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Move for a job or stay for personal reasons?


mhdousa
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Hi all-

Thanks in advance for reading.

 

I've run through a job decision a million times in my head over the last couple months and am at the time that I have to decide, but still am not sure what to do.

 

I'm an academic subspecialist physician and have gotten recruited by one of the top 5 hospitals in the country. I am currently at what I would call a tier 2 hospital (generally ranked in the 30-50 range),  though it is still academic and affiliated with a medical school. The group I would be joining at the new hospital is one of, if not the best in the country and is a group I have worked closely with during my training in the past. So I know them quite well and it would be an exciting group to join. The hospital is equally outstanding. This hospital is a couple hours from where we live now but is located in a major city.

 

However, my wife's family is in the area where we live now. We have great friends who live in our area. We just bought a house that we love and our toddler daughter is in a great child-care situation. My wife works in finance and, while she could transfer to the office in the new city, it brings up some job uncertainty as she is quite established and very highly-regarded in her current office. Though she does not want to move, she is very supportive if it would be better for my career. I am often frustrated by the personnel at my current hospital, as I feel I deal with a lot of incompetence on a somewhat daily basis. However, we serve a very poor population and that is incredibly rewarding.

 

Pay and benefits are equivalent between the two jobs.

 

It comes down to that I want to take the new job, but I don't necessarily want to move my family.

 

Any thoughts?

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Where will YOU be happier? Children will adjust, but are you going to regret not taking a great job? My father gave up the chance for a great job to settle in a place which was more comfortable for us, but I feel he regrets it now, but he wasn't a doctor, so it's different.

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That is a tough one. No easy choices.

 

Perhaps your wife and you need to sit down and see what is more valuable to the 2 of you. Maybe looking out 5-10 years from now. Giving a higher weighting to things that are more important to the 2 of you in the long run.

 

Hope you make the best deicision for you guys.

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Mh,

 

You mention that pay and benefits are the same between the two jobs. From what you are saying it sounds like the cost of living is lower where you currently live and you feel your job is really rewarding on the one hand but challenging on the other. To me it sounds like you have an opportunity to improve the hospital you are currently at.

 

The main reason for leaving sounds like it would be the chance to work for a prestigious institution. Obviously, you and your wife need to make the final call but to me it sounds like you would be leaving quite a bit behind.

 

Good luck in your decision :)

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Where will YOU be happier? Children will adjust, but are you going to regret not taking a great job? My father gave up the chance for a great job to settle in a place which was more comfortable for us, but I feel he regrets it now, but he wasn't a doctor, so it's different.

 

Just paraphrasing a little bit. "What will make you happier 10 years from now?"

 

If you decide to stick to your current job, do you think you will regret not going for the new job the rest of your life? If you move, considering the downside for your wife and kids, do you think you would regret that more later should the downside materialize? Choose what would let you sleep well for the rest of your life.

 

You probably considered this already, but is there a chance you could relocate some place in between giving an hour commute for you and your wife? Its painful initially, but don't underestimate the human ability to quickly adjust to new realities.

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I think you need to go.

 

While you say the current job is rewarding, because you're helping a very poor population, don't underestimate the toll it takes to work with incompetent people or people without drive and motivation (not saying that's the case, but bluntly speaking). You need brilliant people around you to reach your full potential yourself and figure out how far you're able to take it. It sounds like not going would risk haunting you for the rest of your life - unless you have a chance to materially change things where you're at. And it is quiet challenging to change structures and system; espescially something as big and complex as a hospital, I'd think. Kids adapt, and if everything turns to shit at the new place, I'm sure you'd be able to come back to where you're at now - even though I don't think that's likely to happen?

