Author Topic: Moving to low cost area without a job...good idea?  (Read 6153 times)

kosh525

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Moving to low cost area without a job...good idea?
« on: July 10, 2014, 08:33:10 AM »
Hi everyone,

So my wife and I have been wanting to get out of New Jersey for a long time now.  The harsh winters, high cost of living, and just the feeling of not wanting to live in the same area our entire lives have taken a toll on us and we're ready to move.

We've been looking at Florida for quite awhile, in particular we've been looking into Jacksonville or Orlando.  My wife and I both have family in Florida and the cost of living there is insanely cheaper from where I live now.

We have enough money in the bank to last us quite awhile thanks to MMM.  The only issue is that I most likely will not have a job when I move down there.  I've tried doing the job search from here, but we've both just gotten to the point where we just feel like we're wasting time in NJ. I think I can find employment within a few months, I work in finance, I'm young, with a bachelor's and about 2 years experience under my belt.

I obviously know that salaries will be lower, but running the numbers, I almost wonder why we haven't moved already.  I currently make 50k as a contract worker (I accepted the position before I knew how to negotiate, I am much wiser now, I was paid much lower before I negotiated a raise).  The median salary for my position in FL is around 45k.  I looked on the bestplace.net cost of living comparision, and that's equivalent to over 70k in my area!

Has anyone had experience in situations like this?  I know it's a risk, but I feel like it's a short term risk for a long term gain.

hybrid

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Re: Moving to low cost area without a job...good idea?
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2014, 09:44:46 AM »
I've met a number of folks that have moved here from NJ, and only one who has moved to NJ from here. They all say the same thing about the ridiculous COL. Yep, I would get the hell out if I were in your shoes. You are young, employable, and can afford to be without a paycheck for a short while.

I'm not big on moving without a job, so I guess the best I could offer there is do your research about the best places in Florida for the type of work that you do and get that next job ASAP once you move.

What is tying you to NJ at the moment? Could you take a vacation to visit Florida and spend the time job-hunting before you pull the trigger?

Rebecca Stapler

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Re: Moving to low cost area without a job...good idea?
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2014, 09:50:45 AM »
We moved to a high cost area when only one of us had a job lined up. We delayed the move 3 months, for me to find a job from 3 hours away, but it didn't pan out. Eventually we just bit the bullet. My career took a bit of a dive, but my husband's has really improved. A lot of that has to do with the fact that my field -- legal practice -- is a shrinking job market, both in our previous city and in our current city. So, merely having a job was a blessing -- in either city -- and it did lead to greater opportunities if I was currently employed. Whereas, my husband is a programmer and we moved to a very techy market -- there are a LOT of tech jobs here and a lot is happening in tech. It is growing by leaps and bounds in this area.

I would consider whether you and your wife are moving to an area that's growing, stagnant, or shrinking for your fields and not taking a leap without a job unless you're moving to an area where your industries are growing.

Even though my career has hit the skids a bit, I don't regret moving when just one of us had a job -- mostly because my husband's career is really growing right now and I can focus on my career later, when he's established in his new job.

Numbers Man

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Re: Moving to low cost area without a job...good idea?
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2014, 10:01:57 AM »
kosh525 - Your post is vague as to how much money you have socked away to withstand months of unemployment. Also, does it cost you anything to leave NJ? For example, Do you have a house to sell? If you feel like you have enough cash to tide you over then move. You're moving for the lifestyle. Everything costs less but the salaries are much lower. So your accumulation of net worth probably would be the same if you moved or stayed put in NJ.

kosh525

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Re: Moving to low cost area without a job...good idea?
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2014, 12:52:12 PM »
I've met a number of folks that have moved here from NJ, and only one who has moved to NJ from here. They all say the same thing about the ridiculous COL. Yep, I would get the hell out if I were in your shoes. You are young, employable, and can afford to be without a paycheck for a short while.

I'm not big on moving without a job, so I guess the best I could offer there is do your research about the best places in Florida for the type of work that you do and get that next job ASAP once you move.

What is tying you to NJ at the moment? Could you take a vacation to visit Florida and spend the time job-hunting before you pull the trigger?

There really isn't a whole lot tying us down honestly.  This was the revelation that hit us recently.  We could literally pack up and move tomorrow.

 We're probably going to make a trip sometime in October to see some of the area.  Once we decide, we'd have to find an apartment.  We have enough to offer and entire year's worth of rent up front so I don't think we should have a hard time finding an apartment without either us of having a job.

begood

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Re: Moving to low cost area without a job...good idea?
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2014, 01:12:42 PM »
Having lived in Orlando for seven years... I recommend Jacksonville.

Jax is near the top of my "wish list" retirement locations.

