Author Topic: Should we move to Denver without a Job?  (Read 12040 times)

Beeen

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Should we move to Denver without a Job?
« on: March 06, 2014, 06:14:45 PM »
Mustachians,

My wife and I are stuck in the DC beltway and are done with it.  We have good paying jobs and a house with lots of value but are young, active, and excited about living simply!  Our goal this past year has been to move to Denver and be frugal mountainman/woman badasses.  One problem, it seems to be VERY difficult to get Denver companies to even look at our resumes since we are out of state.  My question to the Mustachian community is this: Should one or both of us quit the security of our current jobs (putting our growing nest egg on hold) and move to Denver to launch a career search locally?  MMM always says don't be afraid to move. We have about $30,000 saved up in cash and will possibly make another $20,000 cash off the sale of the house.  We are both Mechanical Engineer/Project Managers with about 5 years experience, each currently making $90K here in DC.  Thanks for your help!

Ricky

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Re: Should we move to Denver without a Job?
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2014, 07:13:44 PM »
Just curious, are you sure they aren't replying because you're out of state or because the job market is just bad?

If you truly want it I'd say look for any work first even if it's not what you want and rent short term until you can find what you're looking for since I assume you don't want to blow through your savings.

Unfortunately I don't think there's much replacement in being available at any time to meet in person.

Emg03063

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Re: Should we move to Denver without a Job?
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2014, 03:15:58 AM »
Do you need a job to be a frugal badass, or are you badass enough to survive without one?  If you can't survive without the income, I'd hold my job until I found another one.  State in your cover letter that you are very interested in moving to Denver and willing to pay your own relocation expenses.  That should eliminate any financial disincentive a company would assume they had in hiring you.   Unless you have $4.5 million in investments, your combined income stream is your biggest asset.  I wouldn't give it up until you are confident in your ability to survive without it.

Left Bank

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Re: Should we move to Denver without a Job?
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2014, 07:43:55 AM »
Similar to EMG, I say if you want something go get it!  You know the cost.  You may have to be REALLY badass for a while. You may have to live in a small rental in an area that you would not want to stay permanently and cut "unnecessary spending but I think if you were there, you would meet people, network and be a local for the jobs that do become available. 
Worst case senario: get a part-time job at REI to help make ends meet.  Not so bad, right.  "Safe" does not always win. 
Speaking from experience - Just do it! 

Mortgage Free Mike

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Re: Should we move to Denver without a Job?
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2014, 08:17:00 AM »
I am from a city outside the DC beltway, so I know what you mean. I moved away with a job, however.

I am currently looking into moving to another state and I have faced the same challenge. It's very hard to get a job when there are so many qualified local applicants.

I am inclined to say go for it. But I would ask myself the following:

- Am I comfortable with how much money I have saved?
- Am I prepared to live without a job for 6 months?
- Am I willing to do things outside of my comfort zone to save and earn?
- Do I have a support system in place?
- Am I confident my home will sell quickly?

It sounds like you both have great skills that many employers would look for. I wish you all the best in Denver. I hear it's a beautiful city.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Should we move to Denver without a Job?
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2014, 08:26:51 AM »
Depends on your monthly cashflow, especially any non-house debt like student loans. How long could you live on that $30K with no income? How long on one income, with the expense of one of you taking the plunge?

If you think you could handle a long-distance relationship for a while, have one of you get a small economy apartment with a 6-12 month lease in Denver.

Is Denver the only area you're looking at? Plenty of cities with mountains and low COL, both in the Rockies and in the PNW.

Edit: I would personally stick it out in DC until you had a firm job offer. Cut and optimize as much as possible. East Coast is expensive, yes, but moving west doesn't magically make you high savings rate badasses. My DW and I are looking at retiring west, or pre-tiring with a PT income, but we wouldn't take the plunge without a job offer (though we have kids, so that's a situation where you need a more secure plan).
« Last Edit: March 07, 2014, 08:29:26 AM by Thegoblinchief »

Numbers Man

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Re: Should we move to Denver without a Job?
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2014, 08:33:02 AM »
If you're really "frugal mountainman/woman badasses" then $50k should be plenty to seed your move.

Spork

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Re: Should we move to Denver without a Job?
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2014, 09:15:24 AM »
My opinion:  yes and no...

DO NOT be afraid to do this plan, but: if it were me (and it once was) I'd have more of a stash before I made the leap.

I once did something very similar.  I quit a good paying job in the big city to move to a small town with no prospects.  Now, I'm pretty conservative with risk... but I had about 10 years of expenses and a paid off "house".  (It wasn't exactly a house... but it was a warm, dry place to live.)

Just as a gauge: it took me 3 years to find a reasonable job (and it was way less than what I was used to making).  But I moved from a place with a lot of tech jobs to a place with almost no tech jobs (and I'm a techie.)

mobrie

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Re: Should we move to Denver without a Job?
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2014, 11:06:44 AM »
In 2005, my husband and I both quit our jobs and moved to Denver (I was living in Pittsburgh and he was in Chicago; we weren't married yet).  I work in healthcare and my husband is in finance.  I started applying for jobs before we made the move.  The top of my resume said, (in bold type, under my address) "Relocating to Denver in August 2005."  It seemed to work because I got a lot of calls and had a job offer a few weeks before we arrived in Denver.  It took my husband about 6 months to find a job. 

