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Moving for Love
Old 09-11-2014, 05:19 AM   #1
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Moving for Love

First: I'm not sure which forum this belongs in best. Second: I apologize for using an accurate, albeit excessively catchy thread title; I thought some would find it, under the circumstances, a bit amusing, or at least a bit cute.

My spouse's company has been harping on my spouse to move to the Alpharetta GA area. We live north of Boston, and we both work on the same street (so we carpool) about ten miles from home, though that still means 25-35 minute commute each way. However, my spouse works in the corporate headquarters, which is here, while all my spouse's co-workers are located in Alpharetta.

I earn substantially more than my spouse - about 55% more. (Wow, I had to do the math twice to verify that. Spouse's*1.55=Mine.) I'm a key member of our organization, and I'll remain so conceptually as long as this well-paying job exists there. (If I'm not this valuable, then they really don't need me, specifically, and given that I'm so well-paid, I have every reason to think that they'd find a way to do away with me, perhaps a little more readily if I was remote, but do away with me all-the-same.)

I've been generally frustrated with the ridiculously slow pace by which my organization is realizing what it needs to do to move forward. We're a small part of a very small part of one of the largest companies in the world, so it isn't like the issues regarding our organization are such that corporate headquarters would be concerned, one way or the other. Our profit/loss is so small in their terms that they're lost in the truncation they use in their financial reports. This frustration bleeds into our marriage a bit. My spouse hates to see me frustrated. The move won't change that of course - unless the move is accompanied by a change in mindset, making the decision to, effectively, care less about certain (work-related) things, perhaps caring more about making our lives better.

In a discussion with my boss about this marital concern, he indicated we need to do what is best for us. No one is irreplaceable, but some folks are less readily replaceable than others, and he indicated that I'm a key member of the team and that he sees no reason I could not work remotely, should we decide to move. (It is worth noting that my boss works at home two or three days a week; and his boss does as well. There are a number of remote employees, including one of my three primary co-workers, and my counterparts in two other departments.) My spouse feels that the assurance we've gotten from my boss is sufficient, but what do you think? I don't want the act of trying to pin my boss down to cause a negative reaction, but of course, eventually, if we decide to move, he'll have to be pinned down.

The move would be from Boston, three and a half hours from my closest family, to the Atlanta area, thirteen hours from my closest family. We're not very close, though we have seen each other a few times a year. Atlanta is three and a half hours from my spouse's closest family, though again, same story - not that close - visits every year or two.

We are very active at church. It is the closest thing we have to family. We would be moving with the context of living near (within a mile perhaps) of the local church of our denomination, with an eye toward making it our new family. Heady expectation, I know, but an essential part of the plan imho.

I'm accompanying my spouse on a business trip in a few weeks. We'll be there for a week, arriving Saturday morning so we can attend the church's coffee house Saturday night and worship Sunday morning. We'd also spend time over the weekend getting to know the area a little, and perhaps have a realtor show us homes. There appear to be a great number of them that are precisely what we're looking for, precisely where we want to live.

We have no real attachments to Boston, except that we're here now, it's driving distance for visits to my family, and my spouse has a cousin an hour away.

This part is key, I think: We don't really like the Boston area. We like the people, but we have no real love for snow. (We don't like oppressive heat and humidity either, but wouldn't that just be a wash?) Everything is so crammed together here in the Boston area; I'll see it in person in a few weeks, but it seems like there is more room for everything down there - the roads line up down there instead of being jammed in wherever there was empty space up here; there is even more spaces between cars in the parking lots; etc.

I do need to be clear: As ridiculously silly as it sounds, I would be moving for love - because my spouse wants to spend the last five or six years of my spouse's career working with co-workers face-to-face. I'll probably work another five or six years after that. (I'm ten years younger.) Ideally, I would glide into retirement supporting the product that was my personal vision, just like my predecessor, who even today works part time providing his expertise and insight into the product that was originally his personal vision.