 

To keep it a bit investor'ish, Buffett says something about a baseball bat and not necessarily having to hit every home run. But you do need to grab things when they go your way, and it sounds like the job you've been offered would be great. I'm sure your family will feel the joy it gives you as well. And in regards to your wife; if she's liked by her current colleagues, I'm sure she'll be liked by her new ones as well. Likeable characters have a way of being liked everywhere. :)

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As a guy with no wife and no kids, it's easy for me to say what I'm about to say, but...

 

Philadelphia and NYC look like they're really close to each other (via Google maps).  And I hear there's decent, if not good, public transit between them.

 

In the midwest, Texas, the west coast, etc., one can only dream of getting in a car (let alone public transit) and visiting relatives in less than two hours.

 

If your in-laws are near retirement age and don't mind spending time in Philly, you could also consider getting a house that's big enough where they could stay for an extended period of time.  Or a house with an "in-law".  In Philadelphia I'm guessing you could probably afford it.

 

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I'd keep your current job. 

 

It sounds like the only reason you'd move is prestige of working in a better facility with more renowned doctors.  Moving to satisfy 'success' or ego is going to leave you unsatisfied, there will always be something else to chase.

 

You have family close by, a great child care situation, your wife is satisfied, and you have satisfaction from serving those who are otherwise left unserved.  Your co-workers are not perfect, but don't delude yourself into thinking that smarter people who are experts will somehow be better co-workers.  I've found 'experts' are often terrible to work with, something to keep in mind.

 

Maybe the job will be more satisfying, but life outside of work might not be.

 

My advice is probably strange for a message board full of people madly pursuing money and success.  But there is more to life than money and prestige.  For me personally those close to me (wife, kids, family, friends) don't care how much I make or how well known I am, that's not what matters.  Friends who only care about status and money are not the types of people I enjoy hanging out with, you can never measure up around them.

 

Much of this thread discusses regret.  You will always have regrets, regrets of things you did and regrets of things you didn't do.  Don't get caught in the pursue of perfect, you'll never obtain it.

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I'd keep your current job. 

 

It sounds like the only reason you'd move is prestige of working in a better facility with more renowned doctors.  Moving to satisfy 'success' or ego is going to leave you unsatisfied, there will always be something else to chase.

 

You have family close by, a great child care situation, your wife is satisfied, and you have satisfaction from serving those who are otherwise left unserved.  Your co-workers are not perfect, but don't delude yourself into thinking that smarter people who are experts will somehow be better co-workers.  I've found 'experts' are often terrible to work with, something to keep in mind.

 

Maybe the job will be more satisfying, but life outside of work might not be.

 

My advice is probably strange for a message board full of people madly pursuing money and success.  But there is more to life than money and prestige.  For me personally those close to me (wife, kids, family, friends) don't care how much I make or how well known I am, that's not what matters.  Friends who only care about status and money are not the types of people I enjoy hanging out with, you can never measure up around them.

 

Much of this thread discusses regret.  You will always have regrets, regrets of things you did and regrets of things you didn't do.  Don't get caught in the pursue of perfect, you'll never obtain it.

 

I'm not reading his post as if it has anything to do about prestige - if that's the case, then I agree. I think it's more a feeling about not really using your full potentiel, and that's a different story, I'd say. He also writes that he actually has a great deal of experience with the colleagues he might get at the new place, so I don't think it sounds like trying to reach perfection or that the expectations are unrealistic. Yes, perfection will never happen, but there are places to work that makes you a lot happier than others.

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I think the move is a good idea, since the child is a toddler, it will be an easy adjustment. I think if you are doing well in your career you will be happier, and it will spill over to other parts of your life. If you are an ambitious person, then you will want to reach your full potential.

 

 

Plus Philadelphia has really bad public schools.

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For me personally those close to me (wife, kids, family, friends) don't care how much I make or how well known I am, that's not what matters.  Friends who only care about status and money are not the types of people I enjoy hanging out with, you can never measure up around them.

I don't think you really know that until you have lived it, to be fair. You are a guy who appears to be doing a lot and seems to have pretty much two careers. I'm also guessing you have quite a bit of money. It's easy for you to rack down on ambition and whatnot, because you already have it by the bucketload compared to 95% of people.

