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B-man715

Offered a promotion...... but....

Question

B-man715

It would mean a total relocation to southern California (LA area).......

This was just brought up and I haven't responded yet. What questions should I ask?

The position is the next rung on the ladder from where I'm at. If it were to open in MN, it would equate to some increased responsibility and roughly 20% increase in base salary.

I don't mind working out of town or out of the country (Hell, I'm in southeast Asia right now lol ), but I always return home. Most of my family lives within an hour of the metro, and I get to enjoy all of my favorite hobbies the midwest is known for.

For timing, it couldn't be better. 30 years old, engaged, no kids. She recently completed her RN degree, and her employer (the US gov) would be able to transfer her.

My company said they offer a moving package, but I have yet to hear details. We also have a home in MN that would need to be sold (thankfully we have 40-50k in equity depending on what it would sell for). I believe they assist in the sale.

Housing in that part of the country is very expensive. A decent starter home is all of 300k. Income taxes are a couple percent higher, and cost of living is higher. The crime rate is higher, the temperatures, yuppy index, etc etc.

I plan to ask why the position is open, and what the current status, past history and future outlook of the local operation is. I want to be set up for success, not sent over to clean up a derailed train.....

What would you do? What other details should I ask?

If the position ever opened up in MN would they let me come back? I would like to think so?

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James_R

Good for you. Job offers are always nice to get and most people don't have the courage to ever venture beyond their provincial comfort zones. Having worked in a lot of different areas I would take a good look at cost of living expenses. The guy in Dallas making $75,000/yr probably has a much higher standard of living than the guy making $100,000/yr in Manhattan. I would ask them about the possibility of being able to transfer to other locations in the future and what kinds of promotion possibilities their company has. I would also highly recommend taking a trip to the immediate area where the business is located with your fiancé in order to get a better feel for the area.

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Tom7227

Have you ever been to LA? I was there in 84 and it was horrible. The traffic was an absolute killer. We were traveling south from LAX at about 8pm and the traffic was bumper to bumper, but going 70 mph. You could literally see the tv's on in houses that looked about 10 feet from the roadway. Right in the middle of the houses was a refinery.

As for the extra money - check this out.http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/compare_cities.jsp?country1=United+States&city1=Minneapolis%2C+MN&country2=United+States&city2=Los+Angeles%2C+CA

Your equity in your house is 5-7% less than you think because you likely will pay a realtor commission. You will have closing costs on the new place. You will incur significant expense in moving your household out there.

How many times would you come back here to visit family? What's the price of 2 round trip tickets, maybe motels and car rental?

My son just quit a job in Manhattan largely because his employer couldn't get anyone to come and work there given the wages they paid. He was earning $80k a year and it worked for him but they couldn't hire even a recent grad engineer to come out there for that kind of money. When he moved from the Twin Cities the company gave him $3500 for expenses but required that he stay for 3 years or he would have to pay it back. That didn't cover the cost of getting there a couple of times, a 20 foot U-haul with a trailer for his junker car.

I know this has been a downer of an answer but be sure to check the reality before you bite. If they offer take a trip out there on their dime and see how you like it. See if you can connect with a peer that works out there who can give you the scoop on what's going on, why someone left, and most importantly why they're willing to spend money to get you out there rather than hiring someone local.

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Ufatz

Think long and hard about this my friend. There is much to be said about living right here in the good ol' midwest.

Be careful.....that's about all I will say.

Personaly, no way I would do it; but everybody has to make these decisions for themselves. I'd be sure to leave an open door back here. My hunch is you ain't gonna like it there that much.

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hydro

Do your homework. Go out there and spend a week or so checking out the area to see what it's like. Research the real cost of living. Double check that house price as it seems be at least 50% low. Last, if that 20% bump in income gets you over $150K/year then it just may be a better deal than you have here, but you still have to live in southern California. Put together a contingency plan in case for some reason your employer terminates the agreement and you find yourself unemployed and away from home. There is no trust in an employment contract.

I would not do it, but that's just me.

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delcecchi

Where in "LA"? It makes a big difference. Los Angeles is a very large place. (like 50 miles across) Traffic is bad, and houses are expensive but the sun shines almost every day, and it never snows. The ocean is nearby. The mountains are also nearby, as is the desert leading to a wide variety of opportunities for outdoor recreation. Ski one day, surf the next.

Get a very good raise. Taxes are even higher than here, although prop 13 keeps property tax low.

I have family in Orange County (just south of Los Angeles County) and it is a very nice place. Rich towns like Irvine and Newport Beach butt against poor towns like Santa Ana.

So it all depends on the money and the location, in my book.

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leech~~

Make a big Pro's & Con's list!

Fresh air-Smog

High cost of living-lower cost of living

Fish on a lake-fish off a pier

Etc-Etc.

