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Moving is a big undertaking for most folks. There are a lot of things hanging in the balance when you get an offer that requires relocation.
The most important thing to consider is the job itself.
Is this your dream job? If not, what is the driver? It should be pretty compelling, for example, The job is in your dream location; the opportunity to grow your career is clear; the team dynamic is perfect.
Are you going to be successful if this is not your dream job? Regardless of other attractive elements; are you making a reasonable commitment? Ultimately, accepting a job and resigning shortly after can be a huge strike against you on a resume. The employer can feel like he or she wasted her time and resources and could potentially burn bridges with colleagues.
What are the costs of moving?
Many companies have a hard time finding the right talent locally and will offer relocation packages. Basic relocation includes a moving allowance for packing and transportation of belongings. This may be full or partial reimbursement, or a lump sum/bonus payment. Sometimes these payments are upfront or they are dependent upon completing some determined time period at the company.
Eight out of ten companies reimbursed or paid some relocation costs for transferees or new hires according to Atlas Van Lines. Small firms cover costs less often and are more inclined to offer lump sums instead of reimbursements. How does your offer handle relocation costs?Moving is a big undertaking for most folks. There are a lot of things hanging in the balance when you get an offer that requires relocation.Click To Tweet
What relocation services are offered?
Besides the physical moving, some relocation services include spouse/partner assistance. For dual-income households, job opportunities in the new location are very important. Some relocation services offer monetary compensation while the spouse/partner seeks a new job, others offer networking assistance, outplacement/career services, interviewing skills training, and resume preparation assistance.
Acclimation of you and any family/partner/spouse is an important aspect of a successful move. Some companies have a relocation service to help get you up and running in your new location. The relocation service may introduce you to the neighborhood, or provide information on local amenities and services. If there is no service, how will you test out the new area to make sure it is a fit?
Relocation services may include housing. Some companies pay a real estate subsidy either for the sale of a home from where the employee currently resides or for the purchase of a home where the employee is moving. Subsidies may cover costs or price differentials. Temporary housing allowances and home-finding trips, as well as storage, are also covered by some firms. If these services are not offered, you’ll need to determine the costs and implications yourself.
Smaller start-ups are less likely to get involved in this level of logistics or costs. Larger companies may provide these services in-house or outsource to professional moving companies.
Another cost to consider is the cost of living.
If you are moving from a location that has a different cost of living, you definitely want to take that into account. The Bay area and New York are among the most expensive places to live, so the salary offered needs to reflect that. If you are moving to a place that is less expensive, then measure the offer against that too. There are several cost of living calculators available, such as the CNNMoney calculator which calculates the equivalent salary between two U.S. cities.
Are there tax benefits or disincentives?
If you move to a state with no state income tax, that may be a strong advantage for you. If you leave Nevada for California, on the other hand, the state income taxes that you’ll have to start paying may make a big dent in your salary if all other things are equal. The states with no state income tax are Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming. Tennessee and New Hampshire have limited income tax on individuals, taxing dividend and interest income.
Whether the state tax implications have a positive or negative impact on you depends on your overall financial situation. States without state income tax will make up revenues elsewhere and may impact you differently depending on if you are planning on owning your home or renting, and what your overall spending patterns are like. You may want to consult with a financial advisor to explore the ramifications of your own situation. The Tax Foundation offers information on State and Local Tax Burdens.
In this book, we break down the art of budgeting and personal finance in a way that is very easy to understand.