Author Topic: Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?  (Read 13149 times)

loftygoal

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Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?
« on: October 06, 2015, 03:15:51 PM »
I need some Mustachian perspective on a dilemma that's sprouted up rather abruptly.

My fiancé has just been told he needs to relocate to Hawaii in 2 weeks for work or he'll be let go. He would be eligible for unemployment benefits. Should he quit, or should I quit and go with him to Hawaii?

We currently live in Portland, OR and love it. Moved here 1.5 years ago for the lifestyle. We rent a small old house with a garden and yard. However, Portland is not our "forever home." We're thinking about pursuing master's degrees in Scandinavia in a few years for free/cheap (American born & raised, but EU dual citizens) and raise our future children in the EU somewhere. 

I've always been an overachiever-- straight A's, great engineering internships, undergrad degree by age 19, etc. and I have an engineering job I enjoy, but will be ready to move on in a couple years. My fiancé has always been a slacker-- straight C's, took 6 years to finish undergrad degree, and no job prospects upon graduation. However, he's very charming and landed an engineering job making the same salary as my hard earned job, and he enjoys the work but not the company culture.

In 2 years, I will be fully vested in my 401k, but will lose the match if I quit before that. My company matches 10% of annual salary, and I contribute the max 10%.

We both make roughly 60k each, are 25/26 years old, no kids, and getting married next year (open to an elopement for practical purposes like health insurance, however not ideal). Our savings rate is 50%, and only debt is his 18k of student loans. 

His job will transfer him to Hawaii and pay him 90k salary (mostly cost-of-living adjustment, not a true raise), and will pay for moving flights and expenses. He would be working in a suburb of Honolulu, and would most likely bike to work. If I tried to get a job in Honolulu, the commute would be 20 miles (90 minutes of traffic), which is unreasonably long, as you know! There seems to be few jobs in the suburbs.

I don't want to quit my job because I worked hard to get it, I like it, I'll lose the 401k match, and I don't want to be unemployed or change fields. As a feminist, I also take issue with being a trailing spouse, especially when I'm the academically more accomplished and goal-oriented one of the couple. On the other hand, I can't deny that the idea of living in Hawaii is very intriguing! We're both very outdoorsy.

Another thing -- we have an elderly cat and a large breed dog that are part of our family, so if we move, we will have to deal with the whole shipping them across the ocean and quarantine issue. I imagine it is also difficult to find a rental in Hawaii with these animals.

I feel uncomfortable mentioning salary amounts to my friends and family, most of whom make much less than us, so I'm turning to the internet for advice.

pbkmaine

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Re: Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2015, 03:45:58 PM »
My first question: why do you want to marry a guy you describe as a "slacker"?

mozar

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Re: Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2015, 04:04:37 PM »
Well there is that, and do you want to have kids with a slacker?
Reading between the lines, I hear that you are resentful of your boyfriend for not being career focused. Resentment is poison in a relationship.

So here is my internet advice: Let him go take the job and you stay put with the animals and put off getting married. Try the long distance thing for 6 months to a year.
Other options: he can go to Hawaii for awhile and he can work his charm into finding another job in Portland, or you could visit Hawaii in a few months, realize you love the island and move there.
But don't feel like there are only two options.

Noodle

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Re: Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2015, 04:39:09 PM »
I agree that this is not an either/or choice, or right/wrong for that matter.

It is totally legit to decide that you don't want to risk losing a couple of years of capital/skill building in a career you have worked hard for right in the middle of your 20s--MMM just wrote about how important it is to take the 20s seriously in building resources.

It is also totally legit to decide that this is a great opportunity to spend some time in a really unique and beautiful part of the world before the responsibilities of a family kick in, even if it means longer to FIRE.

In your shoes, unless you decide you are totally uninterested in HI, I would send fiance out there with a suitcase for a couple of months. Do more research, make a visit, let him see what he thinks of the local office, check out the housing possibilities, investigate the pet situation. Fiance might also look around to see what other job options exist in Portland and start sending out some resumes. Then in a couple months, make a final decision. In this scenario, you do lose the unemployment but you get to make a much better decision.