 

I have this not-so-close friend who is in sales. He's a decent guy, but very hyper and in your face. He earns a lot of money for a guy in his mid-20s (+$10k/month) and has been doing so for a couple of years now. He likes to spend at least as much as he earns and he doesn't shy away from talking about vacations in Dubai and whatnot.

 

I never hear much about this directly, though. Probably because he knows I could outspend him but choose not to, so I wouldn't be impressed or jealous. Instead I hear of this through our mutual friends. They are easier targets because they work as teachers or go to school etc. You know, the usual stuff young and not rich people do.

 

My point is that maybe you don't really know everything about what your friends think, because you (at least in some aspects) are probably the most successful one of the bunch.

 

That was a tangent; but this stuff about "status" not mattering irks me a bit. Every single one of us thinks about the relative status of everyone in our lives, even if it may not be on a conscious level. I think it's delusional to think that family and friends will treat you the same whether you are a doctor or a garbage man, no matter how nice and open-minded they seem under present circumstances. In theory, everybody's a saint.

 

Sorry for rant, but now I have written it so I will post it too.

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These seem like typical dilemmas among physicians between different tiers of semi-academic and academic hospitals. I'm a physician contemplating similar dilemmas and have friends who have fallen on either side of the fence. I'm in a public hospital with similar advantages but also wonder what it would feel like to work in a high-quality organization where the system and the people are, as a whole, effective. That is not currently the uniform case for me at the current hospital. Good luck - no correct answer there. Feel free to PM me.

 

- Mike

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Thanks for everyone's thoughts so far.

 

I was trying to make the details vague so as not to reveal anything personal, but I think it would help here.

 

We are currently in the NYC area and the new hospital is in Philadelphia. So the cost of living will be a little less in Philly. As far as Rpadebet's suggestion to live in the middle, central Jersey wouldn't be the most desirable place for us. My wife works in financial services consulting (hence why NYC is good) so she does have some location flexibility.

 

Dshachory: the main reason for leaving is because the new hospital, in addition to being more prestigious, is a really special place. The quality of the people there and the interesting patients that come there make it a much more intellectually stimulating place. You're right, though, that there is more opportunity to improve things here but it's a huge place and there's only so much I can do.

 

Palantir: that's the question I keep asking myself: am I going to regret not taking the job. But I also ask myself am I going to regret uprooting my family?

 

 

I had a similar (but not identical) decision to make 3 years ago.  My wife and I have always lived near our families (or within a 30min drive anyway) and our kids had always lived in the town we were living in.  So there was the issue of uprooting my kids from the only place they have ever known away from all of their friends, and moving hours away from our families (parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc...).  The differences from your situation was that the new job offer was clearly superior in both pay and opportunity for advancement (they also offered to pay all moving costs) and my wife was not working at the time. So we ended up making the move.  Also we liked the idea of moving to a state (New Hampshire) that we would feel more comfortable in politically (being libertarians and living in Massachusetts was endlessly frustrating).

 

I don't know how old your kids are, but my kids were ages 10 and 11 at the time and it was extremely difficult for them at first.  Especially my son, who is kind of quiet like me and doesn't make friends all that easily.  He had a hard time adjusting and was pretty depressed and maybe a little angry for a few months.  But he adjusted and has a great group of friends now, he even told us a little over a year after we moved that he is so glad we moved, because he would have never met all of his new friends if we hadn't.  He still keeps in touch with his old friends as well, using email/FB/facetime/etc.  My daughter is very social and had a whole new group of fiends the first week, so she didn't have any problems adjusting at all.  As far as family goes, it is only about a 2.5 hour drive to see them or for them to visit, so it isn't like moving thousands of miles away.  Also the kids weren't babies anymore and we don't need babysitters and such anymore.  And with communications basically free nowadays you can skype/facetime/email/facebook/or, even go old school and call, as much and as often as you like.  All in all it worked out great for us and I'm much happier in my new job.  We are financially better off than we would have been had we stayed, and we have all grown to like our new state and town much better than we liked living in our old one.  The schools are much better here too, then where we were living before.