What considerations would you factor in? What information would you gather to make a better decision?
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Old 09-11-2014, 06:17 AM   #2
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What a dilemma!

First, I think you are underestimating the risk to your job if you move. Working remotely is not the same as being there (which is why your spouse's employers want her to move). There is a good chance that your company's perception of the value you bring might change if you were offsite. I think your position will be more at risk than you realize. I have personal and anecdotal experience of similar stories.

Second, since you are the higher earner and plan to spend longer in the workforce, the dollars at risk are greater if you get fired rather than your spouse.

Third, how well do you know the proposed new location? From my reading of your post, not very well. Beware of rose coloured glasses. You don't really get to know a community until you have lived there for a while.

You know all this, of course. So how to proceed?

First, I think your spouse should be very well compensated for making such a major move. If she is a key employee who is needed at HQ, then not only should she merit a significant raise, but Megacorp should support a job search for you in the new location, with a view to finding a job comparable to the one you have now. Moving expenses should be generously subsidized. I recommend that spouse not commit to anything without a decent family relocation package.

Second, while it's fine to look at the housing market, be very wary of making an offer at this stage. An offer means you and spouse are committed and destroys your negotiating power.

There are so many "what ifs" here that there is no certainty that you both would be any happier after such a move than before. If spouse really wants to move and gets an attractive bump in salary for doing so, my suggestion would be for her to rent at the new location for a year. You could experiment with working remotely some or all of that time. The whole thing might be great, or it might be a disaster, and if so, you can undo it.

The best solution will be one which meets both of your objectives, or most of them. So it is vital to sit down with DW and list what those are. What are the deal breakers for each of you?
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Old 09-11-2014, 06:39 AM   #3
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My "off the top of my head" thoughts:
- You need to be direct with your boss and ask him specifically if there are any issues with you working remotely that far. Are the other remote workers at that great a distance? Some places don't mind working remotely If one is still driving distance form the work location, in case there is an urgent need to get there.

- During the week you are there, consider (if you have time) actually working from there and see how it feels.

- IMHO one week is not enough time to evaluate a place where you plan to move, particularly if this is when you expect to spend the rest of your life. Unfortunately I don't know you much time you have to spend additional time to really find out about the area.

- Personally I wouldn't look at buying a house right away... look at nice places to rent for starters. to give you more flexibility if you choose to move to really find an area that you like. The last time Megacorp moved me, had we chosen a house in the week we first visited, even though the areas looked nice, it would have been a disaster.

- You need to play the "what is the worst that could happen" and determine if you could tolerate it. For example, what if several weeks or months after you move your boss suddenly says that the remote work is not working out, or there has been a change in policy/attitude, and you find yourself out of a job. Can you comfortably retire and live on your retirement+spouse income? Will you have to, or want to, seek work again - and what are the odds you can find something in the new area, knowing that you likely will not be making as much?
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Old 09-11-2014, 07:48 AM   #4
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First, I think you are underestimating the risk to your job if you move.
Perhaps, but I think you may be underestimating the risk to the business of losing me. Anything could happen, of course, and like I said, no one is irreplaceable, but the honest reality is that there is a greater chance of the company having to refund millions of dollars to customers for failure in their ability to support the product they've sold due to my departure. It's a risk, no question. And I need some guidance about how to deftly determine the actual amount of that risk, rather than relying on standard memes about the risk to my job.

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I think your position will be more at risk than you realize. I have personal and anecdotal experience of similar stories.
I have a very personal experience myself. We came to MA, actually, as a result of my spouse getting a job up here. I was working for a consultancy, and while it meant that my boss couldn't expect me to be in "the office" on the few days I wasn't with a client, anymore, he had no problem with me moving. I went on to work there for another four years, before leaving on my own terms. It's a different situation, of course - every situation is different from every other situation, by definition - but the trappings are the same: Some aspect of the situation makes it uniquely less likely to follow the standard meme.

