Author Topic: To Stay or Go?  (Read 1233 times)

chemistk

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To Stay or Go?
« on: June 26, 2019, 11:05:52 AM »
My wife and I, for a variety of reasons, are seriously looking at changing our scenery. We're growing tired of the area we live in and the compromises we make to stay here. That's not to say that we don't like the region, or the people, or my job, but at the end of each day we've collectively given more to each of those things than we get in return.

We have two kids, and a third on the way. We rent, and have been working on paying down student loan debts and battling the [cost of the] ridiculous stream of illnesses and incidents that come with young boys, so in short we can't just up and leave without a great reason (in the past 6 months: a nearly broken foot, 4 bouts of croup with an ER visit, 4 ear infections, 1 round of viral pneumonia, and a visit to the pulmonologist that confirmed asthma requiring a daily inhaler). HDHP - 1, me- 0.

My job (see username) is pretty secure, and there's a decent chance I'll get a promotion in the next 12 to 18 months, but after that I'll have hit my ceiling in this company unless I venture outside of the lab. The company culture is much better than other places I could work, mostly because we're a consumer products company so there aren't exactly a lot of scientists here.

Despite that, it's not perfect and my wife sees it starting to eat at me more (stress, mainly - being one of the few scientists in the company is great except when it's not). An additional significant contributor is the commute - about 40 minutes one way. When we moved here a few years ago, our house was an exact midpoint in a triangle of locations we frequented (school for my wife at the time, her parents, my work). It's not anymore. The simple answer is to move to within 15 minutes of work, however rents and home prices are obscenely expensive. It's not worth the extra $400-$600 a month after netting out the gain in the cost of driving.

I could move within the company, to a non-lab role. It would probably require a year of working at a plant to gain experience (on a shift, with a 20% pay cut). I also probably could negotiate a bigger raise if/when the promotion happens (solely contingent upon a coworker's retirement).

We keep eyeing my parents' state, for a myriad of reasons. There's generally more science-related work out there, and they (my parents) are more equipped to assist with our kids (my wife's admission/observation). I don't have any industry connections out there, so it's a complete shot in the dark job-wise. I think I could find something decent and/or interesting, but it's not guaranteed, nor is it guaranteed that I would even be able to leverage an increase over my current pay (I find myself afflicted with imposter syndrome, and so I tend to believe I'm overpaid for what I do).

If it weren't for the pregnancy, I think I'd be sending out resumes at this point. But we've already hit our deductible and are about to hit our OOP max ($5k) for the year, so everything will be "basically free" (nothing's really ever) when the baby comes. Moving and starting a new job would mean that we'd more than likely have to work towards a new deductible/OOP max with this baby (November due date).

So, I keep saying we're going to stay. And yet, shit keeps happening (outside of work) that makes us want to GTFO. Even with a modest raise, moving (houses and jobs) before this baby would almost assuredly require us to eat significantly into our e-fund. So we keep telling ourselves we'll stay, for the security among other things. The dad in me feels comfortable with this decision (would also love to see home/rent prices come down this year). The 'me' in me is fed up with the stress, and the amount of shit our region keeps spitting back at us.

(Other relevant info - current kids 4&2 and not in school, wife doesn't work/is SAHP, we recently bought a minivan, have no meaningful connections [read: no friends] other than in-laws to current region).

I feel like it's the right thing to do to wait until this baby is born before looking at moving, but I (and my wife) would love to shed this stress. I probably know the answer but I need to hear it from a neutral observer. Is it lunacy to basically drain our entire liquid savings and possibly even some of our e-fund to move out of an environment that's slowly becoming (but not completely yet) more toxic? Or is the wise thing truly to wait this baby out and reassess Jan 1, 2020?

Better Change

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Re: To Stay or Go?
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2019, 12:53:01 PM »
Hello fellow chemist!  A view from someone on the other side:

We were forced into our 700 mile+ relocation due to mergers, acquisitions, and "talent selection" in a Fortune 500 company with lots of scientists.  While the relocation part wasn't the most fun I've ever had, it was truly a blessing in disguise.  When my husband and I accepted our first jobs out of grad school in a small, northern midwest city, we made a pact to get out within five years.  We overstayed our welcome by a year, and we stagnated.  We stagnated professionally and socially.  We benefited from a relocation package that covered the heavy burden of relocation - mainly the real estate - but we didn't come out ahead financially.  We had to pay quite a bit to get here, and our cost of living has gone up.  That being said, we moved into a much more technical sector of the country, and jobs abound.  In fact, I just accepted a new position and had very little trouble getting interviews as an experienced hire.  Where are you thinking about moving? (PM me if you wish)

What we don't have is kids.  They certainly change the dynamic.  We were able to be really flexible as we settled into the new area.  Knowing how difficult it was to get where we are with just the two of us, I would probably advise you to wait until the baby comes and then reassess.  But I am also out of energy for relocating for the time being, so keep that in mind.  :)  We survived, though, and so can you.  Your and your family's happiness is important!

erutio

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Re: To Stay or Go?
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2019, 12:58:35 PM »
The whole point of this forum is to live frugally and mindfully, to have enough money to attempt to live your happiest life.