 

I was also pretty confident that my old company would take me back if I asked.  I think they still would.  That also made the decision a little easier.  If you think that is the case with your current position, then why not give it a try for a year or two and see if you like it.  Of course the only problem with going back, would be uprooting the kids yet again.

 

These types of life changing decisions are never easy, good luck with whatever you choose.

 

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For me personally those close to me (wife, kids, family, friends) don't care how much I make or how well known I am, that's not what matters.  Friends who only care about status and money are not the types of people I enjoy hanging out with, you can never measure up around them.

I have this not-so-close friend who is in sales. He's a decent guy, but very hyper and in your face. He earns a lot of money for a guy in his mid-20s (+$10k/month) and has been doing so for a couple of years now. He likes to spend at least as much as he earns and he doesn't shy away from talking about vacations in Dubai and whatnot.

 

Your friend earns ~$120k per year and vacations in Dubai? That's crazy.

 

Re: the suggestion to live in the middle, I know couples who were split between Philly and NYC and it really isn't doable in the long term. I think OP has it right to nix this idea.

 

Who makes more money between you and your wife and who has the higher earning potential?

 

Have you ever lived in Philly?

 

What are your hours like? Can you do the Acela commute?

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Maybe the job will be more satisfying, but life outside of work might not be.

 

Much of this thread discusses regret.  You will always have regrets, regrets of things you did and regrets of things you didn't do.  Don't get caught in the pursue of perfect, you'll never obtain it.

 

1+  (major league wisdom in oddballstocks's entire post)

 

In addition, I don't know of any hospitals or medical centers that don't have major problems.  And I don't know any that are not radically different than they were 2-3 years ago.  I'm guessing you'll be part of a large group of physicians, maybe with a contract that periodically comes up for renewal.  At a major local hospital I know, the surgery group that had the primary contract for > 20 years just lost their contract.  I'm an MD in my 50s - you can PM if you have other important details.

 

In the end, the most important factor may be this:

 

she does not want to move

 

It's great she'll be supportive of your decision, which is one reason to reward her by going with her preference.  If your household is like mine, your wife takes the default responsibility for all the main home life issues, so she has the equivalent of 2+ full-time jobs.

 

 

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Two hour commutes aren't unheard of in the south. I also think you're putting too much weight on the people at the other location. I'm not sure how long you worked with them in the past, but although they may seem great now, you might eventually realize that it's just as screwed up over there. It sounds like you don't particularly like your current coworkers, would you be happier if you simply went to another hospital in the area that didn't require you to move?

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For me personally those close to me (wife, kids, family, friends) don't care how much I make or how well known I am, that's not what matters.  Friends who only care about status and money are not the types of people I enjoy hanging out with, you can never measure up around them.

I don't think you really know that until you have lived it, to be fair. You are a guy who appears to be doing a lot and seems to have pretty much two careers. I'm also guessing you have quite a bit of money. It's easy for you to rack down on ambition and whatnot, because you already have it by the bucketload compared to 95% of people.

 

I have this not-so-close friend who is in sales. He's a decent guy, but very hyper and in your face. He earns a lot of money for a guy in his mid-20s (+$10k/month) and has been doing so for a couple of years now. He likes to spend at least as much as he earns and he doesn't shy away from talking about vacations in Dubai and whatnot.

 

I never hear much about this directly, though. Probably because he knows I could outspend him but choose not to, so I wouldn't be impressed or jealous. Instead I hear of this through our mutual friends. They are easier targets because they work as teachers or go to school etc. You know, the usual stuff young and not rich people do.

