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Discussion Starter #1
We've been struggling financially for the last several years with no signs of relief. My career is stalled and wife's just about maxed out at her current employer. Our house is too expensive for us, we’re indentured servants to our kids’ private school, and she has a two shoe a day habit.

According to my recruiter, I’m the front runner for a leadership position that includes a $30k salary bump and paid housing. Free housing and no tuition payments means we could be essentially debt free within two years of selling our current house. The rub? Our lives are on the east coast and the job is in Missouri. Still, I only see opportunity—the Missouri college town has excellent schools, safe neighborhoods and is only 90 minutes from my parents. She's not on board. She’s naturally apprehensive about leaving her hometown (and her mother), finding a job and the unknown. She’s not opposing me flying out for the final round of interviews, but she’s been casually dismissive of the idea of moving.

What can I do to help her see this could very well be the opportunity of our lives? Debt free in two years?! Flush savings accounts, retirement accounts, and college funds. Affording her dream house in five years or less. That second car we so desperately need. Or we can stay with our insecure status quo. :scratchhead:
 

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When I got my first job out of college (I too live on easy coast near major city)... it was in east nowhere, Iowa. I had no money, no real prospects besides this iffy job prospect, I didnt know a single person.

I didnt hesitate because I was single, young, blissfully ignorant.

30 years later - I know that decision changed my life. It set me up for success. That is also where I met my then future wife. You never know how things are going to turn out. Things almost went horribly, horribly wrong too. I was lucky and everything worked out.

You should be careful however. House, kids, 2 jobs. Yes - its a grind, but its working. I have seen this scenario before and I always get nervous when I feel that someone is getting a stiff neck while staring at the greener grass on the other side of the fence.

What kind of job is this with 'free housing'? just curious.

Also - you get there, she isnt going to have a job and has in fact - given up her career (?) and is perhap moving away from her family. Your kids will still have to go to school regardless.

Though you say she is being dismissive of the thought of moving - I would suggest that you better not be to dismissive about making large plans like telling your wife to quit her job and move away from her family and fairly comfortable life just becauseyou feel like you have a better job prospect. I understand you are also feeling trapped in a dead end. Im playing devils advocate a little - but seems to me like she might almost be better off staying where she is at, right?

Guess what I am saying - is that you will not be able to just wave a wand and prove your case. You need to really, really talk this through. Moving away from home is no small matter, right? Dont focus too closely on that monetary bump - I feel this is bigger than that.

My wife moved away from her family (from the midwest) and followed me back to the easy coast. She has never complained but I can see the kind of sacrifice this has been for her and I try to compensate mymaking every encouragement I can for visits and travel and the like.
 

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"Debt free in two years?! Flush savings accounts, retirement accounts, and college funds. Affording her dream house in five years or less. That second car we so desperately need."

Is it such a simple slam dunk?

Let me ask - since this is an anonymous board... 1) How much do the 2 of you make together, 2) how much will you be making at the new job if you get it 3) How much debt do you currently have and 4) what is your current monthly expense total?

Have you actually run the numbers?

Have you considered what would happen if you get the job, get there - and it falls through or doesnt work out in the first 6 months? I guarantee your wife has considered this... what do you think?
 

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Thanks for your feedback. I absolutely recognize that this is a MAJOR life decision.
1. The employer knows getting talented folks to move to the middle of Missouri may be a challenge so they've sweetened the package by including paying for housing. I haven't gotten the offer so I don't know all of the details.

2. My plan is not to have her pick up and move. The plan would be for her and the kids to wrap up our lives on the coast while I start my new gig and send them money. She could look for jobs etc.
 

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Not a simple slam dunk, but a very feasible future considering.

I've definitely run the numbers. We make about $170k. I'd be making about $85k at the new gig. We spend about $23k per year on tuition and about $32k per year on mortgage. That's $55k per year without counting other expenses, her shopping, vacation etc. We have about $30k in student loan debt and $5k in assorted other debt.

Best case scenario she gets a job and we sell our house within a year. That means we'd have $0 tuition, and $0 mortgage payment. With a healthy portion of what we were previously spending we pay down our debt. The most aggressive payment schedule would have the loans and other debt erased in about 2 years. Then we'd be able to start aggressively saving. When we first married we saved $1100 per month for over a year in order to purchase our house.