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Second, since you are the higher earner and plan to spend longer in the workforce, the dollars at risk are greater if you get fired rather than your spouse.
True, but that has to be balanced off the possibility of continuing to earn Boston salary while incurring the (35% smaller) cost of living in Atlanta.

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Third, how well do you know the proposed new location? From my reading of your post, not very well. Beware of rose coloured glasses. You don't really get to know a community until you have lived there for a while.
That's a paralyzing way of looking at things. It rationalizes never taking any risk in life whatsoever, hunkering down, avoiding all perturbations even though they may make other aspects of life better, for one's self or one's loved ones. We do need to learn more about the place we'd be living. That's why I've secure the opportunity to go with my spouse on that business trip. I'll be working remotely that week, so there will be that small precedent set, as part of this. We'll try to inundate ourselves with experiences over the weekend, and in the evenings. However, we'll never be in a situation to live somewhere for a while before we move there. It's just not practical given the circumstances and given the point of considering the move in the first place. So the question I have for you is, given those realities, how to better overcome the lack of understanding of the community, without resorting to the drastic measures you suggest, and without throwing up our hands and claiming that there is no other way to get enough information to make a reasonable decision.

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First, I think your spouse should be very well compensated for making such a major move.
That's not going to happen. She's moving from a high income area to a low income area, and so her current salary would be considered by any reasonable manager to be a bump in compensation that more than makes up for making the move. It is more reasonable to speculate that my manager (doing the same math) trying to reduce my salary as a result of the move, than to project that my spouse's manager would offer a higher salary to make the move.

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If she is a key employee who is needed at HQ, then not only should she merit a significant raise, but Megacorp should support a job search for you in the new location, with a view to finding a job comparable to the one you have now.
I don't doubt that they'd do something along those lines, but the reality is that there no such job. My situation is unique - for the same reason I'm less likely to face the risks to my job that you speculated about above, I'm almost surely not going to find another job like this one, so finding another job for me is not part of the plan. While stuff happens, and you have to roll with whatever happens to you in life, the plan here is contingent on a high probability of keeping the job I have. I think it is reasonable for you to point out the need to do something (although I'm asking you what that might be) to ascertain how reliable that provision of the plan is; it is not reasonable to assume that keeping my current job cannot possibly happen and therefore any plan based on keeping my current job isn't a good plan.

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Moving expenses should be generously subsidized. I recommend that spouse not commit to anything without a decent family relocation package.
We're going to find out what that will be, soon. I think we're assuming that they'll cover about $8K as a flat reimbursement for what will surely be a small percentage of the actual cost of the move.

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Second, while it's fine to look at the housing market, be very wary of making an offer at this stage. An offer means you and spouse are committed and destroys your negotiating power.
No question about that. And we don't plan on signing any contract that isn't almost totally contingent on selling our home at a reasonable price.

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There are so many "what ifs" here that there is no certainty that you both would be any happier after such a move than before.
Nor any certainty that we wouldn't be much sadder staying here rather than moving. We don't know what tomorrow might bring. No one ever does. The activity needed here is to research and make an assessment of the probable future situation given both decisions (staying vs. moving).

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If spouse really wants to move and gets an attractive bump in salary for doing so, my suggestion would be for her to rent at the new location for a year.
Thanks for the suggestion. We're not interested in switching to a long-term relationship at this point in our lives. We're a couple, and we'll stay together. Also, we have had enough bad experiences with being remote landlords that we don't do that again. Finally, we cannot justify the expense of living in two cities at the same time.

One concern I have with what you've posted is that you haven't placed any value on the human side of the equation, except tangentially toward the end of your message. For example, you didn't even consider that I might be happier, personally, working remotely than working in the office. (I would; the office is a glare-y, uncomfortable environment.) Why wouldn't you consider those aspects more substantially than your comments indicated? I'm looking for insights to help us make the best decision for us, akin to the great comment you made about not signing contracts now, and akin to those that I feel you've left out of your advice, i.e., those that integrate how each of the two options will affect our life, rather than just our finances.
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Moving for Love
Old 09-11-2014, 08:01 AM   #5
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Moving for Love

You asked for insights. You got mine, and you seem to be very dismissive about them. No problem; I have a lot of experience with career driven moves, including international ones, but I cannot be expected to know the precise details of your situation, nor can I read your mind or that of your spouse. I can only posit some issues for consideration. I wish you good fortune however you decide, but I have nothing further to add.


