Would you move for $ 10,000? Should you?
C.Cities and states spend a lot of money attracting remote workers.
Tulsa, Oklahoma will pay you $ 10,000 to move and telework. West Virginia offers $ 12,000 and two years of free outdoor equipment rentals. If you move to Maine, the state will help you pay off your student loans.
These incentives are attractive, especially for new remote workers who want to take advantage of their newfound flexibility. But making a quick decision could cost more than the money you’re hunting.
Read the program’s fine print, speak to your employer, and assess your own deal breakers before you pack your bags and head to Topeka, Kansas, where remote workers can make up to $ 10,000.
Understand the process, the requirements
Most remote relocation programs have a multi-round application process to screen potential residents. Only a fraction of the applicants are accepted.
Tulsa Remote accepted only 3% of its 30,000 applicants in 2021, according to Justin Harlan, managing director of Tulsa Remote.
The Opportunity Maine Tax Credit does not limit participation, but does have a variety of other provisions. Whether or not the tax credit is refunded depends on, for example, your senior year and your field of study.
And the Ascend West Virginia program only accepts applicants for certain cities and times of the year.
Relocation incentives are designed to increase the local tax base so that most programs pay for the benefit over a year or two. And many encourage you to put down roots.
Tulsa Remote pays the $ 10,000 lump sum when you buy a home (the money is otherwise spread over the first year). In Topeka, remote work applicants must buy a home to receive the full $ 10,000.
And don’t forget that any bonus can be taxed as income, so you’ll need to set aside some money for the IRS.
Assess the impact on your current, future employment
Remote working still has some limitations. Before you apply or move, familiarize yourself with your employer’s expectations as certain things can affect the quality of your life in your new location.
For example, if your business and colleagues are all on the West Coast, you might be expected to meet these times even if you move to Maine. That can make for some late nights.
Your new city may have a lower cost of living than where you currently live – that is usually part of its appeal. Will your company adjust your salary to reflect your new cost of living? You want to know this before you take the plunge.
âFinancially, you should be prepared to accept a pay cut when moving from a big city to a more affordable location,â said Tina Hawk, senior vice president of human resources at GoodHire, which provides corporate employee screening and background checks.
Most relocation programs are only open to people who already have full-time employment with a foreign company (Maine is an exception). But no job is guaranteed forever, so you need to research the local job market.
How easy will it be to find a new gig when you get laid off? Are there opportunities on the ground once you’ve outgrown your current business? If you dream of starting a business one day, is your potential new home business friendly?
Determine your deal breaker
Money is important, but not what makes a place worth living in. Take stock of what’s important to you – things like restaurants, networking, walkability, or outdoor activities – and identify your deal breakers.
“The incentive may get your attention, but the crux of the matter is, when you get there you have to stay,” said Nate Wildes, executive director of Live + Work in Maine.
Wildes admits that âholiday destinationsâ are not for everyone either. âWe are a four-season place. If you hate snow and hate shoveling snow, please look elsewhere. “
Don’t just assume that you like or dislike a place. Experience it up close to get a real feel for the city’s atmosphere. You might be surprised.
Maria Kim, 28, definitely was. The former Washington, DC resident moved to Tulsa in March 2021 as part of the Tulsa Remote Program.
Kim was initially on the fence and decided to take the plunge after visiting town and meeting other members of the program, which has a heavy emphasis on networking and community.
âI was pleasantly surprised,â says Kim, who works full-time as a copywriter. âThe city is busy. You can take advantage of the small town with big city energy and explore without so much excess. “
This article was written by NerdWallet and originally published by The Associated Press.
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Kelsey Sheehy writes for NerdWallet. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @KelseyLSheehy.
The Item Would You Move For $ 10,000? Should you? originally appeared on NerdWallet.
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