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Deciding where to live

  • December 17, 2012

Deciding where to live

The most difficult part of moving isn't packing and transporting your belongings - it's deciding where to live. When you're ready to relocate, picking the perfect spot can be the difference between finding a permanent home and moving only to leave later for another location, thinking you'd be happier elsewhere.

The four most important considerations when choosing a location are culture, finances, job opportunities and proximity to loved ones. Keeping these factors in mind can help anyone decide if moving out of state, abroad or across town is the best solution for them.

You should always live in an area where you feel comfortable and can enjoy your hobbies. Living in a place that makes sense for you culturally can increase your quality of life. If you're moving away from certain activities and finding it difficult to participate in your favorite pastimes, this can prevent you from being happy. For instance, if you enjoy camping, relocating to a city that's hours away from the woods could be a frustrating experience.

Money Crashers writes that some states feature lower taxes than the rest of the United States and don't collect certain fees like sales and individual income taxes. Living in one of these states can help movers develop stable financial footing even after buying houses and covering relocation costs.

Additionally, you should consider an area's cost of living. Long-term budgets are an important part of staying fiscally solvent, and if you move to a location that you can't afford, you may quickly find yourself in debt.

Job opportunities
Unless you're moving as a result of corporate relocation or you have received new permanent change of station (PCS) orders from a military branch, finding work is a necessity after moving. According the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in the United States is 7.7 percent. Some states and countries boast lower rates than others and relocating to one of these may help you secure a new job.

Moving could also be a great opportunity to switch careers. Research industries you would like to break into and then move to locations where leading companies in these sectors are headquartered or have satellite offices that are hiring.

Proximity to loved ones
Recent research has put a dollar value on how happy living near loved ones can make a person. Economist Nattavudh Powdthavee told CBS News that workers shouldn't move far away from their friends and family unless they receive a raise of $180,000 or more. The inability to visit loved ones can diminish your quality of life, which money can't restore.


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