I'm not suggesting it will be easy to do, however, we've got nothing but years of the same ahead of us unless something drastically changes. There are tons of pros and lots of cons but there's more hope for the future with a move.
 

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Of course we don't HAVE to send the kids to private school but the public schools in our area are under resourced, overcrowded and rife with mediocrity. And we live in a nicer area of the city with the "good public schools". Our niece has just completed 8th grade in the schools our kids would attend and did not have a healthy experience. Far too much negative and/or indifferent influences from peers and faculty alike. The schools are more about containment than achievement. The students who perform the best most often have a stay-at-home parent who can ensure an optimal experience.
 

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I've researched the Missouri schools. Three of the elementary schools have the highest test scores in the state. Two of the six high schools in the district are nationally ranked. Parents in every forum I consulted gave the district rave reviews. Great Schools ranked many of the schools very highly as well. Check one in the pros column.
 

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Not a simple slam dunk, but a very feasible future considering.

I've definitely run the numbers. We make about $170k. I'd be making about $85k at the new gig. We spend about $23k per year on tuition and about $32k per year on mortgage. That's $55k per year without counting other expenses, her shopping, vacation etc. We have about $30k in student loan debt and $5k in assorted other debt.

Best case scenario she gets a job and we sell our house within a year. That means we'd have $0 tuition, and $0 mortgage payment. With a healthy portion of what we were previously spending we pay down our debt. The most aggressive payment schedule would have the loans and other debt erased in about 2 years. Then we'd be able to start aggressively saving. When we first married we saved $1100 per month for over a year in order to purchase our house.

I'm not suggesting it will be easy to do, however, we've got nothing but years of the same ahead of us unless something drastically changes. There are tons of pros and lots of cons but there's more hope for the future with a move.
I'm not sure you've thought this through well at all.

It took me all of 10 seconds to figure out your wife makes a very nice salary that is approximately double what you make:

You: right now make $55k ($85k expected salary less the $30k expected pay bump). Your wife: right now makes $115k ($170k combined salary less your $55k salary), or 2.1x your salary.

Why is your wife maxed out at her current gig? One possibility is that her salary is high - there likely is stiff competition for jobs at that level. A second possibility is that she is limited by education or skill set. Either way, maybe she cannot come close to her current salary if she had to get a new job. For that matter, maybe she really likes where she's at and doesn't want to do something different.

I've personally seen where people at lower-paying jobs (which are relatively plentiful) don't understand why someone at a higher income level can't just go out and get another job. It's like there is an attitude of "I added another $XXX to my salary - why can't you do the same?" Are you possibly guilty of this?

Honestly, you guys have more of a spending problem than an income problem. You complain about the cost of private school. Why can't you take that money and move to a nicer neighborhood that allows you to keep your current job? Also, have you considered that private school tuition is temporary but the impact of your move is potentially far more long lasting?

You were asked why this potential new employer would provide such a nice compensation package. Your answer is that they have to in order for people to agree to work there. Well, that answer goes without saying and suggests a lack of analysis.

So, let's dig a little deeper. Why do they have to pay so much in order for people to want to work there? One possibility is it's a high cost of living area and they have to pay that much so people can afford to live there. That's not likely in Missouri, but if it is your economic gain might not be as much as you think.

A second possibility is that it is simply a place not many people want to be. And that usually happens when there aren't many opportunities overall (employment, socially, or whatever). What would your wife's job prospects be in this new place?

A third possibility is that the job pays good because you will be working your ass off. I'm thinking of people I know who used to work for consulting firms, making really good money but working 80+ hours a week. Will you have to travel or work long hours?

Bottom line is that if it looks too good to be true, then it probably is. If this was just a good paying job, with a good employer, in most places people would be lining up to work there. You need to do your due diligence and see what's up.
 

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How is the plan to be debt free if she moves and takes the risk of a major pay cut herself? Is she going to be able to transfer her job?
What if she can't ever find a job where you are going - you certainly can't live on your one income at the lifestyle you all are used to. Will you live apart until she can find another job? If so - will she be living alone while your son moves to this great new, free school? Will you be okay with that?

