My husband was laid off from his job a few weeks ago. We have a toddler and live in Chicago. I've lived here forever, all of my family and friends are here, and I have a job I love here. So far, he hasn't come across any opportunities in this area, but we've seen some great looking job postings in smaller cities in flyover states. (Think Des Moines and Omaha.) Should he consider pursuing these opportunities, or should we stay where we are and struggle along?
posted by GirlLikesBeer to Work & Money (26 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I love living in Chicago - my whole life is here. My husband grew up elsewhere and is more eh on it. Realistically, my husband has better job opportunities elsewhere. But we have some complicating factors in deciding whether or not to consider moving.
1. My husband has a chronic health condition and has some complex medical needs. He has a great team of doctors here that he's worked with for a long time. There are doctors in these smaller cities, but they're nowhere near as cutting edge as what we can get where we are. Plus, he has a medical emergency of some sort that requires hospitalization 1-2x a year now - it's a lot easier to deal with that with family right there to help out. (I also worry that he'll eventually not be able to work at all, which would bring it's own set of problems.)
2. Along with #1, he can't drive because of this medical condition. Where we live now, he can walk or take a bus or train to get everywhere he needs to go. In these smaller cities, he'd mostly have to depend on me for rides (since public transit is so spotty there and they aren't really walkable).
3. Our salaries were comparable before the layoff (I make $107k a year, he made around $100k), but we'd probably both see a little bump. Couple that with a much lower cost of living and we'd be quite wealthy.
4. However, we're in different functions in the same industry (he's a lawyer, I do analytical work), and there's not that many companies in this industry where we are now. It could be quite a long time until he finds something here, and it may be at a lower level than where he is now. He says he's ok with that, and he's said he's ok with maybe taking a non-legal job in our industry, but I don't know that he really means it. Since he's a lawyer, and all we ever hear about is how tough the legal field is, I'm not sure he could easily switch industries to a different legal position either.
5. We can get by on my salary for awhile, but we'll have to move and change our son's school and not save much of anything for retirement. I have no idea how we'd save for college, either. We do have cash reserves in the $150k range (emergency fund + house downpayment), and we have $300k saved for retirement, so we can have a bad year or two and still be ok.
6. Because there isn't a ton in our industry here, I don't think we can really move for a couple of years and come back if we don't like it. I've already job-hopped a bit as it is. I love my current job and have been here a year and a half. If I leave this job, take another job, and have another short stint, I think it would raise some red flags to hiring managers.
7. I love big cities. We went to Des Moines for a visit and I just couldn't see myself being really happy there. It looks ok on paper (low COL, great schools, high salaries), but it mostly just felt like one big suburb. Plus, we are atheists, and it felt a lot more church-y there than we're used to. I worry we wouldn't fit in.
So, our options at this point are to stay here in a place we're happy and have a support network, hope he finds something, and sort of limp along financially; or for me to suck it up, expand his search to these smaller, far away cities with more opportunities and possibly better salaries, and not have to worry about money again, but be far away from family, friends, and medical care.
What say you, Ask MeFi? Move for the money, or stay and wait it out and risk less money and financial stability? Or another option I'm not thinking of? I think this would be a very different conversation were it not for his poor health, and I tend to let that cloud my judgement, so I'm hoping to get some good feedback.