I also hate to bring this up, but is there any chance fiance's company is putting him in this situation to force a resignation? Two weeks is really short to make a decision this big and relocate that kind of distance. Similar to writing an "improvement plan" that isn't actually possible to achieve...

loftygoal

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Re: Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2015, 04:52:10 PM »
Well there is that, and do you want to have kids with a slacker?
Reading between the lines, I hear that you are resentful of your boyfriend for not being career focused. Resentment is poison in a relationship.

My first question: why do you want to marry a guy you describe as a "slacker"?

The slackerism I refer to definitely applied more in the past while we were still in school. Now that we're in the real world, he shows up to work on time and stays late when he needs to. I'm definitely more career oriented, and he thinks of his work as more of a job than a career, but we're in the same field doing similar things. I do want to have kids someday with this particular slacker. He wakes up before me to walk the dog, and walks him again for an hour after he gets home from 9 to 10 hours of work, so he's responsible about things he cares about. I guess slacker can be construed as a harsh word, but I just mean he's a chill guy and goes with the flow whereas I'm more ambitious.

CanuckExpat

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Re: Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2015, 04:56:29 PM »
My fiancé has just been told he needs to relocate to Hawaii in 2 weeks for work or he'll be let go. He would be eligible for unemployment benefits. Should he quit, or should I quit and go with him to Hawaii?
..
Another thing -- we have an elderly cat and a large breed dog that are part of our family, so if we move, we will have to deal with the whole shipping them across the ocean and quarantine issue. I imagine it is also difficult to find a rental in Hawaii with these animals.

Have you checked the specifics? Getting animals to Hawaii is not easy, especially not if you are moving in two weeks.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2015, 06:16:13 PM »
Is there any possibility you could continue working remotely?
Or not join him until you've secured a job there too?

loftygoal

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Re: Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2015, 06:45:00 PM »
My fiancé has just been told he needs to relocate to Hawaii in 2 weeks for work or he'll be let go. He would be eligible for unemployment benefits. Should he quit, or should I quit and go with him to Hawaii?
..
Another thing -- we have an elderly cat and a large breed dog that are part of our family, so if we move, we will have to deal with the whole shipping them across the ocean and quarantine issue. I imagine it is also difficult to find a rental in Hawaii with these animals.

Have you checked the specifics? Getting animals to Hawaii is not easy, especially not if you are moving in two weeks.

I just checked, and there's a 120 day quarantine fiasco plus thousands of dollars in fees for 2 animals (fees should be covered by work). What a mess! How could you keep a dog in quarantine for 120 days? I feel like he would come out a different dog.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2015, 06:46:46 PM by loftygoal »

Allie

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Re: Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2015, 06:47:27 PM »
My answer is completely biased by the fact that my FIRE plans involve becoming the trailing SAHP in HI...and that I currently occupy that role in AK...

But, I would (and did) go.  Why should you go?  Because you are smart, dedicated, and a well educated engineer.  You are super employable and young.  It will be an adventure!  Even if you hate it more than anything, you will have the opportunity to change later and will have tried.

I also support your choice of a "slacker" fiancée.  Just because he didn't apply himself academically doesn't mean he doesn't have a great set of employable skills or worth.  My husband has a set of people skills that are just amazing that didn't come from school or toiling. 

If you think it could be fun, go have fun.  If you really think it would be awful, stay.  But, don't stay for a job or out of worry!


Brilliantine

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Re: Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2015, 06:52:59 PM »
Forget Hawaii. Forget the $60k/year job in the 10% state income tax state that has the whitest, most educated "poor" population.

Move up over here to WA and upgrade to $100k/year jobs.

Josiecat

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Re: Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2015, 07:19:58 PM »
Negotiate a work from Hawaii situation for yourself. 

cchrissyy

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Re: Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2015, 07:43:09 PM »
I wouldn't resign within just 2 years of getting/losing a matching 10% 401k contribution.  How long have you been with them and putting in your 10%? what is the actual figure they have put in that you would lose if you left?  Sounds like a number way too big to pay.

If you actually want to resign and live in hawaii, you can do it in 2 years and not lose that money, or do it literally any other time later in your life.


