Moving soon!

Avatar for poorboy2011
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-02-2011
Moving soon!
8
Mon, 07-07-2014 - 7:24pm

Hello, everyone. I've been away, but I want to come back and touch base. I miss the old gang.

So I'm making preparations to move to the West Coast. I'm really looking forward to living there! In fact, I am already thinking of all kinds of stuff I want to do once I move -- I'll have to pace myself once I get there! In the meanwhile, I feel like I could be better about money if I were better informed & more willing to take chances where I wasn't so well-informed. But that's where I don't want to take chances.

I'm hiring movers to do the whole move. My employer will pay for most of it, but I still have to pay a portion. I'm a little nervous about electronics breaking and things going missing, but that's only because of the horror stories from a friend who does business with the moving industry. Everything was fine the last time I moved. I had to choose between having the movers pack (which will cost $1,500-$2,000 more) and packing myself. The problem is that if you pack yourself, the insurance won't honor damages to the goods unless the carton has been visibly damaged. I ended up choosing to pack myself. So I'm taking a chance here. I don't know whether I made a mistake or not.

I found an apartment. Because it's in a new, big city that I am not familiar with, I ended up hiring a realtor (the employer paid for this, too). I had to rely on the realtor quite a bit because I just had no idea what rent was right for what was offered. At first I was shocked by the rent of the places I see. They are astronomical compared to the small town I live in. So I had to get over that psychologically and figure out what would be a reasonable rent for my budget. It was still a little hard to search from afar when with the realtor's legwork. Some landlords aren't very comfortable renting to someone they can't meet in person. We missed what semeed like the deal of the century for that reason. At the end, I got a place that seems like a reasonable deal because it's new and close to work. I'm paying $500 more for 400 sq ft less than my current apartment. The housing search would have been a lot easier and cheaper if I were living there already. I was going to take college housing, except they were full.

I sold my car. I think I gave someone a good deal, and I probably could have gotten a few hundred more if I were wiser about the market. My car probably has only four more years to its life, and it was a big source of stress for me because every year I'm faced with the question of "throw in more money for the repair, or abandon?" I just don't know how to price something lke this. It turned out there is a market for such cars. There are quite a few people have to make do with really old cars that need constant repair because they can't afford better. So, perversely enough, crappy cars here cost more than crappy cars elsewhere, and I missed the chance to make money off the moneyless. I felt good about the fact that was quite honest about the condition of my car. Most of my friends (who have a very different financial situation) basically said, "Oh, don't stress about selling the car. You can just donate the car to a good cause!"

I'm wondering whether I should sign on for COBRA, as my new health insurance won't kick in until September. I guess I'll decide once I get my termination papers. 

I have plenty of money to get through the next two months, but that came at the cost of slowing my debt repayment. I'll be done with most of my debt once I withdraw my retirement funds. But then I'll have to buy a car. This time I want something that won't send me to the repair shop all the time. No more GM cars, please.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008
Mon, 07-07-2014 - 7:58pm

Good to hear that you got a new job and are moving to a more interesting city!  Just really quick - COBRA can be quite expensive.  Wonder if you could sign up for ACA (aslo known as Obamacare)?  Depends on the plan you choose and which state you are at, it may be less expensive.  In some states younger people can also pick the "catastrophic coverage only" if you only need it to tie you over ...  Just a thought.

Congrats on the new job and best of luck with the move and everything!

Avatar for poorboy2011
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-02-2011
Mon, 07-07-2014 - 10:57pm
Thanks for the suggestion. I'll keep it in mind. I keep thinking I've planned the move too indecisively for the most part, and when I was decisive I made the wrong choices! As for the car, a part of failing to negotiate harder was that I just didn't believe the car was worth that much. If I was a true businessman I'd just obey the law of supply and demand. I guess I'm not a businessman. I'm frustrated with myself.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2008
Tue, 07-08-2014 - 9:05pm

Wow, you are really hard on yourself. Of course you aren't a businessman, you are honest. Just kidding. There are honest business people in the world but not many. You knew the car wasn't very valuable to you so you didn't feel comfortable asking too much from peole who can't afford to pay. You cared about the other side of the business transaction - most people don't have that luxury in business. I do in my line of work and it was what I value so much about my career.

You are capable and able in other areas! And that is okay!

Cut yourself some slack :) and you can always ask advice of friends who do have that skill or have done the research for themselves - people ask for my research/information/etc all the time. I am happy to help them.

Dee

Avatar for poorboy2011
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-02-2011
Wed, 07-09-2014 - 2:37am
This is the thing -- I don't seem to have friends who can help. Most of what I have to do is alien to them, either because they live a more expensive lifestyle, or they live really far away so they don't know what my location is like: "You have an old car? Why not just donate it? It's less trouble than selling it."

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2008
Wed, 07-09-2014 - 10:01am
Good luck with the move and your new financial position!
Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Thu, 07-10-2014 - 1:07pm

So good to hear from you!  I am very excited for you.

I found my DH a great plan with a good price through the new health care maze, but right now we have to pay 100% of the premium based off of our estimated income for 2014.  Only you can decide what is more valuable, the time spend searching for a plan on your own or just going with COBRA, regardless of cost.  

Don't give the car another thought.  You followed your gut and did the right thing.  

Don't give the packing another thought.  You followed your gut and saved a ton of money.  

Soak up the new west coast culture and don't stress about your debt repayment being put on hold.  It will all come together soon enough.  I am on the west coast, but not exactly in a big city, so even for me a large city would be change.  I can totally understand the nervous excitment.  

Stay in touch!

Serenity

Serenity
Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Sun, 07-13-2014 - 1:27am

A comment about COBRA vs an individual plan: since you are moving to a different region you should find out how/if the COBRA plan will work in your new location. Would you be "in-network" there for regular care, will it be only for an emergency, that sort of thing.

To what metro region are you moving? Some areas seem to have better or worse choices of plans available on the state exchanges and the COBRA might end up being a better deal. I think the key is to do some research in advance. You can get quotes on the state exchange by entering the zip code where you will be moving; and your HR person should be able to give you the COBRA info now. Better to have the facts and make an informed choice at your leisure, than to have to take whatever you can get at whatever cost because you have to make a quick decision.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-19-1998
Sun, 07-13-2014 - 10:17am

Congrats on the new job. If you're moving to CA it does sound like their plan is really good and their website is great too. I don't know about the other states out there.

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