4 Factors To Consider When Relocating For Work
I’ve relocated five times in 3 years from one coast to another to one country to another. There are costs you’ll need to factor in before relocating for work and some sources to help you make your best educated decision. Check out this success story of a Canadian who found a dream job. While you’re on the job search path, also consider these factors.
Today, we’ll consider four factors: cost of living, average salary, industry outlook, and location.
1. COST OF LIVING
The cost of living directly influences the average salary you’re likely to earn in your industry, in your position, and at your education level within a particular geographic area. Living in Jacksonville, Florida is much cheaper than living in Los Angeles, California so therefore, you can expect your salary to be less in Jacksonville. Taxes & Retirement Be aware that different states have different taxation laws. Florida does not charge an income tax, while California does. Speak with your relocation specialist or an accountant for more details.
Many companies do not provide 401k and other types of pension plans. That means you will have to acquire your own retirement accounts and investment plans through an investment firm. If your company does offer retirement plans, be sure to research and understand the plan and products that they are offering. Speak with the human resources department, but be sure to speak with your financial adviser for more legal, tax, and budget implications.
Accommodation Prices Whether you’re renting or buying, you’ll need to calculate the main and hidden costs of living in your abode.
• Real Estate agency fee (buying/selling/renting), if you don’t go for sale/lease by owner, you’ll need to go through an agency. • First and Last month’s rent • Security Deposit. Sometimes, you’ll have to pay additional pet rent or rent a parking space. • Any appliances you’ll need to buy if the landlord does not already furnish them. Many landlords do not furnish appliances in European apartments. • Moving trucks/supplies or moving company (be sure to get as many in-person quotes as possible and check for references).
Public Transportation Fares Be sure to check if the country and city you’ll be moving to offers public transportation. If you can visit before moving, try out a few rides on the bus or train system to see how it all really serves the public.
Also, some cities, like my home town of Jacksonville, Florida offer little to no public transportation. You’ll need to purchase or lease a car. Check out a few things to consider. Call around for some quotes.
• Monthly Payment • Interest Rate • Down payment • Car/Automobile Insurance • Taxes • Toll road fees • License fees • Parking lot/valet/meter fees (for those who live in L.A., N.Y. or San Diego – you know what I’m talking about – Yikes!)
Food Prices Whether you’re like me and plan each week in advance or if you prefer to go to restaurants two to three times a day, you’ll need to calculate food prices.
Figure the basics: • Loaf of bread or a gallon of milk • Cost for a cup of coffee • Average cost for a pint of beer or mixed drink • Cost of eggs or meat • Cost of basic vegetables • Average cost for a meal at a chain restaurant and then the cost for a fast food meal
Health Prices When my husband and I lived in the U.S. we paid approximately $400 per month in health insurance for a healthy family of two; it wasn’t unusual for families of four to pay close to $1,000 per month in health coverage. That does not include co-pays, the fees that the health insurance company won’t cover, and it usually doesn’t cover prescriptions.
If you live in a country with socialized health care, your fees might be significantly different. Be sure to check what your potential/future employer has to offer and what socialized benefits you can apply for. Again, you can call around to insurance agencies to receive quotes from different providers based on your and your family’s health needs.
Education Prices If you are looking to continue your education or send your children to private school or college, you will need to figure out the cost of education in the area. Private and public schools have contrastingly different fee ranges, so be sure to call the office of admissions to receive free informational brochures and fee sheets/schedules to compare and contrast prices.
Energy Prices Whether you need to fill up your gas tank, heat your home, or run your business, you’ll need to pay energy prices. Contact the local energy authority to ask for average prices for electricity, coal, wood, gas and other fuel methods.
To find gas prices, there are a number handy websites that can give you the real time cost of a gallon of gas in the United States. Gas Buddy If you plan to live in Europe, don’t be surprised to pay around 5 Euros per gallon. Petrol is sold by the liter in Europe.
Telecommunications There are common telecommunications bill you’ll need to pay. Sometimes, you can bundle all of these costs with one carrier. Other times, you’ll have to find a few separate providers.
• Internet • Cable/Satellite • Land line telephone/Fax line • Mobile Phone / Data plans (with internet and texting)
Asking the real estate agent or relocation specialist you’re working can help you determine the most reputable service providers for these services. Be sure to find out their cancellation fees and other hidden fees listed in the contract. This website can help you determine the average cost of living per city. Cost of Living Charts
2. Salary Averages
The type industry, education level, body of experience, and location will affect your job’s industry standard level. Knowing your industry standard will help you negotiate starting salaries and raises at work. Be prepared with a number that fits your lifestyle, cost of living, and industry level of experience.
Be aware that to discover your industry standard, you should not have to pay to find out this information online. With some good old fashioned researching, you can find a reasonable amount of information that can help you determine what salary is right for you.
3. Industry Outlook
Take a wider, long-term view at your job and industry by researching industry outlooks within your desired location, as moving from one city to another can be extremely expensive for those with homes and families.
If anything, as yourself this question: If I lost my job tomorrow, would I be able to find the same job with another company within six months?
If you dare to go further, ask yourself these questions: How long can I afford to float my life before I can find another job? Do I have the money to relocate myself, spouse/partner, and children if I can’t find a job within a reasonable amount of time? If you couldn’t find a job in your field, could you switch industries? Are there other industries that could bring you on?
Take a look at the Occupational Outlook Handbook and other industry publications that analyze the industry growth within a particular area. US Government Occupational Outlook
Here is a site that can help you figure this out: CityRating.com Outlook
Don’t just choose a location for just one job, especially if you plan on settling down, purchasing a home, or starting a family. Look at the location as a whole whether or not you enjoy the region, city, neighborhood for additional perks like good schools, community atmosphere, touristic areas, outdoor sports, etc.
Do you have family or friends in the area? Can they make your life more enjoyable with their presence?
Do some research and if possible, go to the town and check it out so that you are prepared to make a definitive decision.
Call the city’s Chamber of Commerce for more information. Check out the Visitor’s Bureau, too. These locations have friendly people who can point you in the right direction.
If you can complete this basic research, your job search and relocating for work will not be full of negative surprises and instead an opportunity to advance in a new direction.
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