, and had a blast.  But we like where we are living now -- lots of kid/family-friendly activities, nice people, down-to-earth, very safe, outdoorsy, and you don't have to make a ton of $ to live comfortably.  Plus, we and the kids are making friends, getting involved in activities, etc.

But, unfortunately, there are few new job opportunities in the immediate vicinity, and DH's current job is a dead-end.  Remote jobs may be a possibility, once DH establishes himself in his new career, but for right now, any job change will likely bring a long commute and a state income tax bill (b/c he'd be working in another state that has an income tax).

We also have some debt emergencies that we are addressing, too, but no car payments, cell phones, TV/cable, dining out, vacations, or "extras."  Our home is in a residential area and desirable school district, so renting it out would be an option (once we completed the many DIY projects we've started...).

Would love to hear your thoughts regarding whether we should consider relocating at this time.

THANKS!

Joet

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Re: Looking to change careers. Should we consider relocating?
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2013, 08:54:00 PM »
sounds like it's time to move! good luck

Mint Chip

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Re: Looking to change careers. Should we consider relocating?
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2013, 06:28:52 AM »
Thanks for your reply.

Wow, really?  Not what I expected to hear.  Hmmm... Lots to think about.

It's a very tough decision, b/c it seems that the next job DH takes will likely last only a few years (like many jobs today) before it's time to move on, so we're wondering if we're looking at relocating every 5 years or so -- sounds expensive.  Unless, he can work from home, of course.

We're a long way from F1, but want to position ourselves so that we can get there as quickly as possible. 

So, moving, huh?  Exciting --  and scary...

Thanks!

sheepstache

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Re: Looking to change careers. Should we consider relocating?
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2013, 08:06:20 AM »
what is your savings rate right now?

savingtofreedom

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Re: Looking to change careers. Should we consider relocating?
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2013, 08:28:43 AM »
Agreed some info about current budget and saving rate would be helpful.  I think finding a job with health insurance would be a priority with me with 3 kids (just my perspective).  Do you like the South?  Atlanta is cheap and there are lots of big companies in the area.

I think a strategy of getting a new job in the new field and then transitioning to working from home  once you establish yourself sounds good if you can make it happen.

Mint Chip

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Re: Looking to change careers. Should we consider relocating?
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2013, 09:48:34 AM »
Thank you so much for your help.

Our savings rate is abysmal.  We are paying off our credit card debt and have around 10K to go.  We have watched our savings go down from a modest $30k to next to nothing, because we are always playing catch-up.  We also have a combined student loan amount of $50k that we need to eliminate as well.  After that, no other debt aside from the mortgage.  It's much cheaper for us to own here, b/c we bought a foreclosure.

We really like where we live -- it feels like "home" -- reasonably close to grandparents & extended family, very safe and quiet, not congested, and the overall cost-of-living isn't bad, but we are still drowning.  Every time we make good $ progress, there's a big $ setback -- a car repair or trip to the emergency room or new oil burner, and then there's a snowball effect.  Trying to convince DH that we should be open to relocating, but he's not ready to give up -- yet.  Of all of the places we've lived, this is by far our favorite.

We hate heat & humidity, but we  also hate just squeaking by (barely), so we'll have to be flexible and reasonable about the location.

We also homeschool, and our youngest just turned 1, so it will be some time before I can contribute any $.  I try to do my part by cooking our meals & snacks at home, using cloth diapers, nursing, and by getting anything we need from craigslist/hand-me-downs. We don't take vacations, either, b/c there's lots to do around here and take many vacation-like day trips.

Given our situation, does moving make sense, or should we suck up a commute just long enough to get our heads above water?

sheepstache

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Re: Looking to change careers. Should we consider relocating?
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2013, 10:21:50 AM »
When I read about your going through your savings, "drowning" was the word that occurred to me even before you used it.  I agree with your gut reaction that you need to get out of there.  If you were simply making progress towards FI at a lower rate than you wanted to, you could consider the quality-of-life trade-off.  There are plenty of psychological studies showing that people are risk-averse when it comes to leaving a decent situation, so your concerns are natural, but the fact is you have no guarantee that you won't be even happier in a new location.

I would run the numbers on whether fixing up the house and keeping it as a rental makes sense.  I know literally nothing about this so I can't tell at a glance whether it seems likely but what I'm thinking is you could come back to the house once you're FI.  But you have to run the numbers without that sentimental attachment in mind.  If not, that area is still going to be around when you reach FI :)  You can always come back.

If you stay in the area for now, while campaigning with your partner, your situation has to change.  You have to find a way to get more money coming in.  Can your partner do weekend jobs?  Can you do anything from home?  Write for about.com or ehow?  Sell stuff on ebay since you already know how to hunt for deals on craigslist?

And how seriously have you looked into alternate jobs for him with long commutes and taxes?  It's great that you're aware of the associated costs, most people aren't.  But I can't tell if you're just vaguely aware of them or if you've actually researched potential salaries and calculated projected costs.  Same for partner's proposed "career change."  Do you actually have a solid plan of where you would go and what he would do and the associated income and cost projections?  It sounds like you are still in the stages of convincing yourself that a location change should be on the table, and it should be, but once it is, the most important thing for you to do is plan, plan, plan.  This should help with family discussions too if you are dealing in concrete details rather than general ideas which may have a lot of emotional connotations.

Mint Chip

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Re: Looking to change careers. Should we consider relocating?
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2013, 11:41:08 AM »
Thank you very much for your candor.  It's exactly what I'm looking for.

Yes, we are in the initial planning stages.  The career change is a logical transition from what he does now, and there are many more opportunities in that field, with greater room for advancement, more $, and the possibility of working from home, eventually.  The first job in the new career will keep the current salary the same, but should also have health benefits, which will free up over $700 per month for us immediately.  We've been looking to change for a few years or so now, and after a fruitless search in the same career field, decided that a change was in order.

He did have a weekend job which helped a lot, but the hours recently changed  -- it went from a 2nd to 3rd-shift job -- and it became unworkable.  So, our entire focus/energy is directed toward another full-time gig for him.  He's gotten a few bites and is going on interviews, so we're optimistic.

This next step might just be a temporary band-aid that we need to apply in order to stop the bleeding.  Then we can take a hard look at where we are -- in every sense -- and take it from there (i.e., what to do with the house, where to go, etc.).

Sound about right?

Thank you.