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Old 09-11-2014, 08:11 AM   #6
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My "off the top of my head" thoughts:
- You need to be direct with your boss and ask him specifically if there are any issues with you working remotely that far. Are the other remote workers at that great a distance? Some places don't mind working remotely If one is still driving distance form the work location, in case there is an urgent need to get there.
As I indicated, there are a number of other remote employees. About eight out of forty, maybe. I'm actually angling to eventually move from my current position into that of another employee (actually acquiring her responsibilities along with keeping my own), who is about ten years older than I, and so won't be working that much longer, and she's been remote for about ten years. But yes, I really need to get a clearer indication that this is going be ratified by the company. I'm just not sure the best way of pinning them down, professionally.

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- During the week you are there, consider (if you have time) actually working from there and see how it feels.
Not considering it - doing it. I have three training sessions that week, two hour each, where I am the instructor. I'll be working remotely - that's already been very clearly cleared with the boss. Of course, there would be a difference working from a hotel room versus working from home - I think working from home would actually be substantially better (and I say that from a perspective of experience - I worked at home for three or four years, prior to my current job).

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- IMHO one week is not enough time to evaluate a place where you plan to move, particularly if this is when you expect to spend the rest of your life. Unfortunately I don't know you much time you have to spend additional time to really find out about the area.
As the previous poster pointed out, you really don't "know" until you've lived there months, and there is no way to get that level of assurance, practically speaking. I plan to make the prospect of moving from here to there the topic of conversation with at least one or two members of the church. I know of at least two of them, just from the sermons they've delivered, have experience living in both places. They don't know us, of course, but our faith is one that, I believe, fosters quickly coming to know and care about other members of the faith in such a way that I may get some good insights. If I don't, then that'll be a very important and critical indication that this idea of finding "home" there may not be reliable, and that would scuttle the move, all by itself.

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- Personally I wouldn't look at buying a house right away... look at nice places to rent for starters. to give you more flexibility if you choose to move to really find an area that you like.
Unless you're renting to buy, there will be substantial differences between where you live while you rent and where you live once you buy. Why invest in developing close relationships with your neighbor if your neighbor is there just temporarily? The experience of living where we'd have to live if we were renting would probably be enough, by itself, to send me home. Might as well not try. We've moved enough times that we know that renting is not for us.

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- You need to play the "what is the worst that could happen" and determine if you could tolerate it.
Yes that's a great way of putting it. The two big concerns I have have to do with heat and people. It's a lot hotter down there. It'll still be quite hot during our visit, so I can get a feel for it. The advice we've gotten so far indicates that, given that I'm not keen about snow, the hot and cold are an even trade.

The people issue is bigger (and that's why I had a problem with the previous poster's comments, which seemed utterly devoid of concern about the human aspect). Can I be happy living among these people (the few threads about this I've seen on City-Data have indicated that yes, that's easily overcome), but more importantly, can we establish close friendships - something which, quite frankly, we've had too little of here in MA.

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For example, what if several weeks or months after you move your boss suddenly says that the remote work is not working out, or there has been a change in policy/attitude, and you find yourself out of a job. Can you comfortably retire and live on your retirement+spouse income?
This was another question that I was kind of shocked, given the previous poster's focus on the financial, that was not asked. The realization - and I apologize that I didn't make this clear to start with - is that, barring a medical catastrophe, we probably can retire six years from now, even on just my spouse's salary between now and then. Of course, even if I lose my job, I'll probably get another one - but the answer to your question is that no, I wouldn't need to.

