Congratulations — you got a new job!
Now, it’s time to think about relocating.
Packing, moving, and settling into a new place can be a stressful and costly undertaking. Paying attention to the details early on can help ensure your move goes forward without a hitch.
Here are a few things you need to know and do before relocating for a new job:
1. Review Your Relocation Package
The first thing on your to-do list is discussing the relocation package with the recruiter or hiring manager.
The most popular form of relocation assistance is a lump-sum payment, according to a 2018 Society for Human Resource Management survey. Other relocation packages may include itemized reimbursement for moving-related expenses, such as travel, accommodations, and meal costs while you’re in transit. An employer may even go as far as covering real estate transaction expenses when you sell a home and buy another one in a new location.
The relocation package is part of the offer that you can negotiate before accepting a job. Take a moment to write down everything you’ll need to take care of before, during, and after the move. Bring up your needs at the negotiation table when discussing the offer.
2. Decide How You’ll Pay for the Out-of-Pocket Costs of Moving
According to HomeAdvisor, a local mover can charge $80-100 per hour. Long distance moves can cost up to $10,000, and even DIY moves can be pretty expensive, with costs ranging from as little as $50 to as much as $3,000.
You have a few options if you need to pay for all or part of your move out of pocket. One strategy is to save up prior to moving, if time allows. Try opening a dedicated savings account and depositing funds biweekly or monthly into the account. You can even ask your payroll department to deposit a portion of your paycheck directly into the account. A personal loan may also be an option to think about if you need to borrow money.
3. Understand How Tax Changes Will Impact Your Life and Pay
Find out what the taxes are like for the state and local municipality where you’re moving. Some questions to answer are:
- What’s the sales tax?
- What’s the property tax?
- How will state and local income tax rates impact your paycheck?
For example, if you’re moving from a state without an income tax to one that has an income tax, you should consider how your take-home pay will change as a result. If you will be selling a property, buying a property, or splitting residency between multiple states in one year, it may be a good idea to consult with a tax professional on what your tax strategy should be.
4. Create a Checklist of the Logistics
Besides preparing financially, there are some living logistics that need to be squared away. Start looking for dentists and doctors in your new neighborhood. Check for the nearest grocery store, hospital, pharmacy, post office, and school.
List out each company you need to notify of your new address like your bank, lender, insurance company, or wireless company. Consider turning on electronic billing to alleviate some of the paper mail that needs to be forwarded. You don’t want important mail like a medical bill to get lost during the forwarding process. Unpaid bills can do a number on your credit.
Don’t let the logistics of moving dampen the excitement of landing a new job. Start proactively planning today, and your future self will thank you for making the move as painless as it could be.
Taylor K. Gordon is a freelance writer who contributes to MagnifyMoney.