My dh is considering an exciting new job. He hasn't received the offer yet but indications are good that it will be coming this week. It would require moving our family from a moderate cost-of-living area to a high COL area, and away from my family, who are a huge source of support to us with childcare and very close with our 3 kids. Most likely housing scenario would be renting out our current home (which we own but are probably underwater on, given the real estate market) and renting a home to live in in the new area instead of selling/buying. We'd also be moving from a rural area where we have acreage with a big organic garden, chickens, and beehives to a dense suburban area if we move close to dh's potential new job.
Writing out that part makes it seem like a crazy idea, but here are the positives. This school year we spent commuting 30 minutes each way to school every day to get our kids into decent schools. Somedays I had to come home in-between dropping off my ds1 at elementary and ds2 at afternoon preschool, which meant the 2 younger kids & I spent 2 hours in the car commuting. If I didn't come home, we spend the day aimlessly hanging out at my parents' house where I slowly go crazy thinking of all things I could be doing home at my own house. If we plan carefully, we could probably find a rental home near a good school and eliminate all that craziness. We might even be able to take on a short commute at the new location that would put us living in a beach town, or alternately in a denser area that would have lots of things to do and resources for the kids, albeit much more expensive.
For my dh, this is a fabulous job opportunity. He has been working at a dead-end, frustrating job for the last 9 years. When he normally would have moved on and looked for a new job, we started having babies and it was easier to stay for the decent pay, regular hours, and short commute so that we could focus on surviving having 3 kids in less than 5 years! Now his job, along with his whole division, has been outsourced to a company based in India, and while he hasn't been laid off yet, indications are that will likely happen in the next 1.5-2 years. He's excited about the potential new job and the people he would be working with. It's cool tech, bigger responsibility, and more energetic company. The salary is higher, there is probably a nice yearly bonus, awesome healthcare coverage for the whole family, and little perks like free lunch/breakfast at the cafeteria and gym membership. I feel like he deserves the chance at a great professional opportunity, but on paper it seems crazy to consider it when I look at what we would be giving up.
Thoughts from anyone? Have you made a move away from a stable situation for an exciting new opportunity? Made the low COL to high COL switch? How did it work for your family? Would you do it if you were me?
We've moved multiple times for my DH's career. Sometimes, it sucked. Sometimes, it's been great. We are at a different stage than you guys, and now our kids are teens. Because we've made sacrifices for DH's career, we have money for things for our kids, so in the end, it's worked out really, really well for them.
Your DH has sucked it up in a crappy job with no future for 9 years. How long is long enough? He's job is going away. What would be the plan if you stayed?
Balancing the needs of an entire family is tricky, but having an income is part of that. The member of the family primarily responsible for paying the bills not being miserable should, IMHO, be part of that too. I don't really think it's fair for the rest of the family to be living in a happy place with a garden when the member making all the possible is unhappy at work, or worse, wondering what he's going to do to provide for everyone when he's job goes away and knowing that his wife won't move. If the job thing isn't there or isn't working out, it sort of makes the rest of the life artificial.
On our last move, we selected the school first (using the internet, phone, and one visit) and rented the house that was closest to the school that was available. So for the last year, my kids have attended an AMAZING school that I deeply love, and they have a 5 minute walk. There are certain perks to moving, such as getting to set up your life so it actually makes sense for you.
<<Have you made a move away from a stable situation for an exciting new opportunity? Made the low COL to high COL switch? >>
He's situation isn't stable.
We've lived in areas with different COL, and it is odd to suddenly be where a lot of people have more money. It's helped me clarify what is important to me and what isn't. The highest COL of living place we lived, we lived in a small townhouse. There were some GREAT things about it -- we had a wonderful community pool, didn't have to spend time on yard work, and had beautiful places to walk. There are good things and bad things about everywhere, and part of you ability to be happy if you guys decide to do this will be your ability to focus on what is really cool about the new place you live.
but everything has pros and cons
Thanks, Linda, I know from reading your previous posts that you have moved a lot, and it's not the end of the world for the kids, right? Different benefits.
I'm not resistant to the idea of moving, I actually think it's kind of exciting and part of the reason I'm looking for a "reality check" is wondering if I'm foolish for feeling that way. I'm excited for dh to have a great new job, I truly think he deserves it and I want it for him. My biggest hesitation is whether or not we are getting sucked up in the excitement of new prospects without being realistic about the finances of it or what it means to move away from family support. I will be sad not to see my family as much, but it's really his turn. I do love living in the country, but I have lived in the suburbs before and been perfectly happy, he is the master gardener who wants acres of space and I don't know if *he* is going to be able to handle it! If we stayed, the plan would be to look for another job, and no, it's not really stable at all, as you pointed out.
You sound like you have very mixed feelings, and I don't think that's foolish. I think it's wise!
Moving to a new city for a new job is taking a step into the unknown. It's a leap of faith.
I don't know anything about your finances and even if I did, I'm not qualified to give financial advice.
Living in a high COL area was weird for me because I really hadn't realized how many more people have a heck of a lot more money than us. I know it sounds silly, and it really doesn't matter, but it did turn into an odd little personal growth thing for me. It turned out that I kinda liked being one of the families with more money, even though I didn't realize it and didn't think it mattered to me. When that feeling was gone, I kinda missed it. I loved living in a smaller space and we now opt to live in a smaller home than we can afford because more space doesn't make me happier. (we now live in a medium COL area.) The COL thing was hard on my DH, even though he didn't think it would be, because he said that he would NEVER feel successful there.
What are prospects like for your DH if you guys stay where you are but he looks for a new job? Because it sounds like a new job is on the horizon for him, it's really a question of whether or not THIS is the right new job, and if this is the right time.
Most of our moves were with the same company, but our last one wasn't. My DH's job was going away and his work is specialized enough that we had to move for him to have a new job. He did a lot of looking and we ended up making the move on our timing, not the companies, and to a part of the country we really like. If we hadn't acted, it would have meant waiting for the ax to fall, then taking whatever was available because we had to. Instead, we came someplace we like with a great school for our kids.
You guys are actually in a REALLY powerful position to decide what you want from your lives. Even if you are up for a move to a new city away from family, is this the city you WANT to go to?
but everything has pros and cons
Well, we are taking that leap of faith into the unknown and accepting the job! Dh got the offer yesterday and while we hoped it would be a little higher, we think it will be enough to compensate for the high COL. The job is someplace we've lived before (Bay Area) and we think it has it's pluses and minuses, like just about anywhere, and it's hard to turn down a job in hand. Plus he's excited about the job, so that part is great. Now to start looking for someplace to rent...