View Full Version : Moving without a job

9-2-11, 9:17am
How much would you save if you were going to quit your job and move where you wanted to move with no clear prospect of a job (not that there aren't any jobs, just without a job offer)? I mean, in terms of months of living expenses? What sorts of expenses besides a moving truck and boxes would you account for? I have got to get out of this city but Logical Me (or Chicken Me?) wants a plan and preferably a backup plan in place. We probably have about 4-5 mo of normal expenses (not bare-bones expenses) in place in our primary emergency fund, and a few more in our backup emergency fund.

9-2-11, 10:48am
To me it sounds like you have enough but I suppose it would depend on your industry and your destination city in part. If you are in biotech moving to the Twin Cities that's a whole lot different than if you are in livestock management moving to, I don't know, Pensacola?

Did you make any decision on the house? Now I am going to go find your house thread and check . . .

iris lily
9-2-11, 10:54am
Wait, you are moving without a job AND are maintaining two house payments?

Honestly, that doesn't sound like a good idea if you are currently employed. Leaving a source of income with having the financial obligations that you do is a huge problem in this economy, unless you are highly employable. And if that's the case, why wouldn't you get a job in your destination area first, before moving? I've moved across county a couple of times but always had the job in place before I moved.

9-2-11, 4:10pm
It looks like from the other thread that one of the houses is paid off. I think it would depend on what you decided to do with the house and what the job situation is like in CO in your field (I am assuming that is where you are going?). I assume you have a spouse/partner since you saw "we"...does one of you have a job or are you both in the same situation? Are you both working now? Just on the numbers front it seems like you have adequate savings to sustain yourself enough while you get settled and find employment. I think a good assessment of the employment outlook before you move is truly warranted before you decide to take the plunge. Its just me, and I am very conservative in my employment and financial stuff, but I would probably not move until one us two was offered a job. But, I do however have a friend who just up and decided to move to Australia with no savings, has a background in high finance hedge fund stuff and ended up working at a dog track as a bartender for a year...loved it. So, you never know if you're missing out by not taking the plunge or making a mistake by not being well thought out.

9-3-11, 4:42pm
One house is paid off, so one mortgage pmt. Most likely we'll rent it out for an indefinite length of time, in which case our housing expenses would be a few hundred/mo plus maintenance (some of which could be curtailed to a point in the CO house unless funds were there). As far as job outlook: unemployment is below US avg in CO; about avg in Phx. DH has a stable job with fairly sought-after skills (IT stuff) here. My job here was initially stable but gets iffier as time goes on and the depression...err "Great Recession" wears on. I'm well set up to get into the health care field but most jobs require some schooling/certification so that's what I'm looking at. I see temporary jobs with my skill set though the worry is overqualification. We are both looking but some jobs I think I could get if I didn't have an out-of-town address, KWIM? In my mind I have decided that we may as well move by spring, but it's tempting to move earlier. I'm taking a couple of classes so probably won't do anything til at least Dec barring a large sudden windfall >8) I'm just trying to mentally give myself permission because otherwise I get really down at the prospect of an indefinite stay, or even another summer. Thanks for the responses...just wanting to know that I'm not completely foolish to consider this if it goes that way.

9-3-11, 6:51pm

I would apply for jobs you are interested in, regardless. YOu won't know until you try. DH should be looking, too. That way if something comes up, you can always negotiate if you need more time to set things up for a move. Maybe the employer won't be open to that, but it will put you on their radar screen. My sister's first real career job in IT (a place where she has been quite successful) came about when she applied for a phone support job that she didn't get, but they liked her and thought she would be great for testing. So when a testing job came up a few weeks later, they gave her a call. She probably would have been miserable in phone support, but is a whiz at testing. Anyway, my point is you don't know what is out there and often the best jobs are not always totally open to all comers, so get on the radar screen of a few companies you are interested in (and network with people there to the extent you can) and your chances will probably improve.

As to the moving without a job question, we were prepared to do that in 2007. DH and I actually both resigned at the same time, but our employer talked him into staying and offered to let him work remotely most of the time. I had lined up a grant for language study, but it was a significant paycut. We had OODLES in savings -- like 4-5 years of our current expenses at the time -- and that six-month interim payment system before we pulled the resignation trigger. That may be excessive for some, but we really had no idea what our job prospects were going to be like after moving, so that felt safe to us.

Sorry AZ hasn't worked out as you hoped in so many ways. I remember when you were struggling to make the decision of whether or not to move, buy a second house, etc. Things changed a lot between when you made the decision and now, obviously. DOn't beat yourself up about it, though. Sounds like you and your DH are both highly employable, so hopefully you will get back to CO soon and things will start looking up.



9-10-11, 3:56pm
Thanks for the advice, Llamo. I do struggle with not beating myself up about it, some days more successfully than others. I do think about people caught up in other calamities like the Great Depression, and try to extrapolate on how they were caught up in larger issues beyond their control too. Also I try to remember that the decisions were made with the best information I had at the time, and I had considered some of the "what if" scenarios. Good thing, too-DH spent something like 8 mo looking for a job but we had planned on potentially only having one income so while we weren't able to save a whole lot during that time we didn't ever think that we'd be unable to pay bills or the mortgage. At this point I'm trying to figure out how much I can stand, and how likely it would be to be a colossal mistake *if* we didn't have jobs when we moved back. I think DH isn't as unhappy so he may stay longer but we'll see. We're both looking and some stuff may change in the next few months.