The benefit to Orlando is that the hurricane evacuation routes lead there - if there's a "safe" place to be in Florida during a hurricane, it's Central FLA - Orlando, Gainesville, Ocala, Lakeland - but for day-to-day living, community building, and a lower degree of general insanity, I'd pick Jacksonville over Orlando for sure!

But I'm just one voice - other Orlandans may follow up and extol its many virtues! :)

kosh525

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Re: Moving to low cost area without a job...good idea?
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2014, 01:16:38 PM »
We moved to a high cost area when only one of us had a job lined up. We delayed the move 3 months, for me to find a job from 3 hours away, but it didn't pan out. Eventually we just bit the bullet. My career took a bit of a dive, but my husband's has really improved. A lot of that has to do with the fact that my field -- legal practice -- is a shrinking job market, both in our previous city and in our current city. So, merely having a job was a blessing -- in either city -- and it did lead to greater opportunities if I was currently employed. Whereas, my husband is a programmer and we moved to a very techy market -- there are a LOT of tech jobs here and a lot is happening in tech. It is growing by leaps and bounds in this area.

I would consider whether you and your wife are moving to an area that's growing, stagnant, or shrinking for your fields and not taking a leap without a job unless you're moving to an area where your industries are growing.

Even though my career has hit the skids a bit, I don't regret moving when just one of us had a job -- mostly because my husband's career is really growing right now and I can focus on my career later, when he's established in his new job.

My wife just recently started freelance writing.  She was fed up with her previous job.  She was an assistant at a financial advisor's office.  I could tell you some of the stories she has, but that's probably best left for the anti-mustachian wall of shame than here.

I've had previous experience in banking and I know a lot of banks have regional headquarters in Jacksonville.  It may be where we go if we can find a nice place for us.  My wife is starting a career in which she can live almost anywhere, and we would both prefer to live in Florida.

It's good to here from someone who moved to a high COL area. I live close to NYC, and I can see the appeal to some.

kosh525

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Re: Moving to low cost area without a job...good idea?
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2014, 01:29:58 PM »
kosh525 - Your post is vague as to how much money you have socked away to withstand months of unemployment. Also, does it cost you anything to leave NJ? For example, Do you have a house to sell? If you feel like you have enough cash to tide you over then move. You're moving for the lifestyle. Everything costs less but the salaries are much lower. So your accumulation of net worth probably would be the same if you moved or stayed put in NJ.

In terms of numbers, I will say that we have saved up enough to live in Florida for a year without jobs.  There will be a cost involved with moving, but since we do not have a lot, a small UHaul truck will probably suffice.  I have included that cost when figuring out how much we need. There's no house, like I said, there really isn't anything tying us down to this area. I will sell my car, since we have two cars anyway and there's really not need for that. 

Most of our decision is lifestyle, although we do get concerned about money.  If money was not a concern, we'd be on a Florida beach everyday for the rest of our lives.  I guess there's the voice in the back of my head thinking "What if I am not able to get a job in a year, what will we do?"

mxt0133

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Re: Moving to low cost area without a job...good idea?
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2014, 02:22:05 PM »
My wife and I also moved from NJ unfortunately to a higher COL area, San Francisco, doughh!

But it was the best decision ever!  I cannot put $ value on how much our quality of life has improved.  We miss family but we hated NJ more.  We still visit from time to time to visit family and remind ourselves why we left.

I did not have a job lined up when we moved here, my wife got a transfer, and spent the following few months decompressing from the pressures of my old job.  I eventually started to look for work when my wife got pregnant.  If I had to do it over again but knew I would not be able to find a job, I still would have done it.  I would do whatever job I could find just to be able to stay somewhere that makes you truly happy.

I say go for it.  If you are really that worried about finding a job.  I would ask friends and family about possible job prospects and then travel there for days at a time to interview and get a pulse of the job market.  If that doesn't work find work that will allow you to work remotely even if it is a temp position to buy you time while you are able to look for more permanent employment.

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Re: Moving to low cost area without a job...good idea?
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2014, 02:32:25 PM »
I live just south of Lakeland, pretty much smack in the middle between Tampa and Orlando.  Very convenient for jobs in either of those cities. 

frugaliknowit

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Re: Moving to low cost area without a job...good idea?
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2014, 02:46:19 PM »
I have a strong opinion and a suggestion:

Opinion:  DON'T DO IT, DON'T DO IT, DON'T DO IT!! 

Suggestion:  Get a cell or phone number corresponding to the area you want to move to.  Get permission to use your relative's address for any possible correspondence (really, not much gets mailed anyway).  Make no mention of relocating in your discussions until the potential employer is salivating, especially if they do not offer a package.

Have at least one job before you move.  You don't want to blow all that emergency fund and maybe have to move in with relatives.  Cool your jets and do it right.

snuggler

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Re: Moving to low cost area without a job...good idea?
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2014, 05:08:28 PM »
I've met a number of folks that have moved here from NJ, and only one who has moved to NJ from here. They all say the same thing about the ridiculous COL. Yep, I would get the hell out if I were in your shoes. You are young, employable, and can afford to be without a paycheck for a short while.