 

My point is that maybe you don't really know everything about what your friends think, because you (at least in some aspects) are probably the most successful one of the bunch.

 

That was a tangent; but this stuff about "status" not mattering irks me a bit. Every single one of us thinks about the relative status of everyone in our lives, even if it may not be on a conscious level. I think it's delusional to think that family and friends will treat you the same whether you are a doctor or a garbage man, no matter how nice and open-minded they seem under present circumstances. In theory, everybody's a saint.

 

Sorry for rant, but now I have written it so I will post it too.

 

A lot of presumptions here about me, none true.

 

I speak as one who's chased promotions, better titles, better positions.  For a long time the grass was always greener, what I wasn't doing was always better than what I was doing.  I've been on both sides of the fence and invariably where I came from or where I'm going was always 'better'.  I currently live in a city neither my wife or I are from that we moved to for a job.  When others talk about driving to visit family I agree it's doable, but I also know what a pain it is and how much my wife wishes we lived where her mom is.  I am living what the poster asked.

 

In terms of status this is something I found out myself, I also found out that contentment is better than status, money or whatever else.  I don't have a bucketload of money like you presume.  I've never been as successful as your friend, I've never earned a six-figure salary in my life.  In terms of this board that might make me a failure, it's not something I care much about.  Now some of my career dissatisfaction has driven me to do my own thing and work to branch out on my own.  So in many ways I'm glad to have failed at the typical corporate American office job.  If I hadn't fought to get up the ladder I might have never had the motivation to start my own company.

 

And for how our friends think?  They as well as family have the impression we're poor, we heard it first hand and third-hand.  We live in a smaller house and drive used American cars.  We're constantly bombarded with quips about how cheap we are or how little money we must have, or how we can't afford certain things.  I've lived payment to payment before and decided that after paying off debt and starting to save and invest that I don't want to go back to that.  So status, or lack thereof hasn't been an issue.  Living differently has been rewarding, I'd be embarrassed to share our financial status with friends, I wouldn't want them to have a number color their perception of us.  Likewise I hesitate to ever post performance numbers because I want any work I do to stand on it's own, not how I've done in the past.

 

Maybe it's true that you know don't until you've tried, so in that case the OP should just move to see what it's like.  I wasn't trying to look down in my original post, rather I've lived their experience and I was hoping to save them some of the pain I've gone through myself.

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A lot of presumptions here about me, none true.

 

I speak as one who's chased promotions, better titles, better positions.  For a long time the grass was always greener, what I wasn't doing was always better than what I was doing.  I've been on both sides of the fence and invariably where I came from or where I'm going was always 'better'.  I currently live in a city neither my wife or I are from that we moved to for a job.  When others talk about driving to visit family I agree it's doable, but I also know what a pain it is and how much my wife wishes we lived where her mom is.  I am living what the poster asked.

 

In terms of status this is something I found out myself, I also found out that contentment is better than status, money or whatever else.  I don't have a bucketload of money like you presume.  I've never been as successful as your friend, I've never earned a six-figure salary in my life.  In terms of this board that might make me a failure, it's not something I care much about.  Now some of my career dissatisfaction has driven me to do my own thing and work to branch out on my own.  So in many ways I'm glad to have failed at the typical corporate American office job.  If I hadn't fought to get up the ladder I might have never had the motivation to start my own company.

 

And for how our friends think?  They as well as family have the impression we're poor, we heard it first hand and third-hand.  We live in a smaller house and drive used American cars.  We're constantly bombarded with quips about how cheap we are or how little money we must have, or how we can't afford certain things.  I've lived payment to payment before and decided that after paying off debt and starting to save and invest that I don't want to go back to that.  So status, or lack thereof hasn't been an issue.  Living differently has been rewarding, I'd be embarrassed to share our financial status with friends, I wouldn't want them to have a number color their perception of us.  Likewise I hesitate to ever post performance numbers because I want any work I do to stand on it's own, not how I've done in the past.

