Whenever I am thinking of a significant change in life, the common question that may come up is, “where should I move?” It is a thing that my wife and I talk about. The thought of relocating to a new place can be stressful.
Living in one place for a long time can be great, but sometimes there are many factors to consider when thinking about your lifestyle and goals. You want to make sure your job brings in a good income, the place you live is safe, and that your lifestyle is enjoyable.
Moving can be complicated, and knowing the economics and how it can affect your family can impact a decision that can alter your life.
If you consider moving to a new place or location, many factors may play a role such as is this location the safest, the most livable, and is it a good place to raise a family.
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Where You Live Matters
Living in a new location really does matter. If I am thinking about where should I move, I need to think about the lifestyle, finances, and any other factors that may take place in this move.
Your finances could be a huge factor when moving to another location. The cost of living could be something to consider. Are you moving from a high cost of living(HCOL) to a low cost of living(LCOL) area? Will there be jobs at this location that can bring a significant pay raise? Will your money go further in this next phase of life?
You have to think about many factors like:
- Cost of Living
- Job Growth
Moving abroad and using geo arbitrage helped me move from an HCOL to an LCOL. It was a way I could save more money. People may move to a lower cost of living area so their money can go further.
If you live in a big city, you could move to a small town. You could even move to a cheaper country like Mexico, Costa Rica, or even Panama. International living can be a great option when you look to retire.
Knowing if your job will be better could be another reason for finances. Moving from one place to another because of employment is a reason people will move that affects their finances. You need to make sure the job market is big enough in order to live your new life.
When considering the lifestyle of where should I move to, you need to know what you are looking for. Lots of us move to a new place because of the lifestyle change. People will move from a fast-moving area to a slower pace of life. There are many more activities to do in bigger cities compared to smaller rural areas.
Outdoor activities could be more plentiful in one area than the place you live in now, which could be something you value.
As I looked for a new place to live, I wanted to make sure that I could live a better life with great things to do and outdoors to explore. It is a part of who I am, and when you are searching for a place to live, you should see if the lifestyle is something you would enjoy.
13 Questions To Consider Before You Move
When we consider where should I move, you need to consider a couple of questions to find the best location.
It needs to fit into what you are looking for.
1. What's The Cost of Living?
One of the biggest things is considering the cost of living for the area you want to live in. Will be a high cost of living or a low cost of living. Are you moving there to save money or is it for gaining a larger salary?
Costs continue to go up all over. Making sure you know the costs of a place is paramount and creates pros and cons for a particular area. Will there be transportation? How much will the food prices?
This is by far one of the most significant factors when considering if you will move there.
2. Are There Jobs?
If you are considering where you should move, consider if there are jobs for you. Job opportunities are a huge factor in choosing a place to live. If you are out in the middle of nowhere, it may be hard to obtain a job that fits your skills.
A more extensive metropolitan area could offer more opportunities for your employment.
The job is something I look for when I move somewhere. I want to make sure that if I lose my job, I have another opportunity to grab. Coming from a smaller town taught me that more prominent places have more job opportunities. So you need to put this on your list for areas to move to.
3. Can You Afford Living There?
Affordability is a significant factor in your choices. As you choose a different location to live in you need to think about the costs of everything. Going from small-town America to New York City, you need to know if you have enough money to live there. Your job provides enough income to save and afford rent, utilities, and even transportation.
It sucks living in a place going from paycheck to paycheck, wondering how you will make it the next month. Being able to afford the living expenses and saving money in the process is one of the biggest keys to knowing if a location is suitable.
Losing money is no fun, and it will end you up feeling bitter and disdain towards your location and life. So find a place that you can afford to live in, and try to live below your means.
4. How Long Do You Plan to Stay?
Some people have plans to stay in a place for one year, five years, forever, but you need to have a plan for the length of time you want to visit. This can help out with the transition. If you plan to stay for a year, you may not make an effort to create lasting relationships, but if you plan to stay long term, you will want to plant some roots.
Have a plan, and know the time frame for staying in a place.
5. What Is My Goal For Moving?
When thinking about where should I move. I think about what my goals are. Is it about the money? Am I moving for the lifestyle? Will it be a place near family and friends?
These are all questions I ask myself. Moving can have many factors, such as moving to gain more money. This is a place that I know I can hit financial independence in.
I was talking to a friend who said he knew Taiwan is a great country, but taking a look at his finances, he needed to move to a country with a higher salary. That way, he and his family could hit financial independence sooner. So they moved.
