Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Career, commuting and family strategy

My wife and I discussed it would be better to have me commute to Chicago to work at Big Company and move not to the Midwest, but further North into urban Virginia.

This would put us close to one of the major South Virignia cities - most likely in the Hampton Roads area.

Depending upon how things go with Big Company, I imagine the following:

If I am working out of Chicago for most of my time (35%), then we would purchase a condominium in the Chicago region. I would live their Sunday night - Thursday night. Weekly or every other week.

If I am working at our other facilities, of which Big Company has many, I would travel all over as needed, but base myself out of Virginia.

This of course becomes difficult to estimate until I learn how and where my responsibilities send me. My recent review indicated that I am doing well in my new job, but I honestly feel the pedal hasn't hit the metal yet. May or June will be the true measure of where things are at.

Can an established entreprenuer really become become a Big Company executive? Or will the strings of freedom pull me out?

What prompted this consideration was a realization by my wife that her current job is very comfortable and pays well. If she can improve company performance - despite entrenched interests - her earnings would pay increase even more.

I do not look forward to being away from my family so regularly. I miss my wife and children. The commitment to move further to Southern Virginia would have the following impacts

Access to better education
Improved real estate
Better neighborhoods
Commercial entertainment
Increased social opportunities / better chance to make friends with educated, professional types
Better shopping (and related time savings)
Higher income for my wife (short term - long term unclear - possibly the same)
Increased job security - my wife is established in her job

Commitment to my travelling at least 40%
Possible expense of a second household
Possible carrying costs of commute and travel expenses (maybe Big Company won't pay)
Possibly less time with my children (my position requries frequent travel anyway)
If I do not say with Big Company, We would have to move anyway (I have little oppty in S VA)

I'll have to put an economic model together to explore the different scenarios. My boss has indicated he would support my decision to not relocate - but it would require me to have a certain amount of leverage within Big Company - leverage I aspire to attain, but do not have yet.

What do you recommend I include in the two home economic model?
Do any other scenarios make sense?

Regards, makingourway


BBiB said...

Thanks for your wonderful blog of Personal Finance. A lot to learn. Got a quick question. In the Networth area, how do you calculate your home's worth? Do you generalize (based on your neighborhood sales) or use zillow or similar website to get the current price (approximate)?


mOOm said...

I would never have the energy to do this kind of thing long term. I need some stability of a single home base in my life. At the moment I live about 150 miles from girlfriend and that is a stress (but nearer than the last two relationships...) and no children etc. involved. It's up to you, but it sounds awfully hard as something to do voluntarily. Our visas don't let us do anything but our current jobs at the moment.