 

Maybe it's true that you know don't until you've tried, so in that case the OP should just move to see what it's like.  I wasn't trying to look down in my original post, rather I've lived their experience and I was hoping to save them some of the pain I've gone through myself.

 

Good post, wise words.

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Hi all-

Thanks in advance for reading.

 

I've run through a job decision a million times in my head over the last couple months and am at the time that I have to decide, but still am not sure what to do.

 

I'm an academic subspecialist physician and have gotten recruited by one of the top 5 hospitals in the country. I am currently at what I would call a tier 2 hospital (generally ranked in the 30-50 range),  though it is still academic and affiliated with a medical school. The group I would be joining at the new hospital is one of, if not the best in the country and is a group I have worked closely with during my training in the past. So I know them quite well and it would be an exciting group to join. The hospital is equally outstanding. This hospital is a couple hours from where we live now but is located in a major city.

 

However, my wife's family is in the area where we live now. We have great friends who live in our area. We just bought a house that we love and our toddler daughter is in a great child-care situation. My wife works in finance and, while she could transfer to the office in the new city, it brings up some job uncertainty as she is quite established and very highly-regarded in her current office. Though she does not want to move, she is very supportive if it would be better for my career. I am often frustrated by the personnel at my current hospital, as I feel I deal with a lot of incompetence on a somewhat daily basis. However, we serve a very poor population and that is incredibly rewarding.

 

Pay and benefits are equivalent between the two jobs.

 

It comes down to that I want to take the new job, but I don't necessarily want to move my family.

 

Any thoughts?

 

Hi Mhdousa,

 

My recommendation to you would be - if you haven't yet - write down all the reasons you might want to take this job and move your family, and then compare those to the benefits of the life your family already has.

 

If it truly is just a prestige thing, working for this hospital, that probably won't make you very happy because your status relative to your new colleagues will probably go down compared to your status now, even though your overall status might increase. In short, it's a lot easier to be the big fish in a small pond, and potentially a lot more satisfactory in regards to self-perception.

 

That said, if you think there are learning opportunities available at this hospital that will help you improve yourself and aren't available where you currently work, then it may make sense to take the job if that's something that interests you.

 

I've had a relatively short career - less than three years - but I can tell you without a doubt that the education I've received from working for my employer has far outweighed my actual compensation. I've expanded my understanding of business models substantially just from analyzing how our business works. If you think there are similar opportunities for you, evaluate how valuable they could be to you and act accordingly after considering the drawbacks.

 

I personally don't regret moving cross country for a job because I've learned a lot of transferable skills from it. If that wasn't the case, I absolutely would regret it because I see my family only a few times a year now. It's something I constantly weigh to determine when I am ready to move back to California for good.

 

I think Oddball's advice in general is very good, even if I don't agree entirely with his conclusion. I think the only people who can tell you whether you should take this job are you and your wife. You know a lot more about your situation than we ever could - all we can do is hope to give you are some insights to help inform your decision.

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For me personally those close to me (wife, kids, family, friends) don't care how much I make or how well known I am, that's not what matters.  Friends who only care about status and money are not the types of people I enjoy hanging out with, you can never measure up around them.

I don't think you really know that until you have lived it, to be fair. You are a guy who appears to be doing a lot and seems to have pretty much two careers. I'm also guessing you have quite a bit of money. It's easy for you to rack down on ambition and whatnot, because you already have it by the bucketload compared to 95% of people.

 

I have this not-so-close friend who is in sales. He's a decent guy, but very hyper and in your face. He earns a lot of money for a guy in his mid-20s (+$10k/month) and has been doing so for a couple of years now. He likes to spend at least as much as he earns and he doesn't shy away from talking about vacations in Dubai and whatnot.

 

I never hear much about this directly, though. Probably because he knows I could outspend him but choose not to, so I wouldn't be impressed or jealous. Instead I hear of this through our mutual friends. They are easier targets because they work as teachers or go to school etc. You know, the usual stuff young and not rich people do.