He should take the unemployment, job hunt where you are, and you guys move together once you have secured that 401k. If he can't/won't, then I agree about sending him out there first, do the relationship long distance for a while, make sure he likes the job there, before you even consider weakening your career and savings to follow him.

redbird

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Re: Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2015, 08:27:48 PM »
Keep in mind too that Hawaii has a much higher cost of living than Portland. Expect gas to be over $5 a gallon, milk to be about $7 a gallon, rents to be $2k+, etc. The schools in Hawaii aren't great either. The Mililani area has the best public schools in the area, but that would be a 45 minute or more drive to get downtown from there for your husband. Distance is not the problem. H1 rush hour traffic going towards Honolulu is.

Things also may be slightly higher than what I quoted. My info is about 3 years out of date. I lived there from 2009-2012.

Honestly, I think your boyfriend should see if he could get another job in Portland if possible. You're going to take too much of a financial hit to go to Hawaii.

CanuckExpat

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Re: Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2015, 09:17:02 PM »
My fiancé has just been told he needs to relocate to Hawaii in 2 weeks for work or he'll be let go. He would be eligible for unemployment benefits. Should he quit, or should I quit and go with him to Hawaii?
..
Another thing -- we have an elderly cat and a large breed dog that are part of our family, so if we move, we will have to deal with the whole shipping them across the ocean and quarantine issue. I imagine it is also difficult to find a rental in Hawaii with these animals.

Have you checked the specifics? Getting animals to Hawaii is not easy, especially not if you are moving in two weeks.

I just checked, and there's a 120 day quarantine fiasco plus thousands of dollars in fees for 2 animals (fees should be covered by work). What a mess! How could you keep a dog in quarantine for 120 days? I feel like he would come out a different dog.

It's a rabies thing. Hawaii and most islands are rabies free, they want to stay that way.

There's one other option where you can get a test done by a very specific lab on the mainland , but I think the lead time for that test is like 6 months.

If you can't tell my wife and I idly looked into the option of moving to Hawaii.. if it wasn't for the damn dogs.

For what it's worth, I'd probably move to Hawaii, because hey: it's Hawaii, and why not (other then the dogs).


okits

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Re: Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?
« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2015, 09:50:14 PM »
I would send fiance out there with a suitcase for a couple of months. Do more research, make a visit, let him see what he thinks of the local office, check out the housing possibilities, investigate the pet situation. Fiance might also look around to see what other job options exist in Portland and start sending out some resumes. Then in a couple months, make a final decision. In this scenario, you do lose the unemployment but you get to make a much better decision.

This.  Until you know the HI thing will work out it's a big risk to give up your current life and job to follow him (for a job move that isn't even a promotion with a true raise.)  Though Hawaii sounds appealing, you're both happy where you are and have future plans.  You could make a good case for him taking the unemployment and sticking with the original plan.

Telecaster

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Re: Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?
« Reply #15 on: October 06, 2015, 10:24:22 PM »
I think you should go for it.  Hawaii would be fun!   You don't have to stay there forever.   Sure, you might take a financial hit, but you'll have an adventure and a life experience you wouldn't have otherwise.    His going on unemployment would be a financial hit too.   And his next job might not be nearly as nice a location as Hawaii. 

Here's the other thing:  A marriage is a partnership.   One of you will always be the "trailing spouse."   One of you will always have a better job or better opportunity, so embrace it.   It could well be that it makes the most sense for him to follow you to your next job, where ever that may be. 





MoonShadow

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Re: Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?
« Reply #16 on: October 06, 2015, 10:32:51 PM »
Yes, send the boyfriend to Hawaii for 6 months.  There are a number of possibilities. 

1) He could hate the job.  Seriously.  Hawaii is a great place to visit, but there are very good reasons that career Navy personelle leave.  Every town, and every job, has it's downsides.

2) He could turn native, and lose the job anyway.  And you might have to find his ass on a beach somewhere.

3) He could decide that you two weren't all that great of a match anyway, in which case, if you followed him there, you would find yourself dumped on a very expensive island without a job to return too.

4) Or he could find that he loves Hawaii, loves his job, and loves you enough to maintain a long distance relationship for the next two years.  It's also possible you could negotiate early release or a office transfer of your own in the meantime.

MoonShadow

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Re: Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?
« Reply #17 on: October 06, 2015, 10:34:11 PM »
Here's the other thing: A marriage is a partnership.   One of you will always be the "trailing spouse."   One of you will always have a better job or better opportunity, so embrace it.   It could well be that it makes the most sense for him to follow you to your next job, where ever that may be.