Also - having moved from the more East Coast type area to the Midwest - there's a lot more than finances ultimately involved in that move. You'll be moving to an entirely new culture. And the shopping your wife is used to may or may not be available in well - a college town in Missouri. Is she going to be okay with that?

Also - spending $100,000 a year on shopping and vacations while not paying down debts seems, a bit off. This job change won't fix anything if a mentality doesn't change. Like - are you saving for vacations and hence why you only have one car?
 

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Ok guys. Neither I nor the story is as simple as I've made it seem. I was generalizing. I am more optimistic about the move than continuing in the status quo. I posted here in hopes of getting some perspective on talking to my spouse about relocating. I'm familiar with the area. I spent 21 years growing up in the vicinity. She's not opposed to moving there per se. Shes said ad much each time we've visited. The unemployment rate there is 4.9%. job Growth in the area has steadily increased for the last three years. She's already got two solid leads on jobs in the area at a comparable salary. The cost of living is substantially less. If necessary, we could live on one salary for a time if we tighten our belts and eliminate tuition and mortgage payments for awhile. We don't spend $100k; we gross $170k but obviously net considerably less. I've researched the new job. The salary is on par. The housing bonus is to entice someone from a broader talent pool. The president is a recent transplant from Philly and is building a strong team. Harder to find that level of talent in mid-Missouri. All that said, I appreciate the push back. I'll need to be certain not to generalize when discussing it with my wife. Anyone had to have the relocation talk with a spouse? If the offer is what I suspect/hope it represents a solid opportunity.
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My brother who is a lawyer in the mid west said that his employer was looking to fill his role for more than a year. They were looking for a lawyer with relevant industry experience. They all wanted to stay on the east coast and tele work.

So his employer dropped the industry experience and hired my brother.

That's one example of how the mid west is not all that attractive for some people.

Maybe the two of you can also come to terms with your current consumption patterns. That can go along way to making ends meet.
 

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Free housing is tied to this job, right? So - what happens if for unforeseen circumstances you lose the job?

Harder to find that level of talent in mid-Missouri.
Uh - just to ask, if the schools are so excellent - why is it so hard to find talented/educated people to fill jobs?
 

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You struggle on $170K per year?

Seriously?

If this is true, then you do not manage your income/expenses in a conservative manner.

Why do you think it will be any different in another city? You will still "struggle" because you do not know how to manage your money so you won't struggle.

I think there are 2 things going on here:

1) "Geographics"....if we move...if I get a different job...if I get free housing...then I will have more money & my life will be better.

2) You WANT that new job that is a better opportunity for YOU...but maybe not for your family.

I think your wife is happy with her job, living where she does near her Mother (does Grandma help with the children?) with the childrens' school & their activities, with your home, with your life.

If she wasn't happy, she would not be throwing up objections.

A long time ago, my husband had a job opportunity in Nevada (we live in CA). Call me selfish, but I had a job I loved, friends, families, extended family to help with our children. Our children had their friends, activities & became very close to extended family & still are today.

Sure his job offer came with a higher salary & the cost of living was cheaper in Nevada but at what cost? A miserable wife? He decided that a happy wife was more important to him & the family then moving.
 

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I have so much baggage over moving repeatedly for my husband's career that I will probably have trouble being objective here. I ended up 600 miles from all family, gave up 2 jobs I loved, and live in a climate I would never choose and in area where the social and religious cultures are a complete mismatch. Still married, though! :) My advice: know exactly why you want to do this and stick to those "arguments". Know exactly why your wife doesn't want to move, and LISTEN to those. Don't drag in every other element under the sun concerning the move and paint them positive to amass a weight of evidence. It won't ring true, it might sound like justification and rationalization. Pros and cons don't work for me because they all don't have the same weight. In my life described above, I agreed to move because being with my husband where he wanted to be was always more important than the reasons I didn't want to go. It was hard, hard, hard, and I lived for years with the expectation that someday it would be my turn to move for MY career, or choose our retirement home someday. Unfortunately I seem to have trained him that whither he wanders I will go. If the financial "solution" is your primary or only motivator, I'll bet you could put the same energy into "solving" things right where you are. I could suggest a bunch of things about why ELSE you might want to move. You can identify those on your own, but you have to be sure, so you can know how much persuading you are willing to do. Good luck! If I were your wife, I'd probably be packing already, starting with the door mat. ;)
 