Good luck on what ever you do! wink

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MinnesotaMike

I say go for it. You're only 30 years old and have plenty of time to experience life.

I was about your age when the company I worked for at the time wanted to expand. I was offered the position to open up satellite offices. I spent 1 year each in Boise Id, San Francisco and Austin Tx. When I left I did not know if or when I would be coming back to Mn.

Did I miss the Upper Midwest? Sure, but I would fly back for Deer season and once or twice during the summer. Would I do it again, yes.

It was a great experience, traveling and meeting new people. My experience is different from yours but sometimes you just have to take the chance.

Good Luck,

Mike

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bobbymalone

A 20% raise and move to SoCal sounds like, at best, a lateral financial move.

A $300K house in the LA area sounds like Compton or Watts.

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nofishfisherman

My only advice is similar to what others have said, make sure to visit the area first. If you haven't been there before LA is a totally different world than anything in MN.

You'll want to make sure that you are able to live within a reasonable distance of your job and your fiances job. A long rush hour commute in LA will make you wish you stayed home. However, living close to work may mean you are forced in live in an undesirable area or are looking in an area you can't afford. From what I recall $300,000 is rather low for what you should expect to pay for a starter home. I have family that lives in the New Port beach area and their home is at least in the $750,000+ range, in MN you'd likely pay $250,000-300,000 for it. I also have family in LA that has lived there all their lives and they still rent at age 60 because owning a home is just out of the question.

Personally I don't think i could ever live in LA, maybe I could tolerate it for awhile in order to cash in on a high paying job but it would only be done with a plan to move someplace I like better.

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BoxMN

I have been to LA plenty of times for trade shows, but it was always work related so I never really got to see the "real LA" if there is one. Spent plenty of time in the early 2000's in Beverly Hills and even parties at the Playboy Mansion...

I will just give my two cents, you are young and ready for adventure and you and your fiance could and likely would do great there, and you can always leave. Think of it as an adventure. A buddy moved there for work (3M) and met his wife, now lives there. Another buddy moved to Sacramento area with his wife years ago and have a family there, and he seems to like it.

But for me, there is not enough money in the world to get me to move to CA, especially the overly populated parts, or NYC for that matter. But that is what is great about America, different strokes for different folks! Take others' advice, do your homework, make sure it works out to your advantage, and if wifey thinks she can do it, and you think you both can do it, what the heck smile Good luck!

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delcecchi

Newporsche beach as some call it is one of the most expensive places in the area.

If I were going, I would plan on renting something, apartment, townhouse, whatever, to start. Only two of you, a regular one or two bedroom apartment would work fine. If you stay, and won't be moving again, you can check out different areas and consider whether to buy.

If you do decide to buy, prices in many areas are down some from a few years ago. The more high end areas not so much.

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BLACKJACK

When I was in the Navy in San Diego in the late 70's, I had an aunt that told me "If you find a girl and settle in California, you'll spend all your vacation time traveling back to Minnesota to see relatives".

Decide what your priorities are, especially concerning your relatives. Are you ok with seeing siblings every 5 years? As the relatives age, are you going to be comfortable just coming home for funerals?

Biggest plus to Southern California is the weather. Biggest negative is all the people. If you're an outdoor person you have the beaches and the mountains and the desert. If you like to hunt and fish, you can find it, you might just have to drive a little farther, but you can find it.

Personally, every time I venture down to the Cities and have to fight the traffic on 494, I come home and give my wife a hug, thankful I don't have to live there.

My wife and I visited San Diego a few months ago, I speculated with her on how much of a salary increase I'd have to get to move there and I came up with a figure of $500,000 annually (I don't make 6 figures now!!), and then I'd bank it for 5 years and get the hell out. Still not sure if that would be enough...

Good luck!!!

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Walleye Guy

At best this is a wash from a financial position in my opinion. If you enjoy MN and the outdoor lifestyle you now experiencing, moving to CA is going to be a downgrade. The traffic, smog, crime, and cost of living are also major downgrades in my opinion.

Now if moving up one rung of the ladder is a step towards even bigger opportunities with the company you just might want to take the job. Weigh all the options.

You may want to negotiate a plan that gets you back to MN (or elsewhere) in "X" amount of years. Ask for a relocation package too. Selling your existing place and moving to CA will not be a cheap endeavour. Ask your employer to pay for it.

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B-man715

Thank you all so much for your input smile Keep it coming!

Salary has not been discussed. The only thing I know is if the same position opened in MN it would be about a 20% increase, which I would be more than happy with (if working in MN). I know for a fact that our company pays identical positions differently based on local COL. So it "should" be at least an offer of 30-35%.

But to pack up entirely and move is going to take a hell of a lot more than that........ I will do anything for the right amount of money.....If they want me bad enough they can buy me smile I love the midwest. It will take a lot to pull me away.