I would agree with this, except they are not married yet.  She isn't any kind of spouse.

davisgang90

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Re: Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?
« Reply #18 on: October 07, 2015, 03:47:59 AM »
It sounds like you are more employable than him and you are happy in OR.  I recommend stay where you are and he can find another job.  The pets and cost of relocating to somewhere you don't seem to want to live are too much.

chasesfish

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Re: Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?
« Reply #19 on: October 07, 2015, 05:18:49 AM »
Tons of advice...but its a toss up and depends on how much of an adventure you're up for.  Not many people get the opportunity to have a company paid move to Hawaii with a $90,000 salary.

I'm with everyone else, let him go out there for a few months and visit a couple of times to find out if its for the both of you.  Moving the animals are a challenge, I think you need to go ahead and get a certain level of rabies tests and start the seasoning on that vaccine.

We have three pets, the wife is a veterinarian, and we've always looked at moving to Hawaii.  It is a pain in the rear.

MissStache

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Re: Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?
« Reply #20 on: October 07, 2015, 06:43:23 AM »

In 2 years, I will be fully vested in my 401k, but will lose the match if I quit before that. My company matches 10% of annual salary, and I contribute the max 10%.



This is the big sticking point for me.  How much money are we talking about here?  I'd feel sick over walking away from a pile of free money.

Scandium

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Re: Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?
« Reply #21 on: October 07, 2015, 06:58:23 AM »

In 2 years, I will be fully vested in my 401k, but will lose the match if I quit before that. My company matches 10% of annual salary, and I contribute the max 10%.



This is the big sticking point for me.  How much money are we talking about here?  I'd feel sick over walking away from a pile of free money.
And is it a straight all or nothing vesting? My employer does a +20% per year thing. I.e. if I leave after 4 years I'd get 80% of the contribution.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?
« Reply #22 on: October 07, 2015, 07:00:16 AM »
Here's the other thing: A marriage is a partnership.   One of you will always be the "trailing spouse."   One of you will always have a better job or better opportunity, so embrace it.   It could well be that it makes the most sense for him to follow you to your next job, where ever that may be.

I would agree with this, except they are not married yet.  She isn't any kind of spouse.

They are engaged. So if the wedding is in the immediate future, I can understand this sort of plan as though she is a spouse. It's not like it is just a boyfriend.

Having had a long distance engagement though- if the wedding isn't already planned and on the horizon, I would stay put until married. Maybe then you'll be vested and have a job offer in Hawaii :)

LadyStache in Baja

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Re: Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?
« Reply #23 on: October 07, 2015, 07:07:34 AM »
Easy-- You care about your job he doesn't.  Stay in Oregon.  End of story.  Definitely don't walk away from the free money.  And then as soon as you get it, go to Scandinavia!

So you can either do a long-distance thing for two years (ouch) or he can look for another job in Portland.  If it's going to be a major pay cut, don't worry about it.  Compare how much you'll be losing by losing the match to how much you'll be losing by taking a pay cut. 

If you have to lose your match (because you don't want to take the pay cut by him working just any job in Oregon), then just go to Scandinavia right now.

boarder42

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Re: Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?
« Reply #24 on: October 07, 2015, 07:57:57 AM »
this is way more a personal life choice decision than financial.  financially its pretty b/w its the wrong choice for you...

YTProphet

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Re: Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?
« Reply #25 on: October 07, 2015, 08:08:47 AM »
If you're in a similar field and they needed him to move to Hawaii, why don't you see if they'll hire you, too?

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Re: Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?
« Reply #26 on: October 07, 2015, 08:30:00 AM »
Hi Lofty,

I spent a year in Hawaii for work in from September 2012-September 2013. It was a wonderful, transformative experience for my wife and me, and led us to re-evaluate our goals and pursue minimalism. Our island time gave us a deep respect for the culture there, the people and their concept of Aloha and Ohana that has stayed with us. I had to fly out from the East Coast on less than 24 hours notice, leaving everything behind. I had a suitcase with some clothes, my laptop for work, and that was it. We had a young daughter in high school and a dog we loved who couldn't make the trip (quarantine regs).