You probably know more about the job prospects for engineers than I do, but I think you should put your house on the market, and, after it sells, resign and make the move.  You seem to have a lot of money saved.  I only had $1200 when I moved.  I look back at that and laugh now.  I can't believe I moved across the country with only $1200!  Fortunately, it worked out for me.   I am assuming that you have a pretty mustachian lifestyle since you are on this forum.  If so, I think you can do it.  Good luck!  Let me know if you need any info about living in Denver.  I absolutely love it.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Should we move to Denver without a Job?
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2014, 03:44:34 PM »
I'm with Stork on this one. But it does depend on how Badass you are and if your being honest about it with yourselves and to each other. There could be stress from worry so perhaps as Stork said build a bigger Stash. I am assuming if your making 180k you can save additional funds pretty quick. In the meantime get the house sold and Apply using some of the suggestions people have made on here. The move itself , no reason to not go for it but with more stash and all lose ends tight up on the east coast.

James

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Re: Should we move to Denver without a Job?
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2014, 03:53:29 PM »
Get your ducks in a row and work toward a move if that is what you are wanting. Sell the house first, that is a big unknown so get that over with. Work on getting any sort of work in CO while you are selling the house. If you find some work then move when you sell the house, but if you don't then maybe you rent something super small on a month-to-month basis while you save up some money. Or else rent something super small in CO and just move, but sell the house first.


Be very careful you are living the "frugal mountainman/woman badasses" lifestyle right now where you are at. If not, then don't expect to just become that way simply due to moving.

nawhite

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Re: Should we move to Denver without a Job?
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2014, 06:20:21 PM »
Be very careful you are living the "frugal mountainman/woman badasses" lifestyle right now where you are at. If not, then don't expect to just become that way simply due to moving.

+1

My job relocated me to Denver in 2011 from the DC area (was living near Fairfax, VA). Moving is not what makes you more badass. Denver is still a solid 45min from most outdoor stuff. Sure you can bike all over the city bike trails and kayak in Confluence park or live in Golden, but realistically skiing, hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, kayaking are all at least 45 min away from Denver. I can think tons of places to do similar things within 45 min of Northern Virginia. If you're not trying to do them now, it is unlikely you will try to do them after you move.

There certainly may be other reasons you want to leave. The traffic/commute was what did it for us. DC traffic was unbearable. That being said though, Denver is in many ways Just Another City. For instance, Denver is #7 in the country for worst rush hour traffic.

Denver has awesome people who try hard to encourage others to get outside, ok food, a rush hour that is steadily getting worse as more people move here and a medium sprawl problem. It is also a REALLY LONG WAY away from almost anyone's family. It is really flat and really brown. And the traffic to go skiing has gotten so bad this year (likely because of pot tourism) that most of my friends wont go skiing on the weekend anymore.

I guess what I'm saying is recognize that coming to Denver will not solve all of your problems. Figure out what problems you really do have and keep sending out resumes while you figure it out.

*Note: I do have a vested interest in keeping people out of my lovely state.

Spork

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Re: Should we move to Denver without a Job?
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2014, 06:45:46 PM »
I'm with Stork on this one. But it does depend on how Badass you are and if your being honest about it with yourselves and to each other. There could be stress from worry so perhaps as Stork said build a bigger Stash. I am assuming if your making 180k you can save additional funds pretty quick. In the meantime get the house sold and Apply using some of the suggestions people have made on here. The move itself , no reason to not go for it but with more stash and all lose ends tight up on the east coast.




:)

zinnie

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Re: Should we move to Denver without a Job?
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2014, 09:54:05 PM »
If it were me, I would find at least one job before moving. It can be hard to find two jobs in a new place, and you have great salaries now.

I agree to put that you are relocating to Denver in your cover letter. I would even add a date you will be there each time you send a letter out that is a month or less away. In my experience, that is about as good as having an address there. As long as they don't think they have to pay relocation expenses, they dont think it will take you months to move there, and you are willing to fly yourself out for an interview your location shouldn't be a huge detriment.

jnik

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Re: Should we move to Denver without a Job?
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2014, 07:08:01 AM »
It is really flat and really brown. And the traffic to go skiing has gotten so bad this year (likely because of pot tourism) that most of my friends wont go skiing on the weekend anymore.
Yes, people from the East who've seen too many Colorado tourism ads need to know:
1) Denver is not in the mountains
2) The mountains are at least an hour's drive away
3) All of Denver is trying to drive to/from there at the same time.

Grateful Stache

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Re: Should we move to Denver without a Job?
« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2014, 09:15:53 AM »
I'll second what many of the current CO residents are saying.

Colorado looks great from the outside looking in, but it's not all unicorns and rainbows. Many folks like you have moved here in recent years, and the result is expensive housing and a tight job market. I would encourage you to have a plan before you leave a sure thing.

YoungMoney

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Re: Should we move to Denver without a Job?
« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2014, 11:07:50 AM »
OP, have you and your wife made any trips to Colorado since you decided to move?  I would recommend doing some research on where you want to live and work.  If you want the mountain man/woman experience, you may want to live outside Denver, which in turn could mean a long commute.  I agree with the other posters--it is great here, but like anywhere else there may be trade-offs.

sheepstache

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Re: Should we move to Denver without a Job?
« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2014, 03:50:40 PM »
Something else I don't think anyone else has mentioned is that I think it might be difficult to immediately translate your badassity to a different place.  There are a ton of little tricks I know in my particular city and neighborhood that it took me time to learn, and you wouldn't have that knowledge in your new place for some time.

Grateful Stache

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Re: Should we move to Denver without a Job?
« Reply #18 on: March 08, 2014, 04:45:05 PM »
  One problem, it seems to be VERY difficult to get Denver companies to even look at our resumes since we are out of state.

Many people assume you're moving here for the "medicine."