You are unhappy where you are.  Make the move.

chemistk

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Re: To Stay or Go?
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2019, 01:14:31 PM »
Where are you thinking about moving? (PM me if you wish)

What we don't have is kids.  They certainly change the dynamic.  We were able to be really flexible as we settled into the new area.  Knowing how difficult it was to get where we are with just the two of us, I would probably advise you to wait until the baby comes and then reassess.  But I am also out of energy for relocating for the time being, so keep that in mind.  :)  We survived, though, and so can you.  Your and your family's happiness is important!

I appreciate the encouragement! We're currently in not-Philly/NJ and not-Pittsburgh PA, and are eyeing a move to SE Michigan. So, the "availability" is relative. An indeed search for 30 miles around our current zip code shows about 5 or 6 open positions that catch my interest. Same search, target area - 15-20.


chemistk

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Re: To Stay or Go?
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2019, 01:15:51 PM »
The whole point of this forum is to live frugally and mindfully, to have enough money to attempt to live your happiest life.

You are unhappy where you are.  Make the move.

And it is a welcome respite from daily absurdity. I do appreciate another vote for 'go' from a neutral observer.

seemsright

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Re: To Stay or Go?
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2019, 07:28:40 PM »
The whole point of this forum is to live frugally and mindfully, to have enough money to attempt to live your happiest life.

You are unhappy where you are.  Make the move.

And it is a welcome respite from daily absurdity. I do appreciate another vote for 'go' from a neutral observer.

I am on this FIRE train to make my life as simple as possible.

I think you moving either closer to your job or to your parents to get more help with your littles will make your life simpler. And making your life simpler you will have more energy and focus to kick ass at your job and roll in raise after raise. Try to not have to be in that box with wheels longer than you have to each day.

Babies are hard, toddlers are hard...preschoolers are hard...and preteens...oh boy (I have one kid who just turned 9 and I am finding that she is requiring more time, energy and money than she has ever before buy as much time as you can now)

Better Change

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Re: To Stay or Go?
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2019, 04:28:01 AM »
LOL...I moved from Michigan to the mid-Atlantic (greater Philly area, but south).  I wasn't in the Ann Arbor area, which is what people usually mean when they say "southeastern Michigan." 

In the most recent round of interviewing and acceptance of an offer, I found that some companies could at least match my salary, and some were paying peanuts.  I ended up with a 12% bump in my base salary, but my bonus at the new place will be much lower.  My current compa ratio is right at 1, so I was starting to feel "overpaid" for what I do, too.  I figured my raises here were going to start to suck. 

MayDay

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Re: To Stay or Go?
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2019, 11:40:26 AM »
I would definitely start applying.  It may take quite a while.  It may not.  If you get an offer before baby, you evaluate it.  Maybe you take it, maybe you don't.  You maybe be able to negotiate a signing bonus in the amount of the deductible or OOP Max of the new insurance plan.


chemistk

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Re: To Stay or Go?
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2019, 01:25:09 PM »
I would definitely start applying.  It may take quite a while.  It may not.  If you get an offer before baby, you evaluate it.  Maybe you take it, maybe you don't.  You maybe be able to negotiate a signing bonus in the amount of the deductible or OOP Max of the new insurance plan.

Hm. For all the time I've spent thinking about this recently, that thought never occurred to me...

Luz

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Re: To Stay or Go?
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2019, 11:14:19 PM »
If it were me, I'd make the decision to move, but stay through January. I'd be fine staying 6 months longer because 1) health insurance and emergency savings 2) I would have 6 months to plan out the logistics of transitioning to a new location. It's easier for me to deal with something at present if I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

SimpleLifer

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Re: To Stay or Go?
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2019, 07:32:32 AM »
If it were me, I would figure out when I would "break-even" on the health-cost front, and plan to move after that.  Jan 1, 2020 will be here very soon, I'd start interviewing and looking for a place to live now...when holidays get here it may be harder to find a place, and ideally, it might make sense to move ~March 2020 depending on the housing situation.

Criteria for new place:
1.  find work as close as possible to your new home; 45 min commute (x2) is waaay too far.
2.   Close proximity to support (family friends).  I would aim for 5-10 minute drive from the friends/family you have in the new area.

Good luck!