Having goals can help you out in so many ways. When moving, you need to plan accordingly to your goals. If it doesn't fit your goals, then don't move.
6. Do I know People There?
One consideration for a new place is if you know people in the area. Many people will move back closer to family to be the comforts of people who know or help their families out. Being in a new place can be challenging; with the help of a friend or relative, you can assimilate much easier.
7. How is the Weather?
The weather and climate are critical when moving. The weather is something to consider when you are looking to relocate. Are you ok with long winters? Is the summer heat going to make you frustrated?
Some people can live anywhere, but others have specific objections to weather. My parents left the Mid West of America and traveled south because they were tired of the cold weather.
Living in Florida, I also noticed many retirees would travel during the winter. We would call them “Snow Birds” because they would travel south for the winter and north for the summer.
Weather can be a considerable factor. I was considering moving to Korea to teach English, but when I noticed that they had cold winters, I opted for living in Taiwan instead.
8. Is This a Safe Place?
The safety of a location should be a factor for a lot of people. Is the place I am going to move to a safe place? Is there a lot of crime? Will my family and I be safe moving to this location?
When thinking of different locations, you must consider the crime of a place. Some People will want to know that they will be safe or even leave things sitting and not be stolen. Living in Taiwan, I know that it is a safe place. My wife has lost her cellphone, wallet, and sunglasses, and all three things have been found and returned to her.
I once dropped my cellphone in the middle of the road and had not noticed. We were able to contact the person that picked it up to retrieve it. Safety and the kindness of others is a great thing to look at.
9. Will I Need a Vehicle? How is the Traffic?
Thinking about moving, you must consider the traffic and transportation issues. Do you need a car or vehicle? How is public transportation? Will traffic be an issue?
Knowing the issues of traffic can make a decision easier. Do you like traffic? I know I am not a fan, but riding on a bus to work instead of worrying about traffic really helps out. Traffic can affect you getting to places on time. You need to consider the traffic issue.
10. How is the Social Life?
Social life is essential. Considering the question, where should I move, I need to think about the social life that I will have. If this place is a small rural area, will I find living there?
Some people are fine living in areas with no social life. They may make a few friends, and that is perfect for them.
Others will need places with entertainment, restaurants, bars, and plenty of activities to keep them occupied. So if this is something you will need, put it down on your list of must-haves. It would be best if you considered how social your life would be in a new location.
11. How is the Culture?
As we move to place, there tend to be different cultures. Subcultures can be created within a larger culture, but you must know what the culture is like.
The Southern Culture is much different than the culture of the North-Eastern part of the U.S.
Moving to another country will have other cultures as well. Going from a White American culture into a predominately Asian culture can have some culture shock.
Knowing the culture, you are about to experience can help alleviate any culture shock you may have. Being prepared is helpful when experiencing new cultures.
12. How is the Food?
Going along with the culture, we must talk about the food. Food is important. Is this place going to be a place with a food desert as in not many options? Will there be plentiful options at great prices? Will you enjoy this food?
Going to new countries or even new places around the states, there tend to be different types of food. It all depends on how adventurous you are or what is needed for you to survive.
People have food restrictions and allergies; you need to make sure the food you eat is something you can tolerate and enjoy.
13. Is There Good Healthcare?
Healthcare is important for many reasons:
- You want to know if you are sick that you can get create medical care.
- You want to make sure the cost is not too much to make you go bankrupt.
- It is a must to know that health is considered in the place you intend to move to.
When moving, you need to check out if there is good healthcare. Are there big hospitals nearby? Will my insurance cover things? Many options like this. Even moving to a new country, you must analyze if the healthcare is comparable to the place you are leaving.
Final Thoughts on Where Should I Move
Thinking about where should I move creates many things you must consider. If this is a move for financial gain, you must look at all the financial aspects of moving.
Lifestyle is another crucial aspect that cannot be forgotten as well. If your life becomes more deteriorated in this new place, could you live this life?
As I have moved to another country as an expat, I had to think about these many questions. The place I chose answered these questions. To you, make a plan, set some goals, and do your due diligence in locating a great place where you will thrive, succeed, and obtain what you want in a place to live.
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I’m Steve. I’m an English Teacher, traveler, and an avid outdoorsman. If you’d like to comment, ask a question, or simply say hi, leave me a message here, on Twitter (@thefrugalexpat1). Many of my posts have been written to help those in their journey to financial independence. I am on my journey, and as I learn more I hope to share more. And as always, thanks for reading The Frugal Expat.