Is A Move To A New Job Financially Worth It?

Posted on: February 12th, 2013 by
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What are the financial implications if I move to a new job?  Can I afford to make the move? What does my compensation need to be?  Is it possible to move to a better job, make $20,000 more per year, and still sink deeper into a financial hole?  Absolutely!  Just move to a higher cost of living area and forget to research what the additional costs will be.

My wife and I (and family) have moved 12 times over the years living on both Coasts, Mid-West, New England and the South. We are not a military family.  Each move up the career ladder meant a move to a different corporation, at a different location, at a higher salary and title, ending as a Vice-President before becoming a consultant and President of my own company.  My advice to you?  Research, prepare, move cautiously and look 10 years out to make sure it’s the right move, for the right reason, for everyone in the family.

Here is a website that you will find useful (November, 2012).  It will give you some insight into key questions:

Example:  If you live in Atlanta, Georgia and are considering a job in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and currently make $50,000 a year, a comparable salary in Chapel Hill would be $58,581.  Why?  Because the price difference in Chapel Hill, NC would be:

  • Groceries 6% more, with Housing 43% more
  • Utilities 10% less, and Transportation 4% less, with Health Care 2% more

If you get a 10% raise, your behind the financial eight ball before you even begin.  In addition to the usual cost differences like groceries, housing, utilities, transportation and health care, you’ll also need to consider the cost of shutting off, reconnecting and turning on utilities & appliances, finding a new doctor, dentist, lawyer, tax accountant, a new school for each child, changes of address and telephones, credit cards and so on.

If your spouse works, the issues will double.  Also, consider the children’s schooling.  Is the new location ahead or behind the rating of the current school?  Does the school have a different curriculum whereby your child may have to drop back ½ year or more or will have difficulty keeping up?  Will it affect college admission?  If a child cannot graduate with their high school friends, be prepared for a major issue to be resolved.

You also need to figure in the “risk” factor.  Moving to a new job in a new location is potentially risky.  What is the probability of a consolidation, merger, downturn, a performance problem, a cutback, no promotional opportunities or development, and so on?  You need to assess the total package before making a decision.  That decision can advance your career dramatically or negatively affect your career for the next 10 years.  So do your homework!

A move to a new job may be the best thing that ever happens to you and your family.  Just don’t make an assumption that it will be.  Murphy’s Law also applies to you, even if your name isn’t Murphy.


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