 

My point is that maybe you don't really know everything about what your friends think, because you (at least in some aspects) are probably the most successful one of the bunch.

 

That was a tangent; but this stuff about "status" not mattering irks me a bit. Every single one of us thinks about the relative status of everyone in our lives, even if it may not be on a conscious level. I think it's delusional to think that family and friends will treat you the same whether you are a doctor or a garbage man, no matter how nice and open-minded they seem under present circumstances. In theory, everybody's a saint.

 

Sorry for rant, but now I have written it so I will post it too.

 

A lot of presumptions here about me, none true.

 

I speak as one who's chased promotions, better titles, better positions.  For a long time the grass was always greener, what I wasn't doing was always better than what I was doing.  I've been on both sides of the fence and invariably where I came from or where I'm going was always 'better'.  I currently live in a city neither my wife or I are from that we moved to for a job.  When others talk about driving to visit family I agree it's doable, but I also know what a pain it is and how much my wife wishes we lived where her mom is.  I am living what the poster asked.

 

In terms of status this is something I found out myself, I also found out that contentment is better than status, money or whatever else.  I don't have a bucketload of money like you presume.  I've never been as successful as your friend, I've never earned a six-figure salary in my life.  In terms of this board that might make me a failure, it's not something I care much about.  Now some of my career dissatisfaction has driven me to do my own thing and work to branch out on my own.  So in many ways I'm glad to have failed at the typical corporate American office job.  If I hadn't fought to get up the ladder I might have never had the motivation to start my own company.

 

And for how our friends think?  They as well as family have the impression we're poor, we heard it first hand and third-hand.  We live in a smaller house and drive used American cars.  We're constantly bombarded with quips about how cheap we are or how little money we must have, or how we can't afford certain things.  I've lived payment to payment before and decided that after paying off debt and starting to save and invest that I don't want to go back to that.  So status, or lack thereof hasn't been an issue.  Living differently has been rewarding, I'd be embarrassed to share our financial status with friends, I wouldn't want them to have a number color their perception of us.  Likewise I hesitate to ever post performance numbers because I want any work I do to stand on it's own, not how I've done in the past.

 

Maybe it's true that you know don't until you've tried, so in that case the OP should just move to see what it's like.  I wasn't trying to look down in my original post, rather I've lived their experience and I was hoping to save them some of the pain I've gone through myself.

I wasn't saying I thought you were filthy rich (bucketload was for ambition, not money). But having a few hundred thousands or even a million in (net) assets makes you much better off than the absolute majority of people. From the few things I have read about your performance, I made a guess that you were in the vicinity of those sums. If that was wrong, I apologize for jumping to that conclusion.

 

Anyhow, my point wasn't primarily about wealth, but about the status coming from being an ambitious guy and even something more simple like being well-read. I think most people on this board falls at the very top in those aspects in pretty much any social setting they might find themselves in. 

 

Don't misunderstand me, I'm not arguing for chasing status. I live in a small rental and drive a six year old car, so that's not were I'm coming from. I also get jokes about being cheap.

 

My point is that status is not irrelevant to anybody, and even if you view yourself as an underdog, you might not be as much of it as you think. I don't know about you guys, but I have had my mind blown on a couple of occasions when getting a glimpse of how I'm viewed from the outside - often it has been extremely far from my personal reality.

 

I think you post good stuff, was just trying to nuance the status bit from my perspective. What you wrote about that worked a bit like a red rag for me, with my hippie radar beeping angrily. That was probably unfair, but I still think that status has to be accounted for in order to be realistic.

 

I also come from a small town and hang around a lot of younger guys who won't have careers, and older guys who often regret not seeing the world or aiming higher. At least that's my impression. That's at the other en of the spectrum from the status race. 