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Who knew folks would be so judgmental? Yes we struggle at $170k the cost of living is high and we've chosen to invest heavily in our children's education. We aren't exactly fiscally conservative but we're not stupid either. Consumption is a concern but not our biggest concern. For example we have $0 credit card debt. We simply don't make enough money to get traction to do more. Save more or build more. Lesson learned, in the future I won't post anything I don't expect to be thoroughly scrutinized. Bottom line: I genuine appreciate all the feedback, however I was seeking advice on a broader question. We're not saving as we'd like, tuition is outrageous, and we're limited by our current jobs and geographic location to make substantive changes. We cannot afford to move to a neighborhood with better schools. We already live in the best one within a 15 miles radius beyond that housing costs are prohibitive. Even if we made a profit selling our house we couldn't afford to move for better schools. Moving for better schools and lower cost of living is smart and responsible if all things work for our family--she can find work etc. she hasn't thrown out any objections other than she felt it may be too expensive. I'm anticipating a tough conversation so I posted here for some advice. Any more objective voices?
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Who knew folks would be so judgmental? Yes we struggle at $170k the cost of living is high and we've chosen to invest heavily in our children's education. We aren't exactly fiscally conservative but we're not stupid either. Consumption is a concern but not our biggest concern. For example we have $0 credit card debt. We simply don't make enough money to get traction to do more. Save more or build more. Lesson learned, in the future I won't post anything I don't expect to be thoroughly scrutinized. Bottom line: I genuine appreciate all the feedback, however I was seeking advice on a broader question. We're not saving as we'd like, tuition is outrageous, and we're limited by our current jobs and geographic location to make substantive changes. We cannot afford to move to a neighborhood with better schools. We already live in the best one within a 15 miles radius beyond that housing costs are prohibitive. Even if we made a profit selling our house we couldn't afford to move for better schools. Moving for better schools and lower cost of living is smart and responsible if all things work for our family--she can find work etc. she hasn't thrown out any objections other than she felt it may be too expensive. I'm anticipating a tough conversation so I posted here for some advice. Any more objective voices?
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You've gotten plenty of objective advice, you just don't want to hear it. You have a budgeting problem. Your wife is not sold on the move and you want to know how to convince her. Posters have suggested you find out WHY she doesn't want it and discuss everything with her. You make plenty of money to manage, so there's no point in forcing a move she doesn't want just for the money. There is more to life. You are a couple so this is not all your decision; force the issue and you'll be back in a few years asking for advice on how to win your wife back since she's detached from you. Talk to your wife and listen to and address her concerns. Have you done that? Do you really feel like this is ultimately your decision alone? What good will all this money be if your wife is miserable?
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I am sorry that some people here are so judgemental about your situation.

From your description, it sounds like you are either talking about Columbia, Missouri, or possibly Rolla, Missouri. I went to college in one of these towns and visited the other. Both are not the big city but they are actually not bad places to live at all. Really! And they have normal shopping malls too. Tell your wife that relocating there is not the end of the world and opens up new adventures for both of you.
 

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I was thinking Columbia, but Rolla would be a tough sell if he's hoping for her to get a job, too.

I've only seen one post that really applies. Don't oversell it. Pay attention to what your wife has to say if you don't want your family life to end up in the tank. Your first priority is to your marriage - if that means tightening up the budget and doing something else with the kids' educations in order for her to be where she wants, it may be smarter to do that than focusing on debt free and ignoring the people you're doing it for.
 

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My apologies if my response was not helpful... I was mostly responding to this part of your original post --

She's not on board. She’s naturally apprehensive about leaving her hometown (and her mother), finding a job and the unknown. She’s not opposing me flying out for the final round of interviews, but she’s been casually dismissive of the idea of moving.

But now I see you also say she hasn't thrown out any objections other than she felt it may be too expensive.

If those are her only concerns, I'm sure you can walk through the numbers together, brainstorm everything you need to consider and reach a great decision together. I was just trying to caution you against a hard sell.... I think BIG changes like this need to be something both partners are excited about, not just tolerating. BIG changes can be fun, bonding, us-against-the-world experiences and while stressful, too, very good for a marriage. Only you know which this is. Best wishes.
 
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