I spent about two months out there alone while we talked it over. I found that I missed my family but I didn' t miss any of my stuff. The right choice for us was for my Mom (who lived nearby) to host our kid and the dog for a year, while my wife joined me in paradise. They both got to enjoy "granddaughter" time and my girl got to stay close to her friends, which are important at that age. I worked 80-100 hour weeks while my wife enjoyed the island. We lived downtown and I walked to work, all my expenses were paid.

Send your fiancee out for a test run. You can stay home and see how it goes for him. Fly out to visit for a week or two. While the COL is higher, it's still possible to live frugal in Hawaii. Skip dairy and minimize grains. Don't buy a car, you can rent them for weekend day-trips for $19 a day at the downtown Enterprise. Eat rice, which is relatively cheap. Eat apple-bananas, pineapples and mangoes instead of blueberries. Eat local tuna and beef from the big island instead of chicken. Housing is expensive, but they have a world-class bus system there and a light rail under construction. And you don't need to spend much on recreation, because the entire beach is your playground.

CommonCents

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Re: Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?
« Reply #27 on: October 07, 2015, 08:56:41 AM »
Easy-- You care about your job he doesn't.  Stay in Oregon.  End of story.  Definitely don't walk away from the free money.  And then as soon as you get it, go to Scandinavia!

So you can either do a long-distance thing for two years (ouch) or he can look for another job in Portland.  If it's going to be a major pay cut, don't worry about it.  Compare how much you'll be losing by losing the match to how much you'll be losing by taking a pay cut. 

If you have to lose your match (because you don't want to take the pay cut by him working just any job in Oregon), then just go to Scandinavia right now.

Yep.  If you were excited about Hawaii, then this would be a different conversation.

Have him talk to his work and at least try to negotiate more time from them before they want him over there or he needs to leave.  2 weeks is really short to make this decision and move to any place, much less Hawaii.  Also consider that if as another poster suggested they are giving such short notice to try to get rid of him, why would you want to give up your good and stable job, for the job that's trying to encourage him to leave?

If you do move for a test of 6 mos or so to try it out as some posters suggest, I think you'd give up the unemployment benefits option.

K-ice

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Re: Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?
« Reply #28 on: October 07, 2015, 09:26:37 AM »
We did the long distance thing twice. Once as BF GF for 6 months. Once when married for over 2y.  The 2y married stint was actually easier since I am very secure with our marriage. We were both very busy with good jobs. There was also light at the end of the tunnel because I knew he would be eventually joining me.

We were both able to get some time off, or work from "home", so we saw one another about every 4-6 weeks for a 1-2 week "break".  We were a 5h flight, & 2 time zones apart, so not that much different from your case. For different reasons we enjoyed both cities, so we kind of got the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, keeping two households is not very Mustacian.

So don't make any huge decisions yet. We have usually made career decisions first, and the other person adjusted when convenient to do so.  Let him go and plan for long term.

Also, every time I visit Hawaii I also ask myself, Why doesn't every American live here? :)

If you haven't been you need to visit soon.

FLBiker

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Re: Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?
« Reply #29 on: October 07, 2015, 09:36:36 AM »
I went to grad school in Hawaii, and it's a pretty neat place.  It's very expensive, but living as a "poor" grad student was totally doable.  I had a 1 bedroom for ~$800.  Small, but clean and on a quiet street.  This was from 2004-2006.  Very bikable.  For kicks, I used to bike around Oahu and camp out at Kaena point (probably illegal).

One weird thing (for me) -- I found that the beach got kind of boring pretty quickly, and I instead spent a ton of time hiking in the mountains.  They're pretty spectacular.  I'd still go to the beach every so often, but I was hiking / mountainbiking / trail running like 4-5 days a week.

That said, Portland is cool, too.

Personally, I'm glad that I spent my 20s living in interesting places (London, Taiwan, Hawaii, China) and my 30s settling down and earning more money.  Now that I have a mortgage and a kid it's much trickier to relocate.  Don't get me wrong, I was frugal and saved some in my 20s (maybe ~$100K) but I never worked 40 hours a week until I was in my 30s.

Good luck!

loftygoal

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Re: Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?
« Reply #30 on: October 07, 2015, 06:46:47 PM »
Wow, this advice is all over the place. I thought the obvious Mustachian solution was eluding me, but it looks like this situation could swing in any direction. Thanks for all the input! I really appreciate it.

