Thursday, 9 May 2013

Moving to another city for a higher paying job: is it worth it?

Obviously the title of the post is more ambitious compared to the actual content of this post. Here I want to share somethings you might want to consider before you make the move.

So you have a job offer with higher pay from another part of the country, should you go?

The first thing to evaluate is if the job really does pay more factoring in the possible expenses. For example, moving expenses can cost you thousands. From Toronto to Calgary, a large U-haul truck rental costs about 3000 dollars. Some moving companies charge a bit less, but you should still be looking at around 1500 to 2000 dollars for moving the contents of a bachelor/one bedroom. Are you driving or having the car moved over? Don't forget the gas money for the ~1000 dollars to move the car. If you are living at home right now, don't forget to add the cost of renting an appartment. Is there a difference in car insurance between the cities? Any differences in income tax rates? If you consider all these costs, would you still end up making more money the first year?
A great tool for this part is paycheck city's salary calculator for your take home pay:

Next thing to look at is whether you are really willing to leave behind what you have now. Do you have a family in the current city, a significant other? Are they coming with you? Are you tied down with a mortgage or do you own a property? Can you rent out the property, preferably with a positive cash flow?

Do you think you can work at this job long term, or is it a make money and leave type of thing?
How are different are the lifestyles between the two cities?
Do you think you will be able to fit into the community well?

So far I have been talking about similiar jobs, one has higher pay. Now it's time to think about your career, is the opportunity better for you in the mid- to long term?

Are you comfortable with this decision? Do you think you will regret not taking this job or taking this job more?

Personally I will be moving from Toronto to Calgary this summer. Part of it is that the job offer I received had tempting financial incentives, but most of the reasons are personal. I have always wanted to visit the Canadian Rockies, and moving to Calgary will hopefully afford me ample opportunity to explore them leisurely. Another is I wanted something new in my life, I was getting a bit tired of the routine here in Toronto. Also, I wanted my own place. I know it is financially responsible to perhaps keep living at home a few more years, but I crave the freedom of having my own place and that is too expensive in Toronto considering what my salary will be. Also, if I lived at home in Toronto, I will spent an average of 2.5 hours commuting each day. On the other hand, in Calgary, I can spent most of that time working, and have four 9 hour day work weeks. I can work more on my day offs or explore the Rockies like I wanted.

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