Worst case scenario: We could move to where my spouse's family is (Knoxville) and retire today.
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Old 09-11-2014, 08:12 AM   #7
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Hi bUU. I happen to live in none other than Alpharetta GA, and have for the last 19 years. I'd be happy to share info about the area with you via PM if that would help you. It's a very nice, though booming, area. Traffic certainly not as bad as Boston, though if you need to get on the major highways during rush hour, Atlanta traffic also sucks big time. Though that should not be an issue for you if you are remotely telecommuting.

You'll comparatively love the weather - I too, came from a cold weather climate (Michigan), so other that the summer months, Atlanta weather is awesome. We might get one snow fall per year (though that will paralyze the city for days).

As I'm sure you have already discovered, you'll get much more house down here for the same money, or be able to get something similar to what you currently have for much less. Having said that, the market down here has really recovered over the last 2 years, - my house has jumped in value from $350K (which was artificially low) to almost $500K during that time.

Lastly, I ERed 19 months ago from a Megacorp, in consulting. I was in a prominent position in a hot, hot, hot technology area. We all like to think we are irreplaceable, but it took Megacorp about 5 minutes to replace me (slight exaggeration, but you get the point). Perhaps your situation is different, but from my experience, it is never a good idea to think (or assume) that you are irreplaceable.

Hope that helps. PM me if there is anything I can help you with re: Alpharetta. Good luck with your decision!

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Old 09-11-2014, 08:15 AM   #8
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You asked for insights. You got mine, and you seem to be very dismissive about them.
For the reasons I mentioned. I do appreciate the effort you made though.

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I have a lot of experience with career driven moves
Okay that makes sense. Your advice seemed to be colored more by your own experiences rather than on helping determine what our experience would be. Fair enough.
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Old 09-11-2014, 08:23 AM   #9
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Hi bUU. I happen to live in none other than Alpharetta GA, and have for the last 19 years. I'd be happy to share info about the area with you via PM if that would help you.
That would be super. Thanks!

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It's a very nice, though booming, area. Traffic certainly not as bad as Boston, though if you need to get on the major highways during rush hour, Atlanta traffic also sucks big time. Though that should not be an issue for you if you are remotely telecommuting.
Yup. My spouse would be commuting, presumably from Roswell, specifically in the neighborhoods around Roswell Park. They look "perfect" for us, at least from what I've read about them. My spouse's assumption is a 25 minute commute via 400. Does that sound right to you?

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You'll comparatively love the weather - I too, came from a cold weather climate (Michigan), so other that the summer months, Atlanta weather is awesome. We might get one snow fall per year (though that will paralyze the city for days).
I suppose it is funnier hearing about it while safely ensconced in my living room, as my spouse relays the experience of being stuck in the hotel room for three days because no one else in the city can drive on the snow.

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As I'm sure you have already discovered, you'll get much more house down here for the same money, or be able to get something similar to what you currently have for much less. Having said that, the market down here has really recovered over the last 2 years, - my house has jumped in value from $350K (which was artificially low) to almost $500K during that time.
I think it's a wash. We've had the same experience, so being a seller here and a buyer there will be a draw.

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We all like to think we are irreplaceable, but it took Megacorp about 5 minutes to replace me (slight exaggeration, but you get the point). Perhaps your situation is different, but from my experience, it is never a good idea to think (or assume) that you are irreplaceable.
Of course, but that level of irreplacability is, for good or ill, a requisite part of the risk equation here. If there was a guarantee that I would be fired, then we would not move. If there was a guarantee that I would not be fired, then unless I encountered some really big incompatibility (regarding heat or people), then we would move. The reality is that there is a probability. The challenge is how to ascertain that probability, and how to weigh that probability against the other aspects of the decision. The only wrong answer is the black-and-white answer.
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Old 09-11-2014, 08:43 AM   #10
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I'll second that the traffic sucks in Atlanta area. But that's your spouse's worry, not yours.

