Things have been a little slow around the blog for the past couple of weeks if you hadn’t noticed. This is mainly because my time has been taken up interviewing for a new job :-). Between flying out, interviewing, and deciding whether or not I should take it, I figure I lost at least about a week’s worth of blog-time.
Anyhow, my wife and I decided that I should take the position – so we are moving to Oregon! Read on to find out more and why I think this will be a great move for me and the fam. I also discuss some of the potential challenges we think we’ll face as well!
Location, Location, Location
Let’s start with one of the biggest upsides we saw when considering moving to Oregon. Simply put, Oregon is a beautiful place for folks that like the great outdoors and temperate weather. With the Oregon Pacific coast, the Cascade mountains, multiple rivers, and all kinds of outdoor activities, it’s a great place for the nature lover.
While I’m not a huge outdoor kinda guy, I guess I have always aspired to be. Living in Oregon will give us all a chance to put down the screens and enjoy more fresh air. It was difficult to get enough outdoor time in Southern Georgia where 8 months out of the year is feels like it’s sweltering hot. So, Oregon definitely gets bonus points for increased quality of life.
One other thing I’m really stoked about is that we’ll be just a little over an hour away from Portland. So, I am sure we’ll take lots of family trips there to hang out and enjoy all this awesome city has to offer. We can also check out all kinds of sweet vegan bakeries I’ve been hearing so much about!
Making an Industry Switch
Probably the most obvious reason we are considering moving to Oregon in the first place is because of my job opportunity. With everything going on in my current company, I was going to end up in the chemical industry for the rest of my career. As a mechanical engineer, this wasn’t necessarily how I wanted things to end up :-).
The new position I am taking as Director of Manufacturing Operations seems like it is going to be a lot of fun and a real challenge. It is in an industry that I do not have a lot of experience in (highly precise robotics and electronics), so I am a bit nervous about it. I love a good challenge to put my brain to work, and I am sure to find it here! As a nice bonus, the job has a pay increase of 10% vs. what I am making now. While that isn’t a huge increase, there is a lot of potential upside.
What do I mean with “potential upside?” Well, I will get the opportunity to obtain a bunch of shares of company stock. This could eventually be sold for lots of moolah if everything goes well and the company successfully goes public. If things don’t work out, then at least I’ll know I did my best and won’t regret going for it.
An Investment in Knowledge Pays the Best Interest
I attended some great schools when I was younger, and my good education really helped to shape my success. I am very thankful that my parents sacrificed so much to ensure my sister and I could get a good education. So, good schools were very important in our decision as to where we should relocate should an opportunity come up. Our kids are both smart, and we want to do everything we can to keep them that way.
So, you can imagine my excitement when the excellent job opportunity came up, and the area has some of the best schools in the state! The schools are all 9/10 r 10/10 according to GreatSchools.org. There are also several great colleges within an hour or two if we choose to put down roots here. What’s not to love?
What’s the Catch?
So, with all of these great factors, there has to be a downside, right? It’s true – it’s not all rose-colored glasses for us as we move to Oregon. There are a couple pretty big downsides to the whole decision.
First of all, my wife is probably going to be making ~20% less on her hourly income. We are not sure why the wages are much lower than Southern Georgia. We are guessing the lower wagers are due to larger supply of Physical Therapists in the area compared to where we are coming from.
Another downside is that the company has a pretty standard 401(k) with a 3% match. This is a big difference compared to the 9% match I was getting at my old job. This will result in nearly $7,500 less in savings per year for our retirement :-(.
Likely the largest downside is that the houses nearby my job are EXPENSIVE! The houses here are basically 3x the price than we are used to in Southern Georgia. I guess we can say goodbye to our sub-$900 monthly payment. Most of the homes here are going to be around $450k with a monthly house payment around $2,400. That’s a huge change for us!
Throw all those financial downsides together, and it made for a really tough decision from a financial perspective as to whether or not we should go for it. In the end, we decided that even if it wasn’t the best choice from a financial perspective, we should give it a shot because of all of the positives I mentioned above.
Wish us Luck!
So, I’m off to Oregon to start the new job tomorrow! We will see what the future holds – we are all nervous yet excited. Maybe we’ll come up with some creative ways to minimize the impact of some of our anticipated downsides. Check out the future money reports to see just how everything works out from a financial perspective!