Moving can be one of the most stressful events in a person’s life. In fact, psychologists claim that it is among the top five events that could cause depression, anxiety, and stress. In saying that, moving home is something that most people will experience several times throughout their lifetime, and it is estimated that the average person moves a total of 10 to 11 times in their lives.
Moving state, however, is less frequent than from one neighborhood to another. Statistics show that the average American tends to spend their lives in or near their childhood neighborhood to maintain close ties to family and parents. Statistics on the state of moving throughout the US show that one in four Americans have moved out of their home state. Going further, only 25% of these have moved to another country completely.
So, if you are considering a big move, and have either been offered a new position or have been offered a transfer, you might be asking yourself right now if you should take it. We took a look at the main things that you need to consider before packing up your life and family for a cross-country life-change.
The Cost of Living vs. Salary
This is one of the first things that you will need to look at before making a decision to move and live in another state for a job. Salaries and the cost of living can vary greatly from state to state. The cost of living, for example, in a coastal state is greatly higher than in a landlocked one, and what you are earning in Kansas is certainly not going to get you the same lifestyle in New York for example. In fact, New York and San Francisco currently dominate the list of the most expensive cities to live in in the USA. And in many cases, their average earning potential does align with the cost of living.
In fact, Washington, DC, Hartford, CT, and Seattle, WA are the top-earning cities in the country, with New York coming a close fourth and San Francisco coming in seventh. A marketing manager, for example, will currently earn a salary of around $72,000 in Wyoming, whereas the same position in Washington takes home almost double that at $139,000. Make sure you do your research before accepting a position and packing up your life.
Take Care of your Accounts and Insurance
Next, you will need to look at your finances in a different light. Have a look at your banking and financial institutions as well as your insurance and check whether they have branches in the new state that you are moving to. Let’s take a look at your insurance first. Every state has different laws and the majority of insurance agents are probably not licensed in another state. As you will be moving home, you will need to cancel your current home insurance, and find a new policy for your new home. Give enough warning to both companies before simply changing as you might have to pay cancellation fees.
The next thing to look at are your bank accounts and creditors. Your bank, same as the insurers, might not have branches or license for the new state, so you might need to close your accounts and shift them over to a new bank. If you have creditors and monthly accounts, you will need to inform them of your new address in order to change your billing address. Keep in mind that this is a legal requirement for you, and there will be implications if you do not inform all creditors of your new address.
Do a Thorough Research on Your New Home
If you are moving to a new state, you will need to get a good handle on everything related to the state before you arrive in it. You will need to know where the good and bad areas are and which ones are recommended to live in. Even though Detroit has been listed as the most dangerous city to live in in the US, it does have areas which are safe like Midtown, Corktown, and West Village. The same can be said for Minneapolis, Minnesota. This sprawling city has its buzzy city life and sprawling suburbs, however, the crime rate in certain areas is some of the highest in the country.
It is also important to know the layout and general liveability of your city. Are you close to your place of work and schools for your children? If you are young and need a regular night out, is this in close proximity to your home? What is your new home known for? Does it offer a good night-live and active music scene, or is it a small-town, one cafe and a convenience store area? You will also need to know about the state of public transport. States vary widely. Some, like the main metropolis, offer efficient public transport, whereas inland, you might need to swap out the monthly card for a set of car keys and a valid license.
Find Out What Real People Are Saying About the Area
It is all good and well reading up on Wikipedia and on blogs about a new area. A lot of the details are somewhat vague and even glossy to make it look great. However, where the real information about your new home is going to come from is from real people. There are a number of online boards and sites that you can look at to really get a feel for the area. How lively is it? What is the social life like? What are the best transport methods and what is traffic really like at 5 pm on a Friday? Is it unbearably cold in winter?
Reddit, Quora and Facebook community groups are a great source of information from real people who have conversations about the state of living in the particular areas and the best places to go for dinner or to spend a day out of your home.
It is vitally important to do a thorough research during your decision phase. If you are changing jobs, and moving companies completely, you will need to know how much the company is willing to provide you for the move if any. If not, you will need to consider whether the move is financially worth you packing up your home and life and relocating for the job. Find out as much as you can about your new area. It is advisable to join social media groups to start establishing connections in the community so that you can have a bit of a contact base when you move in.