Only you can say whether it is all worth the risk or not. But I tend to be of the opinion that sometimes you have to go with trying something new and seeing how it works. There are not many decisions that you make that you can't change your mind later and go in a totally different direction.
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Old 09-11-2014, 08:51 AM   #11
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Only you can say whether it is all worth the risk or not. But I tend to be of the opinion that sometimes you have to go with trying something new and seeing how it works. There are not many decisions that you make that you can't change your mind later and go in a totally different direction.
That's an interesting point. Is this the last place we'll ever live? Maybe. Maybe not. I'd figure its 50/50 that after we finally retire that we'll move once again just to be closer to one family or the other. So the idea of moving back, if we had to, or moving to some other place - that doesn't disturb us that much, though of course the preference would be to love it so much that we couldn't bear to leave.
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Old 09-11-2014, 08:57 AM   #12
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Assuming your wife would be travelling northbound on 400 in the morning and southbound in the evening, I'd say at least 25 minutes. Under those assumptions she is going opposite the main rush hour traffic, which is good. But the problem is getting to 400 - the main feeder roads she'd use in getting to 400 are very clogged in the AM and PM. She'll spend more time on those roads than on 400 ! (Seriously).
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Old 09-11-2014, 09:12 AM   #13
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I should have checked this morning, but right now Google Maps says 12 minutes. I have to remember to check at 5pm and again tomorrow morning at 8am.
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Old 09-11-2014, 10:08 AM   #14
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Sounds like 4 needs to satisfy (in my observed level of importance)

1. Your DW - you should get DW's level of desire to move and level to which her company is wanting her to move

2. Your job - you should get your company's ideas on you working remotely, and get ideas for a new career in Atlanta for 10 years as an alternative

3. Your church - Sounds like you have this one covered

4. Your family - Doesn't sound like a big deal - you only see them 3-4 times a year. That wouldn't be a decision maker for me.

So if you can drill down items 1 & 2 and get additional info, the decision should become much more clearer
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Old 09-11-2014, 10:39 AM   #15
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Hi bUU.

Please take my post without dismissing it out of hand.

I second Jollystompers suggestion to rent for a while before you buy. There are practical reasons for that. A neighborhood may look "perfect" on paper, but have issues that don't show up on paper. Traffic patterns may make it unacceptable but you don't realize until you're stuck in the traffic day in and day out. You may find a "church home" that is in a different area, and want to live closer to your church friends. There are so many reasons to rent for a while and LEARN the on the ground, day in/day out of the neighborhoods. I say this as someone who's lived in California, WA state, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Philly again, and then back to CA. Sure, you don't make as close connections with your neighbors from the get-go... but you preserve options to try another area. Also - if the move doesn't work out, you have more flexibility to return to Boston, or stay agile with all your options.

I, personally, did not adjust well to the culture of the Atlanta area. I lived in the city and commuted to the suburbs. (I was young and single so living near Piedmont park was a good thing for my social life.). The crime rate at the time (around '97) was higher than I expected... my car was broken into twice - once at home, once at work. I had a postal package stolen off my front porch, and that was just in the first 3 months I lived there... I had no clue about the high crime till I moved there. A coworker advised me that the local trick was to leave the car unlocked - so thieves would not have to break the window to steal your stuff... Lovely. (She lived in a high end suburb, btw... and had her car broken into a few times.) It may have changed (I hope it has) but that was a big negative. I fled back to my old area after just a few months... I was very glad I was renting. (Although I had gone to a lot of open houses in the meantime to learn the neighborhoods.)