9-10-11, 4:14pm
I'm a bit of a risk taker when it comes to stuff like quitting a job and just picking up and moving - especially if I have the finances in place to cover ALL my projected expenses for awhile. However, I also play out the worst case scenario in my head before I do anything. That way I make sure that if the worst case did happened, I'd still be comfortable with my choice. That I'd be willing to take the chance even if things didn't work out perfectly.

So I'd look at your worst case scenario first: i.e. no jobs before money runs out. House in AZ not rented. No medical insurance or it increases in cost as well as costs for any uncovered medical dental, eye bills, and cost increases for things on BOTH your properties: home insurance, utilities, property taxes, maintenance and repairs. Costs to maintain or replace your vehicles as well as increases in insurance and registration in a new area. Etc.... Then decide that if the worst case were to happens, if you would still be happy with your decision to move. Decide if you would be OK with taking lower wage jobs that may be beneath your skill/professional level in order to live in CO.Or maybe having to move elsewhere (back to AZ) if nothing panned out for you job wise. Think about how you would live and what your life would be like if the worst case happened. Could you do it and be happy? Would it just be a temporary minor set back for you guys, or would it have a big negative impact on your life now, and in the future? And let that guiide you in making a decision. YMMV after all. You may realize you'd rather stay put in AZ where you have a job for awhile longer and save more money to more security, or you may decide that you could handle the worst case scenario (which may never happen) and be willing to make any sacrifices needed at that time so you can live in CO now.

Now if you asked me if I'd do it? Absolutely!! I am a firm believer in the "life is too short to be unhappy" motto and if I didn't like my life and was able to change it, I would. In a heart beat. But I'm a person who is also very willing to make BIG financial and lifestyle downgrades in order to live the life I want. Many people aren't willing to do that. But I would do it if I were in your situation and hope for the best. Absolutely! Heck, I'd be in my car enroute right now :-)!

9-11-11, 12:03am
Thanks for the words of wisdom, Spartana! I have a few backup plans but yeah it's good to look at absolute worst-case scenario. That would be living for an extended time in the basement of one parent or other (mine or MIL). I'm already definitely considering a drop in "status" and pay. Lucky for us we wound up with a drop in total income followed by a sudden increase compared to our old life and we never have gotten too used to spending up to our income. I worry some about a drop in income but mostly in the case where the house doesn't get rented out at all, we have a big sustained (for the long term) drop in income and some other difficult expense comes to pass like a health problem. Would I regret it? Probably not. If we had hard times, it'd be surrounded by friends and family rather than having hard times far away and feeling isolated (where we are now). But I'll definitely think about every bad case scenario and discuss with DH.

9-11-11, 4:14am
How attached are you to the house in CO? Is there any possibility of selling that and downsizing? How much of a cash stash would it generate if you were to sell it in basic living costs, figuring in the cost of renting? Might feel like a major step back financially, but if you aren't absolutely in love with the house maybe that is the best way to fund a fresh start.

But if I were you I would put all my extra time as a couple into getting new jobs in CO. Sounds like you are both solidly employable.


9-16-11, 12:48am
I have thought about the CO house. DH really, really likes it and it's a good place for us. I did think about getting equity out to rid ourselves of Phx house but not about using it for living expenses. Because we have some savings and lots of opportunities to live very cheaply with relatives and friends I'd hesitate to do that. If we really needed to do it, we might be able to live in someone's basement while renting out the house and even if we paid some small rent for the basement we'd possibly be able to get housing costs to near zero if it came to that. It would suck to do but that's definitely among the backup-backup plans. I'm taking 7 credits of class work until early Dec so that's probably the earliest we'll move. Gotta deal with the burnout til then, at least. I found out I may be able to take a certification exam that would potentially lead to more jobs, without taking more classes so will be looking into that for sure. Doubly awesome would be if I could get into the job it qualifies one for, then have my employer pay for the next bit of schooling (this may be possible b/c I've spoken to someone who's done this). I also applied for a PT position which might allow me to take classes. We'll see, though it's probably unlikely. Any one job app is likely to end in failure, it's the law of odds for a targeted search that yields fruition. Best case scenario is that we both get good job offers within a close time range. Worst case is we move w/o jobs and it's both way more expensive than we anticipated and takes way longer to get even crappy jobs. Not sure I'd regret that though. Maybe if I wound up way deeper in debt, or Yellowstone blew and wiped out all of CO while sparing AZ (which would be then pleasant since the volcanic winter would make the temps bearable!).

9-20-11, 3:18pm
Best case scenario is that we both get good job offers within a close time range. Worst case is we move w/o jobs and it's both way more expensive than we anticipated and takes way longer to get even crappy jobs. Not sure I'd regret that though. Maybe if I wound up way deeper in debt, or Yellowstone blew and wiped out all of CO while sparing AZ (which would be then pleasant since the volcanic winter would make the temps bearable!).

Snow in PHX? Yep, nuclear winter is good for some :-)! Being a "worst case scenario" person myself (but didn't get quite as far as a new ice age in my scenario) I think you sound prepared to leave the jobs, move to CO and see what happens. You seem like you have covered all the potential pitfalls - which probably will never happen anyways - and decided you are willing to take the chance no matter what. Now it's just taking that step off into the unknown - hoping it's just a little curb instead of a big cliff. But it sounds like you've come to the conclusion that even if it is a cliff instead of a little curb, you're prepared to handle it. Good Luck! Life is short and you gotta live your dreams IMHO.