If you’ve been reading my blog for the last few months you know we’re planning a relocation to California. Before planning a major relocation there are some important financial areas to research. I thought I would share those with you today and some tips I’ve learned. Get these things figured out and you’ll be all set to make a successful relocation and not be surprised by the costs!
Your job or source of income is probably the first thing you need to consider. You may want to move but can you perform the same job in the new location? Will your company let you transfer? Or, will you have to leave your current job and find a new one? Jobs are probably the main thing I would guess keep people grounded. Personally, I knew I worked remotely much of the time and could perform my work in California, Texas or any other place. I asked my boss if she would approve my relocation and there wasn’t any problem. I had to go through a formal relocation request but I’m all set to transfer when our house sells.
Not every state has them and you definitely have to prepare ahead to see how state taxes may impact your paycheck. I currently live in Texas and have enjoyed not paying state tax! However, we’ll have to pay it in California. How do you determine what your take home pay is going to be after paying state taxes? This salary calculator from ADP works great. You can include before tax deductions such as 401K, health insurance, choose your state, withholding allowances and get a very accurate calculation of what you’ll bring home in your first paycheck in your new location.
Real estate costs
Another difference in the cost of moving to a new state could be the real estate costs. One way we’ve been able to get a a quick idea of the cost differences in our situation is to use realtor.com to research housing. We can quickly see what we can afford to buy or rent in California with the money we pay today for our mortgage, taxes and HOA. Property taxes are another key cost to consider. We spoke to a few real estate agents to get estimates for California and I also called the county to find out the tax rates. Surprisingly, the rates are cheaper in California versus Texas. But people typically pay more in taxes because homes cost more! So with their being such a difference in the cost of real estate, we’ve had to make a decision to either downsize and live differently than we do in Texas, or not be able to move. Obviously, we’ve chosen the change in lifestyle and to downsize!
If you’re going to move to a new city or state you have to consider how you’re going to get all of your things there. We’re a family of four and have a lot of things to move not only for ourselves, but for the kids too! This includes furniture, toys, bicycles and more. I would love to save the money and move like I did in college by renting a truck, but unfortunately, it’s not possible these days. We identified a couple of moving companies and have received estimates from them. To save money on moving costs, I’ve learned you need to move during the off-season. Summertime is the most expensive time to move! After September 15th the costs drop. The other way to move is to give away things or sell them. Decrease your weight and you can save a lot of money. Also, choose to drive your own cars. We found out that shipping a car with a moving company was going to cost us around $1500. Wow!
Planning a relocation isn’t really anything more than just taking a look at these different areas and planning for them as much as possible. It’s about removing the uncertainty so you minimize your risk. You don’t want to be surprised and not have enough money to afford your new lifestyle after arriving.
What costs do you think you should consider when relocating?