The job is in Fullerton which sounds like a decent area. My future mother-in-law grew up near there in Whittier. She still visits and loves the area. But lots of people love things that I think are pure krap...... grin

For houses, I did find a few in the area in the low 300's. But yes, it does take the better part of a million to get something nice.........in that case, renting is the only way I would want to go.

Please keep the info coming! And of course prior to accepting anything we would visit the area on the company's dime wink

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BoxMN

FWIW, my cousin (now about 42, originally from MN and then Montanta) went to school in Fullerton, met his wife (from Whitier) at college, and then coached swimming and taught college math courses there (some small college in Fullerton). He was almost olympic level swimmer and kept training there. He always complained about it there but he was there for quite a few years and it could not have been too bad.

They have since both gotten jobs (PHD level profs) at Alabama so no there anymore.

Good luck again, and FYI when you are young and can be bought, try to take advantage of it, cause I am not young anymore and time off is much more attractive than $$ wink I am now resigned to and comfortable NOT being "high income" haha!

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delcecchi

I looked at a "cost of living comparison by city" site, and LA is about 20% more expensive than MSP. Mostly housing. So if they bump you 50% or give you a housing allowance....

If it is a big company coming back shouldn't be a problem if you hate it after a couple years. And you still have the promotion.

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mainbutter

Working in california has its benefits.

If you can get a salary increase based on location and live somewhere with high housing costs, it's essentially an incentive to invest in real estate. Work 25 years somewhere with high housing, AND you are able to own, AND you are paid accordingly, you should come out of the other side with a nice financial benefit (assuming you eventually move somewhere less expensive).

I'm pretty sure I'd need one of those medical card thingies to tolerate living in LA, it's not a prospect I would look at too favorably. However I could be tempted to do it for a few years myself.

Make sure your gal is on board.

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traveler

personally, not for love or money. Although I've been lots of places, love to travel, etc...I still think we've got it pretty darn good here.

Theres a good reason Minnesota, and Minneapolis, consistently rank at or near the top of "best place to live" surveys.

Now, if it was Alaska, maybe...:)

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Down Deep

I don't know what your business is, but I've taken 3 transfers all for job experience. In other words it was means to an end. Although I usually got a pay increase, there was little if any financial gain at the end of three years. What it did for me was expand the resume'. When the job I really wanted came along in and area I wanted I basically walked in the door presented my qualifications and got it. Incidentally, it was with a different company a competitor I had met during the second relocation.

If it were me I would ask myself --"What' the end game". Remember you always have to pass all the bases to get home.

I don't know much about LA, but am very familiar with SF and other CA locations. It is the only place I know of that a person can surf in the morning and be skiing in the mountains in the afternoon. You will have no problem finding cool stuff to keep you busy.

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Wish-I-Were-Fishn

Look at it as an adventure. Nothing is forever. Go and make the most of it. We knew a young couple that moved here from the west. She hated every minute here and let everybody know it by the scowl she wore. They moved here for his job on a two year assignment. After two years they were gone back home. She missed out. Never went to the north shore, never went biking, never did anything but mope around.

Go and enjoy what they area has to offer. Sure things will be different, but varity is the spice of life.

BTW, how much do want for that ice auger in your avatar laugh

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yaggie

A point not yet noted is that if you are offered a promotion in a company and you turn it down, do not expect any future promotions in the future with that company. Thats just the way it is.

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Moonshine

B-Man:

That is one area I am very familiar with and would move there in a heart beat. I do a lot of business in the City of Orange and Newport Beach. The thought of fishing out of a boat year round (without bundling up on the river), golfing 12 months a year, the mountains, hunting opportunites are all too good to miss. It is also an extremely clean area.

I have friends in the area who fish in the ocean for traditional game fish and fish inland for bass in areas like Mission Viejo. Some of the folks have cabins in the mountains for their weekend get aways and their are excellent hunting opportunities.

If you go for a visit stop by Gabbi's Kitchen in Orange for some of the best mexican food I have ever had. The Temecula area is also very cool with some awesome wineries.

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B-man715

Well guys I have some good news and some bad news. I'm not moving to California. They ended up promoting from within the local office, no doubt that it saved money. I was looking forward to going out there to see what it was like frown

Now I've been offered the same promotion but in the Baltimore area....... eek The carrot already being dangled is huge (min 50% increase in salary, and there may be an offer much higher).

That is one city I just can't see living near and working in....... no matter what the pay is

Please advise.

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highlife4me

What the "H" is there to do in Baltimore? I would wait until you are offered the same job in Mn. Pay may not be as high, but the quality of life would be much better. 2c

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jmd1

The inner harbor and little italy are the only things i can think of in Baltimore. Oh there was that one time but that is a different story. Good luck tough decisions to be made.

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