Before moving to a new state, it is important to have a clear understanding of what you can expect from the move and your new location. Yet, many people fail to ask the right questions, thereby resulting in added frustration and stress from the move. To help make the relocation process go as quickly as possible, be sure to ask these important but often overlooked relocation questions.
Can I Afford the Cost of Living?
Even if you have a new job lined up with a salary that is greater than what you are currently earning, this does not guarantee you will make enough money to live comfortably in the new location. Some parts of the country have a higher cost of living than other areas, which means you need to factor in the cost of living of the new state in order to determine if you can afford to live there. A quick Internet search will bring up several cost of living calculators that you can use to get a better idea of how far your dollars will stretch at your new location.
Which is the Right Neighborhood for Me?
While moving to a particular city may be a good change for you, the neighborhoods within that city can vary significantly. Therefore, it is important for you to thoroughly research the neighborhoods in order to select the one that best suits your lifestyle and needs. As someone who is relocating to the area, you will need to depend largely on the knowledge and expertise of a real estate agent to help match your needs with the neighborhood that is right for you. The Internet can also be a great help when it comes to researching this topic.
Will I be Lonely?
If you are moving to a new city or state that is far away from family and friends, you need to consider whether or not you will start to feel lonely and isolated. While moving certainly provides the opportunity to add to your social circle, meeting new people and forging new bonds can be extremely difficult for some people. Furthermore, if you are responsible for helping to care for a family member or if you anticipate being needed in this way in the future, moving will make it far more difficult for you to fulfill these responsibilities.
What are the State Benefits?
The state benefits that are available to residents can have a significant impact on your pocketbook, especially if you are used to getting a particular benefit at your current state that is not offered at the new state. State income tax and sales tax are two factors that can differ greatly from one state to the next. If you are a Veteran, the state Veteran benefits can be quite different when comparing your current state to the one where you plan to move. The same is true for college savings programs. While every state offers some type of 529 plan, some only offer either prepaid tuition or a college savings program while others offer both. Similarly, some states offer tax benefits for contributing to the 529 plan.