How to Decide to Relocate or Not

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Relocation can have a huge impact on your life and open you up to a wealth of opportunities. Whether you are being asked to move to another location for a job, or you just want to strike out on your own and create a new life, relocation requires careful planning. When others, such as spouses or children, are involved, the importance of making the right decision increases exponentially. Here are some points to consider about relocation that will help you to make a decision that will benefit everyone involved.

  • Evaluate your reasons for relocation. Weigh the pros and cons of moving versus staying. If your move is money-based, do you have a job lined up or will you be on the job market? If your move is relationship-based, how certain are you that the relationship will outlast the move? Are there other benefits that will make relocation worthwhile if the relationship ends? Consider the weather, as well. If you live in a climate that is warm year-round, moving to a four season climate will affect health, transportation costs, clothing costs and even your emotional well being.

  • Determine the importance and value of the ties you have with your current location. If you have strong family ties and rely on constant contact with your family and friends, how easy will it be for you to pick up and leave that behind? What about your spouse and your children? What will this upheaval do to them and to your relationship with them?

  • Research the location (city or country) to which you will be moving. This is especially important if you are married and have children in school. You will need to consider crime rates, education systems, transportation systems, housing options and what kind of communities and resources are available within a new location. If moving from city to rural area, or vice versa, you will also want to prepare yourself for some culture shock.

  • Consider the cost of living in a new location. Will you make enough in salary to cover the difference if you move from a rural area to an urban area where housing, food and other necessities can almost double in price? Moving from a city to a small town or rural area can be beneficial for those who are starting families, face mounting debts or want a simpler, more economical way of living.

  • Factor in health considerations. If you have an illness that is affected by the air and climate, choose a location that will be the least difficult and provide health benefits. If you have a physical handicap, where mobility is an issue, you will need to seek out locations that have the most handicap-accessible facilities, resources and benefits. Small towns and rural areas may not have all the features that you rely on in your daily life. Check out Project Civic Access, and other resources available on the ADA website (see Resources) to help you choose a location best suited to your needs.

  • Consider yourself. Although other factors are important, what matters most is you. How will this relocation affect you mentally, physically and emotionally? If you are thoroughly miserable at the thought of moving, perhaps you need to consider making changes right where you are instead. Are you truly motivated to pick up and start a new life somewhere else?

Tips & Warnings

  • Use social networking sites, such as Twitter, to learn more about a location you are considering. You will find a wealth of opinions about any location in the world, without all the hype. Look at relocation guides, widely available online, for ideas and resources.

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