I'm not big on moving without a job, so I guess the best I could offer there is do your research about the best places in Florida for the type of work that you do and get that next job ASAP once you move.

What is tying you to NJ at the moment? Could you take a vacation to visit Florida and spend the time job-hunting before you pull the trigger?

There really isn't a whole lot tying us down honestly.  This was the revelation that hit us recently.  We could literally pack up and move tomorrow.

 We're probably going to make a trip sometime in October to see some of the area.  Once we decide, we'd have to find an apartment.  We have enough to offer and entire year's worth of rent up front so I don't think we should have a hard time finding an apartment without either us of having a job.

Just FYI- most apartment complexes don't care about how much you have saved up; they care about whether you have a good paying job. I found this out when I moved after graduating to a place where I had a job lined up that was starting one month later. They didn't care that I had enough saved up in my savings to pay for a year of rent and expenses, or that I had a letter from my employer saying that I would be starting a job with a six-figure salary in just a few weeks. They made me have a cosigner with an already-established income stream. Of course YMMV, but I had the same situation when buying a car, which made me think that it is not that uncommon of a situation.

Noodle

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Re: Moving to low cost area without a job...good idea?
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2014, 10:33:47 PM »
Most of our decision is lifestyle, although we do get concerned about money.  If money was not a concern, we'd be on a Florida beach everyday for the rest of our lives.  I guess there's the voice in the back of my head thinking "What if I am not able to get a job in a year, what will we do?"

Have a back-up plan that triggers at a certain point (S in the bank, number of months unemployed, etc). Could you move back to the Northeast, try another city, look at different kinds of jobs? Know ahead of time what Plan B will be and when you'll use it, which frees the mind from fretting.

Unlike the earlier poster, I say that if you have resources and a plan, go ahead and take the risk. The longer you stay in the NE, the harder it will be to relocate, as you accumulate property and perhaps a family. The lowest-risk option would be to job hunt from NJ, and that hasn't worked. But you're young, have relatively portable skills (as opposed to, say, lobster biologist), a supportive spouse, and money in the bank. And it's not like the only choice is "sit on your bottom spending money until the bank account runs dry or I get a full-time job." You can stretch your resources even longer than that year you have planned now if you pick up cash in the meantime with temp work, odd jobs, focus groups or whatever.

Emg03063

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Re: Moving to low cost area without a job...good idea?
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2014, 01:23:02 AM »
If you're cash flow positive in your current situation, there's no reason to quit your job to rush a move.  If your contract is time limited, I don't see any reason not to move when it's up.

johnhenry

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Re: Moving to low cost area without a job...good idea?
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2014, 04:06:55 PM »
Quote
Just FYI- most apartment complexes don't care about how much you have saved up; they care about whether you have a good paying job. I found this out when I moved after graduating to a place where I had a job lined up that was starting one month later. They didn't care that I had enough saved up in my savings to pay for a year of rent and expenses, or that I had a letter from my employer saying that I would be starting a job with a six-figure salary in just a few weeks. They made me have a cosigner with an already-established income stream. Of course YMMV, but I had the same situation when buying a car, which made me think that it is not that uncommon of a situation.

That's true.  But if you are looking for a place with a 6mo or 1 year lease anyway, you can very likely negotiate a better rate if you are willing to pay up-front in cash.  My in-laws retired early, sold their house, but wanted to rent a place for just over 1 year before they traveled during retirement.  They were able to rent a place that normally rented for $950/mo for $850/mo buy paying one lump sum up front.  I guess there's some risk in that if you are worried your landlord won't have incentive to treat you right.

With that said, I'd still try very hard to have a job lined up in FL ahead of time for at least one spouse.  Or at least agree each spouse would get part-time (low paying, if necessary) jobs while the real job search is on.   I'm all for "seizing the day" and moving if that's what you are passionate about.  But even living really frugally, you can eat through savings pretty quickly if you don't plan ahead and you are still early in your wealth accumulation phase.   On the other hand, if you have quite a nest egg (in addition to your liquid 1 yr of living expenses) I'd be all for testing out early retirement, soul searching, etc while planning to jump back into the work force once you found a place to live and place to work.

I guess I'm so focused on details and efficiency it would drive me nuts to move with no solid plan or prospects in place.  But if told myself it was an extended vacation or test run of early retirement before I started a new chapter....then I'd be excited to have all my options open.

Good luck!  Let us know how it goes.

ch12

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Re: Moving to low cost area without a job...good idea?
« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2014, 06:34:03 PM »
Suggestion:  Get a cell or phone number corresponding to the area you want to move to.  Get permission to use your relative's address for any possible correspondence (really, not much gets mailed anyway).  Make no mention of relocating in your discussions until the potential employer is salivating, especially if they do not offer a package.