 

edit: on being ambitious and how you don't seem to view yourself as such (anymore): I don't work, I only invest. I don't have a family or a significant other. I keep a blog that has had like three updates this year. You have a full-time job, some bank analysis website, a family with kids, a well-updated blog, a newsletter and still manages to outpost me by 2x on this board. You may reject the rat race, but ambition you don't lack.

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Look at Maslow's pyramid. Need for belonging is a pretty big one. I would choose the option where you are most often surrounded by people who like you, and vice versa. In the end that is going to bring the most happiness. Not just talking about family here.

 

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You have a full-time job, some bank analysis website, a family with kids, a well-updated blog, a newsletter and still manages to outpost me by 2x on this board. You may reject the rat race, but ambition you don't lack.

 

My impression from reading everything Nate posts is that he's a down-home ordinary guy with preternaturally uncommon common sense who likes to shoot the breeze a lot, and that his ambition is to be true to himself.  And the maxim "Know Thyself" is what will serve the OP mhdousa best in defining what ambition is for himself.

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Full disclosure, I was offered a job about a thousand miles away from all of our family and friends about 9 years ago which we ended up accepting. In fact, it was exactly 9 years ago today that we closed on our home here in North Texas. Let me offer a couple of thoughts on the subject.

 

·        Relocating does interesting things for a marriage. When you move from family and friends, you and your spouse lose a large amount of “support” that you unknowingly get from family and friends. The result is that, in the new location, you both really need to support each other. When this works, the move actually strengthens a relationship. When it doesn’t, the consequences may be acceptable, or may not. In my circumstance and in the circumstance of one of my best friends, the move really helped our respective marriages. Not that there were problems pre-move, but post-move, my wife and I both learned to depend on each other, and that both of us would be there for the other one.

·        There is an element of paralysis by analysis in that people tend to inject “What about this, what about that?” into their decision-making process. Ultimately, there is no way to accurately forecast what would be best outcome…no way at all. After thinking and pondering and talking it out, you’re ultimately playing a guessing game.

·        There are too many variables, some of which are impossible to foresee, to consider. You could make an elaborate score card but such a score-card has its limits in terms of effectiveness.  I would think of it this way…is life good now? Do you thin life will be good after taking the move? Likely, the answer to both questions is “yes” so while it is difficult to make the “right” decision, there is not really a “wrong” decision as you are good if you go, and good if you stay.

FWIW, we are glad we made the move, though we do miss family, friends to be sure. There is something liberating and empowering about moving away from “home”. Without a doubt, it would be great to see things like how our kids’ friends from years ago have grown up, but we’ve met some great friends here as well. We miss family but also find it nice to be away from family drama every now and again. Just remember, either way you decide, you’ll end up being the prime determiner of how things go…if you have a positive attitude, work hard, treat others well, etc, then you are likely to be quite content and happy irrespective of what you decide.

 

 

-Crip

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As a guy with no wife and no kids, it's easy for me to say what I'm about to say, but...

 

Philadelphia and NYC look like they're really close to each other (via Google maps).  And I hear there's decent, if not good, public transit between them.

 

In the midwest, Texas, the west coast, etc., one can only dream of getting in a car (let alone public transit) and visiting relatives in less than two hours.

 

If your in-laws are near retirement age and don't mind spending time in Philly, you could also consider getting a house that's big enough where they could stay for an extended period of time.  Or a house with an "in-law".  In Philadelphia I'm guessing you could probably afford it.

 

Actually, the train from NYC to Philadelphia is a sweet 2 hour trip on a very nice double-decker train.  My brother and I quite enjoyed it!  But two hours is a long daily commute.  More likely Mdhousa would have to go to Philly early Monday morning, and then come back home late Thursday night, enjoying Friday, Saturday and Sunday at home.  But how would the missus feel about being the only caregiver to the kids three nights in the week?

 

Tough choices!  But as they say, "Happy wife, makes for happy life!"  Cheers!

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