Transaction costs make purchasing a bigger commitment to unwind if you pick the wrong area/neighborhood etc... If you've never lived in the metro area, learn the various areas before purchasing.
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Old 09-11-2014, 10:58 AM   #16
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Unless you're renting to buy, there will be substantial differences between where you live while you rent and where you live once you buy. Why invest in developing close relationships with your neighbor if your neighbor is there just temporarily? The experience of living where we'd have to live if we were renting would probably be enough, by itself, to send me home. Might as well not try. We've moved enough times that we know that renting is not for us..
I made that suggestion as I have also been in that situation with a corporate move. The week we went to check things out in the new location, we had a realtor showing us houses, and came oh so close to purchasing one of the houses we saw - and if we had done that, it would have been a disaster. Instead we chose to rent to get to know the area more and find out a house that, if we never had to move again, we would be happy living in. It took us 3 months but we found the house and the area and it was great. Even the realtor said it was a much better house and much better deal than the initial ones.

We didn't have any issues with close relationships - the ones we made while we rented we continues, they visit us, we visit them (the distance was less than 30 minutes), we find mutual places of enjoyment and meet up. No issues there.

Of course your mileage may vary, this is just what we experienced.

On the job front, a saying I learned in my career was "If you ever think you are so indispensable that the company cannot live without you, think again". In my company I have seen folks get major promotions and publicized awards and then get laid off 6 months later due to a "change in strategy". I am not saying you are not important, but personally I try not to take job accolades for granted these days.
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Old 09-11-2014, 11:15 AM   #17
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Interesting situation.

I try never to give advice, but totally agree with your first step...
Quote:
I'm accompanying my spouse on a business trip in a few weeks. We'll be there for a week, arriving Saturday morning so we can attend the church's coffee house Saturday night and worship Sunday morning. We'd also spend time over the weekend getting to know the area a little, and perhaps have a realtor show us homes. There appear to be a great number of them that are precisely what we're looking for, precisely where we want to live.
The more time in scouting the area, the better. Not just the house, but the people. A long term move, and possible permanent retirement location deserves much attention. Being comfortable with the neighbors, the neighborhood and the other-than-work offerings... pretty important.

And... I agree with the title...
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Old 09-11-2014, 11:25 AM   #18
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?...

Only you can say whether it is all worth the risk or not. But I tend to be of the opinion that sometimes you have to go with trying something new and seeing how it works. There are not many decisions that you make that you can't change your mind later and go in a totally different direction.
Sarah wrote my post for me, 100 percent. Do it. What's that saying, we regret most what we didn't do or something like that.

DD tried to resign from her first job of five years in DC to move to another city. She was asked to telecommute instead and is still at it eight years later, promoted, etc., etc. She could easily have found a similar position in the new city, though. If a home office is a work style you like, why not try it? Worst case, you hate it or your company lets you go: so you find a different job in Georgia, which you might want to consider anyway.

Would your spouse move if it were your job? Does she want to move vs finding a different job in Boston area--if it matters, would she have more opportunities in Atlanta area both within and without megacorp?

Good luck!!
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Old 09-11-2014, 01:18 PM   #19
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Sounds like 4 needs to satisfy (in my observed level of importance)

1. Your DW - you should get DW's level of desire to move and level to which her company is wanting her to move

2. Your job - you should get your company's ideas on you working remotely, and get ideas for a new career in Atlanta for 10 years as an alternative

3. Your church - Sounds like you have this one covered

4. Your family - Doesn't sound like a big deal - you only see them 3-4 times a year. That wouldn't be a decision maker for me.

So if you can drill down items 1 & 2 and get additional info, the decision should become much more clearer
An update on #2. I sat down with my boss to clarify my spouse's and my plans, and he made clear that I would be working for the company regardless. I don't have a written assurance, or much less one saying that my compensation wouldn't be reduced, but other than those nuances, he assured me that my job is secure.

#1 is interesting... My spouse really really wants to move. The company is willing to let my spouse continue working remotely from their office here, but would be happier if my spouse moved. I'm not sure I find that particularly illuminating though.

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I, personally, did not adjust well to the culture of the Atlanta area. I lived in the city and commuted to the suburbs. (I was young and single so living near Piedmont park was a good thing for my social life.)
The importance of getting a good feel for the community cannot be overstated. That's one thing I really like about looking for a home today as opposed to thirty years ago: There's so much data about some of the aspects. You mentioned crime - today we can compare the crime rate of the town we live in to the town we're moving to. Very cool.