Have at least one job before you move.  You don't want to blow all that emergency fund and maybe have to move in with relatives.  Cool your jets and do it right.

I solved this issue by getting a 100% remote job before moving, only to find that I have a pretty comfortable lifestyle in Wisconsin and a lease that runs through May of next year. If you want a job physically located in Florida, then I'd use a relative's address on your resume. I actually have two addresses on my resume. I'm a little sad that there's a polar vortex sweeping through Wisconsin next week, and I wish a little that I lived somewhere where polar vortices weren't part of the vocabulary. http://time.com/2976120/polar-vortex-summer-typhoon-neoguri/

Rebecca Stapler

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Re: Moving to low cost area without a job...good idea?
« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2014, 09:32:31 AM »

My wife just recently started freelance writing.  She was fed up with her previous job.  She was an assistant at a financial advisor's office.  I could tell you some of the stories she has, but that's probably best left for the anti-mustachian wall of shame than here.

I've had previous experience in banking and I know a lot of banks have regional headquarters in Jacksonville.  It may be where we go if we can find a nice place for us.  My wife is starting a career in which she can live almost anywhere, and we would both prefer to live in Florida.

It's good to here from someone who moved to a high COL area. I live close to NYC, and I can see the appeal to some.

It's great that she can work from anywhere. Is she making enough for you two to "make it work" without dipping into savings? If so, then go for it and move. If not, I ditto PP's suggestion of using a relative's address to look for work.

shadowmoss

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Re: Moving to low cost area without a job...good idea?
« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2014, 10:10:21 AM »
I"m saying go for it.  You both should be able to pick up temp work, waitressing/bartending, hotel night desk, something to fill in the finances if you start going through them too fast.  Online temp work can help fill in as well.  It will be a different lifestyle, but maybe a nice break while you spend the off time looking for 'real' work.  It may also make you appreciate your degree and a nice desk job again when you have it.  :)

thefrugalnudists

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Re: Moving to low cost area without a job...good idea?
« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2014, 10:44:14 AM »
We moved to a high cost area when only one of us had a job lined up. We delayed the move 3 months, for me to find a job from 3 hours away, but it didn't pan out. Eventually we just bit the bullet. My career took a bit of a dive, but my husband's has really improved. A lot of that has to do with the fact that my field -- legal practice -- is a shrinking job market, both in our previous city and in our current city. So, merely having a job was a blessing -- in either city -- and it did lead to greater opportunities if I was currently employed. Whereas, my husband is a programmer and we moved to a very techy market -- there are a LOT of tech jobs here and a lot is happening in tech. It is growing by leaps and bounds in this area.

I would consider whether you and your wife are moving to an area that's growing, stagnant, or shrinking for your fields and not taking a leap without a job unless you're moving to an area where your industries are growing.

Even though my career has hit the skids a bit, I don't regret moving when just one of us had a job -- mostly because my husband's career is really growing right now and I can focus on my career later, when he's established in his new job.
Where are you if I may ask? My wife is going to school for computer science and will likely be a java developer. We would love to get out of our area to a lower cost of living one with good jobs. Sounds like that's where you are.

kosh525

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Re: Moving to low cost area without a job...good idea?
« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2014, 09:40:05 AM »
I just wanted to give update on this.

My wife and I took the leap of faith and decided we were going to move to Florida  We were able to secure an apartment in Jacksonville, at first they were hesitant because I told them we were not going down there with jobs, then I showed them my bank statements and their opinions changed. :)

Our move in date is November 1st, however; because I now have secured an apartment,  I was able to use the address on my resume along with a cover letter stating that I will be moving to the area on that date.

After these few changes to my resume, my job search just exploded with phone calls!  It took me a week to find a job and I am will make about the same I will be making now!  It was INCREDIBLE!  That was our last concern about moving and it feels like a weight has been lifted.

It's funny, had we not made the decision to secure a place and move, I doubt I would have found a job so quickly.  I've been on and off looking for jobs in Florida for over a year with absolutely no success at all.  It was only when I had a Jacksonville address in order for people to take me seriously.

I think the number one thing I learned from this is that recruiters and HR will only take a candidate seriously if they live in the area.  Also, being smart with our money gave us the ability to take a leap of faith and be able to move without jobs.  We were content knowing that it may take awhile for me to land a job.

Now our only concern is trying to move our stuff!  We've sold a lot already, my wife has sold a lot of stuff on ebay, and we sold a car on craigslist and made $8000 off of it.

The apartment we'll be living in is $400 cheaper than the place we live in now, is a tad bit bigger, and a lot more amenities! The best part about this is that we'll avoid winter up north and be 20 minutes away from Jacksonville Beach.  My friends are already jealous ;)