Potential move to Washington DC from Canada. Are we crazy? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
Thread Tools
#1 of 7 Old 03-03-2012, 10:08 AM - Thread Starter
mamandedeux's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 139
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

This is far from a done deal, particularly because I know so little (ok, nothing at all...) about living in the US. I think I'd love it, but I'm worried this could be a monumental mistake... Please let me know if the following sounds reasonable:


This would be a job transfer for DH, for a minimum of 2 years, but max 4 years. His current salary would stay the same (around $95,000 CA), and after taxes (he'd still be taxed here in Canada) we expect we'd have a take-home income of about $60,000US. Our living expenses would be covered, although only for the first year. I'm a SAHM right now, with plans to go back to work in 2 years, although I don't think I'd legally be allowed to work in the US. I'm ok with that.


Right now, we have a smallish house with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths, plus a nice rec room and family room. Large backyard, AWESOME neighbourhood, safe, walkable, GREAT school for DS1.


Oh, and 2 kiddos: 5 and 2.


Could a family of four live off that income and still live in a good neighbourhood? We'd be renting, probably a small apartment or condo (2 BDR is all we need). We also don't want a long commute (his office would literally be in front of the White House).


Schools are definitely going to be an issue, I know. DS1 is in a French school. I'd be willing to homeschool so that he keeps French as his main language (it's ours as well). 


I think it could be exciting, but I worry that my expectations are unrealistic, and we'd be trading a pretty sweet life for a stressful and potentially disastrous adventure.


DH is super psyched at the chance to work in the US again. He's worked in Chicago and Boston before, loved it. I'm not sure he's given much thought to family life though. He's not very career-focused, but this does sound like a great opportunity for him. We're in the same field, and I'd jump at it if it were offered to me, but my mama instinct is putting family and quality of life first.


So we're crazy to even be thinking about doing this, right?



mamandedeux is offline  
#2 of 7 Old 03-07-2012, 10:08 AM
NaturalMama311's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Maryland
Posts: 498
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I think you could definitely live on that salary in the US.  I don't know what your lifestyle is now in CA but I can guarantee that in DC you wouldn't live a lavish lifestyle on $60,000 but you could certainly make do just fine.  Moving anywhere is scary, I can't imagine planning a move out of the country.....but you only live once so I say go for it!  I mean, it is only 2-4 years which in the scheme of things is a relatively short time.  So if you do absolutely hate it, there is an end in sight. 

Wife to DH, Mommy to Amber 10/01/08 and Kyle 01/09/11
NaturalMama311 is offline  
#3 of 7 Old 03-07-2012, 11:57 AM
juneboymum's Avatar
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Parkville, MD
Posts: 332
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

You probably want to really look into the cost of living in DC.  It's ridiculously high!  I don't think our family of 4 could live in DC off $60K (and we're pretty frugal!).  We also have a lot of student loan debt that takes a big chunk of take home income.  If you don't have any dept you could probably do it, but you may be downsizing on your house/neighborhood.  Just FYI.  I hope it works out for you!

juneboymum is offline  
#4 of 7 Old 03-07-2012, 03:14 PM
tiacait's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Maryland
Posts: 158
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I agree with the previous poster. You would have to live VERY frugally on 60k if you wanted to live in DC proper. That could be totally fine for your family, but just something to think about. :)

Mama, birth worker, and dreamer extraordinaire. slingboy.gif


Please read the NEW User Agreement.

tiacait is offline  
#5 of 7 Old 03-07-2012, 03:58 PM
KatyLinda's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 519
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

$60K before taxes and after taxes is a pretty different number though.  


My initial reaction was no way, but after taxes, especially with housing being paid for the first year, it might be doable.  

Wife to a wonderful DH, Mom to 3 amazing girls and one special boy, IBCLC, supporter of moms. 
KatyLinda is offline  
#6 of 7 Old 03-13-2012, 01:32 PM
Anna Phor's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 251
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

60K for a family of four would be very tight, yes, but whether or not it's doable depends on what you have to stretch it to cover. I think you need to do some sample budgets to figure out whether you could live on it or not.


What does "living expenses" include? Rent? Utilities? Food? Transportation (metro or car)? 


What about health insurance? Does the salary package include it and if so is there a monthly cost? Is there a cost for doctor's visits or other deductable? What about dental or vision?


For the second year, if you have to cover rent with that 60K, you might be hard pressed to find a close-in neighborhood with a decent commute. 

Anna Phor is offline  
#7 of 7 Old 03-14-2012, 05:52 PM - Thread Starter
mamandedeux's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 139
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

So we chickened out.... It was just too stressful, primarily because of finances. We're pretty frugal, so we're able to live well and comfortably here (read nice neighbourhood, decent house with land, good food, but no fancy stuff like going out or tech gadgets or new cars...). It seems like we'd struggle to find housing in DC, plus I also almost cried when I found out about health care. We'd have to pay crazy money for insurance. I will never, ever, ever take our free health care for granted (not that I do, but you know what I mean...). Both DSs have some health issues that could potentially require medical follow-ups, so that had to be taken into consideration.


Thanks for your advice. Maybe I'll visit DC as a tourist insteadblowkiss.gif

mamandedeux is offline  

Quick Reply
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off