His company does stuff like this sometimes, so it's not completely unexpected. Last month, one of my fiancee's coworkers was told on a Wednesday to start in Hawaii on the following Monday.

We're thinking he'll turn down the relocation -- who wants to work for a company that does stuff like that? They may just end up relocating him again and again on short notice, and that's not something my career can deal with. His 90k salary and the beauty of Hawaii are tempting, but ultimately a net negative once you consider the many thousands I would be losing with my 401k match and increased cost of living. 

Also, the thought of quarantining our pets in cages for 4 months straight is heartbreaking.

john c

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Re: Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?
« Reply #31 on: October 07, 2015, 10:24:57 PM »
It seems like you come from a point of view where you value your job individually.  As in, "I'd lose my job!"  The reality is that jobs come and go, and if you're as much of a high achiever as you think you are, you'll find a (better) job quickly. 

Also, it's my experience that school achievement is not correlated with business achievement.  The softer skills of slackerdom (being chill with people, prioritizing, seeing the big picture) get you a lot farther in life than meeting all the deadlines.  In my group of college friends, there's one obvious slacker, and he's done very well in corporate management.  We jokingly accuse him of "slacking his way to the top".

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Re: Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?
« Reply #32 on: October 07, 2015, 11:05:39 PM »
We're thinking he'll turn down the relocation -- who wants to work for a company that does stuff like that?

I agree with your decision. I didn't realize at first that the company only gave you two weeks notice.
A paid trip to Hawaii is cool and all, but you don't want to work for a company that does stuff like that.


fishnfool

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Re: Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?
« Reply #33 on: October 08, 2015, 08:32:31 AM »
I would stay put. The $30k salary increase is not enough imo.
Hawaii, especially Honolulu is very hcol. Unless there was a equal or better opportunity for you to work too I don't see this as a good move for you guys as a couple. Although it would be a nice place to get married!

irishbear99

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Re: Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?
« Reply #34 on: October 08, 2015, 09:24:10 AM »
I moved from Portland, OR, to Oahu 5 years ago, and just moved back to Portland this past summer. You mention Honolulu, so I assume you'll be on Oahu. I can give you my perspective.

- The weather. You can't beat it. It's warm year round, and the trade winds keep the humidity at bay for the majority of the year. You get nice, tropical rains, sometimes daily on some parts of the island, but the sun shines the majority of the year. A few weeks per year, the trade winds stop and the Kona winds blow in, bringing hotter, muggier weather and vog (volcanic fog) from the Big Island. If you have upper respiratory issues, the vog can exacerbate them. Also, the last couple of years there has been an increase in hurricane activity in the central Pacific.

- Stuff to do. There's tons of outdoor stuff to do. Water sports and anything associated with the beach, of course, but also some great hiking and cultural centers. There's the zoo, the Polynesian Culture Center, Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona memorial, etc.

- The traffic. There's no getting around it. The traffic sucks. In fact, that's the major reason we moved back to the mainland. I just couldn't do the commute any longer (18 miles, 1.5 hrs each way). HiDOT is pretty ineffectual (google "Hawaii Carmageddon" to see how bad it can really get). If you can live close to work, do it.

- The cost of living. When we moved, I started out in the low $90Ks. We actually bought a modest townhouse on that. It was tight but doable. That being said, your savings rate will likely take a hit, as everything is expensive there, from housing to milk.

- On the pet quarantine. You can actually do a remote quarantine now. You have your vet do the blood draw for your pets and they ship it off to (I think?) K-State for testing. It takes about 4 months to get the results back but once they're cleared, you can bring them right into the state with no time "behind bars." The test cost about $175 when we did it 5 years ago for our dog. We had friends of ours dog sit for the 4 months, then we flew them and the dog out to Oahu (Mustachian style - using miles) when our dog was cleared.

If you have any additional questions, feel free to PM me.

Heywood57

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Re: Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?
« Reply #35 on: October 08, 2015, 09:33:45 AM »
Sounds like a chunk of that salary increase would be eaten up by taxes and expenses.

A large company a few friends work for/have worked for uses
a technique of "fire by promotion" to get rid of people.

They will give you a nice title, a bit more money and promote
you into a closet/office with no responsibilities and no work assignment.

