What To Consider When Deciding on a Long-Distance Move
Relocating is scary on any scale. But relocating to a completely different state or even country can be even more intimidating. Don’t be afraid to take that leap, though. You never know what new opportunities and adventures await you. But if you still need a little more time to process, think about what to consider when deciding on a long-distance move.
We’ve moved across the country many times, and each move required a lot of conversations about expectations, wants, and needs. Even when the move felt right, it was often very mentally, physically, and emotionally challenging.
Narrow Down Your Reason
Narrowing down your reason might be one of the more difficult things to do. Sometimes people feel they need a good reason to relocate, while others feel they can just go with the flow. If you lean more on the former side, you need to find a good reason to uproot your life.
Consider making a pros-and-cons list. But here’s the trick. The list is not about quantity. It’s about quality. The pro side may be shorter than the con side, but your desire or need to go may matter more to you. If one reason outweighs the others, take the leap.
Check Your Finances
Next, you need to run through your current financial situation. If you’re moving for a job, that’s great. You’ll be receiving a steady source of income immediately. However, you still want to lower your current debt as much as possible and save all that you can.
If you’re lucky, a new job offer will include a moving stipend, but sometimes that stipend may not be enough to cover the moving services you desire or need. If you’re offered a stipend, confirm with your new company the amount allocated and the process for hiring a moving company. Do you need to pay for expenses upfront and wait on reimbursement? Will your new company foot the bill instead? Ask for specific details to avoid unnecessary costs throughout the moving process.
Whether you receive assistance for moving or not, moving long distance will surely cost money, and you need to be in the best financial situation possible. You also need to consider the cost of living in that new state. The money will differ from your current situation. The job you have should be able to economically sustain you and allow room for a small cushion.
Map Out the Process
Think about the process of long-distance moving. Think about the moving day and the days leading up to it. There are lots of moving parts. This may seem like an inconsequential tip, but it’s not. If you feel overwhelmed dealing with every facet of this move, you could end up holding it off. Map the details out to make things more manageable.
As you do this, make sure you run through all the dos and don’ts of packing for a long-distance move. You wouldn’t want to make a mistake when packing that creates issues or inconveniences for you. Carve out some time in your schedule to run through the process and write it all down. Whenever a new idea occurs, write it down to see if it will help you.
Consider the Taxes
Taxes are no joke, and neither is inflation. Don’t skip over this portion as so many others do. Taxes differ from state to state, so you need to think about them. Consider property tax, income tax, state tax, and federal tax.
If you’re moving to a high-taxing state, your job should reflect that. Remember that you may lose a significant portion of your salary to taxes every two weeks. Take note of this, and don’t live in a home above your means.
When we moved to Missouri from Washington, we were unaware of Missouri’s Personal Property Tax laws. We ended up having to pay a hefty tax on our leased vehicle. We didn’t plan for this and thought since it was leased it wasn’t “Personal Property.” We were wrong.
According to Missouri Law, you have to pay a Personal Property Tax Fee for any vehicle in your ownership on January 1st of each year, even if you move out of state on January 2nd. So, when we planned our move to California, we moved in December to avoid the taxes assessed in January.
Remember, while moving can be stressful, it can be very costly if not planned out properly. Consider everything on this list before gearing up for a long-distance move.
If you’re looking for help staying organized during your move, check out the Move Mama Move Relocation Planners with all the checklists, tips, trackers, and logs to keep you on top of it all during this major transition.