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If you've never lived in the metro area, learn the various areas before purchasing.
I think it is important to change as few things as possible. So we'd be moving from a suburb that is almost identical in relation to its city as Roswell is from Atlanta. Some of the factors I've noted that I appreciate: Roswell and the town within which we live now are both beyond the scope of the city rapid transit system - both two towns beyond the outer reach. Both Roswell and the town within which we live now are not even on the commuter rail, but rather one town away from the commuter rail. The relative socio-economics of the two towns are similar, both between the two towns but more importantly between each town and its surrounding towns. Larry lives in a more upscale town next to Roswell; the town where my spouse would be working. The town we live in now is bordered by two suburban towns that are as much upscale from where live as Alpharetta is from Roswell.

I agree that if you've never lived in a city, it's risky to move to a city. Similarly, if you've never lived in a suburb, it's risky to move to a suburb. We're going much further than that. We live in a condo now; we would only consider living in a condo down in Georgia. We live in a relative new building now; we will only consider living in a relatively new building down in Georgia. We're trying to make sure that the number of differences are kept to the bare minimum.

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On the job front, a saying I learned in my career was "If you ever think you are so indispensable that the company cannot live without you, think again". In my company I have seen folks get major promotions and publicized awards and then get laid off 6 months later due to a "change in strategy". I am not saying you are not important, but personally I try not to take job accolades for granted these days.
Of course, but remember what I said: If I'm not that important to my company, then it is probably time to move on. The reason why we're talking about moving now is not because my spouse's company started becoming more insistent about the move, but rather because my spouse was getting fed up with how things were at my company - how my company appears to be just "stringing everyone along", hoping for hard realities to soften - my company's lethargy effectively putting my spouse's life on hold. Given that my spouse wants to be there, assuming we could both be happy living there, then it doesn't make sense for me to look for a new job here. If once we get there things are still just as bad or worse with my company, then - well - it is easier to find a new job there if we're living there than trying to find a new job there from here.

There is no question that your relationship to your job changes when you start working remotely. In this case, that may be a good thing.

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The more time in scouting the area, the better. Not just the house, but the people. A long term move, and possible permanent retirement location deserves much attention. Being comfortable with the neighbors, the neighborhood and the other-than-work offerings... pretty important.
My spouse believes that her co-workers are going to go overboard trying to get us to be social with them the week we're there. That'll give us another view of that aspect, beyond what we'll learn at church, from visiting neighborhoods, etc.

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Sarah wrote my post for me, 100 percent. Do it. What's that saying, we regret most what we didn't do or something like that.
I'm normally very risk-averse, but I do believe that taking too little risk is its own form of risk.

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Would your spouse move if it were your job?
What's really strange is that the last time I was the major bread-winner, we moved for my spouse's job (i.e., precisely the scenario we're looking at now). That's doesn't answer your question, though. I'm not sure what we've do in that circumstance - it's never been something we needed to consider.

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Does she want to move vs finding a different job in Boston area--if it matters, would she have more opportunities in Atlanta area both within and without megacorp?
Maybe my head isn't in the right place, but these considerations just seem beyond what we're thinking about. We're aiming much more narrowly, to the situation we're in now and the opportunities we have now. I don't think her company necessarily has more "other" opportunities there versus here. Call it even. The company acquiring our corporate parent has a big facility next to where my spouse's company is in Alpharetta (and nothing nearby where my company is now).

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Good luck!!
Thanks!
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Old 09-11-2014, 03:35 PM   #20
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I'd just caution that working remotely under current management may be OK, however, change happens and it could turn out to be a big negative under different management or a change in your mega-corp's policy (e.g. if we do it for one, we need to do it for all). I've seen this happen in my last corp which was a smaller piece of a much larger entity. This is probably more of a consideration for you since you are looking at working many more years.
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