The person gets bored and finds other employment within a couple months.
The company dodges any potential legal hassles for firing the person.

MoonShadow

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Re: Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?
« Reply #36 on: October 08, 2015, 12:27:58 PM »
Sounds like a chunk of that salary increase would be eaten up by taxes and expenses.

A large company a few friends work for/have worked for uses
a technique of "fire by promotion" to get rid of people.

They will give you a nice title, a bit more money and promote
you into a closet/office with no responsibilities and no work assignment.


The person gets bored and finds other employment within a couple months.
The company dodges any potential legal hassles for firing the person.

Is this company Japanese?  This is a traditional form of "retiring in place" in Japan.

pbkmaine

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Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?
« Reply #37 on: October 08, 2015, 12:38:41 PM »
What's the downside of him trying it out for a few months and you staying where you are?

mm1970

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Re: Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?
« Reply #38 on: October 08, 2015, 01:02:22 PM »
I really enjoyed reading a lot of these comments, and they are all over!  We all have our own biases.  So here's mine:

I'm type A.  Female, HS valedictorian, top-10 engineering school, Navy ROTC grad.  Etc. etc.
Met hubby in the Navy. He's also super smart and hard working, but more "type B".

He's 2 years older.
When he was 27 and I was 25, we got engaged.  This coincided with his 5 year commitment being "over", and he decided then to go to grad school...on the other side of the country.  So I was on the East Coast, and he was on the West Coast.  I was NOT able to follow him, because my commitment was not up for two more years.

We got married a year later (while still separated).
I started job hunting a couple of months before my time was up, and got a job in the town where he was in school.

So, I followed him, eventually.  We were apart for 2 years.  It sucked.  We saw each other every couple of months.  We talked on the phone (this was the 90's, so before skype or whatever).  It all worked out in the end, but by the time we were together again, we'd really lost touch with each other.  We are lucky that neither one of us changed.  (And we've been married over 19 years now.)

I was the trailing spouse for awhile when he was in grad school.  However, by the time he was done, I was in a job I liked.  See, we'd always planned on moving back east after grad school, but we stayed instead.  I had a good job and stock options.  So he was the "trailing spouse" and found a job here after grad school.  After 5 years I figured his job sucked, so I encouraged him to look around, and he found a better one.

Then I changed jobs.  Now my job sucks and his is pretty awesome.  And I'm the trailing spouse again.  He's still type B.  He's very techie and great at his job.  But at 47, sometimes he wonders if he should be pushing more to manage people and projects, and move into VP-dom.  It would be hard to do at his job (plenty of type-As, and guys his age, who have been there longer and are already VPs.  And they aren't retiring.)  But here's the thing - our kids are 9 and 3.  He's a GREAT dad.  He's decided that he LIKES being the tech guy, and picking up the kids early 3x a week (because I have to work late), and taking off 2 hours on Friday to teach 4th grade math club, and leave early on Monday for baseball practice.

I totally get being type A and feminist and not wanting to follow him.  I've been there.  (I followed my spouse to Southern Cal, so I also understand the attraction to a nice environment too!)  I'm glad I followed him eventually.  I don't mind that I didn't do it right away.  It's STILL HARD being type A - at 45, I hit the glass ceiling about 5 years ago, and it SUCKS to realize that.

So, if I were  you, I'd wait.  Send him out there for awhile, and see how that goes.  Look for a job too.  Try to telecommute.  I wouldn't pick up everything and move right away.  A few visits should give you a feel for the place.

CanuckExpat

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Re: Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?
« Reply #39 on: October 08, 2015, 01:07:59 PM »
We had friends of ours dog sit for the 4 months, then we flew them and the dog out to Oahu (Mustachian style - using miles) when our dog was cleared.

If you have any additional questions, feel free to PM me.

How do you fly a dog on miles? I'll start a new thread if needed. This changes everything..
Closest we've came was redeeming Southwest points for a Southwest gift card and then using the gift card to pay the pet fee.

irishbear99

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Re: Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?
« Reply #40 on: October 08, 2015, 01:30:24 PM »
We had friends of ours dog sit for the 4 months, then we flew them and the dog out to Oahu (Mustachian style - using miles) when our dog was cleared.

If you have any additional questions, feel free to PM me.

How do you fly a dog on miles? I'll start a new thread if needed. This changes everything..
Closest we've came was redeeming Southwest points for a Southwest gift card and then using the gift card to pay the pet fee.

Sorry, lazy typing there. We flew our friends out on miles and paid the airline fee for the dog.

CanuckExpat

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Re: Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?
« Reply #41 on: October 08, 2015, 01:33:33 PM »
We had friends of ours dog sit for the 4 months, then we flew them and the dog out to Oahu (Mustachian style - using miles) when our dog was cleared.

If you have any additional questions, feel free to PM me.

How do you fly a dog on miles? I'll start a new thread if needed. This changes everything..
Closest we've came was redeeming Southwest points for a Southwest gift card and then using the gift card to pay the pet fee.

Sorry, lazy typing there. We flew our friends out on miles and paid the airline fee for the dog.

You got me excited and then you broke my heart.

irishbear99

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Re: Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?
« Reply #42 on: October 08, 2015, 01:35:05 PM »
You got me excited and then you broke my heart.

:( Sorry.

Eric

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Re: Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?
« Reply #43 on: October 08, 2015, 02:21:56 PM »
As a long time trailing spouse, I was going to say go for it, but it looks like you've already decided against it.  This thread was a fun read.

Heywood57

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Re: Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?
« Reply #44 on: October 08, 2015, 07:02:21 PM »
Sounds like a chunk of that salary increase would be eaten up by taxes and expenses.

A large company a few friends work for/have worked for uses
a technique of "fire by promotion" to get rid of people.

They will give you a nice title, a bit more money and promote
you into a closet/office with no responsibilities and no work assignment.


The person gets bored and finds other employment within a couple months.
The company dodges any potential legal hassles for firing the person.

Is this company Japanese?  This is a traditional form of "retiring in place" in Japan.

American, based on the East coast.

MoonShadow

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Re: Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?
« Reply #45 on: October 08, 2015, 07:09:45 PM »
Sounds like a chunk of that salary increase would be eaten up by taxes and expenses.

A large company a few friends work for/have worked for uses
a technique of "fire by promotion" to get rid of people.

They will give you a nice title, a bit more money and promote
you into a closet/office with no responsibilities and no work assignment.


The person gets bored and finds other employment within a couple months.
The company dodges any potential legal hassles for firing the person.

Is this company Japanese?  This is a traditional form of "retiring in place" in Japan.

American, based on the East coast.

I sure hope my company attempts to fire me by promoting me into a dull, responsibility free position.

pdxvandal

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Re: Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?
« Reply #46 on: October 08, 2015, 07:46:48 PM »
Let him go and try it out for a few months. Maybe visit him a few times and vice versa.

I live in PDX and have no desire to move to Honolulu, which is basically like any other U.S. city, except on an island in the middle of nowhere. He/you would have to live within 5 miles of work to maintain sanity, given the horrendous traffic.

Good luck.

Goldielocks

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Re: Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?
« Reply #47 on: October 08, 2015, 10:44:31 PM »
You sound awesome!   If you are an electrical engineer of any designation, give me a PM. My company is trying to hire 23 engineers right now, Seattle, mostly electrical and a couple building mechanical and even acoustical.

I could use more kick butt women around here, and there is room for hubs and better pay all round.

Bonus: quite a few Scandinavian engineers work there too.  The founder is of Scandinavian descent. 

Scandium

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Re: Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?
« Reply #48 on: October 09, 2015, 10:13:36 AM »
You sound awesome!   If you are an electrical engineer of any designation, give me a PM. My company is trying to hire 23 engineers right now, Seattle, mostly electrical and a couple building mechanical and even acoustical.

I could use more kick butt women around here, and there is room for hubs and better pay all round.

Bonus: quite a few Scandinavian engineers work there too.  The founder is of Scandinavian descent.
Wait, are Scandinavians a good thing? I am one and I think I'd consider that a negative..

As a Scandinavian engineer would I get extra points if I applied to your company? I'm not any of the ones you mentioned though, and Seattle is a bit far away..

Goldielocks

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Re: Should I become a "trailing spouse" in Hawaii?
« Reply #49 on: October 12, 2015, 12:18:03 AM »
Scandinavian engineers are great if your dream is to work there one day.  Maybe get an inside scoop on how to land a job.....